CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas 10/23/15

CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas 10/23/15

Digicel teams with start-up to provide electricity to rural Haiti – Haiti

Claro deploys Ericsson Radio Dot System in Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico

Cuba, El Salvador are only LatAm countries with no LTE – Cuba, El Salvador

América Móvil eyes lower capex in 2016 – Regional

How Mexico can connect to the future – Honduras, Mexico

 

Digicel teams with start-up to provide electricity to rural Haiti – Haiti

Haitian start-up Re-Volt has partnered with mobile telecom operator Digicel to provide affordable electricity to families in rural Haiti.

Re-Volt will install a system consisting of a solar panel, a control/power storage unit, lights and a phone charger

Customers are charged a monthly fee of 250 Haitian gourdes (US$5) and can pay for the service through Digicel’s Mon Cash mobile banking platform.

Founded by former Digicel Haiti CEO Maarten Boute, Re-Volt serves over 800 households, or 4,000 people, on the island of La Gonâve, one of Haiti’s most isolated and impoverished communities. Boute said he came up with the idea in the aftermath of Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake.

“The biggest opportunity to grow the business was in rural areas and, as we expanded our network there, we began to realize how much of a problem energy-poverty was,” he said.

Re-Volt recently launched a campaign on crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise the working capital necessary to grow its customer base on La Gonâve to 2,000 households by January.

Digicel Haiti’s subscriber base has grown from under 2mn customers in 2010 to over 4.5mn in 2014.

 

Claro deploys Ericsson Radio Dot System in Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico

Claro said it has deployed Latin America’s first commercial LTE site with the Ericsson Radio Dot System to improve indoor cellular connectivity at a hospital and a bank in Puerto Rico.

The indoor small cells solution, which includes 3G and 4G LTE, was deployed at the Salus Hospital and the Popular Bank.

“Around 70% of mobile data traffic is generated indoors, and in hospitals connectivity is critical,” said Elie Hanna, vicepresident for Latin America and the Caribbean at Ericsson.

The indoor implementation consists of Radio Dots and fully integrated mRRUs (micro remote radio units) in a C-RAN configuration sharing the same baseband.

Ericsson Radio Dot is live in 41 operator networks in 34 countries.

 

Cuba, El Salvador are only LatAm countries with no LTE – Cuba, El Salvador

In terms of LTE evolution in Latin America, two countries stay at the back of the line: El Salvador and Cuba.

After Nicaragua launched LTE services this year, these two countries are the only ones in the region without an LTE network,” said José Otero, director for Latin America and the Caribbean at consultancy 4G Americas during a webinar organized by the firm to discuss mobile connectivity in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean.

El Salvador has plans to deploy this technology in the next few years, with Digicel having invested US$60mn in its 4G network, although there is no set launch date just yet.

Cuba, after years of underdevelopment in the telecom sector, is finally opening up to foreign investment. After the US announced the rekindling of relationships with the island, expressions of interest have been pouring in for the launch of operations in Cuba.

However, for Cuba to see the development of a fully-fledged telecom industry, the US needs to abolish legislation that punishes both US and international companies for doing business on the island.

LTE subscriptions in Latin America and the Caribbean could reach 29mn by the end of the year and 259mn in 2020, 4G Americas reported, citing data from consultancy Ovum.

The Spanish-speaking nations, including Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, are expected to make up 60% of total LTE subscriptions in the Caribbean by 2020.

 

América Móvil eyes lower capex in 2016 – Regional

América Móvil expects investment to slowdown in 2016 as the company ends a five-year cycle in which it invested US$50bn in Latin America, CFO Carlos García Moreno told a conference call with investors.

The company invested an average of US$10bn per year for the past five years and US$11bn in 2015 after picking up spectrum in Argentina, he added.

CEO Daniel Hajj said that the company is now well positioned in the region in infrastructure, especially in key countries like Brazil, and that the company is reviewing its needs and renegotiating with suppliers.

“América Móvil has been doing well in Brazil and next year we can see more on integration of infrastructure and cost cutting. We’re well positioned in Brazil even though the economy is not looking good for next year,” Hajj said.

He added that, given forex volatility, the company has not decided on 2016 capex, as some of it would be in dollars and some in local currency. In terms of variable capex, it would be lower than previous years and under US$10bn in dollar terms.

América Móvil announced this week that it will carry out the first 5G systems test in Latin America in Brazil in 2016 with Swedish equipment manufacturer Ericsson.

M&A

Hajj said that the company was well aware of speculation about the future of certain competitors such as Oi and Nextel in Brazil. “If something comes up we’re always interested,” he said. “But América Móvil is in a very good position in Brazil at the moment.”

The same goes for other growth areas like Central America and the Caribbean, where the company doesn’t have as much penetration. Hajj said the focus is on implementing quadruple play in all operations across Latin America.

POSTPAID GROWTH STRATEGY

Overall, América Móvil has been moving slowly away from its traditional subscriber base of prepaid clients to more profitable users. In Brazil, the postpaid subscriber base rose 6% year-on-year in Q3 and the company disconnected 1mn prepaid subscribers in the quarter.

In Mexico, the company gained 361,000 new mobile subscribers, of which nearly all were postpaid.

Despite the fact that smartphones have become more expensive in local currency terms due to the strong dollar, Hajj said the company was not returning to the handset subsidy model of the past and that customers were becoming receptive to different financing options instead.

Hajj said the company is not concerned with the increasing competition in Mexico with the entrance of AT&T and the fact that the company has had to reduce its market share to meet with local regulations that deemed the company as a preponderant player.

The executive said the company is not afraid to “sell customers” to MVNOs to reduce its market share and focus on value-added offerings. He added that the company is optimistic it will soon be granted a pay TV license that would enable it to offer quadruple-play services.

How Mexico can connect to the future – Honduras, Mexico

Two years after the approval of Mexico’s telecoms reform, a new competitive landscape is taking shape in an industry facing major changes in technology and business models all around the world.

BNamericas will hold its 4th Mexico Internet of Things & Telecom Summit in Mexico City on November 10-11 at The Westin Santa Fe Mexico City hotel, an event that will focus on analyzing and discussing key sector topics.

The agenda includes panels on Mexico’s telecoms reform and its challenges (with AT&T´s Cristina Ruiz de Velasco, Telefónica´s Miguel Calderón and América Movil´s Daniel Bernal), on the Internet of Things (with Alestra´s Adrián Cuadros, GSMA´s Marco Antonio Galván and IDC´s Edgar Fiero), as well as two roundtables to discuss the state of satellite infrastructure and the need for more investments in infrastructure.

Click here to download the full agenda

Click here to see some of the key speakers

BNamerica´s team of reporters, editors and analysts delivers daily insights of major events happening in the IT and Telecoms industry, from spectrum auctions to deep analysis on significant trends.

Take a look at some of the latest news, analysis and interviews produced by BNamericas´ team:

Latin America has US$870bn IoE opportunity – Cisco

The total potential market value of the Internet of Everything (IoE) in Latin America is US$870bn, led by the manufacturing sector, according to Cisco Systems.

Cisco estimates there is a US$19tn value opportunity in the global economy for the IoE waiting to be taken advantage of.

OUTLOOK: The Internet of Whatever you want

If 2014 was the year when the Internet of Things became a buzzword, 2015 will be the year it goes mainstream. The automotive industry has been…

GRAPHIC: Mobile internet connections per 100 inhabitants

Ericsson: Chileans highly interested in connected homes

In a survey of 5,000 people in the US, Spain, Chile, Sweden and Russia, some 65% of Chileans said they were very interested in having multiple devices connected in,,,

Ericsson, América Móvil to test 5G in Brazil

Swedish telecoms equipment supplier Ericsson has reached an agreement with América Móvil to test the first 5G systems in Brazil in 2016 with the aim of

Dell creates IoT business unit in Brazil

US IT giant Dell has created a business unit in Brazil for the development of projects involving the Internet-of-Things (IoT).

Intel, Ericsson, Nokia collaborate on NB-LTE for IoT

Intel Corporation has announced plans to work closely with Ericsson and Nokia to develop and bring to market Internet of Things products suited for…

Symantec refocuses on IT security market

Symantec is introducing products to specifically address security in connected devices that fit with the Internet of Things Trend (IoT). The embedded security products are…

When will Latin American grids become completely smart?

Power companies have a long history of incorporating communication networks into their grid infrastructure. And tech firms involved in the burgeoning…

Colombia looking at unlicensed spectrum for IoT

Unlicensed mobile spectrum should be set aside for use with the emerging trend of the Internet of Things (IoT), Colombia’s national spectrum agency…

GRAPHIC: Internet connections by country (in thousands)

SPOTLIGHT: Getting prepared for the Internet of Threats

With the evolution of connected homes and the internet of things (IoT), smart connected TVs could be the next OS for hackers given that the trend is heading towards…

IoT could be a Pandora’s box – Kaspersky

Despite the promised production and efficiency benefits of the much-hyped Internet of Things (IoT), the technology industry could be…

Tigo Colombia, Gemalto join forces for M2M solution

Colombian mobile operator Tigo, a unit of Sweden’s Millicom International, has chosen Dutch digital security solutions providerGemalto to deliver a suite of M2M solutions.

How are LatAm firms investing in IoT?

Latin America is where companies are investing least in Internet-of-Things (IoT) initiatives, according to a recent study from Indian IT outsourcing giant Tata Consulting Services (TCS).

Why mining technology standardization is key for the industry

Having standards is key to the integration of all systems and machinery that are interconnected as part of the internet of things.

Mexico’s IoT challenges: Infrastructure, devices and spectrum

The development of the Internet of Things (IoT) in Mexico is still suffering hindrances, mostly due to the lack of appropriate infrastructure, the difficulty of access to suited devices and the need to make more spectrum available.

SPOTLIGHT: Brazil’s ‘national plan’ for the Internet of Things

During the last week, the telecommunications secretary at Brazil’s communications ministry MiniCom said in a statement that the federal government is working on…

Emerging markets could lead IoT innovation – Cisco

Joseph Bradley, VP of IoE Practice with Cisco Consulting Services, told BNamericas that major investments in emerging markets to modernize infrastructure are making…

GRAPHIC: LatAm smartphone users (in millions)

Telefónica: Chile R&D center likely to yield IoT products this year

Multinational telco Telefónica believes its new Internet of Things (IoT) research & development center in Chile could yield commercially viable industry solutions before year-end

Telefónica extending m2m Global Partner Program to Latin America in 2015

The m2m Global Partner Program was recently launched in Peru and Mexico and is scheduled to be rolled out in four…

Telefônica Brasil tapped for Eletrobras smart grid project

Telefônica Vivo, the Brazilian subsidiary of Spanish telco giant Telefónica, will provide machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity solutions for a smart grid/metering project to be developed for the country’s state-run power group Eletrobras

IDC: LatAm connecting objects faster than global average

Tech consultancy IDC estimates that the number of connected objects in Latin America will grow to 827mn in 2020 compared to 244mn in 2014

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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