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$12.6b raised from telecoms licence renewal, additional spectrum

Thursday, April 03, 2014 - THE country will be raking in some $12.6 billion (US$115 million) in revenue as a result of Government's renewal of the telecoms and spectrum licences of Digicel Jamaica and LIME for the next 15 years, as well as the award of additional spectrum to both companies.

The renewal of the licences and award of additional spectrum represents some $9.36 billion (US$85 million) in investment from Digicel, and $3.29 billion (US$30 million) from LIME.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining Phillip Paulwell, who made the announcement at a press conference yesterday, said both companies made part payments on March 31, with Digicel paying $5.4 billion (US$50 million), and LIME $1.53 billion (US$14 million).

"A little cash in the kitty isn't such a bad idea," Paulwell said at the press conference at his ministry's Trafalgar Road offices, where he signed the licences.

"This is a vivid demonstration by both companies of their commitment to Jamaica's telecoms sector," he said.

He said the renewal was being done a year early to facilitate the companies, which want to invest heavily in the country and need the security provided by the licence to do so.

The development, he said, was significant for the local telecoms sector and was a decisive move by the Government to ensure that Jamaicans have access to broadband services.

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