Bahamas Telecom regulator determines middle ground on roaming pact

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Bahamian regulator, the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA), determined that telco Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) must provide new licensee NewCo 2015 (NewCo) with national roaming.

The regulator found the 36-month period requested by NewCo to be unnecessary and excessive. On the other hand, the URCA claimed the 18 months suggested by BTC would not be in the national interest, as the new licensee would not have completed its rollout within that period.

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The URCA explained that it selected a two-year duration because this coincides with the date by which NewCo has to roll out its own network infrastructure and achieve nationwide coverage.

NewCo's use of BTC's network should cease by June 30, 2018, although the URCA agreed that should the former's rollout be delayed, it could apply for an extension.

The regulator ordered that NewCo's BTC network roaming should start no later than the date when the second mobile operator launches its services to the Bahamian public. NewCo is mandated to launch in New Providence and Grand Bahama by end-September or the beginning of October of this year.

NewCo is 48.25% owned by Cable Bahamas and the company was formed to run the license the parent company was awarded in May.