Minister of Technology Fayval Williams has called on the Spectrum Management Authority (SMA) to increase efficiency in regulating and managing spectrum for the benefit of Jamaica.
She argued that with the advent of next-generation broadband technologies, including 5G, an effectively managed and utilised spectrum will open a world of opportunities for the country.
As such, she said that the agency must work to ensure that a level playing field is created in order to maximise spectrum economic value.
Minister Williams was speaking at the SMA’s G5 Symposium on Friday (October 11) at the S Hotel in Montego Bay.
The SMA, which is the national regulator for the radio frequency spectrum, has facilitated expansion in the number of radio and free-to-air television stations, while there are several entities offering cable channels and Internet capabilities, among other services.
Minister Williams noted that while the SMA has been pivotal in the technological advancement of Jamaica, the entity must continue to position itself to facilitate a more technology-enabled society.
She said that greater focus should be placed on alleviating the issues of availability, allocation and harmonisation of the spectrum “that constrain the ability of various participants in the mobile ecosystem to invest in infrastructure and deliver services”.
“[The SMA] should ensure that its recommendations regarding pricing balances the objective to ensure equity, while encouraging deployment of services in unserved and underserved areas, as a means of achieving the goal of ubiquitous access to telecommunication services,” Minister Williams said.
“We are on a mission to transform Jamaica into a digital and knowledge-based society and the SMA is a vital part of that transition,” she added.
The symposium was held under the theme ‘Improving network and digital industry regulations: the sustainable use of spectrum’.