|LIME launches 4G LTE in Antigua and Barbuda – Caribbean LIME launched 4G LTE in Antigua and Barbuda, the first over mobile network AWS in the Caribbean, Antigua Chronicle reported.
The launch is part of the 37mn-East Caribbean dollar (US$13mn) upgrade in the country under the capital investment program Project Marlin. Partner company Cable & Wireless (CWC) started the program, valued at US$1.05bn, in August to update the wireless network of the islands through networks, Wi-Fi hotspots, TV services and business-to-business.
The LTE network was deployed by Ericsson and covers the totality of the islands.
CWC’s subsidiaries in Bahamas, Dominica and the Cayman Islands have already deployed LTE, which is expected to reach Panama and the Virgin Islands in the coming months.
Alcatel OneTouch strengthens LatAm market share in Q3 – Regional Alcatel OneTouch sold over 6.5mn mobile devices in Latin America and the Caribbean in the third quarter, a 42.3% increase over last year’s Q3, according to consultancy IDC.
The total was a record for the Chinese-French mobile phone brand, as it raised Alcatel OneTouch’s market share 6.4 percentage points to 21.8%.
Smartphone sales in the region rose 109% year-on-year to 3.6mn, increasing their market share 7.3 percentage points to 18.3%, Alcatel OneTouch said in a release citing IDC’s Latin American quarterly mobile device tracker.
Alcatel OneTouch is the top seller of devices, smartphones, and feature phones in Latin America, not including Brazil, Alcatel OneTouch said.
Alcatel OneTouch’s market share of smartphone sales was 23.6% in Mexico, 24.5% in Colombia, 17.6% in Chile and 46.7% in Ecuador.
After entering Brazil’s smartphone market roughly one year ago, the firm is aiming to earn a leadership position in the country in three years, Alcatel OneTouch added.
Alcatel One Touch is a JV begun in 2004 between China’s TCL Corporation and France’s Alcatel-Lucent.
Caribbean telecom watchdog to probe CWC-Columbus deal – Caribbean Caribbean telecom authority Ectel has warned that the acquisition of Columbus International by Cable & Wireless (CWC) could be in breach of their licenses if they were to engage in activities that prevented or distorted competition, Antigua Observer reported.
The watchdog said the merger could have a negative impact on the telecoms sector, as CWC’s increased dominance could damage the benefits brought in by the liberalization of the market. Ectel will review the information submitted by CWC, as well as current regulations and legislation regarding competition.
Rival Digicel said in a statement that it welcomed the investigation. “Digicel confirms its willingness and desire to engage with Ectel and the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commissions such that a proper rigorous review of the telecommunications markets and the proposed acquisition can be undertaken,” the company said.
Digicel had expressed its opposition to the merger since its announcement.
According to Digicel, CWC and Columbus stated that regulatory approvals would only be required in the US, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. Digicel considered the statement an “insult” to the authorities of Caribbean countries, particularly Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
CWC announced its intention to purchase the totality of Columbus International for US$1.85bn in November.
Roundup: CWC, ETB, ZTE – Regional Cable & Wireless (CWC) launched its Hosted PBX solution for small and medium enterprise customers in Jamaica, the company announced in a press release.
Hosted PBX is part of CWC’s program “My Business,” which offers a series of services for small and medium sized businesses.
The solution, called “One Voice,” aims to increase productivity and revenue with full service communications tools. It will be available in Jamaica from November and it is expected to also launch in Barbados, Cayman and Bahamas in the next two months
Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogotá (ETB) published its new pre-paid and postpaid plans for 4G mobile service.
The company announced in a press release it is offering four different post-paid plans ranging from 30,000 to 90,000 pesos (up to US$42) a month. Plans that do not include unlimited calls will charge voice by the second, and all will include data. Pre-paid plans will include free data when connected to the 4G network.
Chinese manufacturer ZTE wants to expand its telecom network to unserved or remote areas of Mexico, El Financiero reported.
General manager Alfonso Wenqi said the company’s philosophy was to reach the potential users that nobody reaches, including preponderant agent Telcel. He added that ZTE has been working with the communications ministry (SCT) and successfully testing the satellite signal in remote areas.
ZTE wants to invest US$20mn in the next three years for new commercialization and innovation. The company opened its first lab in Mexico this year, with an investment of US$5.3mn.
Jamaican regulator proposes telecommunications service standards – Jamaica Jamaican utilities regulator (OUR) has proposed its quality of service standards for the telecommunications sector.
The guidelines cover fixed and mobile telephony and Internet access quality standards, along with procedures to deal with customer complaints, OUR said in a release.
The proposal includes quality of service measurement targets for customer complaints, complaint resolution rates and broadband availability rates.
The standards also demand the publication of comparative information on quality, characteristics and price of services.
Telecommunications companies must also give at least a month’s notice of any changes in contract conditions or pricing for their service.