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

CTU kicks off workshops on technology-driven innovation – RegionalLeading figures in entrepreneurship and information and communications technology in the Caribbean have met on the island of St Lucia for the first of a series of workshops held by the Caribbean Telecommunication Union (CTU) on technology-driven approaches to business, the Trinidad Guardian reported.Workshops will also be held in Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines over the next two months. The island nations are deploying the Caribbean Communications Infrastructure Programme (CARCIP), which has US$25mn in financing from the World Bank for the three countries involved.

The project also includes a grant for the CTU, which is coordinating the project across the region.

The CTU met with government officials from the three countries and representatives from the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) in early February to share insights into how each country is tackling the region-wide challenge of developing its telecommunications infrastructure.

The first phase of CARCIP focuses on gaps in submarine cable infrastructure and landing stations, domestic backbone networks and national Internet exchange points (IXPs). The project is now in its second phase, which focuses on building regional awareness among governments, private sector and civil society of the potential for innovative and effective use of technology.

CARCIP also seeks to identify opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship through the development of business incubators and technology centers in the Eastern Caribbean.

“CARCIP will improve the efficiency of telecommunications infrastructure development across the entire Caribbean. The lessons we learn here in St Lucia will benefit the whole region,” said Junior McIntyre, CARCIP project coordinator for the CTU.

Roundup: CWC, Cantv, Fibertel – Regional

Cable & Wireless Communications’ (CWC) CFO Tim Pennington has stepped down from his position at the telco, international press reported.

The telco operates through four regional units – the Caribbean, Panama, Macau and Monaco & Islands. Its services include mobile, broadband and domestic and international fixed line services in most of its markets as well as pay-TV, datacenter and hosting, carrier and managed service solutions.


Venezuela’s state-run telco Cantv has installed a next generation node in Punta de Piedra in the country’s ​Zulia state, the telco said in a release.

The new infrastructure will facilitate the provision of fixed telephony and internet services.

The node will benefit a total of 1,088 homes in the area, the telco added.


A total of 500,000 users have access to free Wi-Fi connectivity provided by Argentine ISP Fibertel in certain areas of the Buenos Aires coastal area during January, local press reported.

Fibertel has installed free Wi-Fi corridors in Pinamar and Cariló, according to the report.

The ISP is fully owned by local media giant Grupo Clarín.

Cuba to introduce temporary international mobile call rate cut – Cuba

Cuban state telco Etecsa has introduced a temporary cut in international calling rates from mobile phones, applicable from February 1-April 30, Cuban press reported.

The rates apply to prepaid and postpaid customers. In the case of prepaid, calls from Cuba to other parts of the Americas, except Venezuela, will cost 1.10 pesos (US$1.10) per minute and 1.20 pesos to anywhere else.

Text messages will cost 0.60 pesos to countries with which Etecsa has agreements.

President Raúl Castro began allowing the sale of cellular phone services to the general public for the first time in 2008, though even today the cost of mobile calls is still prohibitive for many. Etecsa said in June last year that Cuba was expected to reach 2mn mobile lines by the end of 2013 and 4mn in the next five years.

At the end of January, Etecsa announced it plans to launch mobile broadband services in the second half of 2014, according to a report by Cuban news agency ACN. The service will initially be available in the Havana capital area and give users access to e-mail and browsing.

On June 4, last year the Cuban government allowed normal Cubans unrestricted access to the web and by the end of August more than 100,000 had signed up.

Internet, which was previously available only to foreigners, was first made available to ordinary Cubans in February last year thanks to the activation of a fiber optic cable connecting Cuba to Venezuela and Jamaica.

Roundup: Millicom, NICE Systems, MetroPCS – Mexico, Regional

Millicom International Cellular (Nasdaq: MICCF) has appointed Tim Pennington as the telco’s new CFO, effective June 2014, Millicom said in a statement.

Pennington was previously the CFO at UK-based Cable & Wireless Communications.


Israel-based data security and analysis solutions provider NICE Systems (Nasdaq: NICE) has appointed Barak Eilman as the firm’s new CEO, the company said in a statement.

Prior to this appointment, Eilam was responsible for NICE’s business in the Americas region. The executive also previously worked as the head of sales and the general manager of the company’s enterprise group in the Americas.


MetroPCS, a brand of T-Mobile US (NYSE: TMUS), has expanded its wireless coverage to Mexico, the telco said in a statement.

MetroPCS customers will be able to call and text both to and from Mexico for US$10 a month, the telco added. With this service, customers receive: 200 minutes and 200 texts to the US while roaming in Mexico; unlimited calling from the US to Mexico-based fixed lines; 1,000 minutes of mobile-to-mobile calling, and unlimited texting to Mexico.

Latin America to have 405mn smartphones in 2018, Cisco says – Regional

The number of smartphones in Latin America will grow 2.7-fold between 2013 and 2018, reaching 405mn units, according to Cisco’s VNI mobile forecast study.

According to Cisco’s VNI study, Latin America will have the third highest number of smartphones in the world by 2018, behind only Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa.​

According to Cisco, the number of smartphones in Latin America expanded 43% during last year, reaching 152mn, with a total of 45.9mn smartphones added to the region’s mobile networks last year.

Mexico is expected to lead growth in the region as Cisco estimates that the number of smartphones will increase 2.9-fold between 2013 and 2018, reaching 65mn. Mexico ended 2013 with 22mn smartphones after growth of 49% during the year.

Argentina is expected to see its number of smartphones grow 2.6-fold between 2013 and 2018, reaching a total of 46mn devices. According to the report, the number of smartphones in the country grew 40% last year, reaching 17mn.

Chile is also expected to experience a 2.6-fold increase during the period in terms of smartphone growth. According to the study, Chile will reach 23mn units in 2018, compared to 9mn at the end of 2013. Last year, the Chilean market saw a net addition of 2.9mn smartphones.

In Brazil, the number of smartphones will expand 2.4-fold between 2013 and 2018, reaching 175mn devices, Cisco said. Last year, the number of smartphones in the country grew 38% to 72mn units.





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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