CANTO Weekly Newsletter

Friday, November 22, 2013

Roundup: Regulatel, Alcatel-Lucent, GSMA , ITU – Regional

Millicom announces acquisition of Multivisión – Regional

Only half of Latin Americans are mobile users, despite penetration of over 100% – GSMA – Regional

Roundup: Cantv, Tesacom, MEF – Regional

Level 3 boosts LatAm capacity to drive growth in region – Regional


Roundup: Regulatel, Alcatel-Lucent, GSMA , ITU – Regional

Puerto Rico will assume leadership of the Latin American telecom regulators association Regulatel in 2014 after the head of Puerto Rican telecoms watchdog JRTPR, Javier Rúa Jovet, was elected as the association’s president, El Nuevo Día reported.

Regulatel’s next meeting will take place in November 2014 in Puerto Rican capital San Juan.

JRTPR has been a member of Regulatel since 2007 and this is the first time it will hold the presidency of the organization. Regulatel is made up of 23 regulators from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and Italy.


French telecoms equipment supplier Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has announced the launch of the OmniSwitch 6900 10 Gigabit Ethernet and 40 GigE LAN switch series in Latin America.

These platforms cater for next-generation virtualized and converged datacenters. In addition to high performance and low latency, they offer datacenter bridging (DCB) capabilities, QoS, Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching, as well as system- and network-level resiliency.

“We are offering to the region a product that uses only one rack and has a performance of over 1Tbps, far superior to that of much larger platforms used by many organizations. It provides redundancy, high speed – up to 40Gbps – and the most important characteristics to ensure efficient use of servers,” said Diogo Superbi, data solutions manager with Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise LatinoAmerica.


The GSM Association (GSMA) will hold its last plenary meeting of 2013 in Peru starting November 19 along with the association for the promotion of national infrastructure (AFIN) and operators Claro, Movistar and Nextel.

The agenda includes: ICT regulation in Latin America and the European Union; mobile identity; mobile development technologies such as mAgriculture and mobile wallet; connected living; and disaster response.


The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Mexico’s federal telecommunications institute (IFT) will host the ITU’s 11th World Telecommunications/ICT Indicators Symposium (WTIS) on December 4-6 in Mexico City, according to an ITU statement.

The event is expected to attract 300 global experts and analysts covering the areas of statistics, policies and ICT initiatives for areas like education and healthcare.

Presenters include Carlos Slim, the secretary general of the ITU Hamadoun Toure, Mexico’s transport and communications (SCT) minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza and telecoms regulator IFT’s head Gabriel Contreras.


 Millicom announces acquisition of Multivisión – Regional

Millicom (Nasdaq: MIICF) has named Multivisión as the Bolivian pay TV company it recently acquired, according to local press reports.

The value of the acquisition has not yet been released, but an official announcement will take place on Monday, November 25 at the Casa Grande hotel in La Paz, Bolivia.

Multivisión is one of the oldest cable and digital television providers in the country, with a presence in La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz and Tarija.

Millicom – which operates under the Tigo brand in much of Latin America – has been expanding its Latin American services in several arenas. In October, it finalized its merger with Colombian state telco UNE.

Globally, Millicom saw revenues up by 8.1% to US$1.29bn in 3Q13, but recorded a net loss of US$35mn in the quarter, compared to a US$118mn net profit in the same period of 2012.

Only half of Latin Americans are mobile users, despite penetration of over 100% – GSMA – Regional

Only 52% of Latin America’s population are mobile users, despite mobile SIM card penetration rates in the region of 104%, according to a new report by the GSM Association (GSMA).

There were some 632mn active mobile connections in Latin America as of June 2013, but only 319mn unique subscribers in the region.

The penetration figures in Latin America are higher than the developing country average, but below that of mature markets, according to the report.

A similar pattern can be seen in all other world regions, where the number of actual subscribers is significantly lower than the total number of mobile connections, as owning multiple SIM cards is common.

The figures suggest that there is room to continue increasing numbers of mobile subscribers in Latin America in the coming years, as only half of the region’s population is currently using the service, GSMA added.

One of the key challenges facing the industry is to improve coverage and access to mobile services among rural populations.

However, the current telecoms regulatory framework in the region is impeding continued growth in the mobile segment, due to factors including a lack of transparency, clear industry development plans and incentives to invest, the report said.

Latin America’s mobile market has become more competitive as revenue and subscriber growth has slowed and the industry begins to mature.

The combination of market growth and increased competition has led to ongoing price reductions which have made mobile services increasingly affordable for large segments of Latin America’s population.

In order for growth to continue, regulators must implement a range of actions including more efficient spectrum management, consistent renovation of licenses and regulations which stimulate investment, GSMA said.

Regulators and operators in the region also face the challenge of continuing mobile broadband growth, which will play a significant role in driving future industry growth and achieving social objectives related to broadband penetration and reducing the digital divide, the report added.

The number of mobile broadband connections in the region reached 164mn as of June 2013, and is expected to see annual growth of 30% over the next five years, reaching 500mn in 2017.

Meanwhile, unique subscriber rates are expected to increase from 319mn as of June of this year to 374mn in 2017, amounting to a penetration rate of 58.7% at that time, according to GSMA.


Roundup: Cantv, Tesacom, MEF – Regional

Venezuelan state-run telco Cantv has distributed 280 digital TV decodifiers in Carabobo state, the company said in a statement.

In August, the government of Venezuela launched the second phase of the deployment of digital TV infrastructure, state telecoms operator Cantv said in a statement.

The second phase of the project stipulates the deployment of nine stations for the provision of terrestrial digital TV services.


Latin American satellite equipment supplier Tesacom has named Manuel Cabello Hurtado as the company’s new project manager for the government and military verticals in Chile, Tesacom said in a statement.

In Latin America, Tesacom has commercial offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.


The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) has announced the winners of the MEF Carrier Ethernet Awards for the Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) region, the organization said in a statement.

Among the winners this year were Level 3 Communications, Verizon and Internexa.

The MEF is a global industry alliance comprising more than 220 organizations including telecommunications service providers, cable MSOs, network equipment and software manufacturers, semiconductor vendors and testing organizations. The MEF’s mission is to accelerate the worldwide adoption of carrier-class Ethernet networks and services.

Level 3 boosts LatAm capacity to drive growth in region – Regional

Level 3 (NYSE: LVLT) has expanded and upgraded its network infrastructure in Latin America to meet increasing demand in the region for integrated IP solutions, particularly in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela, the company said in a release.

The firm has continued to invest in high bandwidth connectivity, including expanding its infrastructure in high density areas of Argentine capital Buenos Aires.

It has also expanded its national backbone in Brazil, as well as infrastructure in cities including Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro and fiber networks in Curitiba, São Paulo and Rio.

Level 3 has added new submarine capacity between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro as well as increasing connections between the two Brazilian cities and important hubs in the US and Europe.

The company has also increased its coverage in Colombia and Venezuela, according to the release.

International internet traffic growth in Latin America is doubling every two years, which makes it one of the fastest growing regions in the world, Level 3 said, citing TeleGeography estimates.

The company is also the fastest growing region worldwide in terms of internet users. The number of Latin American internet users increased by 12% to 147mn in March of this year, according to comScore (Nasdaq: SCOR) statistics.

However, with a population of almost 600mn people, the region has plenty of room still to grow in internet penetration.

Mobile devices are also rapidly gaining a share of internet traffic in the region, as smartphone and tablet sales to the region grow strongly.

PC devices accounted for 91.9% of internet traffic in Latin America in March of this year, compared to 97.3% in the same month of 2012, comScore said.

Level 3 is seeing strong growth in Latin America, with its enterprise services business increasing revenues by 13% to US$149mn in Q3, according to a results release.

Meanwhile, Level 3’s wholesale business in the region saw revenues down 1% to US$39mn in that period.