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Digicel urges gov’t to free up spectrum

-says new services, upgrades delayed as requests pending

The new Digicel tower at Kabakaburi
The new Digicel tower at Kabakaburi

As it announced a rollout of state-of-the-art mobile service in Region Two, Digicel Guyana has called on the government to free up spectrum for the expansion and upgrade of its services.

The mobile company said that requests to the government have been pending since November and new services and upgrades have been delayed.

In a statement, Chief Executive Officer, Gregory Dean said: “The Government has been transformational in delivering liberalisation. Now, to be able to bring further benefits to the people of Guyana, we need confirmation from the Government that the spectrum we use to deliver these and future services, will be made available. Our requests have been pending since November and this has led to new services and upgrades being delayed. We are keen to immediately invest in Guyana and ensure our customers access world class services.”

Digicel Guyana said that it has switched on its state-of-the-art mobile service in the Kabakaburi Mission Region Two, completing major service expansion in the Upper Pomeroon river area.

It added that residents in the village’s sub divisions of St. Monica, Siriki, Abrams Creek and Jacklow will now have access to first world connectivity.

Dean underscored Digicel’s contribution to taking connectivity to unserved areas, “We are thrilled to have given thousands of residents in remote communities’ access to world class communication services, during our 14 years of operations in Guyana.” In addition to the new site launch, the telecommunications provider donated over 30 tablets to students of Kabakaburi Primary School, the statement said.

Further, over $4 billion has been invested in rolling out LTE services delivering greater speeds and an overall enhanced user experience, to customers on the coast and inland areas like Linden, Bartica, Mahdia, Kwakwani, Mabaruma, Port Kaituma, Aroaima and Matthews Ridge. Puruni’s upgrade, which has been delayed due to poor road accessibility, is set to be completed in August with expected weather improvements.

This would see Digicel’s LTE services being available to an estimated 83% of the population, allowing more customers to now enjoy the full digital lifestyle, the company said.

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Digicel & CEO to face criminal charges for unauthorized spectrum use

Oct 09, 2021 News, Source - Kaieteur News Online - https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...orized-spectrum-use/

Kaieteur News – Come October 22, several criminal charges will be read to Digicel Guyana and its Chief Executive Officer, Gregory Dean for the unauthorized use of spectrum and the failure to comply with notices to cease such acts. Filing the said charges was Prime Minister with responsibility for the Telecommunications Sector, Mark Phillips.

Digicel Guyana CEO, Gregory Dean

In court documents seen by Kaieteur News, it was noted that Dean, between September 25, 2021 and October 1, 2021, knowingly authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the company’s failure to comply with directions issued under the Telecommunications Act and Regulations to cease unauthorized usage within 24 hours of the said notice.

The court documents further state that between December 1, 2020 and October 4, 2021, Digicel Guyana made use of Spectrum in the 1800MHz band without having proper authorization. During the period November 11, 2020 and October 1, 2021 the telecommunications giant made use of Spectrum in the 700MHz band without the requisite permit.

The particulars of the case also note that U-Mobile [Cellular) Inc., a body corporate, also operating as Digicel Guyana between September 25, 2021 and October 1, 2021 in the Georgetown Magisterial District, being served with a Notice from the Telecommunication Agency, dated September 23, 2021, containing a direction to cease within twenty-four hours of the said Notice, the unauthorized usage of Spectrum in the 700MHz band, failed to comply with that direction within the specified twenty-four hour period.

Prime Minister, Mark Phillips

The defendant between June 5, 2021 and October 1, being served with a Notice from the Telecommunication Agency, dated May 28 2021, containing a direction to cease within seven days of the said Notice, the unauthorized usage of Spectrum in the 700MHz band, also failed to comply with that direction within the specified seven day period. The company also failed to comply with a similar notice to cease the unauthorized use of the Spectrum in the 1800MHz band.

Late last month, Kaieteur News was the first to report that U-Mobile Inc. which trades as Digicel, has recently come under scrutiny for occupying additional spectrum without the requisite authorizations, even before the Government could review the new frequency band.

Digicel has also approached the courts seeking to halt the Government’s spectrum issue and if successful, could delay the deployment of services by competing carriers, which would consequently impact the access of the public to these services. In its defense, Digicel claims to have a legitimate expectation to the unauthorized use of spectrum.

Kaieteur News had reported however that this approach appears to be thwarting the process and the benefits of liberalisation to consumers.

GTT has indicated that it will be deploying a 4.5 G Network and has already been legally granted spectrum to begin this process. However, GTT has already written to the Telecommunications Agency, stating that it will expeditiously transition to the assigned spectrum, but may be prevented from doing so because of unauthorized use in one of its spectrum bands.

It therefore asked the Telecommunications Agency and the Ministry, to take the necessary steps at enforcing the law to prevent any such unlawful use. E-Networks has also written to the Agency about interference in its licenced band, which is causing delays in its countrywide expansion.

This unauthorised use of spectrum is not the first time Digicel has been accused of bypassing the legal process. In March 2017, GTT alleged that Digicel was facilitating an “illegal, unlicenced trans-border link between Guyana and Suriname,” an operation which Digicel has acknowledged on several occasions, and which amounted to “remarkable arrogance and disregard for the rule of law in Guyana” according to GTT.

In 2017, GTT claimed that Digicel has never provided any specific information in relation to this illegal bypass activity, which it believed deprived the national coffers of billions of dollars in tax payments. To date, Digicel has not made public whether it made any payment of the tax assessments alleged by GTT.

Similar to the present case, GTT expressed its frustration that Digicel avoided any responsibility for its illegal activities but instead, “[made] excuses or [launched] new and unfounded claims that are meant to distract the public and the media.”

Moreover, the operation of the bypass also entailed the use of valuable spectrum by Digicel, which GTT had claimed was “simply taken as its own, without payment.” The company believed that Guyanese had “a right to know whether this spectrum has, in fact, been stolen by Digicel.”

Further revelations have also indicated that Digicel has not paid its licence fees for at least five years, an amount estimated to surpass GY$1 billion dollars. The Telecommunications Agency has recently billed Digicel for these outstanding fees, requesting that they be paid within thirty (30) days.

Outcome of the pending case will determine the 'unauthorized' use of spectrum by Digicel.

You does really really explain stuff when you come up with dem kinda story. ai ai ai ai ai

Last edited by cain
@Mitwah posted:

Seems like Nandalall is back peddling on that law suit and criminal charges against Digicel.

The cost per minute for cellular phone use in Guyana is more than the US and Canada, so they [Digicell]are not exactly giving out charity. I don’t get it, why should Digicel gets this for free?

@sachin_05 posted:

The cost per minute for cellular phone use in Guyana is more than the US and Canada, so they [Digicell]are not exactly giving out charity. I don’t get it, why should Digicel gets this for free?

Ask your PPP boys. You seem to have  forgotten about the frequency giveaways by the same government.

How come Digicel suddenly have a fallout with the Red Shirt Fellas?

@Mitwah posted:

Ask your PPP boys. You seem to have  forgotten about the frequency giveaways by the same government.

How come Digicel suddenly have a fallout with the Red Shirt Fellas?

The red shut fellas is saying they need to pay up, the green shut fella[you] saying Digicel should get it for free. Why? Like dem promise yuh some ded house wok…hahahahaha [maniacal laughter]

@sachin_05 posted:

The red shut fellas is saying they need to pay up, the green shut fella[you] saying Digicel should get it for free. Why? Like dem promise yuh some ded house wok…hahahahaha [maniacal laughter]

At your house again! My condolences.

@Mitwah posted:

Ask your PPP boys. You seem to have  forgotten about the frequency giveaways by the same government.

How come Digicel suddenly have a fallout with the Red Shirt Fellas?

The soup nor fry rice making the grade nowadays....dem guys want better tasting deals.

Green Gibraltar to get 5G licence

-US investors on board

October 22, 2021

Source

With approval from government already granted, a locally created telecommunications company has partnered with United States investors to plug a large sum into 5G services which will add to Guyana’s growing telecommunications pool.

Sources close to the process told the Stabroek News that the company, Green Gibraltar, is the firm alluded to when Prime Minister Mark Phillips earlier this month disclosed that government was close to awarding another telecoms licence for a 5G carrier.

“Government is currently in the advanced stages of awarding another telecommunications licence for a 5G carrier,” Phillips had said in a statement to commemorate the 1st anniversary of the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector.

Gov’t and Digicel have amicably resolved issues – Attorney General - lawsuits dropped

Attorney General Anil Nandlall SC yesterday said that the Guyana Government and Digicel have amicably resolved their issues and lawsuits that had been filed by both have been discontinued.

“The parties have amicably resolved the matters of controversy which led to the various litigations…Both sides have been discontinued,” Nandlall told  Stabroek News when asked for an update.

Digicel had first taken government to court over spectrum distribution and its actions were followed by government this month notifying that it was suing the company for what it said was its unauthorised use of the spectrum in breach of the Telecommunications Act.

Prime Minister Mark Phillips, who has responsibility for the telecoms sector had also filed criminal charges against Gregory Dean, Chief Executive Officer of Digicel, over its alleged unauthorised use of the spectrum.

Dean had been summoned to appear in the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court on Friday to answer to more than a dozen charges relating to spectrum management.

On Thursday, Digicel’s representatives had told this newspaper that the company’s case against government had been discontinued.

It would appear that both sides came to an agreement which includes discontinuing their respective court matters.

In a fixed-date application (FDA) against U-Mobile, which operates as Digicel Guyana, the Attorney General and the Tele-communications Agency (the Applicants), had been seeking a declaration that Digicel, (the Respondent) is unlawfully using spectrum in the 700 MHz and 1800 MHz frequency bands, and is in breach of the Telecommunications Act and the Telecommunications (Spectrum Management) Regulations.

The Applicants were also seeking a declaration that Digicel’s use of the 700 MHz frequency band overlaps and is causing interference, including harmful interference, with the assigned frequencies and operations of other licensed telecommunications operators.

The Applicants had contended that Digicel has been unjustly enriched “from its unlawful use of spectrum,” and were asking the Court to so declare. They wanted an order disgorging all revenue and profits earned by the Company.

Against this background, the Attorney General had asked the High Court to grant a permanent injunction restraining the cellphone company and its agents from using, transmitting or otherwise accessing both the 700 and 1800 MHz spectrum, without first obtaining the frequency authorisations and permissions that are required by the Act and Regulations.

In the circumstances, the State had sought damages no less than $100,000 together with exemplary damages in the same amount; but was asking that an assessment hearing be held to determine the full quantum to be awarded together with interest.

It is unclear what would be the current terms of operations for the telecommunications provider as no details of the agreement have been made public.

@Mitwah posted:

This PPP gov't is ass backwards.  Why is it such a bad thing for Digicel to extend it services to close to 90% of the population?

Digicel thinks that they are Sikhs? Those Sikhs put up towers on the American border and blast spectrum signals into Canada. Free stuff buddy. No payment to the government.

Digicel thinks that they are Sikhs? Those Sikhs put up towers on the American border and blast spectrum signals into Canada. Free stuff buddy. No payment to the government.

Now I wonder where on earth did you dig that out of?

Digicel thinks that they are Sikhs? Those Sikhs put up towers on the American border and blast spectrum signals into Canada. Free stuff buddy. No payment to the government.

what de rass!

aloo?

is rum yuh drinking suh early in the morning?

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