Bahamas the
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

URCA: Govt has decided no third mobile operator at this time

The government has decided that after recommendations from the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA), there is no case for a third mobile operator in The Bahamas at this time, URCA’s draft Electronic Communications Sector (ECS) Policy for 2023-2026 reveals.

Mobile companies Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd. (BTC) and BeAliv (Aliv) Limited have been waiting for this definitive answer on the future of the mobile sector, to decide their way forward on their fiber rollout and the implementation of new technology, including 5G.

The ECS policy document states: “Under the 2020-2023 ECS policy, the government requested URCA to provide advice and recommendations to the government, including a feasibility and market analysis, to support any recommendations [related to the] further liberalization of the cellular mobile market in The Bahamas.

“URCA has provided the requested advice and recommendations, which this government has taken under advisement.

“URCA’s considered assessment has indicated that a third mobile entrant would not be commercially viable, or further the policy objective of promoting sustainable competition in the cellular mobile market at this time.

“Therefore, the government, during the life of this policy, proposes to refrain from introducing further competition in the cellular mobile market.”

Despite this stance, the government encourages URCA in the policy text to continue to monitor the mobile market, to ensure there remains competition that is favorable to consumers.

The document adds that there is an understanding that the dynamics between BTC and Aliv could change in the future and warrant another look at a third mobile license.

“URCA is encouraged to closely monitor the progress and developments in the market, with a view to ensuring that the cellular mobile market continues to exhibit effective and sustainable competition, including the merits of encouraging further entry at a later stage should the current market structure fail to deliver competitive outcomes,” the ECS said.

In URCA’s recently released “Public Consultation on the Demand for Enhanced Internet Connectivity and 5G in The Bahamas”, released earlier this month, BTC and Aliv called for URCA and the government to make a final decision on the possibility of a third mobile license.

They listed this specific issue as a roadblock to future capital investment planning.

JUMPLINE: ‘URCA is encouraged to closely monitor the progress and developments in the market’