Eight carriers bidding in Brazil spectrum auction – Brazil, Puerto Rico

Dominican Republic to update telecom law – Dominican R.

Digicel makes m-money move in Jamaica – Jamaica

LatAm LTE connections jump nearly 350% in 3Q15 – Regional

Gartner: Smart connected things to hit 1.6bn in 2016 – Regional

Eight carriers bidding in Brazil spectrum auction – Brazil, Puerto Rico

Eight telecoms groups have submitted bids in Brazil’s auction of the remaining blocks of spectrum in the 1.8GHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz radio frequencies, federal news service Agência Brasil reported.

Documents were presented December 10 to telecoms regulator Anatel. Bids will be opened on December 17.

The companies that expressed interest in participating in the tender are: América Móvil‘s Claro, Telecom Italia‘s TIM, Telefónica‘s Vivo, Nextel and Sercomtel, as well as the small players Clivo Participações, On Telecomunicações and TPA Telecommunicações.

Rio de Janeiro-based Oi, the country’s fourth largest mobile carrier, did not register for the tender. Oi is in the process of reducing its high levels of debt.

According to Anatel, At&T’s Sky delivered registration documents, but did not make a bid.

Minimum bidding prices start from around 10,000 reais (US$2,700) and rise to 586mn reais (for 35MHz in the 2.5GHz spectrum, also known as the U band).

The radiofrequencies will be used for the expansion of mobile telephony, broadband and radio taxi service coverage.

Lots will also be available on a municipal level, aimed at small- and medium-sized telecoms providers.

Dominican Republic to update telecom law – Dominican R.

Dominican Republic’s telecom watchdog Indotel will update its telecom law, which has “several weaknesses,” according to executive manager Leonardo Alberty Canela.

This update will be first in-depth review of the country’s telecom law, which dates back to 1998. Alberty Canela told newspaper El Día that there is a need to adjust the law to the current technological landscape, particularly in terms of IT.

The decision was announced within the framework of the country’s digital agenda 2016-2020, which is aimed at closing the digital divide and bringing more connectivity to the island.

One of the key plans is the rollout of a fiber optic network to take broadband to hard-to-reach communities.

“We want the internet to reach those who need it,” said Alberty Canela. “The fiber optic will see that the poorest citizens will have access to the net, with a quality service and a low cost.”

DR has been making strides in bringing internet to all its citizens, launching its government program Hogares Conectados in November.

Digicel makes m-money move in Jamaica – Jamaica

Caribbean telco Digicel announced the acquisition of a controlling interest in financial services company Prism Holdings for an undisclosed amount, in order to make the move into m-money services in Jamaica.

Barbados-based Prism Holdings operates in 22 countries, including the Bahamas and Jamaica, and provides payment systems, information management, data center and financial transaction processing.

The company has not disclosed how much the transaction cost, or the percentage stake that Digicel now owns in Prism.

Jamaica would thus become the second country in which Digicel offers m-money services after Haiti, where Digicel offers Mon Cash in partnership with Scotiabank Haiti.

The Jamaica Gleaner reported that Bank of Jamaica approved five m-money pilots this week, but it did not name the institutions.

LatAm LTE connections jump nearly 350% in 3Q15 – Regional

Latin American LTE connections reached 36mn as of September, growth of 346% from a year before, according to the latest figures from 4G Americas.

LTE subscribers were spread across 29 Latin American countries at the end of Q3, using a total of 73 commercial LTE networks, up from 51 available networks a year ago.

As previously reported, 4G Americas predicts that the region will have 259mn LTE connections by 2020.

At the end of September there were also 322mn HSPA and HSPA+ connections in the region, of which 74mn were added in the last 12 months and 22mn during Q3, 4G Americas said.

LTE and HSPA now represent 49% of the 733mn mobile connections in the region.

Worldwide, at end-Q3 there were 908mn LTE subscribers using 435 commercial networks, up 130% year-on-year.

Gartner: Smart connected things to hit 1.6bn in 2016 – Regional

IT consultancy Gartner estimates there will be 1.6bn connected things being used in smart cities in 2016, an increase of 39% over 2015.

“Smart commercial buildings will be the highest user of Internet of Things (IoT) until 2017, after which smart homes will take the lead with just over 1bn connected things in 2018,” said Gartner research VP Bettina Tratz-Ryan.

According to Tratz-Ryan, IoT can help reduce the cost of energy, spatial management and building maintenance by up to 30%, adding that industrial zones, office parks, shopping malls, airports and seaports are all candidates to adopt IoT.

In 2016, commercial security cameras and webcams, and indoor LEDs will drive growth, representing 24% of the IoT market for smart cities, according to Gartner.

The consultancy predicts that there will be 1bn connected things in commercial buildings in 2018.

In smart homes, the consumer IoT applications that are fuelling growth are smart TVs, smart set-top boxes, smart bulbs and various home automation tools, such as smart thermostats, home security systems and kitchen appliances.

Smart homes will represent 21% of total IoT use in smart cities in 2016, and will record the highest increase over the next five years, says Gartner.

In Latin America last month, six Latin American municipalities received prizes during the XVI Ibero-American Digital Cities Summit for smart city initiatives: Medellín (Colombia), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Tuluá (Colombia), Puebla (Mexico), Vicente López (Argentina), and Cartago (Costa Rica).

The cities won prizes for projects ranging from smart lighting and flood management to public Wi-Fi hotpots.

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