The Government of Guyana has filed Criminal and Civil action against U-Mobile Cellular company which operates Digicel in Guyana over unauthorized usage of spectrum.
According to Court documents filed by the Attorney General, on the 23rd of September, Digicel received notice from the Telecommunication Agency to cease the unauthorized use of spectrum in the 700MHz band.
The Attorney General contends that the company failed to comply with the directions although it was in breach.
The Government also contends that Digicel and its CEO failed to comply with the directions issued under the Spectrum Management regulations of 2020 which runs contrary to Regulation 13.
The company was again found using an unauthorized spectrum, the application alleges.
Despite receiving additional cease and desist directions in September, the company failed to comply with the directions.
It was explained that Digicel’s illegal use of the spectrum has affected both GTT and E-networks and their operations and is preventing the two companies from deploying additional services.
In the Court case, the Attorney General said the public interest is harmed by the actions of Digicel, which he described as illegal.
He also said Digicel is disrupting the efforts of the Government and the Telecommunications Agency to liberalize the sector, warranting urgent court intervention.
According to the Attorney General, it is evident that Digicel has taken an abusive opposing stance to liberalization, seemingly to impede competition and restrict the other operators from operating in the spectrum that it is using illegally.
Digicel, the Court action noted, has continued to utilize the 700 MHz spectrum – a service it activated post-liberalization – despite numerous cease and desist letters, and it continues to defy the laws of Guyana prohibiting the unauthorized use of spectrum.
In addition to the civil proceedings, the Prime Minister who has responsibility for the telecommunications sector has also filed a criminal complaint against Digicel’s CEO and the company itself for the unauthorize use of the spectrum and their failure to comply with the instructions to discontinue the authorize use.
In the criminal complaint, it is stated that “the Defendant, Gregory Dean , the Chief Executive Officer of U-Mobile (Cellular) Inc., a body corporate, also operating as Digicel Guyana between the 11TH day of November 2020 and the 1ST day of October 2021, at Georgetown, in the Georgetown Magisterial District knowingly authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the Company’s failure as a licensee, it being required by section 26(1) (e) of the Act to observe the provisions of the Act, to comply with section 30(1) of the Act by making unauthorized usage of Spectrum in the 700MHz band”.