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Island Hopping with GlobalComms Database: A Look Inside Three New Country Profiles

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By Tom LeinsJul 26, 2017

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TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database now covers a whopping 225 markets.

And some of our latest additions are small but mighty.

This includes three UK crown dependencies: Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. All three islands have seen a shareholder shake-up in recent years, the result of Bahrain-based Batelco’s $570 million takeover of businesses from British telco Cable and Wireless Communications. (The deal saw the telco Sure change hands in all three markets.)

Here’s a peek at what's happening in these three unique markets.

Jersey: A Leader in LTE

In Jersey, JT, Sure, and Airtel-Vodafone successfully bid for LTE-suitable spectrum by the Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities in July 2014.

Subsequently, they were allocated the necessary frequencies by UK regulator Ofcom.

JT was the first to market, launching an LTE-Advanced network via six sites in St. Ouen in February 2015. Coverage rapidly expanded across the island; 95 percent of the population is now believed to be within the cellco’s 4G footprint.

JT was also keen to develop a speed advantage over its rivals. As result of its deployment of carrier aggregation technology, in August 2016 customers with compatible Cat 6 and Cat 9 devices would see download rates increase by 30 percent. This brought it up to a new top-end speed of 300Mbps.

Guernsey: A Newly Competitive Mobile Sector

Competition in Guernsey’s mobile sector didn’t arrive until 2004. Then-Guernsey Telecom, now Sure, previously held a monopoly, launching GSM-based services in March 1996.

The newcomer quickly carved out a piece of the market, arguably thanks in part to it offering superior technology.

Its first rival, Wave Telecom (now JT Guernsey) came to market with not only 2G services, but also 3G connectivity, having secured what was the Channel Islands’ first third-generation concession. With Wave’s launch confirmed in July 2004, the newcomer quickly carved out a piece of the market, arguably thanks in part to it offering superior technology.

Competition remains intense. Both now offer tri-band carrier aggregation (3C) LTE-Advanced technology using the 800MHz, 1800MHz, and 2600MHz bands.

Isle of Man: All About Customer Choice

The Isle of Man has a well-provisioned broadband market. Consumers enjoy a a wide range of choice in access options, including xDSL, fiber, and broadband fixed wireless access.

Consumers enjoy a a wide range of choice in access options, including xDSL, fiber, and broadband fixed wireless access.

The incumbent, publicly-listed PTO Manx Telecom, has offered ADSL since 2001, upgrading its network in the intervening period with ADSL2+ (2009), fibre-to-the-cabinet (2010), and VDSL (2011). Having trialled fibre-to-the-home in 2012, it turned to VDSL2 in February 2015 to boost peak throughput to up to 80Mbps.

ADSL2 coverage now stands at 100 percent of inhabitants, while VDSL coverage had reached over 90 percent and stood at 73 percent for even faster VDSL2 services.

 

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Tom Leins

Tom Leins

Tom Leins is a lead Analyst for TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. He also contributes to the company’s daily CommsUpdate newsletter, which includes his popular weekly 'MVNO Monday' round-up. Tom has developed a strong specialisation in the US, as well as Latin America and other developing markets, tracking regulatory developments, market opportunities, growth trends and market forecasts.