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New Mobile Telephone Operators for the Isle of Man 4 May 2006

The Communications Commission is licensing two new operators to offer mobile telephone services in the Isle of Man.

Cable & Wireless Isle of Man Limited, part of Cable & Wireless International, already operates a cross-Island telecoms link. Since 2002 it has provided fixed services to larger customers on the Island. It will now be able to compete in the mobile telephone market in the Isle of Man. Cable & Wireless already provides mobile phone services in the Channel Islands.

Richard Dodd, Chief Executive for Monaco, Middle East and Islands, Cable & Wireless International, and a Director of Cable & Wireless Isle of Man Limited, commented:

“C&W International is delighted to have been awarded a mobile licence in the Isle of Man. We are excited about bringing choice to customers in this market, which fits well within our international portfolio.”

Wire9 Telecom, through its Manx subsidiary Cloud9 Mobile Communications, will be introducing an innovative new mobile service with local Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Mobile telephones will transfer to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) when near WiFi hotspots. Wire9 is currently developing converged telecommunications and associated services in the United Kingdom and Gibraltar.

Lee Jones, CEO of Cloud9 said:

“We are very excited about launching our first European show-case GSM and 3G Network. Consumers in the Isle of Man will have more choice and businesses will benefit from services that were previously unavailable.
We have harnessed years of experience in designing & building our very own cutting edge mobile system which will bring cost savings and totally new services to users.
This agreement marks the beginning of our global roll-out of mobile networks."

Welcoming the advent of competition in the mobile telephone market in the Island, Communications Commission Chairman, Hon John Shimmin MHK, added:

“These are exciting developments for the Isle of Man. Customers will now have real choice. Cable & Wireless and Wire9 will provide a challenge for the incumbent operator, Manx Telecom, in a fully competitive market.”

Following telecommunications licensing by the Communications Commission, licences under the Wireless Telegraphy Acts will be issued through the Office of Communications (Ofcom) which manages radio spectrum on the Island’s behalf.

There has been an open invitation to new operators since Tynwald endorsed the InterConnect Communications (ICC) Report on telecommunications policy in 2002. That invitation has been reiterated each year in the Isle of Man Government Plan. Neither new operator has been given the right to erect masts or to dig up the streets without the necessary planning consents in each case. The Commission is urging all operators to share existing facilities.

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