|Digital TV grows in Cuba – Cuba Digital TV is growing in Cuba and is already present in the capital of all 15 provinces, according to media reports.Grissel Reyes, director of science and innovation at Cuba’s communications ministry, was quoted as saying that the switchover to digital TV represented a “deep” change and would require at least a decade to be carried out.
The country’s switchover involves a three-stage process. The first, which has begun, will see digital TV and analog TV operating at the same time.
Each home is due to have digital equipment by 2016 as part of the second stage.
By 2021, as part of the third, the analog signal will be switched off.
The process requires an investment of 10.5mn Cuban convertible pesos (US$10.5mn), Reyes reportedly said.
The technological transition started in 2013 when tests were performed successfully in Havana using the Chinese Digital Terrestrial Broadcast (DTMB) standard with equipment donated by Beijing.
Cuba chose to adopt the Chinese standard since it was considered “the most beneficial for the objectives and needs of the country,” Glauco Guillén, director of the local telecom development research institute LACETEL said on state TV at the time.
Most countries in Latin America have chosen to use the Brazilian adaptation of the Japanese digital TV standard, ISDB-T.
Indotel creates commission to lower internet costs – Dominican R. Dominican Republic telecom watchdog Indotel will create a commission to study how to lower internet access prices, the regulator announced in a press release.
Indotel president Gedeón Santos said the aim is to bring the price of internet access down to the region’s average or lower.
The Caribbean nation still has several problems of regulation, connectivity and integration. The Dominican Republic has 46% internet penetration, and according to Santos is the most expensive in the region. “We are the country with the costliest internet service not only in Central America and the Caribbean, but probably the whole of Latin America,” he said.
Santos said the market is relatively small but lower costs are possible, as exemplified by Nicaragua, a smaller economy that still has cheaper internet.
The Dominican Republic was the first country in Latin America to join the Alliance for Affordable Internet, a coalition committed to bringing low cost internet to developing countries, and fourth in the world after Nigeria, Ghana and Mozambique.
Roundup: Tesacom, YouTube, IFT – Regional Latin American satellite equipment supplier Tesacom won a contract from the Peruvian transport and communications ministry (MTC) to provide mobile and fixed satellite communication devices, a press release said.
To date some 100 IsatPhone Pro satellite phones and 30 fixed communication devices have been installed in government buildings.
Tesacom is the only “silver” partner of Inmarsat in South America and is a certified repair partner of Iridium. The company holds telecommunications licenses in Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Puerto Rico is the largest consumer of video content in the Caribbean region, news outlet El Nuevo Día reported, citing Google statistics.
Google has chosen to localize YouTube on the island because of this, the internet search firm’s head for Central America and the Caribbean Francisco Forero Bonell said. In Puerto Rico, 90% of internet users go online to consume video content and, according to Bonell, many use it to decide whether to make an online purchase.
“66% of people bought beauty products after watching a YouTube video on the subject, 72% consulted videos before buying a car, and 62% watched reviews on smartphones before buying theirs,” he was quoted as saying.
Mexican telecom watchdog IFT and the country’s statistics institute Inegi signed an agreement to work together to gather data relating to telecommunications and broadcast issues, IFT said in a press release.
The institutions will collaborate to conduct studies and carry out research. They will also exchange statistical and geographical information and organize surveys in the country.
Trinidad and Tobago launches IXP – Trinidad & Tobago Trinidad and Tobago has launched an internet exchange point (IXP) that groups seven of the country’s internet service providers (ISPs).
According to local paper the Guardian, the IXP, called TTIX, brings together Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), Digicel, Massy Communications, Open Telecom, Greendot, Lisa Communications and Flow.
TTIX chairman Kurleigh Prescod expects that the new IXP will help improve local internet performance and attract “content providers, such as Netflix, Akamai and Google, to establish a point of presence in Trinidad and Tobago.”
British Virgin Islands (BVIX), Curaçao (AMS-IX), Dominica (DANIX), Grenada (GREX), Haiti, St Maarten (OCIX), St Lucia (SLIX) and the Dominican Republic have also launched IXPs.
Roundup: Telebras, Digicel, BTC – Regional Brazil’s communications ministry selected Telebras to provide an internet link to protect confidential information and communications, news service Tele.Síntese reported.
The initiative follows allegations that Brazil was spied on by the US and the publication of decree 8136/2013 in May.
As part of the contract Telebras must also ensure the network is regarded as a national asset and work on future network speed requirement issues.
The one-year contract, which was not put out to tender, is valued at 370,000 reais (US$152,000)
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has praised Digicel for its role in the country’s economic and social development, the island nation’s government information service reported.
Simpson Miller said, in a speech read by education minister Ronald Thwaites during a ceremony in capital Kingston, that Digicel’s investment is a vote of confidence in Jamaica and its people.
“The telecommunications environment of today is one that is more robust and which provides real opportunities and benefits for consumers and businesses,” she wrote.
The recent US$600mn investment in a fiber optic network will, the government said, have a significant impact on the economic development of Kingston and the country as a whole. “There are greater offshore business possibilities and there is the commercial use of telecommunications for the transaction of business and job creating,” she added.
The Bahamas’ BTC has opened the first of four “Family Island” retail stores ahead of the launch of IPTV services, local newspaper Tribune 424 reported.
A new flagship store opened in Deadman’s Cay, Long Island, offering full mobile device and customer assistance services. Prior to this, the store had only offered cashier and bill-payment services. New stores are set to open for Harbour Island, Spanish Wells and Bimini over the next two months.
BTC chief executive Leon Williams said the opening of the stores will help pave the way for the launch of IPTV services in the Bahamas. He added that BTC hopes to have IPTV services available in Long Island by October 2015.