US multinational telco AT&T has restated its argument that the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should remove regulations restricting improved mobile telephone service (IMTS) traffic arrangements between Cuba and the US.
The carrier reaffirmed its stance on the issue in a document filed with FCC in response to a regulatory proposal to remove non-discrimination requirements.
Doing so would encourage lower rates and benefit consumers in both nations, AT&T said.
Verizon, another US carrier, has suggested that the FCC should wait for the new commercial relations to become more firmly established before it removes all nondiscrimination requirements on this route.
AT&T said that the FCC should adopt a policy that it finds will “stimulate the increased communication benefiting consumers at both ends of international routes that is the goal of US policy toward Cuba.”
President Barack Obama said last month that he was confident the trade embargo against Cuba would end, but how quickly the US congress lifts the sanctions will depend on how Cuba addresses its human rights issues.
Indotel welcomes mobile phone theft reduction measure – Dominican R.
The Dominican Republic’s telecom watchdog Indotel has welcomed the introduction of a new measure designed to help curb mobile phone theft.
Claro, a subsidiary of the multinational América Móvil, has adopted the security system and said it has been working in coordination with 44 countries and 103 global operators, according to an Indotel release.
Indotel said the move also strengthens the sale of mobile services, creating a more favorable business climate in the telecommunications sector.
Claro, according to Indotel, said it had completed a process of integrating mobile customers into the GSMA Device Check service, which allows the exchange of IMEI numbers (International Mobile Equipment Identity) to help discourage the trade in stolen phones.
Indotel is also collaborating with multinational organizations CITEL and ITU to develop solutions to help combat the theft and corresponding activation of mobile phones on a national and global level.
Indotel has requested that customers file a report when their phones are stolen or lost.
Ericsson Q1 down in LatAm on currency volatility – Regional
Swedish telecom infrastructure and services provider Ericsson posted a 12% year-on-year drop in sales in Latin America, citing weaker local currencies and a resulting decline in broadband investment.
LatAm sales were 4.0bn Swedish kronas (US$492mn). Worldwide, revenues were down 2% in the quarter to 52.2bn kronas.
In Ericsson’s networks business, sales declined by 2% to 25.8bn kronas mainly because of lower software sales in IP and core networks as well as lower mobile broadband investments in India following a delayed spectrum auction.
Network sales in Latin America, in particular Brazil, were weak on account of the macro-economic environment, it said.
Global services fell 4%to 23.0bn kronas affected by the decline in network rollouts in Europe and Latin America, while support solutions (BSS/OSS) rose 10% to 3.4bn kronas driven by the rise in data use, among other factors.
Ericsson wants to reduce costs by 9bn krona (US$1bn) by 2017 as part of a restructuring process. The company said that based on its Q1 performance, it will step up its cost-cutting efforts.
The measures will mainly affect service delivery activities and result in higher restructuring charges this year.
In addition, the company announced separately a new structure based around five units, to help increase its focus on core business and growth areas and further drive efficiency.
Ericsson is seeking to diversify beyond its traditional core of telecom services, radio core and transmission to cloud, TV and media and IoT.
Speaking to BNamericas in February, Ericsson’s chief strategy officer and head of M&A, Rima Qureshi, said the pace of change and pressure to adapt is much harder at times of adverse macroeconomic conditions.
LatAm fails to hit ITU’s suggested spectrum allocation targets – Regional
Latin America has failed to achieve mobile communication spectrum allocation goals recommended by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), industry body 5G Americas said.
ITU had suggested, in its ITU-R M.2078 study, that countries should free up by the end of 2015 at least 50% of 1,300MHz of radio spectrum for reallocation to mobile services. The recommendation for 2020 is to have freed up for reallocation 1,700MHz.
“The lack of sufficient spectrum for the development of mobile services has a negative impact on both consumers, who are deprived of innovative services with optimum performance, and the telecommunications industry, whose growth potential is limited,” said José Otero, director of 5G Americas for Latin America and the Caribbean.
According to the white paper, four countries in the region allocated over 30% of ITU’s suggested 2015 quantity: Brazil (41.7%), Chile (35.8%), Nicaragua (32.3%) and Argentina (31%). Brazil leads with 542MHz destined for wireless services, 5G Americas said.
5G Americas said all four markets allocated the 700MHz band but in some cases, such as in Brazil, this frequency is not yet available for use.
Three markets allocated less than 20% of the total suggested for 2015: El Salvador (16%), Guatemala (16.2%) and Panama (16.9%). The remaining Latin American countries allocated between 20% and 30%.
BRAZIL READIES MORE SPECTRUM
In a conference Monday in São Paulo on 5G and the future of mobile communications, Rodrigo Zerbone, a member of the board Brazil’s telecom regulator Anatel, said the watchdog expects to complete by June the technical studies for the auction of the 3.5GHz band.
At the same event, Anatel’s general manager for spectrum and broadcasting, Agostinho Linhares, said Brazil has 897MHz allocated for mobile services, although not all of it is immediately available, according to local press.
This is 355MHz more than what was reported by 5G Americas.
Linhares said Anatel aims to reach 1,060MHz by 2020 – or 62.3% of ITU’s recommended goal for that year.
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