European MVNO Transatel expands roaming to 23 Caribbean islands – Caribbean
Dominican telecom watchdog updates noncompliance fines – Dominican R.
Cuba implements new prepaid services – Cuba
Comptel lands US$1.3mn Tier-1 contract in South America – Regional
Trump asserts protectionist agenda in inaugural speech – Mexico, Regiona

European MVNO Transatel expands roaming to 23 Caribbean islands – Caribbean

European MVNO Transatel has reached an agreement with Caribbean mobile operator Digicel to add 23 islands in the Dutch and French West Indies to the countries from which clients can use their prepaid data plans, according to a report from Mobile Today.
Transatel will offer a Caribbean bundle of 1GB for 29 euros (US$31).
The MVNO’s network now covers 100 countries from a single SIM card, which can be installed in devices including tablets and laptops. SIM cards can also be used to activate a hotspot that can be shared with up to 10 separate devices.

Dominican telecom watchdog updates noncompliance fines – Dominican R.

The Dominican Republic’s telecom regulator, Indotel, has approved a resolution under which the minimum amount to be paid by companies for breaching the general telecommunications law has been updated to 92,843 Dominican pesos (US$2,000).
José del Castillo Saviñon, president of Indotel’s board of directors, said in an official statement that the noncompliance charge in article 108 of the general telecommunications law was updated through resolution 001-001-2017. This means that the newly established fine will be applied throughout 2017 and then submitted for revision once again.
“Breaches [of the law] that are considered very serious will receive fines of a minimum 30 and maximum of 200 charges for noncompliance,” said Del Castillo Saviñon. Charges considered to be serious will be sanctioned with 10-30 charges and minor offenses will cost firms 2-10 charges. According to the legislation, the maximum fine will be 18.5mn Dominican pesos.
According to Del Castillo Saviñon, some of the topics Indotel will work on this year include the sharing of infrastructure and facilities, conflict resolution between users and service providers and modifications to the guidelines for rollover minutes for mobile users.
“It is also planned to continue the process started on setting interconnection charges, as well as the work on the amendment of the general telecommunications law,” said the Indotel official.

Cuba implements new prepaid services – Cuba

Cuba’s state-run telecommunications entity Etecsa has implemented new prepaid plans whereby subscribers can add credit by dialing a series of codes.
Elisa Alfaro Díaz, specialist at Etecsa’s institutional communication directorate, said subscribers will be able to manage their phone credit from their devices, eliminating the need to go to the telco’s offices, reported daily Cuba Debate.
Prepaid customers with an active line will be able to purchase credit for local services starting at 1.50 Cuban pesos (US$0.03) for five minutes up to 10 Cuban pesos for 40 minutes. SMS credit ranges from 0.70 Cuban pesos for 10 messages to 2.50 Cuban pesos for 45 text messages. Each plan is valid for 30 days after each top up of the balance.
The cost of voice minutes remains high in Cuba, but Etecsa has warned that reducing prices would result in increased demand that the telco is not yet prepared to cope with. Nonetheless, Etecsa has put considerable efforts into increasing connectivity on the island.
Cuba’s internet service Nauta has seen the activation of 5,500 accounts in Camagüey municipality so far in January this year. According to Etecsa, this was made possible due to a drop in connection prices and the availability of new Wi-Fi zones in the country’s major municipalities.

Comptel lands US$1.3mn Tier-1 contract in South America – Regional
Press Release
By Comptel
January, 26, 2017
Comptel Has Received a Significant Order from a Global Tier-1 Group Customer in South America.
The deal is a continuation of a long technology collaboration between the companies. This order is an expansion of Comptel’s Data Refinery solution. The value of the deal is approximately 1.2 M euros.
“We are very pleased with this deal as it is a continuation of a long standing customer relationship and a good start to our Latin America business for 2017,” said Juhani Hintikka, CEO, Comptel.
Comptel’s largest customer in Latin America is Telefónica with contracts in 10 countries, according to the company’s website.
About Comptel Corporation
Life is digital moments. Comptel perfects these by transforming how you serve, meet and respond to the needs of “Generation Cloud” customers.
Our solutions allow you to innovate rich communications services instantly, master the orchestration of service and order flows, capture data-in-motion and refine your decision-making. We apply intelligence to reduce friction in your business.
Comptel has enabled the delivery of digital and communications services to more than 2 billion people. Every day, we care for more than 20% of all mobile usage data. Nearly 300 service providers across 90 countries have trusted us to perfect customers’ digital moments.
For more information, visit

Trump asserts protectionist agenda in inaugural speech – Mexico, Regional
With profound ramifications for the Mexican economy, fierce protectionist and populist billionaire Donald Trump assumed the US presidency Friday with his earliest moves to redefine trade policy now eagerly awaited.
“We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American,” said the new leader in his inaugural address, trumpeting a clarion call for potentially radical changes that hark to his campaign promises to renegotiate or scrap Nafta, move manufacturing out of Mexico and deport undocumented workers back to Mexico.
“We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. We will bring back our dreams,” said Trump.
Trump was ushered into power on a wave of populist resentment over low-paying jobs, illegal immigration and frustration with status-quo politicians, and in his address Friday he clearly played to his electorate’s perception of the US as a victim of global trade.
“The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world. But that is the past,” he said.
His installation presents an immensely complex challenge for Mexico, already straddled by its own economic and political woes, including worrisome public debt, faltering oil industry and popular outrage against President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration.
US automaker Ford’s announcement earlier in the month helped spark a 6% slide in the peso, as domestic issues were hit by fears of further losses in direct foreign investment and fueled by Trump tweets threatening a massive 35% tax against firms like Toyota, BMW and GM if they did refocus manufacturing investment back to the US.
On the campaign trail, Trump characterized Nafta as “the worst trade deal ever” and has since repeatedly called for its renegotiation or even its repeal, making the North American Free Trade Agreement a ‘Day One’ policy issue.
Mexico has already announced it will be sending a trade delegation of high-ranking officials to meet with the Trump administration January 25 and 26.
The nation is moving quickly to head off an impasse on the 24-year-old trade treaty, having itself on various occasions called for changes to the aging document that address major concerns left unclear or poorly designed in the treaty, including labor and environmental issues.
Trump’s position has and continues to be that the US needs to see the massive return of manufacturing jobs, drawing broad criticism from opponents who would counter that the manufacturing section has undergone decades of globalization and automation since the heyday of US manufacturing in the mid-20th century and is no longer where the future of high-paying jobs in the country.
“We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon,” Trump said on the US Capitol steps.
From 1993 to 2015, trade between the three members of Nafta quadrupled from US$297bn per year to US$1.14tn, lowering prices for consumers, creating new jobs and making supply chains possible across borders. In that time, according to official figures, US exports of goods to Nafta signatories rose to US$517bn/year from US$142bn in 1993 – and now accounts for a third of its total global exports.
While it has gone on to create an estimated 5mn US jobs, Nafta is also blamed for the loss of some 682,900 US manufacturing jobs, most coming in the first few years of the agreement.
While the US remains a signatory to Nafta and WTO, Trump will have to navigate around treaty rules to accomplish his goals, and that may come in the form of a proposal from Republican leader Paul Ryan to remove taxes on export sales and place a 20% tax on all items imported into the US.
Such a system could easily generate within a handful of years enough revenue from taxes on imported goods from Mexico to build Trump’s border wall, beef up border security and round up millions of undocumented workers, thus enabling Trump to carry out his message of making Mexico “pay for the wall.”
“Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength,” the US president said.

Copyright 2015 Business News Americas
Visit the CANTO website

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