LOCAL deployment of 5G mobile technology – or its successor – could begin in 2023, according to the island’s telecoms regulator.
The Guernsey Competition & Regulatory Authority has set out a potential timeline for the next generation of mobile technology in its work programme for 2022.
In the document, the regulator said a priority area was to ‘support States policy regarding future spectrum awards in support of next generation mobile and establish the appropriate regulatory framework to deliver that’.
‘The deployment of a high speed “next generation” mobile infrastructure for Guernsey remains a key States policy objective.
‘Further policy in this area will be developed over 2022, with a licensing framework debated by the States Assembly in 2022 prior to any licensing of 5G – or its successor technology,’ said the GCRA.
‘Deployment of next generation mobile networks is expected from 2023, to complement the island’s fibre network.’
The authority said these dates drove a timeline for deployment of next generation mobile networks in the 2023-2025 period – which would be dependent on completing 5G licensing in this timescale.
‘The latter will form a key element of the GCRA’s priorities in this area.
‘A tender process for the award of spectrum will be developed by the GCRA for the issuing of a 5G licence(s) in 2023, consistent with States policy objectives.
‘This preparatory work will be undertaken by the GCRA during 2022.’
The regulator also set out six other priority areas of focus for 2022.
These range from reviewing broadband provision, including regulatory oversight of the roll-out of fibre to the premises in Guernsey, to completing a review of the telecoms business connectivity market and implement potential remedies.
Supporting the ongoing development of States policy in the energy sector was another focus for the GCRA, along with carrying out a series of competition law workshops explaining how the investigations now being completed were conducted and identifying lessons learned.
Conducting merger workshops for key stakeholders on the implications for merger review procedures of the revised merger regime expected to come into effect in 2022 was a further priority, along with considering merger applications and exemption applications as well as investigating complaints and market failures as required by legislation.
By Will Green
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