|IN BRIEF: Orange leads portability race in Dominican Republic – Dominican R.
Dominican mobile operator Orange is leading the pack in terms of mobile portability, with 31,569 net gains since mobile portability was introduced in the country.
The subsidiary of industry giant Atlice posted a net gain of 31,569 lines, followed by América Móvil‘s Claro brand, which gained 21,499 ports, reports local news outlet El Caribe, citing data from the country’s telecoms watchdog, Indotel.
A total of 289,833 lines have been ported between companies since the service went into effect in September 2009.
Telecoms roundup: Kölbi, ICE, Personal, GTT, Digicel – Regional
Costa Rican state-owned telco ICE has raised the prepaid voice rate per minute offered by its mobile subsidiary Kölbi.
The new price is 40 colons (US$0.074), a 17.6% hike over the previous price of 34 colons, according to local newspaper El Mundo.
Kölbi’s new rate now reflects the maximum price permitted by the country’s telecoms regulator Sutel.
The figure is equivalent to about 4.8% of its base of 2.5mn users, Juan Carlos Pepe, Personal’s general manager was reported as saying by local daily La Nación.
Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) and Digicel have announced their readiness to open 4G networks after receiving spectrum allocations from local authorities.
GTT has already received regulatory approval to begin marketing the service, while Digicel has completed its work and expects government approval to emulate its rival, according to a report by local news outlet Demerara Waves.
GTT said the service would initially be available to mobile customers in Georgetown, with additional areas being activated soon thereafter.
Top data of the week – Regional
Banking: Peru loans
Total loans reached 249bn soles in March 2016, up 9.1% year-on-year, and 19.7% higher than in March 2014. Consumer loans grew 12.9% and 27.2%, respectively, to 53.64bn soles.
Metals: price of iron ore
The average iron ore montly price in March was US$56/DMTU, according to the World Bank, for a 3% year-on-year decline and a 19% month-on-month increase.
Telecom: sales of the iPhone
The number of units sold by Apple in the second quarter of 2016 was 31.5% lower than in the previous quarter.
Infrastructure: Mexico City metro traffic
In the first quarter of the year, over 391mn trips were made on the Mexican capital’s subway system, 2% lower year-on-year and 7% less than in 4Q15.
Electric power: consumption in Ecuador
Electric power consumption in February was 2% higher year-on-year and 3% higher month-on-month at 1,585.5GWh, according to regulator Arconel.
China’s Xinwei launches operations in Nicaragua – Nicaragua
The company has installed 1,000 wireless base stations using utility poles owned by the state power company ENEL, official Nicaraguan media outlet El 19 Digital reported. The company began deploying this infrastructure last year before a launch date was set.
Xinwei made an initial investment of US$200mn and created 300 jobs in the process, it added.
Previous talks had suggested that the company would invest US$700mn, which resulted in Nicaraguan lawmakers criticizing the reduced investment and the fact the service will only cover the country’s capital, AP reported.
Facebook, Digicel bring free mobile internet access to El Salvador – El Salvador, Regional
The platform, previously known as Internet.org, offers free access to 40 sites, including Wikipedia, Facebook and its Messenger service.
It also includes the websites of local newspapers El Diario de Hoy and La Prensa Gráfica. The application was presented at Universidad Centroamericana, in capital Managua, earlier this week,
Digicel has a subscriber base of around 1.5mn in the country.
Free Basics has brought more than 25mn people online in 37 countries, providing internet access where it was otherwise unavailable.
A number of partner companies have already launched this service in other Latin American countries: Digicel in Panama, Tigo in Colombia and Guatemala, Virgin Mobile in Mexico, Viva in Bolivia and Entel in Peru.
Earlier this week, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, said Facebook is working on an open source telco infrastructure project called TIP [Telecom Infra Project], which will make it cheaper to operate mobile networks.
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