CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas

CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas

Thursday, September 14, 2017

ICT tender watch: Haiti, Honduras – Haiti, Nicaragua

Caribbean mobile coverage mostly restored after Irma – Caribbean

Hurricane Irma hits telecom towers in Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico

LTE to hit 200mn mobile connections in LatAm by end-2017 – Regional

Insurers urged to play ‘war games’ – Regional

ICT tender watch: Haiti, Honduras – Haiti, Nicaragua

Haiti’s agriculture ministry is inviting consultants to adapt an incentive management IT system.

The project will use funds provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to cover the costs of the Technological Innovation Program for Agriculture and Agroforestry, according to a notice.

The selected consultant or joint venture will design, develop, and implement new distributed iMIS architecture on local servers that must synchronize with Google Cloud to ensure overall database consistency. Other tasks include specifying the required hardware, software and IT systems, as well as redefining the system’s human-machine interface and training staff.

Interested parties can submit their expressions of interest in sealed envelopes or electronically to the addresses below before September 26.

Bureau de l’Unité de Passation des Marchés Publics, Ministère de l’Agriculture des Ressources Naturelles et du Développement Rural

Address: Route Nationale No 1, Damien Ville, Port-au-Prince, CP 1441, Haïti

Telephone contact: (509) 48-96-05-31 / (509) 48-90-84-87/38-53-39-93

Email: upmp@agriculture.gouv.ht cc: modeline.jean@agriculture.gouv.ht, tilas@agriculture.gouv.ht

***

Honduras is inviting interested bidders to submit their proposals for the acquisition of computer equipment and the implementation of structured cabling.

The tender is being carried out by The United Nations Office for Project Services.

Interested parties must register by sending an email to compras.hn@unops.org indicating the name of the firm, name of the designated contact person, address, telephone number, and email address.

Participating firms must register at the UN Global Marketplace.

Proposals in sealed envelopes will be received at the address below until September 27.

Oficina de Servicios para Proyectos de las Naciones Unidas, Oficina Honduras

Colonia Castaño Sur, Avenida Castaño Sur, Casa #2911,Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Caribbean mobile coverage mostly restored after Irma – Caribbean

Mobile network coverage has been restored in most Caribbean markets in the aftermath of the devastating category 5 Hurricane Irma that wreaked havoc in the region and southern Florida over the weekend, according to Carribean mobile operator Digicel.

Digicel Group communications head Antonia Graham told BNamericas that a fleet of 200 engineers and riggers had been deployed to undertake the required network restoration work.

“Progress by these teams has been swift and work continues around the clock with everything possible being done in the most affected markets: Anguilla, Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, St Martin, St Barts and the Turks and Caicos Islands,” Graham said.

A communications spokesperson at the Inter-American Development Bank told BNamericas that given the extent of damage to different types of infrastructure it was unable to give an assessment at this time damage caused to the telecommunications infrastructure.

Before hitting Florida, Hurricane Irma caused catastrophic damage across the Caribbean, causing at least 37 deaths and leaving thousands homeless, according to international media reports.

Antigua & Barbuda, which was hit first, had 95% of its houses and buildings seriously damaged, leaving the island “barely inhabitable,” prime minister Gaston Browne said.

In St Martin (pictured), the hurricane left the Dutch side of the island with no electricity, gas or drinking water.

The nearby British overseas territory of Anguila also suffered extensive damage, as did the British and US Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico’s telecommunications infrastructure was considerably damaged, The Daily Beast reported. citing the president of the country’s Telecommunications Regulatory Board, Sandra Torres.

“Our antennas rely entirely on electricity. We cannot promise anyone that their cell phones will have coverage unless we fix the power lines first,” Torres said, adding that 50% of the towers were currently out of service due to the lack of power.

Hurricane Irma hits telecom towers in Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico

Hurricane Irma has taken a toll on Puerto Rico’s telecom towers, interrupting normal provision of services.

According to the telecom regulatory board (JRT), 785 towers went offline due to electric power outages across the island. By Friday 230 towers were brought back online, the JRT informed on social media.

None of Puerto Rico’s 1,600 telecom towers have been reported as severely damaged, the regulator said. However, several telecom and electricity posts collapsed, which affected services such as cable TV and broadband.

Sandra Torres, president of the JRT, said in a press conference that Puerto Rico’s 35 telephony centers are working by using backup power supplies.

Some of the towers that went off line are located in remote areas that cannot be accessed at the moment due to damaged roads. Therefore, telecom services will be restored in tandem with electric power, reported media outlet NotiCel.

The JRT, state power utility AEE, and telco Liberty Global agreed to collaborate in order to bring electricity and telecom services back online, said Torres.

According to the AEE, the category 5 hurricane left 1.8mn Puerto Rican homes without electricity. The JTR said it could not assess the number of people without telecom services.

LTE to hit 200mn mobile connections in LatAm by end-2017 – Regional

Latin America is expected to reach 198.6mn LTE connections by the end of 2017, accounting for a 28% share of the mobile market, according to data from Ovum, cited by 5G Americas.

By the end of 2021, LTE is expected to reach 458mn connections in the region (including M2M), giving it a 59% share of the mobile market. At the end of 2Q17, the region had 159mn LTE connections, up 77.6mn year-on-year for a 23% market share compared to 12% a year earlier.

Total mobile connections are forecast to reach 777mn at end-2021 compared to 695mn at end-June this year.

“LTE continues to make significant progress in Latin America and the Caribbean with the expansion of current networks and the imminent increase in the number of markets offering LTE-Advanced,” said Jose Otero, director of Latin America and the Caribbean for 5G Americas.

“As more spectrum is allocated in the Caribbean and Central American markets and LTE network coverage increases, its adoption will accelerate,” he added.

Globally, LTE connections grew 59% from June 2016 to the same month this year, reaching 2.37bn and a 30% market share, up 10 percentage points year-on-year.

Nearly half of the additional subscribers came from Oceania, Eastern and Southeastern Asia, with China the biggest contributor.

For 2021, the LTE global market share is expected to reach 53%. 5G connections are expected to total 111mn by the end of 2021.

According to 5G Americas, LTE will become Mexico’s leading technology in 2020 with 83.6mn subscriptions.

Insurers urged to play ‘war games’ – Regional

Nine out of 10 insurers fear losing parts of their business to new tech companies, according to a 2016 survey conducted by PwC.

These firms are characterized as being agile and innovative and a threat to the very existence of traditional players.

The subject was discussed at the recent LIMRA-LOMA Latin American conference in Chilean capital Santiago and attended by more than 200 industry decision-makers.

Among the opening speakers was Antonio Guzmán, the president of Santiago-headquartered In Motion Insurance Technology, which provides insurers with tech solutions.

Guzman was blunt. He said the digital winds of change were already blowing through the insurance sector and gathering strength. He added that doing nothing was not an option.

“There will be winners, there will be losers, and the changes will be abrupt,” he said, citing the threat of new digital players such as foreign-based tech companies eyeing the microinsurance segment.

These new players, he said, will likely be lean and agile and gain a toehold in the market by offering simple products via mobile.

New players could from within or outside the industry and would likely bypass traditional sales channels such as brokers and banks.

“Whoever succeeds in being installed on the client’s phone is already halfway to winning the battle,” he said. Guzmán said virtual currencies could be used for the payment of claims.

FALSE ASSUMPTIONS

Guzmán warned that insurers should not assume that there are “defenses” in place that would keep new players out. Insurers, he said, should not take it for granted, for example, that the regulatory framework – or their local trade organization – would shield them from disruptive newcomers.

WHAT TO DO?

Guzmán said that insurers should start playing war games, creating hypothetical situations and gauging how the company would cope.

In a presentation, he also said insurers should tighten their embrace of technology, promote a change in corporate mentality, focus on becoming client-centered, optimize processes and liaise closely with the regulatory authorities.

A policy of clinging onto a business model could spell the destruction of company as it stops it from changing, he warned, providing as examples Kodak and Blockbuster.

Pictured: Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy in the 1983 movie War Games.

<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