CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas 11/07/14

CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas 11/07/14

CWC to acquire Columbus International – Regional

Roundup: Antel, Open Mobile, Colombia telco fines – Regional

Roundup: América Móvil-KPN, Level 3, Costa Rica digital breach – Costa Rica, Regional

Oi denies deal with América Móvil, Telefónica for TIM – Brazil, Regional

Roundup: VoLTE-to-VoLTE, Costa Rica number portability, El Salvador smartphone penetration – Regional

CWC to acquire Columbus International – Regional UK-based Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) agreed to acquire Caribbean, Central and South American telecom provider Columbus International for US$1.85bn, according to a CWC release.

The deal entitles Barbados-based Columbus to a cash payment of US$708mn plus 1.56bn new ordinary shares issued by CWC. The company will also assume Columbus’ existing net debt of US$1.17bn, as of end-June 2014.

The acquisition is expected to generate synergies of US$85mn to be delivered by the 2017-18 financial year, and a one-time capital expenditure synergies of US$145mn in the first three financial years.

CWC, through its subsidiary Columbus Networks, provides capacity and IP services, corporate data solutions and data center hosting in 42 countries in the Caribbean, Central American and Andean region.

Roundup: Antel, Open Mobile, Colombia telco fines – Regional Uruguayan telco Antel selected Net Insight’s Nimbra solution for the country’s national DTT network, said the company in a press release.

The network will carry 19 channels to national TV broadcasters, and will include 44 transmitters and 28 studios. The project will be implemented in two phases during 2014 and 2015. The analog switch-off is scheduled for early next year.

According to Net Insight CEO Fredrik Tumegård, the company’s Nimbra solution was picked for “its high quality and overall performance over MPLS.”

***

Puerto Rican LTE operator Open Mobile announced the launch of its Devicescape Service Platform (DSP), the world’s largest Wi-Fi service platform, according to a press release.

The service will allow customers to manage movement between cellular network and private, public and carrier Wi-Fi, as well as gain access to Devicescape’s CVN of more than 20mn amenity Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide.

***

Telcos were the most fined companies in Colombia during the first half of the year, amassing a total of 12.9bn pesos (US$6.19mn) in fines, local newspaper El Tiempo reported.

Colombia’s telecom industry received 190 fines.

The steepest fines were reserved for Comcel-Claro , at 4.76bn pesos, while Tigo had to pay a total of 777mn pesos.

Roundup: América Móvil-KPN, Level 3, Costa Rica digital breach – Costa Rica, Regional América Móvil CFO Carlos García sold 28.5% of his stake in KPN, according Dutch financial market regulator AFM.

García Moreno, one of two América Móvil members on KPN’s supervisory board, now holds 198,520 shares.

América Móvil made a bid in 2013 to take over KPN, but failed. The Mexican telecom has since reduced its participation to 21.4%, down from a third of the Dutch company at its peak.

***

US-based IP connectivity solutions provider Level 3 Communications acquired managed services provider tw telecom, according to a press release.

As first outlined in June, tw telecom stockholders received US$10 cash and 0.7 shares of Level 3 common stock for each share of tw telecom owned. tw telecom’s stock ceased trading on Nasdaq as of October 31.

The company’s fiber networks will reach 60 countries across North America, Latin America, EMEA and Asia-Pacific.

***

Costa Rica’s digital breach was cut 35% in the last five years as a result of the launch of mobile broadband services, El Monumental reported.

According to data released by the ministry of science and technology (Micit), 47% of households have Internet access in the country, while mobile penetration has reached over 120%.

Telecom revenue had contributed 2.4% of GDP in 2013, said Maryleana Méndez, president of telecom authority Sutel, during the 6th Expo-Telecom conference.

Oi denies deal with América Móvil, Telefónica for TIM – Brazil, Regional Brazilian telecoms carrier Oi denied having reached an agreement with competitors América Móvil and Telefónica to submit a joint bid to purchase TIM, as reported by a Brazilian paper on October 31.

According to reports, América Móvil’s Claro Brasil and Telefonica’s Vivo reached a 31.5bn-real (US$12.6bn) deal with investment bank BTG Pactual, on behalf of Oi, to acquire TIM.

TIM and Vivo had already denied being involved in discussions relating to the transaction.

In response to the country’s securities and exchange commission CVM request for clarification, Oi said that BTG Pactual had been hired to explore investment alternatives in Brazilian telecom sector’s ongoing process of consolidation, “particularly to develop a viable proposal for the acquisition of Telecom Italia’s shares in TIM Participações.”

BTG Pactual had engaged with other third parties, including market participants, in view of a possible transaction, Oi added.

“No understanding or agreement regarding the structure of the transaction, nor documents nor proposals to enter into such a deal has been signed,” the company said.

Oi said that Altice’s 7.03bn-euro (US$8.8bn) offer to acquire Portugal Telecom’s Portuguese assets owned by Oi has been submitted to its board of directors to be reviewed.

Roundup: VoLTE-to-VoLTE, Costa Rica number portability, El Salvador smartphone penetration – Regional Verizon and AT&T announced that they would be enabling VoLTE-to-VoLTE connections between customers of both operators in 2015, Verizon said in a press release.

Engineers are currently carrying out testing in lab environments, to be followed by field trials. Interoperability of HD voice calls will lay the foundation for the connection of other rich communications services, such as video calls and rich messaging.

***

Costa Ricans will be able to port landline numbers from one local phone service provider to another by June 2015 at the latest, local newspaper CR Hoy reported.

Telecom regulator Sutel chose IT company El Corte Inglés to provide the service. Mobile number portability is already available in the country.

***

El Salvador has reached 20% smartphone penetration, on a par with Nicaragua and Guatemala, according to local website ElSalvador.com.

Javier Soriano, country manager for Telefónica, said the market is growing among young professionals, although the country’s penetration rate is far from that of Venezuela or Panama (60%).

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's Secretary General Teresa Wankin strikes a pose with Aruba's Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes (left). The CANTO Board is currently in Aruba for its 138th Board Meeting. pic.twitter.com/uG3W5eYyi1

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