CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas 10/17/14

CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas 10/17/14

 

Roundup: Liberty Puerto Rico, Telmex, Nextel Mexico – Mexico, Puerto RicoTax breaks to boost Brazil M2M sector – ministry – Brazil, Regiona

Oberthur’s LatAm MultiSIM footprint grows – Regional

Roundup: Illegal phone masts, CableColor, Nextel Perú – Regional

Small cell take-up in LatAm slow, says Alcatel-Lucent – Regional

Roundup: Liberty Puerto Rico, Telmex, Nextel Mexico – Mexico, Puerto Rico Telecom firm Liberty Puerto Rico launched the platform TV Everywhere, which offers programming from 35 pay TV channels, news portal NextTV Latam reported.The platform will include content from TNT, AMC, Boomerang, CNN, Cartoon Network, E!, Telemundo and TCM, and will redirect the user to other platforms like HBO Go and Max Go.Liberty Everywhere users can access the service if they are pay TV subscribers of the company and have a minimum 3Mbps broadband connection speed.

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Telmex has signed an agreement with UN Habitat and the Mexican city of Querétaro to jointly develop a citizen engagement app, Telmex said in a press release.

The three stakeholders will collaborate on the design and management of +XMi Ciudad, a mobile and web app that will allow citizens to help enhance local services and the local environment.

Via the application, users will be able to propose initiatives relating to the environment and transportation, among other areas. Citizens’ ideas will then be reviewed and followed up by policymakers, Telmex said.

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Nextel Mexico has launched 4G LTE in three cities in the country, El Economista reported.

The service is being offered in Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara.

Tax breaks to boost Brazil M2M sector – ministry – Brazil, Regional Brazil forecasts that there will be around 23mn machine-to-machine (M2M) connections in the country in 2016 compared with the current 8mn.

The growth should be driven mostly by tax breaks for the M2M communications sector that entered into force in May, the communications ministry’s (Minicom) broadband director, Artur Coimbra, said at a conference in capital Brasília.

The government cut the installation inspection fee TFI – paid by operators for each active terminal as part of the telecommunications fund Fistel – 80%, to 5.68 reais (US$2.36).

M2M TASK FORCE

Minicom announced the creation of a committee to manage the development of M2M systems in the country.

The group will monitor the evolution and rise of new M2M applications and coordinate technical cooperation between telcos, equipment manufacturers and research institutes.

Committee members will also work on the formulation of sector public policy.

The board is composed of members from Minicom and the science, technology and innovation ministry; telecom regulator Anatel, representatives from industry, telcos, educational institutions and developers of applications for the segment.

Oberthur’s LatAm MultiSIM footprint grows – Regional An all-in-one cell phone chip developed by French digital security firm Oberthur Technologies is being used in four LatAm countries, the firm’s regional VP, Luis Cohen, told BNamericas.

He said several carriers offer the product, known as MultiSIM, and more are expected to come on board this year.

Brazil’s Oi is the only carrier to date in the region to report sales of Oberthur’s card, also known as a “triple-cut” chip. It can be adjusted in size to be used as a normal, micro or nano variant in order to fit different handsets.

Oi sells the card at the same price as its other chips, 10 reais (US$4.05). They are currently only available to users signed up to Oi’s Galera prepaid plans in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

Oberthur is also providing its chip to “more than one large carrier” operating in Peru, Chile and Colombia. Cohen did not name the telco, which is expected to be joined by others before end-year.

In Latin America, all cards are manufactured at the company’s factory in the Brazilian city of Cotia in São Paulo state. The firm has regional headquarters in São Paulo city and employs 600 people in the country.

Cohen said: “The first pilots of this technology began to be carried out worldwide in the second half of last year. Oberthur’s first shipments started in November.”

Oberthur has so far sold over 1mn multiSIM cards to operators in the four LatAm markets it currently serves. Globally, over 8mn cards have reportedly been shipped to more than 60 customers.

Oberthur’s main market rival is Dutch firm Gemalto. Cohen is a former Gemalto executive.

Roundup: Illegal phone masts, CableColor, Nextel Perú – Regional Mexican lawmakers said they would propose legislation to tackle the erection of illegal mobile phone masts, news outlet Milenio reported.

“The health of the population is put at risk by these masts being installed without supervision on houses and buildings that are damaged or have unstable foundations,” lawmaker Alejandro Robles was quoted as saying.

Under the bill, installation of masts in residential areas would be prohibited.

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CableColor is looking to El Salvador to expand its operations in Central America, news outlet Telegeography reported.

The company currently offers TV, broadband internet and fixed-line phone services via fiber infrastructure in all major cities in Honduras and started operations in Guatemala last year.

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Nextel Perú has been rebranded Entel, the company said in a press release.

Chilean operator Entel acquired Nextel Perú from NII Holdings last year.

Entel launched in Peru in 2002 and plans to invest US$1.2bn there over the next five years.

Small cell take-up in LatAm slow, says Alcatel-Lucent – Regional French telecom equipment supplier Alcatel-Lucent has been seeing growing interest in small cell technology in Latin America but as yet take-up has been slow, senior executives told press during industry event Futurecom 2014 in São Paulo on Tuesday.

According to Alcatel-Lucent’s Latin America president, Osvaldo di Campli, the company is engaged in 15 small cell projects with 12 operators in Latin America but those operators have been slow to define their small cell strategy in order to begin the rollout process.

“We see interest in the technology, but [rollout] depends a lot on the operators’ business model,” di Campli said.

According to Brazil country manager Javier Falcon, it “is an area where we’ve been growing steadily.”

The only operator Alcatel-Lucent has publicly said it is working with is Brazil’s TIM, announced in February at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

Most of the small cell projects in Latin America to date have been for femtocell technology, a lower capacity small cell technology designed mainly for home or small business use.

Alcatel-Lucent has said it will unveil a multi-standard small cell base station – running 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi – with Qualcomm next year.

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

CANTO Member @CW_Networks President Paul Scott reconfirmed his commitment to invest and build in #PuertoRico during a panel discussion at Capacity Media #capacityconference pic.twitter.com/w3W6KnZaYb

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