|Digicel investing US$389mn in Caribbean pay-TV, fixed broadband – Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago
Mobile operator Digicel is investing US$389mn in the Caribbean nations of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago in order to deploy fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure and launch its pay-TV and fixed broadband services.
The company plans to allocate US$305mn in Trinidad and Tobago and US$84mn in Barbados, according to a report by NexTV News Latam.
Digicel will provide “the most advanced online, television and digital service” in the local market, the company’s CEO Sacha Thompson was quoted as saying during an official announcement in Port of Spain.
The company currently has pay-TV and broadband operations in eight Caribbean markets: Anguilla, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos Islands.
Claro launching cloud services in Costa Rica – Costa Rica
Mexican mobile operator Claro is launching its range of cloud services in Costa Rica starting in June, the company revealed in an interview with local daily La República.
The subsidiary of America Movil will use two datacenters, located in Mexico and Colombia, to offer managed services, virtualization, database access and other online applications.
The move puts Claro and the Mexican giant in direct competition with software giants like Oracle and Microsoft, as well as small national datacenters such as DNA and Codisa.
“We are already recognized as a major mobile operator, now we want to be known for our 360 [degree] solutions, focused on businesses and corporations,” said Oscar Chacon, manager of Claro Corporation.
The intention is to expand within the business sector, offering packages for IP telephony, mobile and internet access via fiber optic and wireless links.
Claro is expected to win in Costa Rica’s upcoming auction for 70MHz of leftover spectrum, along with Telefónica Movistar.
C&W, Scala forge digital signage partnership – Regional
Telecom giant Cable & Wireless Communications (C&W) and US software solutions provider Scala are partnering to offer full-service digital signage networks throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
C&W said in a press release that its business division will draw from Scala’s full digital signage platform, which includes content design, management, distribution and playback. The partnership is expected to assist C&W Business customers to better target their audiences, optimize messaging and analyze results.
“The adoption of digital signage is showing a dramatic upward trend toward technology in the Caribbean and Latin American region. We feel this [partnership] will be a real game-changer for our customers by creating more intimate and interactive user experiences,” said John Maduri, President of C&W Business.
“Clients across these regions have been in need of a reliable and scalable technical platform, with the ability to provide boundless and feature rich digitally managed solutions,” said Dan McAllister, General Manager and Vice President Americas of Scala, Inc.
The company’s roll-out of this service across the region is expected to begin immediately.
In 3Q15, CWC reported a 16% hike in Ebitda, while revenues totaled US$595mn.
Telecom Roundup: Claro Nicaragua, BTL, Huawei, Conian, InfiNet – Regional
Claro Nicaragua has released a trio of prepaid packages called Superpack de Verano that offer unlimited WhatsApp usage for visitors to the country, as well as data to access to social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Waze.
The first plan costs 25 colones (US$0.8), is valid for one day and provides 150Mb. The second extends to two days, provides 300Mb and costs 40 colones, while the third lasts three days and includes 750Mb for 80 colones, according to a report by Telesemana.
Claro holds close to 50% mobile market share in Nicaragua, representing 4mn users.
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), under the banner of its DigiCell Mobile brand, and its telecommunications vendor-partner Huawei Technologies, are rolling out a nationwide 4G LTE network in Belize, according to a Huawei press release.
With this 4G LTE network, BTL will be the first and only telecommunications provider with this service in the country.
Huawei Technologies was selected as the vendor for the LTE network, which is expected to launch in December 2016.
Fixed broadband wireless connectivity provider InfiNet Wireless has signed with Conian Technology as its main distributor for the Dominican Republic, InfiNet announced on its website.
Conian’s initial focus will be on the InfiNet’s newest product InfiLINK XG, a software defined radio with a 480Mbps throughput in both licensed and unlicensed bands.
“Infinet Wireless is bringing to us the right technology and at the perfect time,” said Martin Alejandro Santana, CEO of Conian Technology. “We are very excited to be appointed as the main distributor for the Dominican Republic.”
Conian’s current market focus is on the tourism and video surveillance sectors in the Dominican Republic.
New bidder for Telecom Argentina – Regional
Argentine businessman Carlos Newberry is trying to outbid US investment fund Fintech for Telecom Italia’s stake in local telecoms operator Telecom Argentina, according to a Bloomberg report.
Newberry is reportedly prepared to offer 10% more than Fintech, which is headed by Mexican businessman David Martínez. He told Bloomberg that he would raise bidding to US$1.1bn.
Telecom Italia reached a deal with Martínez in 2013 to sell its 68% controlling stake in Sofora Telecomunicaciones, the holding company through which it indirectly controls Telecom Argentina, for US$960mn. However, the regulator has dragged its heels for more than three years.
In October 2014, Telecom Italia amended the agreement to sell only a 17% minority interest in Sofora for US$216mn, saying the remaining 51% would be sold after the regulator approved the deal.
Last week, Fintech launched a bid for Telecom Argentina’s Class B shares listed on the Buenos Aires Merval stock exchange.
Martinez, said Fintech was offering 46 pesos (US$2.94) per share. The bid did not include Class C shares, which are owned by the main shareholders.
Argentina’s now defunct telecom regulator Aftic blocked the purchase last October, claiming that Fintech had no experience in telecommunications. Under the terms of the agreement between Telecom Italia and Fintech, the companies have until April 2017 to complete the sale.
Bloomberg cited unnamed sources as saying that new telecom regulator Enacom is expected to approve Martinez’s offer during its next meeting.
Analyst have said that Martinez’s purchase could raise monopolistic concerns given that he also controls 40% of Cablevisión, a cable company owned by local media giant Grupo Clarín. Clarín recently completed the purchase of Nextel Argentina, meaning that Martinez could indirectly end up controlling more than 50% of the broadband market.