|Liberty Global LatAm operations post 6.7% revenue growth – Chile, Puerto Rico
Liberty Global’s LiLAC Latin American operations unit consisting of Chilean cable operator VTR and Choice Puerto Rico, also a cable operator, saw a 6.7% year-on-year increase in revenue in dollar terms to US$309mn in the third quarter.
Chile’s VTR posted revenue growth of 7.0% fueled by subscriber additions, higher Arpu and strong growth in mobile subscriptions for the company’s MVNO.
Growth took into account currency depreciation of the Chilean peso against the US dollar of 14% year to date.
Choice Puerto Rico posted 6.3% revenue growth in Q3 thanks to Arpu gains and the success of the company’s B2B business, which grew 20% year-on-year.
As of September, the LiLAC group provided a total of 3.5mn subscription services with 4.1mn homes passed in Puerto Rico and Chile.
The services consisted of 1.3mn video, 1.3mn broadband internet, and 0.9mn telephony subscriptions.
During the third quarter the number of revenue generating units increased 24,000, with Chile accounting for the majority.
Total customers increased by 10,000 to 1.7mn.
From a bundling perspective, 66% of customers subscribed to more than one product.
Faced with increasing competition in Chile, with the arrival of WOM and MVNO Simple this year, VTR has ramped up its subscriber acquisition efforts for its mobile service and added 5,000 subscribers in Q3 alone for a total of 134,000.
In July, VTR said it would migrate all of its subscribers to 4G LTE at no additional cost.
WOM has shaken up the market with low cost 4G data offerings.
Worldwide, Liberty Global posted 4% revenue growth in Q3 to US$13.7bn.
In 2014 Liberty Global considered spinning off its units in Latin America and the Caribbean into a separate company as it concentrated on Europe. Instead, it launched a tracking stock for its operations in the region (the LiLAC Group), which started trading in July this year.
Huawei strikes Cuba smartphone deal – Cuba
Huawei signed an agreement with Cuba’s state-owned telco Etecsa to distribute smartphones on the island.
Etecsa will sell the smartphones as part of its talk plans, Cuban news agency Agencia Cubana de Noticias reported. Huawei will also offer technical support in the area of service quality.
Huawei was one of the first companies to express interest in investing in Cuba’s telecom market after the island rekindled relations with the US.
Cuba has traditionally held a tight grip on its telecom market, but it has started working toward relaxing control in recent years. In 2008, the government allowed citizens to own mobile phones for the first time. Five years later, the internet reached the island via a submarine cable from Jamaica.
Digicel to invest US$100mn in Jamaica FTTH roll-out – Jamaica
Irish-owned Caribbean telco Digicel is reportedly spending more than US$100mn on rolling out fiber to the home (FTTH) broadband in Jamaica,
The network will enable Jamaicans to access upload speeds of 100Mbps and download speeds of 200Mbps, Jamaican newspaper the Sunday Gleaner reported Digicel chairman Denis O’Brien as saying.
“There is no country in the world where they are doing fibre to the home the way we are doing it now,” O’Brien was quoted as saying. He added that the investment is designed for broadband and television services.
The news comes only a month after Digicel Group canceled plans for a US$200mn IPO, citing adverse market conditions.
Latin American and Caribbean currencies have been hard hit by depreciation against the dollar in the last year and the fall in commodities prices.
The Jamaican dollar has fallen 6% against the US dollar in the last year.
O’Brien said political changes over the last two years have boosted international and local investor confidence and that he is optimistic that the next government, due to be elected at the end of 2016, will not disrupt this.
“What I see now is that Jamaica, for the first time, is on the cusp of becoming a high-growth economy and has a real grasp on its finances, but that is against the backdrop that the ordinary man on the street has really suffered in terms of money in his pocket, higher taxes … and there have been cuts in expenditure left, right and centre,” he was quoted as saying.
Ericsson, Cisco team up, put IoT in sights – Regional
Two global tech industry giants, Sweden’s Ericsson and US firm Cisco, have joined forces to work on “next-generation networks.”
The strategic partnership, announced Monday, is mainly geared to developing solutions in the growing area of the Internet-of-Things (IoT).
Their joint work is expected to benefit both the companies and their customers and encompass fields such as 5G, cloud and IP. Cisco and Ericsson expect synergies from the partnership to help generate more than US$1bn in annual revenue for each by 2018.
“Ericsson and Cisco will meet this challenge together by offering end-to-end leadership across network architectures including 5G, cloud, IP, and the Internet of Things – from devices and sensors to access and core networks to the enterprise IT cloud,” the companies said in a joint statement.
Teams from both organizations will also begin working on a joint initiative focused on SDN/NFV and network management and control, the companies said.
They have also entered a licensing agreement for their respective patent portfolios. As part of this agreement, Ericsson will receive license fees from Cisco and will resell Cisco’s networking equipment. Combined, Ericsson and Cisco have more than 56,000 patents (37,000 from Ericsson) and US$11bn in R&D investment (US$6.3bn from Cisco).
The two firms also have over 76,000 employees, 48,000 of whom are dedicated to R&D, and customers in more than 180 countries.
Details on possible further agreements on reference architectures and joint development, systems-based management and control, a broad reseller agreement, and collaboration in key emerging market segments are yet to be released.
Discussions started last year and accelerated over the last six months, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said during a conference call with Ericsson’s Hans Vestberg for analysts and media. Despite the deal, the companies said individual M&A moves are not discarded.
“We had some questions today on why not merge. We believe this brings innovation from both sides and allows us to move now, to deliver solutions to our customers immediately,” Robbins said during the call.
“There is a very little overlap we have [with Cisco], in edge routing. We will maintain the products we have to our clients,” Vestberg added.
Telefónica deploys new PoP in Florida – Regional
Telefónica Business Solutions, the B2B arm of Spanish telco Telefónica, has deployed a new internet Point-of-Presence (PoP) at a datacenter in Jacksonville, Florida.
The PoP was set at a site from interconnection and datacenter firm Cologix and is expected to complement internet traffic legacy paths flowing through Miami to Central and South America.
The PoP is strategic as Telefónica Business Solutions is a member of the Pacific and Caribbean Cable System (PCCS) consortium, which recently activated a 3,700 mile subsea cable system with its US node landing directly in Jacksonville.
“We entered and invested heavily into the Jacksonville market with the express objective of supporting the carriers riding the new PCCS and AMX-1 subsea cable systems, so we are honored and gratified that Telefonica Business Solutions selected our facility for their network node,” Cologix COO Graham Williams said.