Etecsa tests e-mail servers as Cubans experience poor service – Cuba

Network deals in brief:

Telefónica-Accedian, Oi-Amdocs – Mexico, Regional Telefónica to sell UC, collaboration solutions with Unify – Regional

Last batch of Mexican channels to switch-off analog ahead of December 31 deadline – Mexico

Mexico shared network auction to kick off end-January – Mexico



Etecsa tests e-mail servers as Cubans experience poor service – Cuba

Cuba’s state-owned telco Etecsa has begun tests of its Nauta and Enet e-mail servers after users complained of poor service.

According to news portal Martí Noticias, Etecsa has performed tests in the past, but users around the country continue to experience problems, such as long loading times or the service simply not responding at all.

Etecsa argued that it has been making technical improvements to its e-mail servers, which have been to blame for the slowness in the service in recent weeks. Users complained that the telco did not offer any compensation for the failures, which represent a significant cost to Cubans since broadband is so expensive for most of them.

Cuba has been slowly opening up its telecom services to all citizens, expanding internet in public places though not yet to private homes. The country currently has 154 community connection centers, up from 118 in 2013.

Ernesto Rodríguez Hernández, general manager of computer science at the communications ministry (Micom), said the country plans to bring broadband to all Cubans by 2020.

Network deals in brief: Telefónica-Accedian, Oi-Amdocs – Mexico, Regional

Spanish telco Telefónica has selected Canadian network performance company Accedian Networks to verify the quality and reliability of its network on a global basis, Accedian said in a statement.

Under the deal, Accedian will employ its technology to ensure quality-of-service (QoS) and reliability of Telefónica’s networks.

Accedian said its solution unifies QoS visibility over Telefónica’s multi-vendor metro and backhaul networks using a standards-based approach.

The amount involved was not disclosed. Accedian is headquartered in Quebec and has Latin America offices in Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Peru, as well as an R&D center in Brazil.


Brazilian telecoms carrier Oi has upgraded its business support systems (BSS) with customer management solutions provider Amdocs.

Amdocs’ BSS for Oi is based on Comverse Kenan technology. Amdocs recently announced the acquisition of the majority of Comverse’s BSS assets and will now be responsible for all aspects of Oi’s BSS systems.

Recently, Amdocs launched in the Mexican city of Guadalajara a new development and operations center to support customers in Latin and North America. The unit joins similar centers in South America, such as in São Carlos, Brazil.

Telefónica to sell UC, collaboration solutions with Unify – Regional

Telefónica Business Solutions has signed an agreement with software and solutions provider Unify to jointly sell unified communications and collaboration tools to Latin American companies and government agencies.

The partnership is aimed at helping companies migrate from traditional communications solutions to cloud-based solutions that imply efficiency gains and cost savings.

Clients will be able to access services such as instant messaging and presence control.

Earlier this month digital services provider Atos said it had agreed to buy Unify for 340mn euros (US$373mn) from Siemens and The Gores Group as part of a move to expand into corporate telephony.

The deal is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2016.

In recent months, Telefónica has been upping its game in moving towards becoming a digital telco, bolstering its cyber security offering and investing more in its IoT portfolio.

This week the Spanish company selected Canadian network performance firm Accedian Networks to verify the quality and reliability of its network on a global basis.

Last batch of Mexican channels to switch-off analog ahead of December 31 deadline – Mexico

Mexican telecom watchdog IFT has announced that 56 stations TV in seven states will turn off their analog TV signal on December 22 – the last group of channels to voluntarily switch fully over to digital before the mandatory national deadline of December 31.

The transport and communications ministry (SCT) announced that 90% of decoders and digital TV sets had been distributed, and therefore the analog signal will be turned off in Nochistlán, Fresnillo, Jalpa, Sombrerete, Valparaíso, Zacatecas, Concepción del Oro and Tlaltenango (Zacatecas state); Arizpe, Naco, Sonoyta and Puerto Peñasco (Sonora); Felipe Carrillo Puerto and Chetumal (Quintana Roo); Guadalupe Victoria, San Pedro, Santiago Papasquiaro and Durango (Durango); Ciudad Camargo, San Buenaventura, Ciudad Delicias and Nuevo Casas Grandes (Chihuahua); and Matehuala in San Luis Potosí, as well as several stations in Ciudad Acuña in Cohauila.

Mexico is on the home stretch of its digital switchover. The analog signal will be turned off in the two largest cities, Guadalajara and Mexico City, on December 16 and 17, respectively.

The government has come in for criticism for errors during the switchover process, most notably the loss of TV services for half a million people in Monterrey when the city turned off its analog signal in September.

Mexico shared network auction to kick off end-January – Mexico

Mexico’s telecoms regulator IFT has set January 29 as the date it will launch the auction for the shared telecoms network that will use the 700MHz band and is designed to ensure the spread of broadband access across the country.

Starting that day, interested parties will be able to acquire the bidding rules.

BofA Merrill Lynch will act as advisor while Transparencia Mexicana, a chapter of Transparency International, will observe the process.

In September, the IFT and the country’s transport and communications ministry (SCT) published the requirements for the shared network auction, which include minimum financial figures and conditions on coverage.

Interested parties would have to demonstrate financial solidity, indicating assets worth 15bn pesos (US$890mn) and a projected model for the next 10 years.

During public consultations on the process, the IFT received comments from 39 industry players, including operators, equipment manufacturers, and service and infrastructure providers.

Many of the comments requested greater clarity and transparency in certain aspects of the project, including the size and geographical areas of deployment, as well as the need for a more definitive timeline. Other observers asked for more flexible requirements, as well as specific minimum bid prices.

The majority of those that responded said they were interested in being involved in just one area of the project. Some 42% expressed interest in the area of consulting, 26% in network building, 16% in providing services, 11% in equipment manufacturing and 5% in project investment.

The shared network will increase internet penetration in the country, especially among rural and underserved communities. It was first proposed as part of the telecoms reform bill in 2013, but has been met with criticism from the private sector, which highly values the 700MHz band for 4G services and also compares the project to previous failed government connectivity programs. SCT replied that this model has been replicated around the world, despite not being prevalent in Latin America.

Building and running the US$10bn shared network has attracted interest from Alestra, Axtel,Totalplay,Telefónica,Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson and Nokia, among others.

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