CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas: 02/21/14

CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas: 02/21/14

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

Dominican Republic joins Central American telecoms commission Comtelca – Dominican R.

The Dominican Republic has joined the Central American telecoms commission Comtelca and will be represented by the country’s telecoms regulator Indotel, according to an Indotel release.

Comtelca brings together regulators in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama to coordinate the development of the telecommunications industry in the region.

Comtelca accepted the participation of the Dominican Republic during a meeting in capital Santo Domingo. At the meeting, regulators also discussed plans to reduce the frequency of mobile phone theft, improvements to regional services and mobile roaming.

Roundup: Broadband, LIME, Bahamas Cable – Regional

Peruvian telecoms operator Telefónica del Perú (TdP) ended the third quarter of 2013 with 1.35mn broadband subscribers, according to the latest connectivity report from telecoms services regulator Osiptel.

According to the report, Telefónica del Perú had 1.24mn broadband connections at the end of September 2012.

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UK firm Cable & Wireless Communications (C&WC) has won a contract to supply a new fixed line telecommunications system for one of Jamaica’s largest hospitals, the company said in a statement.

In Jamaica, Cable & Wireless Communications operates under the LIME brand.

Under the contract, LIME will supply a new PBX system to manage fixed line calls at the Falmouth Hospital. The PBX will be supplied by US firm Cisco Systems.

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Bahamas firm Cable Bahamas’ head of marketing David Burrows was appointed chairman of the board of directors of the Caribbean Cable Telecommunications Association (CCTA), local press reported.

The CCTA, formed in 1983, is comprised of 109 member organizations, including 18 cable operators and 91 programmers, as well as hardware and software suppliers from around the world.

Latin America represents 8% of global M2M connections by end-2013 – Study – Regional

Latin America accounted for 8% of global M2M connections by the end of 2013, according to a recent study by the GSM Association (GSMA).

In turn, M2M connections in Latin America represented 2.1% of total mobile connections in the region, the study said.

Global M2M connections reached 195mn in 2013, growing at a CAGR of 38% between 2010 and 2013, according to the study. Asia was the fastest growing region during the 2010-2013 period, with a 55% CAGR, followed by Latin America (44%) and Africa (41%).

Meanwhile, total M2M connections are expected to reach 250mn by the end of 2014. M2M accounted for 2.8% of all global mobile connections at the end of 2013.

According to the GSMA, a total of 428 mobile operators offered M2M services across 187 countries as of January this year.

A recent study by US company Cisco said that in Latin America, the number of mobile-connected M2M modules grew 1.4-fold or 41% in 2013, reaching 35mn in number.

Cisco’s study also claimed that the number of mobile-connected M2M modules is expected to grow five-fold between 2013 and 2018, reaching 171mn.

Meanwhile, M2M will represent 5% of total mobile data traffic in Latin America by 2018, compared to 1% at the end of last year.

Xinwei equipment finally arrives in Nicaragua, but investments remain low – Nicaragua

Equipment belonging to Chinese telco Xinwei has finally arrived in Nicaragua, but the company’s investments in the Central American country continue to be lower than expected, according to local press reports.

Xinwei has delivered US$100mn worth of equipment, including network infrastructure equipment, servers and broadband units.

The company was expected to begin installing network infrastructure in April of last year, but the launch has been repeatedly pushed back due to delays in the manufacturing and shipping of the equipment.

Xinwei won spectrum in Nicaragua at the beginning of 2013, but the process was marred by controversy, with local press claiming that bidding rules were tailored to suit the Chinese firm, which emerged as the only apparent bidder for the auction.

The company initially committed to investing US$700mn in 2013 and US$2bn by 2015, but now said that it expects to invest a total of US$300mn in its operations in Nicaragua this year.

Xinwei did not explain this delay in its investments, according to a report from Spanish news agency EFE, and it still appears to be unclear when the operator will launch commercial operations in the country.

However, Xinwei does appear to have ambitious expansion plans, saying that it will initially offer services to 240,000 subscribers, and aims to reach a total of 3mn users in Nicaragua.

Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether these goals are realistic. The number of mobile subscribers has increased rapidly in Nicaragua in recent years, reaching 6.81mn as of the end of 2013 compared to 5.85mn a year previously, according to telecoms regulator Telcor’s statistics.

The mobile segment is dominated by major multinationals Claro and Movistar, with market shares of 53.9% and 46.1% respectively, and mobile penetration levels now exceed 100%.

Xinwei director Wang Jing is also the representative of HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment, the firm which was awarded the license to develop and operate a transoceanic canal in the country.

Ericsson, Ciena combine forces to strengthen competitiveness in IP networks market – Regional

An agreement announced on Friday between Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC) and network technology vendor Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) will aid Ericsson to bolster its position in the IP networks market, Ovum network infrastructure analyst Ron Kline said in a note.

The two firms signed a strategic global agreement for joint development of IP-optical convergence service provider software-defined networking (SDN).

For Ericsson, the agreement gives the company access to Ciena’s strong portfolio of converged packet optical gear that includes its WaveLogic3 coherent optical processing technology.

Ericsson is the world’s largest supplier of mobile infrastructure but trails Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) in the IP networks market.

Ericsson aims to reach the no. 3 position within IP-networks within a few years, Jan Haglund, Ericsson’s head of IP and broadband told Reuters. The concept of 4G IP is core to Ericsson’s strategy.

Kline said that Friday’s deal significantly broadens Ciena’s reach, giving it access to Ericsson’s global base of customers and its professional services team along with its IP expertise.

“Assuming it’s executed well, the deal looks like a win/win for both companies. However, it does signal that Ericsson is admitting weakness in optical networking after three years of developing its SPO product line,” Kline said.

According to Ovum, Ciena is currently the third-ranked converged packet optical (CPO) vendor globally with a 14% market share, whereas Ericsson is only ranked eleventh with 1% share.

Kline said the key to the deal is the collaborative SDN effort that combines resources at both companies.

Ericsson and Ciena are both members of OpenDaylight, a project that was started in April last year to develop an open-source framework for SDN and the related Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) concept, which will make it possible for carriers to virtualize their networks, PC World reported.

Ericsson is also moving quickly to software and professional services to differentiate itself. It is the second-ranked provider of telecom infrastructure services behind Cisco and is number one in the network-related sub-segment, according to Ovum.

Ciena has been making strong inroads in Latin America and the Caribbean, seeing a 70% increase in revenues in the region in its fiscal 2013 and adding 40G and 100G clients in the region last year.

TREND IN COLLABORATION

Kline said he expects this announcement to be part of a trend of telecoms infrastructure vendors collaborating to provide a stronger value proposition to communications service providers, which want fewer strategic vendor relationships and more integrated solutions.

“As our industry moves toward a more open networking environment, collaboration within an ecosystem of specialists will be critical for innovation, Ciena’s CEO Gary Smith said in a statement.

Johan Wibergh, head of Ericsson’s business unit networks added, “The convergence between IP and optical network layers in an open SDN-controlled architecture will enable more flexible and cost efficient networks for service providers.”

Kline said the partnership could also open the door for future collaboration in the mobile backhaul market where both companies are quite strong.

“A combination of an integrated Ciena packet backhaul and Ericsson microwave radio would be tough to beat, especially given Ericsson’s global strength in LTE,” he said.