Vodafone, Liberty end asset swap discussions – Chile, Puerto Rico
Minister: Telecom liberalization was ‘revolutionary’ for Jamaica – Jamaica
DR’s Indotel to regulate telecom service quality – Dominican R.
Motorola: Design center launch is independent of crisis – Brazil, Regional
Guatemala urged to auction AWS band – Guatemala


Vodafone, Liberty end asset swap discussions – Chile, Puerto Rico

Telecoms giants Vodafone and Liberty Global are no longer in talks about a potential asset swap, Vodafone said in a release on its website.
In response to media speculation, Vodafone confirmed on June 5 that it was in the early stages of discussions with Liberty Global regarding “a possible exchange of selected assets between the two companies.”
The two firms never disclosed which assets they were talking about swapping.
In Latin America Liberty Global owns cable and mobile operator VTR Chile and in Puerto Rico it owns cable operator Liberty.

Minister: Telecom liberalization was ‘revolutionary’ for Jamaica – Jamaica
The liberalization of the telecom industry was a milestone in Jamaica’s development, said Julian Robinson, science, technology, energy and mining minister.
Robinson said the opening of the market was a “revolutionary” move that impacted greatly on the country’s economy, according to a report by Jamaica Information Service.
“When the administration took the decision in the late nineties to proactively negotiate with what was then Cable & Wireless, to end their monopoly on telecommunication services, it was a significant milestone in our nation’s history,” the minister said.
Jamaica opened its telecom market in 1999. Prior to that, the market was dominated by Cable & Wireless Jamaica (CWC), which now works under the brand LIME.
In 2001, operators Digicel and Oceanic Digital were granted licenses, and the market was fully opened in March 2003. Robinson pointed out that since then, cell phone users have increased to almost 3mn, from about 60,000 before 1999.
Robinson added that it is the government’s plan to ensure that rates remain competitive, and that telecom services are available to all Jamaicans.
“We are committed to ensuring that people have not only access, but we are also committed to ensuring that they can afford the cost. The telecommunications industry has spurred the growth of a number of other industries and has triggered growth in the economy,” he said.

DR’s Indotel to regulate telecom service quality – Dominican R.

The Dominican Republic’s telecom watchdog Indotel has published a quality norm for telecom services in order to guarantee a minimum service baseline and give customers an outlet to file their complaints.
Indotel said in a press release that service quality was not regulated, and the telephony and internet access service quality standard published in resolution 016-15 will resolve that. This standard will define service quality for all operators and information on the regulation will be made available to all consumers.
As such, users will have a base on which sustain their complaints. “This norm will empower users, who from now on will have the tools to demand quality services from providers,” read the statement.
The norm divides the country into five regions, each with its own quality standard. Users will be informed on the minimum service quality to which they are entitled, and it will be compulsory for providers to publish a map of guaranteed coverage and broadband speed.
It also asks providers with over 1,000 subscribers to report their status and numbers every three months.
Operators Claro, Orange, Tricom, Trilogy Dominicana, Wind Telecom and associations Adomtel and GSMA Latin America were consulted in the drafting of the norm.
The Dominican Republic has been progressing rapidly in making telecom and connectivity accessible to all its citizens. The country is preparing its 2016-20 Digital Agenda, which aims to achieve 70% internet penetration, for which it recently launched its Hogares Conectados project, which will bring the internet to 10,000 homes by November.

Motorola: Design center launch is independent of crisis – Brazil, Regional

Motorola Mobility’s recent launch of a design center (CXD) in Brazil is a response to the innate competitiveness of the smartphone industry, rather than a response to pressure brought on by the current downturn in the market, company director Ruben Castaño told BNamericas.
The firm was planning the program for some time and started late 2014 with no change to the plan when it became apparent there were economic challenges ahead, Castaño said.
“Given the importance of Latin America for us, particularly Brazil, we can’t have a short-term vision based on economic factors that change periodically. It’s a long-term plan, because we know things will turn around,” the executive said.
Castaño confirmed that Brazil is Motorola’s best market in the region, with the firm enjoying an 18% share of smartphone sales there.
Despite the July 2015 official launch date the team has been together for roughly a year and has already influenced the third generation of Moto G handsets, in terms of the choice of colors available and the user interfaces for FM radio and digital TV.
The center allows Motorola to engage in a truly global effort when rolling out new products, giving it a better chance of making products locally relevant, Castaño added.
However, one unique advantage of the São Paulo facility is Motorola’s relatively strong retail presence in Latin America, which allows staff to glean feedback from consumers in the field, such as preferences across actual purchases, comments and suggestions for improvement.
The team also makes use of analytics tools to see how consumers interact with the company website, to understand their interests and ascertain what they are looking for.

Guatemala urged to auction AWS band – Guatemala

Guatemalan research firm Centro de Investigaciones Económicas Nacionales (CIEN) urged the country’s telecom regulator SIT to plan for the auction of the AWS band for the deployment of 4G LTE, El Periódico news site reported.
Researcher Bismarck Pineda said during the presentation of a CIEN report that by auctioning the AWS-1 (90MHz) band the government could bring in between 700mn and 2.2bn quetzales (up to US$285mn).
Pineda added that Guatemala has one of the lowest internet penetration rates in the world at 9.3%. “It is also one of the countries with the highest price as a percentage of GDP, comparing it with Latin America and the Caribbean,” he said.
CIEN’s report also mentioned the potential benefits of the digital TV switch-over, which could liberate frequencies in the 700MHz band that could be used to increase telecom coverage in the country.
According to Pineda, SIT figures show telephony access reached 21.7mn mobile lines in 2013, up from 3.1mn 10 years prior.

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