Verizon customers can now use their phones in Cuba – Cuba
CWC, Ericsson to deploy LTE in Caribbean and Latin America – Caribbean
El Salvador proposes 13% reduction in telecom prices – El Salvador
How did LatAm perform in the UN’s broadband index? – Bahamas, Regional
Costa Rica’s ICE to expand 4G LTE network – Costa Rica

Verizon customers can now use their phones in Cuba – Cuba
Operator Verizon announced the start of roaming services to Cuba this week, becoming the first US provider to do so.
Verizon said on a press release that Cuba now begins to the Pay-As-You-Go International Travel option, allowing customers to connect while on the island and use voice, messages and data services.
“Our customers are citizens of the world, and we want them to seamlessly enjoy a great Verizon experience wherever they travel,” said, Javier Farfán, vice president of cultural and segment marketing for Verizon.
With Cuba, Verizon offers international services in over 225 countries worldwide.
US-based Telco Cuba, which recently started operating as an MVNO in the US, is planning to launch services on the island later this year.

CWC, Ericsson to deploy LTE in Caribbean and Latin America – Caribbean
Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) will deploy LTE in all its Latin American and Caribbean markets using Ericsson’s infrastructure, the two companies said in a joint release.
Ericsson announced the extension of its partnership with the operator, which will bring 4G LTE to 6mn users in 42 countries in the region.
According to Ericsson, smartphones will make up 86% of all mobile data traffic in the region, with 78% using a 4G LTE network. Traffic is expected to grow sevenfold in the next five years.
“Broadband is a key factor for the economic development of Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Carlo Alloni, EVP Technology and Group CTIO at CWC.
Clayton Cruz, VP for Latin America and the Caribbean at Ericsson, said that CWC has one of the best regional mobile networks in the world.
“In today’s extremely competitive connected society, a highly dependable network is one of the main elements that make the difference, as well as being a strategic asset for operators,” he said.
CWC was the first operator to deploy 4G LTE in Panama in March, and has done so in several countries in the Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda and Turks and Caicos, through its local brand LIME.

El Salvador proposes 13% reduction in telecom prices – El Salvador
El Salvador telecom regulator Siget began the process of applying an average reduction of 13% in prices for services, the presidential technical and planning secretary Roberto Lorenzana announced.
The measure is part of Siget’s annual review of prices and was reported on El Salvador’s government transparency portal. According to Lorenzana, prices will be reduced by different amounts depending on the service.
“Calls from a landline to a mobile phone will drop 13%, whereas from a mobile to landline the reduction will be 12% and 12.46% for mobile to mobile calls,” he said.
Siget reduced prices by 12% in 2014, and intends to offset the expected 10% tax hike on telecom services that was introduced in a bill last week.
The watchdog sent a memo to all operators about the decision and telcos will now have five days to present comments and objections. The new rates are due to take effect November 1.

How did LatAm perform in the UN’s broadband index? – Bahamas, Regional
The United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union (ITU) released this Monday its 2015 edition of the State of Broadband report.
The study shows that despite connectivity improvements seen in recent years, especially in developing nations, 57% of the world’s population, or 4.2bn people, remain offline. Some 3.2bn people are now connected, up from 2.9bn last year, but the internet is only accessible to 35% of people in developing countries, according to the report.
This year’s figures show that the top 10 countries for household internet penetration are all located in Asia or the Middle East. South Korea continues to have the world’s highest household penetration, with 98.5% of homes connected. Meanwhile, Iceland has the highest percentage of individuals using the internet at 98.2%.
As in Akamai’s State of the Internet report, small Caribbean islands tend to lead the ranking in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Barbados (70.5%, 13th place), St Kitts and Nevis (62.8%, 17th) and St. Vincent & the Grenadines (58.5%, 21st) are the three nations in the region with the largest percentage of households with internet access among developing nations. Uruguay comes next with a 57.4% rate, ranked 22nd.
As regards individuals with internet access, in both developing and developed markets, Bahamas is the best-ranked country in the region with 76.9% penetration and coming in at 32nd. Chile follows with a 72.4% rate.
In terms of the mobile broadband base, Barbados again leads with 106.8 mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. The Caribbean nation is followed by Costa Rica and Brazil, with 86.9 and 78.1, respectively.
Barbados also stands out in fixed broadband, leading the region with 27 fixed broadband accesses per 100 inhabitants and ranked 34th, followed by Uruguay (24.6)
The report was released ahead of a summit in New York where world leaders will adopt the 2030 Agenda, which contains the new sustainable development goals, and the parallel meeting of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development on September 26.

Costa Rica’s ICE to expand 4G LTE network – Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s state-owned telco ICE will invest US$19.9mn to expand its 4G LTE network, adding 70 new access points and reaching 195 in 2016.
The investment will cover the deployment of new infrastructure and improvements to the existing one, including coverage inside buildings.
All three operators in Costa Rica have launched 4G LTE, to such an extent that the market could start reaching saturation point if more spectrum is not released.
Movistar and Claro requested a tender last year, saying that they do not have enough bandwidth to keep up with demand.
4G Americas predicts that Costa Rica and Guatemala will spearhead the advance of 4G LTE in Central America, accounting for over half of the region’s total 4G subscriptions. Guatemala will take the lead, providing 30.5% of the total, with Costa Rica not far behind with 24.8%.

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