Categorized | National News

URCA to proceed with new cellular mobile company licensing agreement

The government has notified the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) to proceed with Licensing of the new cellular mobile company NewCo yesterday.

Cable Bahamas Limited (CBL) will have a 48.25% shareholding, as well as board and management control of NewCo and the licences will be awarded after URCA has completed the final formalities of the licensing process.

“On October 18th 2015, the Task Force announced that CBL emerged as the successful bidder of the cellular mobile selection process, having obtained the higher score of the two bidders that participated in the spectrum auction administered by URCA.”

The Task Force then commenced discussions with CBL regarding the ownership arrangement that was stipulated in the Request for Proposals, dated November 13th 2014.”

Prime Minister Perry Christie revealed during his 2016/2017 Budget Communication in the House of Assembly in May of 2016, the Bahamian public would be the majority shareholder in this company while CBL will hold a minority share.

Mr. Christie said that another Bahamian company, Holding Co, would also be formed to hold the majority equity ownership interest in NewCo on behalf of the Bahamian public.

“In line with CBL’s Phase 1 commitments, Holding Co will hold 51.75 per cent of the shares in NewCo and CBL will hold the remaining 48.75 per cent,” Mr. Christie said.

“Although CBL will have management and board control of NewCo, Hoding Co will have certain standard market veto rights in order to protect its investment.”

He also stated that the company NewCo would hold the license for a 15-year period.

Within three months, it will have to provide coverage to at least 90 per cent of New Providence and 80 per cent on Grand Bahama.

Seventy-five per cent coverage is expected within six months on Eleuthera, Abaco, Bimini, Andros and Exuma – including Black Point, Little Farmers Cay, Staniel Cay and Stocking Island.

Within eight months, 85 per cent coverage in Andros and 99 per cent in each of Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, Abaco, Bimini and Exuma.

In a year, Mr. Christie said, 99 per cent coverage is expected in each of Andros, Cat Island, Long Island, San Salvador, Berry Islands, Inagua and Ragged Island.

Within 18 months, 99 per cent coverage Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, Rum Cay and Mayaguana.

In two years, 80 per cent in each of the Exuma Cays.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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