Dominican Rep. to launch connectivity project in November – Dominican R.
Claro República Domincana launches m-banking services – Dominican R.
KPMG: Mobile banking users to reach 1.8bn worldwide by 2019 – Regional
Nicaragua to start digital TV switch-over – Nicaragua
América Móvil aims to streamline LTE device homologation with Qualcomm – Regional

Dominican Rep. to launch connectivity project in November – Dominican R.

Dominican Republic’s telecom watchdog Indotel announced the launch of its Hogares Conectados project, which will aim to bring the internet to 10,000 homes in the Caribbean country, for November.
The regulator has called a tender for the supply of the personal computers and continuous feed system.
The project is part of the Digital Agenda 2016-20, which the country is currently tweaking through a public consultation that is due to last for the rest of the month.
Indotel president Gedeón Santos said that access and infrastructure are priorities for the agenda. “The policies need to be focused on sustainable development and based on collaborative work of the interested parties, and aim to have a positive impact on the population,” he said.
The Dominican Republic plans to increase its internet penetration to 70% by 2020 from nearly 52% last year.
The agenda also looks to increase the number of homes with at least one computer to 40% from 30% in the next five years, while the target for homes with broadband access will be 25%, up from 18.6%. The plan also calls for the rate of internet subscriptions to grow to 50.8% from 39.9%.
The plan is built around infrastructure and access, e-government, digital education, productive development and a suitable environment for the advance of IT.

Claro República Domincana launches m-banking services – Dominican R.

Claro República Dominicana partnered with Banco Popular Dominicano to offer mobile banking services in the country, the bank announced in a press release.
The service, called e.fectivo Móvil, will allow users to transfer money, pay bills and top-up Claro pre-paid accounts. The mobile wallet is available for all customers and smartphone models.
Manuel Grullón, president of Banco Popular, said that both companies have deployed technology, financial and human resources to bring banking to all Dominicans – including those who had never had access to a bank account before.
“This service promotes the formalization of the economy, by encouraging the most common banking transactions among a greater number of citizens,” he said.
M-banking has been on the rise in Latin America, with El Salvador leading the way in Central America with 4.6% penetration as of 2014. Average Latin American penetration of mobile banking services reached 1.7%.
Banco Popular Dominicano has been a driver of new methods of banking, having signed an agreement with PayPal in April to speed up payments and promote e-commerce.

KPMG: Mobile banking users to reach 1.8bn worldwide by 2019 – Regional

The number of mobile banking users will reach 1.8bn worldwide, or 25% of the global population, in the next four years, according to a report from consulting firm KPMG.
The report says the spike in popularity of mobile banking has been encouraging financial entities to develop the so-called ‘open banking’ concept, allowing customers to make deposits through multiple channels, operating systems and devices.
The mobile channel has become the largest in terms of transaction volume and is pushing the integration of financial systems with mobile networks.
Banks that do not rapidly adopt a strategy to address this trend may start to lose customers, opportunities for cross sales and their competitive advantage, according to the report.
Users between the ages of 20 and 30 are more likely to change bank.
“Banks must adapt or die. Mobile banking is clearly replacing other channels as the principal portal between the bank and the consumer,” commented David Hodgkinson, head of digital banking with KPMG UK and author of the report.
“Many have accepted this challenge and have invested in new infrastructure and pioneering initiatives but others must follow the example and have the capacity to keep up with the pace of change.”
Walter Risi, associate of IT Advisory with KPMG Argentina, said, “In Argentina the use of mobile banking has increased significantly, accompanied both by better offerings from banks and also increased consumer confidence in the mobile channel.”
“While most banks have had a mobile option for several years many are also working to make their offerings more user friendly and self-service oriented because the first offerings to appear where limited.”
The report makes three recommendations to banks drawing up a strategy.
Banks should expand the portfolio of mobile banking services. They should also develop a virtual and personalized support channel and avoid constantly invading the privacy of consumers on their mobile devices.
Banks should invest in developing their own applications and technologies for mobile banking to stand out from the rest and avoid using legacy technology, according to KPMG. This requires a greater relationship with developers.
Investing in security is also key to assure customers the mobile banking platforms are secure and protected from malware and social engineering. Some 40% of consumers expressed concern about introducing credit card details into their phones for the fear of losing the phone.
At the same time, security protocols should be quick given that purchases using mobile devices are often impulse buys. So the development of biometric readers and similar technologies is key.

Nicaragua to start digital TV switch-over – Nicaragua

telecom watchdog Telcor has demanded the start of the digital TV switch-over in the country, despite not having the specific regulation to carry it out.
The regulator established the “obligation of implementing the standard, under the terms and conditions decided by Telcor,” reported La Prensa newspaper.
The watchdog has not fixed a timeline or deadline for the switch-over.
Last month Nicaragua decided to adopt the Japanese-Brazilian digital TV system (ISDB-T), making it the 13th Latin American nation to opt for that technology. Training and technology transfer to the countries that chose ISDB-T are included in the agreements for implementation.
In Latin America, Colombia and Panama are opting for Europe’s DVB-T system; the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico and El Salvador have chosen the US standard ATSC; and Cuba has gone with Chinese standard DTMB.

América Móvil aims to streamline LTE device homologation with Qualcomm – Regional

US chipmaker Qualcomm has included América Móvil in its Qualcomm Global Pass homologation program.
The Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) program is designed to reduce device manufacturers’ upfront costs and accelerate the commercialization of devices.
As América Móvil begins migrating its 2G and 3G customers to 4G, Global Pass helps device manufacturers create LTE handsets that comply with local specifications quickly and efficiently, according to a Qualcomm statement.
Under the program América Móvil will work closely with OEMs and ODMs.
Global Pass integrates device specifications, modem configurations and operator-specific requirements into a hardware and software QRD offering coupled with a Snapdragon processor.
The program includes regional carrier testing.
America Móvil device manufacturers can adopt the platform starting this month, Qualcomm said. “To date, more than 1,080 QRD-based devices have shipped or are in the pipeline across 21 countries, with more than 420 QRD-based LTE devices shipped or in the pipeline,” the statement said.

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