A NEW telecommunications licence was awarded to Sure South Atlantic by the Falkland Islands Government last Friday.
The exclusive licence will provide a fixed line telephone, broadband and mobile phone services in the Falklands for a period of 12 years starting retrospectively on January 1, 2016.
The company said the licence will provide them with the stable platform it needed to invest in a new fast 4G mobile broadband network and further increases in broadband capacity.
Acting Chief Executive Officer Ian Kelly said this week: “The licence is a reciprocal commitment that gives us the certainty we need to make major network investments in the Islands, not least the creation of a 4G mobile network which will transform customers’’ mobile Internet experience, as well as enhancements to our 2G network to further improve the reliability of voice coverage.”
He said importantly the licence also committed Sure to increasing international and broadband capacity, “as well as the development of broadband packages that deliver faster speeds and larger allowances but without creating higher overall costs.”
He added: “Our aim is to deliver the best possible communications networks for the Falkland Islands and by including Key Performance Indicators against which Sure will be measured, the licence ensures that this will be done in a transparent and quantifiable way.”
As well as setting out criteria for infrastructure development, the new telecommunications licence sets out steps that Sure must take to give families and individuals greater control of their Internet usage.
“The breadth of the long-term licence commitment ensures that we deliver communications services that benefit the whole community across the Islands,” said Chief Executive of Sure South Atlantic Justin McPhee.
He added: “We are committed to providing new mechanisms that will give customers greater control of their internet usage as well as the ability to purchase data bundles.
“We also recognise that Telecoms networks bring people together and we want to ensure that this is done responsibly, so we have committed to automatically implementing the Internet Watch Foundation’s blacklist.”
A press release from FIG added that the licence also contained a detailed set of exit provisions that were designed to ensure a smooth transition of services in the event that either FIG or Sure served notice to the other party.
FIG’s Chief Executive, Barry Rowland, added: “Ensuring a successful completion to the negotiations with Sure has been a personal priority for me since arriving on the Islands six months ago. I recognise the key role that telecommunications has in growing the economy and this is why I will be setting up the Technology Development Group to identify opportunities, risks and constraints in terms of the telecoms service...”