The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (the "GRA") is responsible for the regulation of the electronic communications sector in Gibraltar in accordance with Gibraltar and EU legislation.
Under the Communications Act 2006, the GRA manages the electromagnetic spectrum on behalf of Her Majesty's Government of Gibraltar, which includes issuing licences for telecommunications and broadcasting services in Gibraltar. The GRA's powers include:
- specifying the nature of the telecommunications systems and services which operators are permitted to operate and provide under licence; and setting conditions on such operation and provision.
On the 3rd December 2013, the GRA issued a Public Consultation (the "consultation") proposing the procedure to license the provision of 4G mobile communications services in Gibraltar.
As explained, the introduction of 4G mobile is particularly suited to the provision of better mobile data services, faster speeds and improved quality of service, which means that, potentially, broadband delivered over mobile networks could be as good as or, in some circumstances, even better than broadband delivered over the fixed network.
The focus of the consultation is on the process for licensing 4G services in Gibraltar and, in this context, to set out the GRA's plans for the spectrum bands which should be granted access for the provision of 4G services. In this regard, the GRA considered current spectrum assignments, the spectrum available, and how this may best be offered to mobile operators.