Digicel completes purchase of Jamaica’s Telstar Cable – Jamaica
Could América Móvil team up with Oi for a TIM bid? – Regional
Honduras to launch IXP in November – Honduras
Xinwei awarded 6 licenses to operate in Nicaragua – Nicaragua
Movistar Nicaragua launches country’s first Firefox smartphone – Nicaragua


Digicel completes purchase of Jamaica’s Telstar Cable – Jamaica

Caribbean mobile telco Digicel has received the necessary approvals to complete the acquisition of Jamaican cable operator Telstar Cable, its fourth cable operator acquisition in recent months, Digicel said in a statement.
Telstar provides cable TV, broadband and telephony services.
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.
Earlier this month, Digicel applied for a pay TV license in Trinidad and Tobago – as it continues to push into the TV segment.
Could América Móvil team up with Oi for a TIM bid? – Regional

Mexican giant América Móvil is considering teaming up with Brazil’s Oi in a joint bid for Telecom Italia’s TIM Brasil, according to Bloomberg reports.
The report said no formal agreement has been reached so far but cited América Móvil CFO Carlos García-Moreno as saying his company wishes to “understand the offer more and explore the opportunity.”
The CFO also reportedly said financing would not be a problem for the group, although “some debt” would have to be taken on.
Last month, Oi – Brazil’s fourth largest telco – said it had hired the services of bank BTG Pactual to develop a “viable proposal” for the acquisition of the shares of TIM held by Telecom Italia. BTG Pactual is one of Oi’s shareholders.
For some analysts, the move – one day before French media Vivendi was going to meet to discuss bids made by Telecom Italia and Telefónica for its Brazilian carrier GVT – was more of a bluff or even “spoiling tactics.”
Others said Oi, one of the most indebted local operators and currently finalizing a merger with Portugal Telecom, would not have enough cash to take over TIM, whose market value is said to be more than three times that of Oi.
TIM is Brazil’s second biggest wireless carrier after Telefónica’s Vivo. It ended Q2 with 26.9% of the mobile market and 4.77bn reais (US$2.1bn) in revenues for the quarter, compared to Oi’s 18.5% share and 6.93bn reais.
For those analysts, Oi could form a consortium with other carriers to buy TIM, which would then be split up among them. Such a TIM break-up rumor has surfaced at times in the local media, but always denied by the parties.
Contacted by BNamericas, TIM and Oi said they will not comment on the reports.
Brazil’s communications minister Paulo Bernardo said recently that any reduction in the number of players is not good for consumers and criticized what he saw as a “consolidation frenzy.” For the market, though, consolidation in Brazil is inevitable.
Officially, TIM is not for sale. Telecom Italia CEO Marco Patuano already declared, however, that bids would be taken into consideration, while TIM president Rodrigo Abreu stressed the company is committed to its multi-year investment plans.
Marco Fossati, one of Telecom Italia’s main indivial shareholders, said any offer would have to be 11 times TIM’s Ebitda or twice its current 10bn-euro (US$13bn) market value.
Honduras to launch IXP in November – Honduras

Honduras’ telecoms regulator Conatel has signed an agreement with universities and telecoms operators to create the first internet exchange point (IXP) in the country, Conatel said in a statement.
The IXP is due to be launched in November. According to Conatel, the IXP will provide sovereignty in the era of electronic espionage, internet speeds and efficiency and lower connectivity costs.
“There are 376 IXPs in 95 countries worldwide. How can it be that Honduras does not have one?” Conatel board member Ricardo Cardona said.
“Currently if someone wants to open up a page on the internet the data leaves the country and comes back again. This has got to do not only with sovereignty but costs.”
A recent study by the Telecom Advisory Services and Latin American development bank CAF recommends the rollout of regional IXPs, which could help reduce transport costs by 38%, or US$1.8bn, which in turn would add US$3.56bn-4.47bn to regional GDP.
IXPs are seen as a way to improve connection speeds, lower costs and stimulate local content.
This year has seen a list of countries announcing IXP launches or plans including Venezuela, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico and Saint Lucia
Xinwei awarded 6 licenses to operate in Nicaragua – Nicaragua

Chinese phone company Xinwei obtained six new licenses to provide cell phone, public phone, landline, data, internet and cable TV services in Nicaragua, local press reported citing the Central American country’s telecom watchdog Telcor.
The license to operate public and mobile phone, internet, data and cable TV services will be awarded for 10 years, whereas the license for local and long distance fixed lines will be for 20 years.
Xinwei first announced plans to launch mobile services in Nicaragua last year, but the date kept being delayed. According to Telcor, current plans are to start services by the end of this year.
Equipment worth US$5mn arrived in the country in June. Xinwei’s representative in Nicaragua, Pablo de la Roca, said investment would be US$300mn between 2013 and 2015.
Nicaragua’s mobile industry has room for more operators. Mobile penetration has grown significantly this year, reaching 93% from 86% in 2012. Telecom giants América Móvil and Telefónica share the market with 60.8% and 39.2% respectively, according to Telcor statistics.
Xinwei was set to become the third participant after receiving spectrum in January 2013 in a controversial process in which the Chinese company was the only apparent bidder. The delays in the commercial launch made some legislators doubt if the company would be able to operate in the country.
More controversy arose when it became known that Xinwei’s owner is Wang Jing, president of HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment (HKDN) – the Hong Kong-based construction company that has been awarded the license to develop Nicaragua’s inter-oceanic canal.
Movistar Nicaragua launches country’s first Firefox smartphone – Nicaragua

Telefónica unit Movistar Nicaragua has launched the ZTE Open II, the country’s first smartphone that uses the open Firefox OS operating system, the company said in a release.
Last month the company rolled out the Firefox smartphone in Panama.
In Latin America, Telefónica has also introduced Firefox OS mobile devices in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Uruguay, El Salvador and Chile.
Spain’s Telefónica has been one of the main exponents of the Firefox OS as it seeks an alternative to the Android and iOS mobile operating systems that dominate the market and oblige app developers to build applications to certain specifications.

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