No person or entity may provide telecommunication services in the Solomon Islands except with a service licence or exemption (from the requirement for a licence) issued by the Commission. Service licences issued by the Commission are either a class licence or an individual licence.
A service licence is a grant of rights to provide the relevant service by the Commission, but is not a bilateral contract or agreement.
The Commission prescribes general conditions that apply to all service licences (or exemptions) as well as any special conditions applicable to a certain type of licence. The Commission has the power to suspend or revoke a service licence if, among other things, the licensee breaches the pdf Telecommunications Act (2009) (627 KB) or the licensee had falsified documents in applying for the licence in the first place or ceases to exist in law.
A class licence is a service licence created by an order or a direction published by the Commission setting out its terms and conditions and the qualification criteria for such a licence.
As a general rule, all telecommunications service providers operate under the Commission’s class licence. This class licence entitles service providers to offer some or all of the full range of telecommunications services.
Registration under the class licence does not authorise or entitle the holder of such a licence to use radio frequencies to offer telecommunications services. A separate application for the relevant radio frequency spectrum licence must also be obtained for the use of radio frequencies.
An individual licence is issued directly by the Commission to a specific person or entity. The Commission will issue an individual licence (instead of a class licence) only if it is necessary to specify particular terms relevant to a particular licensee or the Commission considers that other reasons make an individual licence necessary.
Individual licences are only granted in special circumstances such as in the case where an exclusive right needs to be granted to a licence applicant and where it is necessary to design provisions which apply only to the operator in question.
Transfer of control of an individual licensee or of the individual licence itself is permitted by the pdf Telecommunications Act (2009) (627 KB) only with the prior approval of the Commission. Transfer of a registration for a class licence, on the other hand, is prohibited.