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2006-02-08 19:57:00
Embassy Kingston
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

081957Z Feb 06
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINGSTON 000278 




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: 05 STATE 225777

1. (U) Econoff delivered reftel talking points to Delroy
Brown, official at the Spectrum Management Agency (SMA) of
the Ministry of Commerce, Science and Technology (MCST) on
December 21, 2005. Brown requested that the specific
questions be left with him so that he might direct them to
the appropriate subject matter experts. Econoff followed up
by telephone on several occasions, but was informed that SMA
was moving offices, and that meeting the January 10, 2006
deadline would be unlikely. Brown contacted Econoff on
January 12 to inform that the questions had been misplaced.
Econoff faxed questions to Brown on January 13, and received
written replies on February 1. Post regrets the delay in

2. (U) Answers are keyed to reftel questions.

A.) Responsible Authority: The body responsible for spectrum
management in Jamaica is the Spectrum Management Authority.
This independent regulatory body is an agency of the
Ministry of Commerce, Science, and Technology (with Energy)
and was established by the Telecommunications Act 2000.

B.) Assignment Process: The method generally adopted for
assigning licences is first come, first served. The
Authority has applied other methods in the past, such as
auctions for the cellular licences in 2000. Going forward,
the authority is looking towards other methods of spectrum
assignment, based on the circumstances of the market. This
will include Comparative Review and the use of Licence-
Exempt spectrum.

C.) Licensing Regime: As per the Telecommunications Act,
Section 23 (4), the "Minister may grant a spectrum licence
in connection with the provision of a facility or specified
service". The policy of the Government of Jamaica is that
licensing should be technology-neutral. Licences are issued
for one year, with the exception of Maritime Mobile Licences
which are issued for four years and are renewable.

D.) Licensee Privileges: At this time in Jamaica, licensees
do not have "property rights" to the spectrum to which they
have been assigned. Therefore, they may not trade, lease,
or share spectrum in return for payment. There is no
secondary market for spectrum licences. Licensees do not
have the right to transfer licences to other parties.
Licences may only be transferred to another party with the
permission of the Minister. Generally, the new users will
need to apply for a new licence. All payments with respect
to spectrum licences are made through the Authority.

E.) Spectrum Fees: Spectrum users are required to pay three
types of Fees as follows:

Processing fee: This is a non-refundable fee charged to
applicants to cover the administrative costs of processing

the licences.

Spectrum licence fees: These annual fees are charged for the
use of the spectrum. Spectrum licence fees are charged
using the Regulations to the Radio and Telegraph Control
Act, 1998, as a guideline. All spectrum licence fees
collected by the SMA are remitted to a Consolidated Fund.

Regulatory Fees: The Telecommunications Act of 2000 made
provisions for the SMA to charge regulatory fees to finance
the normal annual operating costs of the Authority.
Regulatory Fees are charged based on a "Value-Based
Mechanism," following a principle of the more spectrum you
use, the higher the fees you pay. These fees were
introduced in April 2003. Spectrum users are divided into
two Groups according to the commercial benefit derived from
the use of the spectrum.

Group 1 consists of cellular companies who utilize by far
the most spectrum and derive the most commercial benefit
from the use of the spectrum.

Group 2 is split into two levels:

Level 1 - those who derive little or no commercial benefit
from the use of the spectrum. These users are holders of
spectrum licences only and required to pay 35 per cent of
the value of the spectrum licence fee.

Level 2 - those who derive commercial benefit from the use
of the spectrum and are holder of Carrier and/or Service
Provider licences from the Office of Utilities Regulation
(OUR). These users are required to pay 70 per cent of the
value of the spectrum licence fees.

Further details of the Value-Based Mechanism for regulatory
fees may be seen in a consultative document issued in
January 2003 at

Exemptions: Exemptions from processing fees and regulatory
fees are possible, subject to review by the SMA. Exemptions
for spectrum licence fees are made with the approval of the
Ministry of Finance and Planning. Broadcasters are exempt
from paying fees based on the Radio and Telegraph Control

F.) Treatment of Government vs. Commercial Users: Apart from
the exemptions given to some Government entities with
respect to the payment of fees, Government users are subject
to the same terms and conditions as commercial users of the
G.) Other Incentives: The Authority is working toward a
revision of the fee structure for licences. The fee
structure will move to a more market-based approach to
capture the economic value of the spectrum and create
incentives for more efficient use of this resource.
Government Spectrum: Government spectrum is treated in the
same way as commercial spectrum, with the exception that
certain Government entities may be exempt from fees, as
indicated above.
H.) In-Country Contacts and Studies: The management of the
Spectrum Management Authority is available to discuss these
issues in further detail:

Mr. Ernest W. Smith - Managing Director, SMA -
Mr. Henry Batson - Director, Spectrum Engineering, SMA -
Mrs. Michele Thomas - Director, Policy and Strategic
Planning, SMA -

The postal address and telephone and fax for all contacts
above is:

Spectrum Management Authority
2 Floor VMBS Building
53 Knutsford Boulevard
Kingston 5

Tel: (876) 929-8550, 8520
Fax: (876) 960 8981

Recent In-Country work which includes these issues includes:
Stern Peter, 2004. Review of the Legal, Institutional and
Regulatory Framework for the Telecommunications Sector and
Recommendations for Reform.
Generally, there are a number of internet papers on market-
based economic mechanism for spectrum assignment, including
the ITU Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2004/05 -
Licensing in an Era of Convergence.