Dominican Republic delays digital switchover – Dominican R.

Over 70% of Cuba’s internet accounts opened in 2015 – Cuba

Happy New Year! See you in 2016 – Regional

Costa Rica looks to expand internet services – Costa Rica

SuperCom to bring m-money solution to LatAm – Panama


Dominican Republic delays digital switchover – Dominican R.

The Dominican Republic has decided to delay its digital television switchover to 2021.

A presidential decree modified the timeline to switch off the country’s analog signal, which was originally scheduled for last September, after watchdog Indotel found that certain factors were hindering the process, including the failure of concessionaires to meet the legal, technical and investment requirements needed for the switch.

Some local analysts believe the country may have difficulty meeting the new deadline as well.

“Even if there is a schedule, all the changes and re-investment means it’s a long road that usually takes eight to 10 years, ” said engineer Oscar León, president of the Comisión Interamericana de Telecomunicaciones (CITEL).

The digital TV switchover has been on the to-do list of several Latin American countries, starting with Mexico, which will proceed to turn off its analog TV signals on December 31. Paraguay has announced its own digital switchover for next year.

Over 70% of Cuba’s internet accounts opened in 2015 – Cuba

While Cuba has yet to make the full leap onto the internet, the Cuban public is making strides in getting online: of the total 7.2mn internet accounts that exist in the country since 2013, some 71% were opened in 2015.

Since home access to the internet is still too expensive for most Cubans, they generally surf the net through public internet hotspots, such as libraries or online centers.

According to Mayra Arevich, president of state-owned telco Etecsa, every new hotspot reaches capacity rapidly. “More than 150,000 access [internet] daily on average. It’s interesting to note that usage has doubled compared to last year after the introduction of wireless connection points. Every new access we create is an access that is filled,” she told CubaSí. “So we need to keep increasing that capacity.”

There are currently 339 hotspots around the country, including 58 with Wi-Fi. Etecsa plans to open 80 new ones next year.

Etecsa is also planning to expand mobile e-mail service, of which there are 1.2mn in the country of a total 3.2mn mobile lines. According to Arevich, over 2,000 new mobile e-mail accounts are opened each day.

Cuba has been making great progress in bringing connectivity to its citizens, but broadband is still out of reach for many Cubans.

Ernesto Rodríguez Hernández, general manager of computer science at the communications ministry (Micom), said the country plans to take broadband to all Cubans by 2020.

Happy New Year! See you in 2016 – Regional

We’ve been helping you do great business in Latin America for the last 20 years, and 2016 will be no exception.

On Monday our newsletter will carry all the stories our experts have been working on to anticipate what 2016 will look like in the key industries BNamericas covers.

Our analysis pieces focus on which sectors and countries will shine next year and which ones will take a back seat; the main projects to watch and the best investment opportunities.

BNamericas’ content offers a 360° view of what is going on in Latin America, including News and Analysis, Projects, Companies, Data, Intelligence Series Reports and Project Risk Analytics.

We wish you a Happy New Year!

The BNamericas Team

Costa Rica looks to expand internet services – Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s telecom watchdog Sutel launched a public consultation on a project to bring mobile and broadband services to underserved communities along the Pacific coast of the country.

Sutel is looking to invest US$51.8mn through its Fonatel fund in infrastructure and equipment in the central Pacific and Chorotega regions. A tender is scheduled for the first half of 2016.

The project will benefit over 200,000 people, including students at 389 schools, and four indigenous communities in the area of Matambú.

“This is an effort to close the digital gap and ensure that these communities have access to the world through the internet,” said Sutel chairman Gilbert Camacho.

Fonatel funds are also being used in tenders to bring mobile service to other regions, including a US$21mn investment in the Atlantic coast.

SuperCom to bring m-money solution to LatAm – Panama

Global solution provider SuperCom announced a partnership with a Latin American mobile operator to bring m-money to the region. The provider was not named in the SuperCom press release.

Both parties agreed to build a secure mobile wallet solution to be used by existing subscribers. The solution will offer transactions, deposits, withdrawals, money transfers, and payments to stores.

SuperCom will deploy its SuperPay payments solution, which is in use by governments, banks and MNOs, it said.

M-money has been growing significantly across Latin America. El Salvador leads the region in penetration of services with 4.6%. The region has an average penetration of 1.7%. Operators such as Digicel, Claro and TIM have successfully deployed m-money solutions in the region.

The information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CANTO and/or its members