Telecoms Company Asks Jamaica Government To Reconsider Revocation of Licence

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday April 12, 2018 – Days after the Jamaica Government revoked the licence issued to telecommunications firm, Symbiote Investments, which operates as Caricel Jamaica, the company is asking it to reconsider.

The local 4G start-up’s failure to provide information to authorities, as stipulated in conditions attached to its Domestic Mobile Spectrum Licence, led the Andrew Holness administration to pull back the licence.

The government notified Symbiote of its decision on Tuesday.

But Radio Jamaica has reported that Minette Lawrence, Company Secretary at Symbiote, has since written to Technology Minister Dr. Andrew Wheatley, outlining why the Government should not follow through on that decision.

Symbiote noted in its correspondence that the reason given for the revocation was that it failed to provide requested information by December 1, 2017. But it presented a letter dated November 22, 2017, in which it says its attorney responded to the recommendation from the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) that the licence be revoked.

The company questioned whether Dr Wheatley’s failure to acknowledge the letter was an oversight, and also why the company was not offered an opportunity to appeal the decision, given that Section 60 of the Telecommunications Act gives it the right to apply for reconsideration of the decision.

The company also urged the Technology Minister to stay the decision to pull the licence until a final determination is made in the matter.

In October 2017, Symbiote agreed to sell its Jamaican 4G business to South Africa-based Involution for an undisclosed price. The sale was made public in February this year, but regulatory authorities protested that Symbiote had not sought government approval for the transaction.

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