Friday, January 29, 2016
US, Cuba discussing undersea fiber optic cable proposals – Cuba

Intelsat HTS platform attracts record-breaking data contracts – Regional

How to place your company at the top – Regional

Brazil to have 3% of global LTE subscriptions by 2020 – Ovum – Brazil, Regional

Mahindra Comviva eyes LatAm growth with new acquisition – Central America, Regional

US, Cuba discussing undersea fiber optic cable proposals – Cuba

The US and Cuba are discussing a number of proposals to potentially build an undersea fiber optic cable, as the two countries seek ways to open up the Caribbean island to US investment and end the 56-year old embargo, the Miami Herald reported.

Last week, Daniel Sepúlveda, US point man on telecom policy towards Cuba, led a 14-member delegation to engage in talks on a wide array of telecoms-related commercial activities.

Earlier this month, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took Cuba off its restriction list, meaning that US companies will be allowed to invest in Cuba’s telecom market without specific approval from the commission.

Currently, Cuba’s only telecoms connections are via satellite and an undersea cable that connects the island to Venezuela.

The Cuban government has said that its goal is to offer internet to 50% of households by 2020 and to have 60% mobile penetration by then.

However, Sepúlveda was quoted as saying that the feedback the US delegation received from Cuba was that, while the proposals will be considered, internet and telecommunications are not currently a top priority.

Cuba has one of the lowest connectivity rates in the world with an estimated 5- 25% of Cubans with any type of internet service.

Since US President Barack Obama announced in 2014 that he would start moves to ease the country’s policy toward Cuba, a number of US companies have landed in the country, including movie and TV streaming service Netflix and short-term accommodation website Airbnb. While Apple has announced that a limited selection of its products will be allowed to make their way into the Cuban market.

Intelsat HTS platform attracts record-breaking data contracts – Regional

The Intelsat 29e satellite, launched by Luxembourg-based Intelsat on Wednesday, has led to some of the largest data commitments for new business in the history of the company, an Intelsat executive told BNamericas.

IS 29e is the first of Intelsat’s ‘Epic’ class of High Throughput Satellites (HTS), which, according to the firm’s Latin America & Caribbean vice president Carmen Gonzalez-Sanfeliu, are a perfect fit for the current economic environment.

This is because the platform delivers greater throughput to the user, but at the same time is backwards compatible with customers’ existing hardware, as well as incorporating open architecture, which allows them to choose the network hardware that best suits their applications, Gonzalez-Sanfeliu explained.

Intelsat estimates that its Epic satellites will provide three to five times more capacity per satellite than its traditional fleet, and throughput in the range of 25-60Gbps, which is roughly 10 times more than the traditional fleet’s performance.

Intelsat is kicking off the Epic program in the Americas because more than half the region has fixed and wireless broadband penetration below 20%, while Cisco‘s Visual Networking Index (VNI) predicts that mobile data traffic in Latin America will grow at 59% CAGR during 2014-19.

Furthermore, satellite consultancy Euroconsult predicts total satellite capacity requirements will grow at 10% CAGR to reach to 98GHz in 2024, Gonzalez-Sanfeliu added.

The Intelsat 29e satellite will enter commercial service by mid-2016, and will be followed by the Intelsat 33e unit, scheduled for launch in 2H16 to cover Africa, Asia and Europe.

These first two satellites cover the majority of the world’s business travel routes, she added, referring to the potential for providing in-air connectivity to passenger planes.

There will be two more Epic class launches in 2017 and three more units are in construction with a view to having a full fleet of seven units in 2020, at a cost of some US$2bn.

IS 29e was built for US$400mn-450mn, whereas traditional satellites cost about US$350mn, but Intelsat expects costs to come down for construction of future Epic satellites, the executive said.

The Epic fleet operates in the Ku- and C-bands, making it interoperable with Intelsat’s existing fleet of 50 satellites, and is designed to serve primarily the broadband and telecom carrier markets, Intelsat having boosted its broadcasting services fleet in Latin America with the launch of the IS34 satellite in August 2015.

Latin American customers already confirmed for Intelsat 29e include Venezuelan state operator Cantv, BT Venezuela, Ecuadorian state operator CNT, Telefónica del Perú, Colombian rural services provider Anditel, and Colombian VSAT services provider Axesat.

Committed broadcasters include Amazonia Cabo, Cadena Ecuatoriana de Television, Canal 10 CETV, Fox Latin America Channels do Brasil, Igrege Mundial do Poder de Deus and Radio e Televisao Banderantes.

Several governments have shown interest in the Epic platform for their universal access programs, but cannot commit until the satellite enters service, Gonzalez-Sanfeliu added.

How to place your company at the top – Regional

Twenty years ago, being listed on the Yellow Pages and advertising here and there was enough to ‘exist’ in any business community. But today a client looking to hire services or acquire goods has a nearly infinite number of information sources and can research the best option before reaching out to a provider.

One of the biggest challenges for providers, therefore, is making their experience and value stand out in this sea of information available to decision makers.

How do you ensure that a project manager at a new mine knows what a good job your company did in similar projects? How do you get your contact info in front of that project manager? Linkedin? Facebook? Business association websites?

Thousands of companies consume the content and business intelligence produced by BNamericas in search of opportunities. Executives contact our experts daily to quickly access key contacts related to companies and projects. And our platform is taking a crucial step to make the business of facilitating business in Latin America much easier: BNamericas clients can now have their own Enhanced Company Profile.

This new feature will allow you to take control of your profile. You can show our thousands of users in key Latin American industries your firm’s comparative advantage, completed projects and product/service offerings.

With this tool, a company looking for a specific service on the BNamericas website’s search engine will see your company’s name, services, experience and contact person.

Companies such as Schrader Camargo have taken advantage of the opportunity. BNamericas users now know that this Colombian engineering, procurement and construction firm counts Pluspetrol, Ecopetrol, Emgesa, Siemens, Skanska, Barrick Gold and Ica Fluor among its clients. They also know that Schrader Camargo played a crucial role in Mexico’s TEMEX co-generation plant, where the Colombian company installed two gas turbines and a steam turbine, while interconnecting 16 existing systems.

Don’t let your company get seasick in the ocean of information. Get there first.

Brazil to have 3% of global LTE subscriptions by 2020 – Ovum – Brazil, Regional

Brazil will account for 3% of the estimated 3.62bn global LTE subscriptions in 2020, which would be equivalent to some 108mn connections, according to global analysis firm Ovum.

Ovum reported that global LTE subscriptions passed the 1tn threshold at the end of 2015, while Brazil represented 2% of that total. Ovum predicts that LTE accesses will double by 2017 and triple by 2019.

According to the consultancy, when this technology first surpassed the 1bn milestone, it had been around for less than six years, whereas 3G took more than 10 years to reach the same level.

Among the largest markets, China will have 28% of the world’s LTE accesses by 2020, followed by the US (10%), India (10%) and Japan (4%). Brazil is ranked alongside Russia, Indonesia and Germany.

Brazil is the only Latin American country ranked, due to the size of its market.

Mahindra Comviva eyes LatAm growth with new acquisition – Central America, Regional

Indian-owned mobility solutions provider Mahindra Comviva has said it expects to increase its revenues 500% in Latin America over the next three years, boosted by the recent acquisition of Advanced technology Solutions (ATS).

Mahindra Comviva, which is a subsidiary of Tech Mahindra and part of India’s US$16.9bn Mahindra Group, said it aims for Latin America to contribute over 15% of Mahindra Comviva’s global revenue in the next three years.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed amount, will add clients including AT&T, Claro, Entel, Nextel, Oi, Telefónica, TIM and Vivo to Mahindra Comviva’s portfolio and strengthen its delivery of end-to-end solutions including development, implementation and post-sales support capabilities, Mahindra Comviva said.

ATS provides mobility solutions to telecom operators in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and five countries in Central America.

Mahindra Comviva has an existing presence in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay, Guyana, Curacao and Peru and is chiefly targeting pent-up demand for mobile money, prepaid recharge, analytics, messaging and mobile data solutions.

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