CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas 10/09/15

CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas 10/09/15

GlobeNet joins AMS-IX USA for pan-American connectivity – Regional

Digicel cancels IPO due to market conditions – Caribbean, Central America

Atlantic Tele-Network agrees to acquire KeyTech Bermuda – Caribbean

Costa Rica to start charging for data by usage – Costa Rica

Tigo Money El Salvador subscriber base swells 75% – El Salvador

 

GlobeNet joins AMS-IX USA for pan-American connectivity – Regional

Data network services wholesale provider – or carrier of carriers – GlobeNet has become a partner of AMS-IX USA, the US subsidiary of AMS-IX (Amsterdam Internet Exchange), to improve connectivity between North and South America, AMS said in a statement.

By joining the AMS-IX USA Partner Program, Globenet will be able to remotely connect North American and Latin American customers to peer with parties on the AMS-IX New York peering platform and enhance their IP service offering, according to AMS.

GlobeNet’s partnership allows it to serve as a certified AMS-IX partner, offering customers lower cost access to large internet players, AMS said.

GlobeNet’s network provides extensive coverage in South America, including Bermuda, Colombia, Venezuela and many Points of Presence (PoPs) in Brazil, as well as in the US.

The company also owns and operates a submarine cable network that spans more than 23,500km. GlobeNet is a fully-owned subsidiary of Brazil’s investment bank BTG Pactual.

“With its extensive network reach, GlobeNet serves as a gateway to new US cities, as well as South America and Brazil, one of the region’s largest internet markets,” AMS-IX CEO Job Witteman said.

In February, GlobeNet opened a new office in one of the most connected buildings in Brazil, Rio’s RB1. The company also deployed a new PoP in the Rio de Janeiro building, featuring several network paths to its submarine cable system.

 

Digicel cancels IPO due to market conditions – Caribbean, Central America

Caribbean and Central American mobile telecoms group Digicel has decided to not proceed with a planned IPO for US$200mn citing adverse market conditions.

The company said that despite significant investor support for the IPO market conditions, particularly in emerging markets, have impacted transaction momentum over recent days.

“Given our growth outlook, an IPO for Digicel was optional and predicated on achieving fair value for the company. Recent volatility in equity markets has seen a number of IPOs listing at a discount to their signaled price range and this was a less attractive route for us,” Digicel’s Chairman Denis O’Brien said.

“Digicel is now at a key juncture in our growth story following a US$1.5bn investment program over the past three years; we generate strong and growing free cash flow and we have no material debt maturities until 2021. Our growth plans remain unchanged and we remain in a strong position to exploit areas of interest in: Data, Business Solutions, Cable TV and Broadband,” O’Brien said.

Atlantic Tele-Network agrees to acquire KeyTech Bermuda – Caribbean

Continuing with its acquisitions in the Caribbean, US telco Atlantic Tele-Network (ATN) announced an agreement with KeyTech Limited to acquire a controlling interest in the company, as part of a proposed business combination of KeyTech with Bermuda Digital Communications.

The transaction will bring quad-play to Bermuda, by combining ATN subsidiary CellOne’s mobile offerings with KeyTech’s fixed telephony, broadband and pay-TV services, under the brand name Logic in both Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

With the acquisition, ATN will offer its 43% stake in CellOne and around US$42mn in cash for a 51% stake in KeyTech. ATN and KeyTech currently own 85% of CellOne.

“This transaction is consistent with our strategy of building out our services in key geographies where we see the opportunity to create long-term value,” said ATN CEO Michael Prior. “We were the primary investors behind the local Bermudian launch of independent wireless operations in Bermuda in 1998 and merged them with KeyTech’s wireless business in 2011.”

ATN agreed to acquire US Virgin Islands’ operator Caribbean Assets Holdings last week from the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) for US$145mn.

In the Caribbean ATN operates wireline and fiber services through its subsidiary companies GT&T (Guyana). In wireless the company has Choice Wireless in the US Virgin Islands, CellOne in Bermuda and Islandcom Wireless in Turks & Caicos.

In the second quarter of 2015, ATN saw revenues rise 8% year-on-year to US$90.3mn.

Costa Rica to start charging for data by usage – Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s telecom watchdog Sutel has started a process to change the way in which mobile data is charged: instead of doing this with monthly fees, data will instead be charged by usage.

As of now, rates are calculated by speed and are included in plans, which means that even if the subscriber does not use part or all of the available data they still have to pay for the service. Sutel wants to change the system, with subscribers paying for what they use.

“What we want to do is empower the user to make decisions about consumption, with different payment options,” said Walther Herrera, market director at Sutel.

According to Sutel, 48% of post-paid users consume less than 1.5GB of data, which means that they are overpaying for what they use.

The proposals also suggest reducing maximum pre-paid fees by 15%, and bringing them into line with post-paid charges.

Sutel will submit the proposals to public consultation in the next few days.

Tigo Money El Salvador subscriber base swells 75% – El Salvador

M-banking service Tigo Money is nearing a million users: 970,000 subscribers to date, according to parent company Millicom.

Millicom said that this represents 75% year-on-year growth, reported website El Salvador. The service registers 3mn transactions a month, of which remittances account for a significant chunk. According to Estela Estavillo, general manager of Tigo Money, remittances through the service reached US$4mn as of August.

El Salvador has become the leader in m-money penetration ahead of the region’s economic powerhouses Costa Rica and Panama. According to the World Bank, mobile banking has now reached 4.6% of Salvadoreans, higher than the average 1.7% penetration rate in Latin America and outstripping Mexico (3%), Brazil (1%) and Panama (2%).

El Salvador was also named as the Latin American leader in m-money transactions by GSMA. Latin America was the fastest growing region in adoption of m-money in 2014, with 50% growth in terms of the number of active m-money accounts.

El Salvador had just over 60% mobile penetration in 2014, according to consultancy GSMA. Smartphone penetration reached 20% in the same year, on a par with neighboring Nicaragua and Guatemala.

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

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