Mobile auction delayed again

17 Sep 2015

The selection process for the Bahamas’ second mobile licence has been delayed again, after a spectrum auction scheduled to take place this week was postponed for a second time with ‘no indication as to why’, Tribune Business writes, citing unnamed sources close to the liberalisation process. The auction forms the second stage of the selection process, with the outcome weighed-up alongside the bidders’ original proposals and the new concession going to the overall winner. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, sector watchdog the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) postponed the auction from April this year in order to investigate the erection of telecom towers by one of the bidders, Cable Bahamas Ltd (CBL). It was ruled earlier this month that CBL had indeed breached the rules of the auction by building the towers, although the infraction did not warrant the company’s exclusion from the competition.

Whilst the reason for the most recent postponement is not known, other sources close to the process told the news outlet that the delay was ‘not material,’ and that the auction was ‘absolutely imminent.’ Stephen Bereaux, URCA’s director of policy and regulation, seemed to confirm that the process had stumbled, describing the scheduling as ‘a significant task,’ adding: ‘Scheduling the spectrum auction means ensuring all the parties, and their consultants and advisers, and URCA and its consultants, are together at the same time.’ Nevertheless, the official said that the regulator is still hoping to complete the auction in September.

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