CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas: 03/07/14

CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas: 03/07/14

Bermudan operators up the ante as number portability introduced – Caribbean

Bermudan mobile operators Digicel and CellOne announced a range of competitive new offers as number portability was launched on Monday, the Royal Gazette reported.

CellOne announced a US$200 off promotion on some postpaid services. Prepaid customers who choose to port to CellOne will be given a free SIM card along with their outstanding balance from their current provider.

Digicel launched Digicel Refresh, a new pricing plan, which allows customers to pay for smartphones in monthly installments, starting at US$10 per month, with no initial down payment needed, if switching to Digicel. Customers may upgrade their handsets after six months by paying 50% of the total device cost, the company said in a statement.

In late February, the telecommunications regulatory authority RA declined a request from Digicel to postpone the launch of number portability for four months to give it more time to prepare. Despite initially threatening legal action, Digicel later said it would able to meet the March 3 deadline.

According to the International Telecommunication Union, Bermuda had 91,000 mobile subscribers in 2012 and a penetration rate of 139%.

Number portability is one of the initiatives for the telecoms industry of the new regulatory authority introduced last year and part of ruling coalition One Bermuda Alliance’s efforts to liberalize the country’s telecoms sector.

Digicel entered Bermuda in September 2012 after acquiring local operator Transact and competes with CellOne.

AT&T announces network upgrade investments in Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico

US communications holding company AT&T has invested US$325mn in network improvements in Puerto Rico since 2011, it said in a release.

The upgrades have included the launching of 4G LTE in Guayama, San German-Cabo Rojo, Vieques and Yauco, and extension of 4G LTE in San Juan, Morovis, Ciales, Manati, Yabucoa, Ponce, Dorado, Guaynabo and Toa Alta.

The company made 414 total network upgrades in the country in 2013, the release said.

MWC 2014: Latin America M2M not consumer-oriented, says Pyramid – Regional

The machine-to-machine (M2M), Internet of Things (IoT) segment in Latin America is and will continue to be driven in the medium term by the industrial segment, Pyramid analyst Daniel Ramos told BNamericas.

That means Latin America will continue to see roll outs of applications aimed primarily at fleet management, smart metering, utilities, security and banking, whereas solutions for the end-user in areas such as connected cars or connected homes should flourish in a second stage.

“The main M2M activity we’ll be seeing in the region in the next 12 to 18 months will be industrial solutions, because that’s where the revenues are,” Ramos explained. BNamericas spoke to the analyst in the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Chile are the markets where M2M is being widely deployed today, Ramos said, while Peru, Colombia and Central America should see more massive roll-outs in the next two years.

Brazil alone represents some 65% of the Latin American M2M segment in terms of connectivity and added value, the analyst underlined.

With regards to service providers, Ramos sees Telefónica (NYSE: TEF) as the operator with the most defined and developed M2M business strategy in the region.

According to a recent GSMA study, Latin America accounted for 8% of global M2M connections by the end of 2013, based on deployments that represent 2.1% of total mobile connections in the region. Another study, from Cisco, predicted that M2M will represent 5% of total mobile data traffic in Latin America by 2018, compared to 1% in 2013.

Roundup: Indec, Freelancer.com, Osiptel – Regional

Mobile subscribers in Argentina sent 11.9bn SMS during January, a 5.5% increase compared to the same month of 2013, national statistics bureau Indec said.

During 2013, the number of sent SMS expanded 17.2% compared to the previous year.

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Portal for freelancers Freelancer.com has reached 10mn users globally, the company said in a release.

Freelancer.com was aiming to reach 100,000 users in several Latin American countries including Argentina, Brazil and Mexico by the end of 2013, according to previous reports.

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Peruvian telecoms services regulator Osiptel expects to launch an app enabling mobile users to find out if their lost or stolen mobile devices are on the regulator’s blacklist, Osiptel said in a statement.

The app is expected to be launched on March 4, according to the regulator.

Osiptel also said that the app will be free of charge.

Roundup: BT, Ecuador fixed telephony, Tigo Music – Regional

British Telecom (BT) has launched its BT One Voice Radianz service, a new service that unifies voice, mobile and data services and delivers them to members of the BT Radianz Cloud, BT said in a statement.

BT Radianz Cloud is a secure networked community for the financial services industry.

The company said that this is the first solution from the wider BT Global Services portfolio that is being made available to Radianz Cloud community members, which include leading banks, brokers, exchanges and clearing firms.

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Ecuador ended January with 2.37mn fixed telephone lines in service, telecoms technical superintendency Supertel said on its website.

The market was led by state-run telco CNT, with 2.05mn fixed lines, followed by Etapa with 150,704, according to Supertel.

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Salvadoran mobile operator Tigo has launched its Tigo Music platform in the local market, local press reported.

Through this platform, users will have access to more than 30mn songs, the telco said.

The new offering will initially be available for postpaid users, but will later be extended to the prepaid segment, according to the report.

Copyright 2012 Business News Americas
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