Isle of Man Government Crest

News

20th January 2012

Next Generation Mobile for the Isle of Man – 3 players interested

The Communications Commission today published a paper summarising the responses to its recent consultation on how radio frequency spectrum should be managed within the Isle of Man. This consultation was to inform the development of the Island’s spectrum management regime, which would facilitate investment in communications infrastructure and services for the benefits of consumers whilst promoting research and development in spectrum use. Three substantive responses were received, from Manx Telecom, Cable and Wireless and Clear Mobitel, all of whom expressed interest in using spectrum for 4G or Next Generation Mobile services. A majority of the respondents also agreed with most of the proposed measures.

Radio spectrum is a key input for the provision of electronic communication networks and services, used to provide both mobile and fixed telecommunication services to residential consumers and businesses. Spectrum does not recognise national borders and often requires international coordination for the best use to be made of it. Appropriate management of this major asset, which is also a finite resource, is essential to ensure that value is extracted for the Island, and that services using spectrum continue to develop.

Unused frequencies have been identified in a number of bands, including the 800MHz, 900MHz and 2.6GHz bands. The 800MHz spectrum is being released with the switchover of analogue terrestrial television to digital. This spectrum will become available across the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man when the switchover is completed and the allocation process finalised in 2013.

This spectrum is suitable for a range of services, including mobile broadband and 4th generation mobile telephony, or LTE. There is also sufficient mobile spectrum to support a third mobile operator.

Hon Juan Watterson MHK, Chairman of the Communications Commission, said:

“The response to our consultation is an encouraging endorsement of our proposed policies in this area. It reaffirms the Commission’s focus on attracting investment, so aiding the Government’s strategy for economic growth. 4th Generation networks will enable high-speed mobile internet and voice services to be provided to consumers and businesses.”

The response to consultation paper and submissions received can be viewed online at http://www.iomcc.im. The Commission, informed by this process, will develop the procedures for awarding telecoms and/or broadcasting licences that involve spectrum, especially in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz band.

Notes for Editors

1. The Communications Commission, a Statutory Board, regulates the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors on the Island. Minister Juan Watterson is Chairman of the Communications Commission and Dr Carmel McLaughlin is Director.

2. Documents relating to the consultation can be viewed online at www.iomcc.im

3. For further Information please contact the Communications Commission on 01624 677022 or email Richard Oliphant at richard.oliphant@iomcc.im

Communications Commission
Address:
2nd Floor
St Andrew's House
Finch Road
Douglas
Post Code: IM1 2PX
Country: Isle of Man
Telephone:01624 677022