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Jersey secures place as 'Testbed' for International Telecoms Industry

19 December 2011

The Channel Islands first telecommunications research, development and training facility has opened in Jersey.  This landmark initiative in partnership with Chinese company UTStarcom (UTS) brings the island another step closer to becoming a major telecommunications hub for Europe.

The choice to base the UTS Research, Development and Training Lab in Jersey was the result of a combination of factors, including JT's Next Generation Network, the island’s International Connectivity and JT’s fibre optic broadband commitment and roll-out programme.  In combination, this provided UTS with access to the speed, resilience and capacity they need to research, test and develop new telecoms products/services for global markets. 

Jack Lu, President, at UTStarcom, said: "JT’s Gigabit Isles strategy, together with Jersey as a sound business location, made our decision to locate our research, development and training facility in Jersey an easy one. We are very pleased with the reception we have had today and look forward to JT’s staff working alongside the UTStarcom team on the research, development and testing of new products and services for the international telecommunications market.”

As a reciprocal benefit of the initiative, the UTS Lab provides a platform for its own international experts to share their expertise and experience and will also give opportunities for JT’s team of engineers, to further broaden their knowledge base and access enhanced training opportunities.

UTS are a world class provider of interactive, IP-based network solutions in the leading edge areas of iDTV, IPTV, Internet TV and Broadband, for cable and telecom operators. They have been working with JT since 2008 on a next generation core telecoms network (NGN), which allows JT to provide customers with advanced services, including the fastest broadband speeds within the Channel Islands.

JT’s CEO Graeme Millar, explained why the opening of this facility represents a crucial next step marking progress in JT’s ambitions to generate inward investment to the Island;
“This opening marks another major milestone in our five year strategy to firmly place Jersey on the digital map.  Our vision is to position Jersey as a telecommunications centre of excellence and support bringing diversity to the Island’s economy. 

We are currently talking to a number of other international technology companies like UTS, who are seeking a safe, robust and tech-advanced environment and partner to carry out live market testing of new services. In addition, our team has also held a number of positive meetings recently with global organisations in Silicon Valley (US).  Also, with key technology players in Israel and China, facilitated by trade delegations organised by Jersey Enterprise. The UTS Lab therefore represents a good example of one future, strong economic growth area for JT and for Jersey, and we are very excited to welcome them here.”

Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Sir Philip Bailhache, who officially opened the centre on the 19th December stated: “The opening of this excellent facility follows on from the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in June this year during the States-led delegation to China. The fact that UTS has chosen Jersey as the hub from which to mount its European operations, shows that our programme of foreign engagement is supporting the Island's economic prospects. In welcoming UTS to Jersey, we are reinforcing a clear, positive message to global investors that Jersey is a world-class jurisdiction; open for business.”

Senator Alan Maclean equally supported the opening of the Lab by saying: “The opening of this research, development and training facility comes at a time of real opportunity for Jersey and takes us another step closer to becoming a world-class telecommunications hub. The fact that we now have the network ability and resilience to support the next generation of telecoms products will help to boost the Island's economic growth. UTS choosing Jersey as the base for its European operations is proof that we have what it takes to compete in a global market.”