CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas 10/24/14

CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas 10/24/14

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DirecTV Latin America launches satellite

Regional Honduras pushes back 700MHz auction – Honduras

FCC stops clock on AT&T-DirecTV, Comcast-TWC mergers – Regional

Costa Rica’s 4G LTE coverage to expand – Costa Rica

Celistics seeks JV to resell used LatAm phones – Regional

 

DirecTV Latin America launches satellite payload – Regional DirecTV Latin America announced the successful launch of its DLA-1 satellite payload, which will be located in the same 95W orbital position as its Galaxy 3C satellite.

DLA-1 will begin operating in 1H15 and enhance coverage for the company’s PanAmericana division pay TV subscribers in Argentina, the Caribbean, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, the firm said in a press release.

Together these markets comprise DirecTV Latin America’s operations outside of Brazil and Mexico.

In September, DirecTV shareholders voted in favor of the satellite TV provider’s buyout by US telco AT&T, with analysts suggesting a potential sell off of DirecTV Latin America.

DLA-1 is hosted on the Intelsat 30 satellite, which was launched from French Guiana earlier this week by French firm Arianespace.

Honduras pushes back 700MHz auction – Honduras Telecom regulator Conatel announced that Honduras’ 700MHz auction will be pushed back to November.

Prequalifying documents from interested parties need to be submitted by October 21, and Conatel will evaluate the documents until October 23, when the auction was originally scheduled to take place.

The bidding process will be held on November 5, with the winner announced as soon as the next day, the regulator said.

Payment will be due on November 17, and the license will be awarded on November 27. Conatel has set the base price for the license at US$31.5mn.

FCC stops clock on AT&T-DirecTV, Comcast-TWC mergers – Regional The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it is temporarily suspending the revision of the AT&T-DirecTV and Comcast-Time Warner Cable mergers.

“We are suspending the pleading cycles and stopping our 180-day informal time clock in both [mergers],” said the FCC in a filing.

“Between October 15, 2014 and October 20, 2014, various third parties (the “Content Companies”) filed objections against every individual who sought to review Highly Confidential Information, including Video Programming Confidential Information.”

AT&T CEO John Stephens said in a Q3 earnings call that he trusts the merger will be effective next year.

“We are confident in the FCC rigorous procedures for keeping the information confidential,” he said. “While the FCC stopping the clock on merger review is fairly common, today’s decision doesn’t change our view that we’ll be able to get the deal approved and closed by the first half of 2015.”

Comcast’s US$45bn purchase of Time Warner Cable and AT&T’s US$48.5bn takeover of DirecTV were announced earlier this year.

Costa Rica’s 4G LTE coverage to expand – Costa Rica Costa Rica’s trio of mobile operators confirmed to daily El Financiero that they are planning on expanding the coverage area of their 4G LTE services launched in the past year.

Claro, which launched 4G LTE in March and currently covers parts of Alajuela and San José provinces, said it will triple its coverage area by 2016.

Movistar, which launched in July and has a coverage area that includes parts of Alajuela, San José and Cartago provinces, expects to rapidly expand to the rest of the country, a company official told the newspaper.

ICE launched its service a year ago and claims to cover “357 localities” in the country. It also plans to increase the coverage area, according to El Financiero.

Celistics seeks JV to resell used LatAm phones – Regional Smartphone logistics company Celistics is looking to create a joint venture to acquire, refurbish and resell returned LatAm phones to India, China and other Asian countries.

Brazil country manager Kemen Azpirichaga told BNamericas that the firm wants to become a provider of end-to-end logistics cycles for telecom operators. It currently takes handsets that have been returned to operators for any reason and ships them back to warehouses and distribution centers.

The company also wants to work at the buyback level – acquiring, reshaping and reselling devices returned due to minor defects or because the customer exchanged it for a new model.

“Latin America does not have a second-hand culture such as India, China and even the US,” Azpirichaga said at the ICT Futurecom conference in São Paulo.

“But we cannot implement this process here, otherwise we would see a cannibalization of operators’ handsets. Besides, LatAm consumers are more eager for latest releases and newest models. On the other hand, India and China still have room for inferior technologies.”

In the past, the company has piloted with Chilean mobile operator Claro a buyback partnership aimed at African and Asian countries.

Azpirichaga said the company is in advanced talks with another firm to focus on a buyback and refurbishment process in several LatAm markets.

Celistics core operations are mobile phones export-import logistics, distribution and inventory efficiency.

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