Digicel applies for Trinidad and Tobago pay TV license – Caribbean, Trinidad & Tobago
The LatAm king of 4G – Regional
Weak investments, exports hurt LatAm competitiveness – WEF – Regional
Trinidad and Tobago announces NP launch dates – Trinidad & Tobago
Emerging markets fueling smartphone growth – IDC – Regional


Digicel applies for Trinidad and Tobago pay TV license – Caribbean, Trinidad & Tobago

Caribbean mobile operator Digicel has applied for a pay TV license in Trinidad and Tobago – continuing its push into the TV segment.
In recent months the company has acquired several cable TV providers.
According to a notice dated August 18 but only posted on the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad & Tobago’s (TATT) website the week “ending” August 29, comments or objections to Digicel’s application may be submitted to TATT before September 15.
In pay TV, Digicel would compete with Flow, TSTT, DirecTV, Green Dot and smaller rural players like Mayaro Cable TV, according to local newspaper the Trinidad Guardian.
Digicel has announced the acquisition of four pay TV companies in the last several months, expanding the company’s presence to five other markets: Turks and Caicos Islands, Dominica, Anguilla, Nevis and Montserrat.
Acquisitions included Telstar Cable’s fiber and cable network in Jamaica, WIV Cable TV in Turks and Caicos and SAT Telecom in Dominica.
In December, Digicel reached an agreement with French Loret Group and Caribbean Fibre Holdings to acquire a Caribbean region submarine fiber network. This deal will provide Digicel with a wholly owned submarine fiber optic cable network of approximately 2,100km, providing capacity from Trinidad to Guadeloupe. The proposed transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the coming weeks.
Digicel and TSTT are the only two mobile operators in Trinidad and Tobago. In August it was announced that four companies had applied for a license to become the third mobile operator.

The LatAm king of 4G – Regional

Latin America’s largest economy, Brazil, accounted for more than three in four of all new 4G subscribers in the region during the first half, according to 4G Americas.
The total number of LTE subscribers in Latin America was 4.8mn at end-June. This represents a 54.8% increase on the total registered at end-2013 and is 10 times as many as there were in June 2013.
While there are now 44 commercial LTE networks in 18 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil continues to dominate the regional market, the industry trade organization said, citing data provided by research firm Ovum.
Brazil had some 3.3mn 4G subscribers – or 68.8% of the regional total – as of the end of June.
Of the 1.7mn new LTE subscribers added in the region during the first six months of the year, 1.3mn of them were based in Brazil, 4G Americas said.
Mexico accounted for 11% of Latin America’s LTE subscribers as of the end of H1. Colombia and Chile each accounted for 4%, Bolivia and Puerto Rico 3% each, and Peru and Venezuela 2% each.
Demand for mobile broadband services across the region continues to positively affect the increase in LTE subscriptions. The World Cup, held this year in Brazil, had an impact on 4G development there.
4G Americas expects the total number of LTE connections in Latin America to reach 6mn by the end of the year, meaning that 1.2mn more LTE connections are due to be made before 2015.

Weak investments, exports hurt LatAm competitiveness – WEF – Regional

Latin America remains hindered by obstacles that range from weak investments to a drop in exports and commodity prices, and tighter access to the financing that largely fueled growth in recent years, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The region’s growth will drop to 2.5% this year, said WEF in its Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015.
To recover the positive economic momentum of the past few years, the region must implement structural reforms to improve market functionality and invest in infrastructure, skills development and innovation.
Additionally it needs to boost productivity and improve its overall competitiveness, according to the report.
Chile remained the most competitive country in the region, ranking 33rd of 144 countries and moving up one place over last year. The country’s most notable and traditional strengths include a stable institutional setup (28th), low levels of corruption (25th), an efficient government (21st), and a positive macroeconomic environment (22nd).
Yet the country must diversify its economy by moving toward more knowledge-based activities, considering the decline in the price of minerals.
Panama followed close behind, ranking 48th. Paraguay, Venezuela and Haiti ranked the lowest at 119th, 131st and 137th, respectively.
Argentina, struggling with its sovereign debt debacle, also ranked poorly at 104, flat over 2013.
Regional powerhouses Brazil and Mexico ranked 57th and 61st, respectively, dropping from 56th and 55th the year prior.
In Brazil, the most problematic factor for doing business is tax and labor regulations, and infrastructure, the report reveals.

Trinidad and Tobago announces NP launch dates – Trinidad & Tobago

Mobile-to-mobile number portability (NP) will be introduced in Trinidad and Tobago on February 26 next year and fixed-to-fixed NP on May 1, the country’s telecommunications regulator TATT said on its website.
TATT added that it had published an NP policy document in September 2012 and in January 2013 had started meeting with operators that are required to implement NP.
The first date – February 26 – will apply to the country’s two mobile operators TSTT, which is jointly owned by the state (51%) and Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) (49%), and Digicel.
The second date will apply to fixed-line operators Flow (Columbus Communications), Lisa Communications, Open Telecom, TSTT and Three Sixty Communications.
In August it was announced that four companies had applied for a license to become the third mobile operator. The companies cited were CWC, Columbus Communications, Suriname state-owned telco Telesur, and Star Mobile Caribbean, a company registered in Trinidad’s capital Port of Spain.
According to TATT, Trinidad and Tobago had a fixed-line penetration rate of 56.9% of households in the first quarter. The country had close to 2mn mobile users of which 1.6mn were prepaid for an overall penetration rate of 144%. Monthly Arpu was TT$335 (US$52). The penetration of fixed internet was 54.1% of households, while mobile internet penetration was 33.9% of the population.

Emerging markets fueling smartphone growth – IDC – Regional

Some 1.25bn smartphones are expected to be sold worldwide this year as emerging markets continue to account for the bulk of growth, according to a release by IDC.
The figure represents a 23.8% increase on last year’s total.
While the number of smartphones sold in emerging markets is set to rise 32.4% this year, mature markets are expected to register a 4.9% increase.
Emerging markets are also set to account for 73.5% of smartphones sold globally this year and 79.5% in 2018, the US consultancy said.
While smartphone growth in mature markets has slowed, these regions continue to deliver strong revenues for manufacturers, with much higher selling prices than in emerging markets.
The key for vendors is to maintain a presence in higher-margin mature markets while establishing themselves in fast-growing emerging regions, according to IDC’s mobile research manager, Ramon Llamas.
The global smartphone market is expected to experience annual growth of 12.7% from 2014-18, with emerging markets growing at 16.0% a year and mature markets just 3.6% a year.
Latin America is expected to see the strongest regional growth in smartphone unit shipments, with an annual increase of 23.7% in unit sales between 2013 and 2017.
Unlike in the smartphone market, growth in global PC sales is currently being driven by a rebound in mature markets, while emerging market sales remain weak.

Copyright 2014 Business News Americas
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