CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas 06/24/16

CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas 06/24/16

 

Press Release: Telefonica and Huawei Sign Joint Innovation Agreement on 5G&NG-RAN – Regional

Is a single digital market possible in Latin America? – Regional

AT&T seeks to get into Costa Rica leased line market – Costa Rica

Panama tendering contract to connect 672 schools – Panama B

razil’s ex-communications minister arrested in IT corruption probe – Brazil

 

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

Press Release: Telefonica and Huawei Sign Joint Innovation Agreement on 5G&NG-RAN – Regional

Huawei News Release

Shenzhen, China, June 22, 2016 – Telefonica and Huawei signed a 5G & NG-RAN Joint Innovation Agreement in Shenzhen, which is a further cooperation step of Telefonica and Huawei on 5G, based on the strategic Memorandum of Understanding signed in Hong Kong on November 5th, 2015.

With the fast development of mobile internet and IoT (Internet of Things), mobile broadband will penetrate all areas of the society, and the users expect a better blueprint for a better connected world. The future diverse applications which requires ultra-high throughput, low latency and massive connection, need a revolution of the current cellular network. Both operators and vendors are seeking ways to increase the network coverage and capacity, reduce the network operation cost by simplifying maintenance, saving energy, and improving efficiency and flexibility to implement new services.

The joint cooperation in the 5G & NG-RAN covers CloudRAN, 5G Radio User Centric No Cell, 5G Core Re-Architect and Massive MIMO innovation projects, aiming to improve the spectrum efficiency and build a cloud-native architecture. 5G Core architecture evolution and research on CloudRAN, would be the major cooperation areas between Telefonica and Huawei.

“Telefonica has certain insights about the future trends of the mobile network. Huawei is investing massively in the 5G key enabling innovative technologies. The cooperation between Telefonica and Huawei will help to build a better connected world.” said David Wang, President of Huawei Wireless Network.

“We are very pleased to have reached this further agreement with Huawei to keep cooperating on 5G and the next generation RAN. The collaboration with Huawei in this area allows sharing the true requirements of a global operator as Telefonica, and helping to focus on providing the right solutions on this Advanced Network at the right time.” adds Enrique Blanco, Chief Technology Officer, Telefonica Group.

Due to the 6-year experience accumulation on 5G R&D, Huawei has achieved a wealth of experience in research and field tests. Huawei will team up with more partners in the industry to build the emerging 5G ecosystem and push forward the development of 5G.

Is a single digital market possible in Latin America? – Regional

The creation of a single market in Latin America for the exchange of digital goods and services is possible but will require greater consensus among authorities in different countries on taxation and legislation.

The notion of such a market with a uniform legal framework and regulations to expand the digital economy was proposed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Eclac) last August at the V Ministerial Conference on the Information Society and Latin America in the Caribbean in Mexico City.

The topic was also one of the key discussions this week during the IV Latin American Telecommunications Conference (CLT16), taking place in Cancún.

According to Pablo Bello, secretary general of Latin American telecommunications association (Asiet), which organized CLT16, Latin America has made progress in policies promoting innovation and entrepreneurship as well as spreading access to communications. But the progress is worthless if it cannot be leveraged to promote a digital economy.

Latin America is looking at the work the European Union and, especially, the United States. According to Bello, the US has the advantage of being a single country with a common language, culture, logistics and legislation.

“In the US you can develop, market and sell to any other part of the country online. This does not occur in Europe, despite the EU, because you have regulations that are not always convergent. You also have the language and cultural differences among the countries,” Bello told BNamericas.

“In Latin America, we’re somewhere in between because we share a common language and culture but we’ve made no progress,” he added. “Each country has its own taxes, laws, tariffs. This is a serious problem and we need to come up with concrete proposals to create a common environment.”

José Juan Haro, director of regulatory affairs with Telefónica Latin America, agrees with Bello, saying that in terms of telecommunications infrastructure, Latin America is actually more integrated than Europe.

The executive said that the public and private sectors must collaborate but that the state has a fundamental role in developing and encouraging that relationship. He referred to: regulatory policies that encourage investment; auctioning spectrum at reasonable prices and to not tax telecommunications as a luxury service, which still happens in many countries.

“Fiscal policy is key in telecommunictions,” Haro told BNamericas, adding that fast decision making is also essential.

The executive referred to the bankruptcy of Brazilian telecoms operator Oi announced on Monday and reiterated the challenges the telecoms sector faces in terms of competition from OTT players and the significant investments they have to make.

“The story of Oi is cause for reflection and reminds us that it is fundamental to ensure the sustainability of the telecoms operators in the long term, not just for the shareholders but because telecommunications networks are the facilitator of everything. Without networks there is no digital economy,” he said.

At the conference, Mario Cimoli, director of Eclac’s productive and business development division, said, “We need to overcome taboos and open up dialogue regarding the obstacles that are hindering the development of a digital economy.”

Cimoli added that Latin America’s greatest obstacles are not having convergent infrastructure and logistics, and a lack of standards. Eclac recommends drastically reducing roaming charges, and introducing internet exchange points (IXPs).

Last year during the Ministerial Conference, delegates prepared a digital agenda to be worked on towards 2018 with five areas of action:

  1. Access and infrastructure, focusing on universal access to digital services, content production, the allocation of spectrum, high speed broadband and digital TV.Promoting innovation and competitiveness through public-private coordination with an emphasis on training and generating value-added products, introducing digital consumer protection regulations, e-payment, personal data protection, legal certainty for investors.
  2. Promoting e-governments, experience sharing and collaboration between institutions based on digital, open data platforms.
  3. Sustainable development and inclusion. This refers to using ICT in emergency and natural disaster prevention, in education, healthcare, and social welfare.
  4. Internet governance. This refers to initiatives promote personal data protection, combating cyber crime and promoting freedom of expression through digital media.

AT&T seeks to get into Costa Rica leased line market – Costa Rica

AT&T has filed a request with Costa Rica’s telecoms regulator Sutel for a data transfer and leased lines license, local daily El Financiero reported, citing a Sutel document.

According to the report, AT&T has requested permission to operate in San José, Ajuela, Heredia and Cartago provinces.

A public consultation is being, having started on Friday, June 17, when a notice of AT&T’s request was published, and interested parties will have 10 days to present objections.

If no objections are made, Sutel can proceed and study whether to award the license.

AT&T would not be the first company to offer leased telecoms services. According to Sutel’s 2015 telecoms report companies including Millicom, Claro, Racsa, BT Latam and ICE, all offer such services.

The market leader was state-owned ICE with 68% while Millicom and Racsa have 10% each.

Some 14,195 dedicated lines were sold in 2015, generating 36.2bn colones (US$67mn).

The fixed line space has seen renewed interest in the region with the acquisition of Cable & Wireless Communications and Columbus communications by Liberty Global.

Since launching as an operator in Mexico following the acquisition of Iusacell and Nextel last year, AT&T has said it is looking at other opportunities in the region.

Panama tendering contract to connect 672 schools – Panama

Panama’s education ministry (Meduca) has launched a tender for a contract to deploy a broadband network in 672 schools nationwide.

The reference value of the contract is US$9.07mn and the bids are due by July 7.

Currently, there are 761 schools connected to the internet through Panama’s Red Nacional Multi Servicios (RNMS).

The idea of the contract is to connect the remaining 672 schools, which includes configuration of the LAN.

Interested parties can contact Suleica Arias at Panama’s education ministry, suleica.arias@meduca.gob.pa, +5075157339. For further information click here.

Brazil’s ex-communications minister arrested in IT corruption probe – Brazil

Former communications and planning minister Paulo Bernardo was arrested Thursday in Brasília as part of an investigation into bribes paid to secure 100mn reais (US$29.8mn) in IT contracts in Brazil during the 2010-15 period.

Bernardo – who served as communications minister and planning minister under presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff – and his wife, senator Gleisi Hoffman, were previously indicted in April on unrelated corruption charges stemming from the Lava Jato investigation.

An offshoot of Lava Jato dubbed Custo Brasil, or ‘Brazil cost,’ the federal police’s latest investigation is looking at kickbacks linked to officials with ties to the ministry of planning, budget and management. It includes 11 arrest warrants, along with 40 search and seizure warrants in the states of São Paulo, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, Pernambuco and the federal district.

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