Thursday, March 29, 2018

Cloud Carib expanding into Ecuador – Regional

Jamaica to revoke Caricel license – Jamaica

Cuba, Russia sign digital TV cooperation agreement – Cuba

LatAm pay TV market shrank in 2017 – Regional

Latin America a bright spot for F5 Networks – Regional


Cloud Carib expanding into Ecuador – Regional

Bahamas-based cloud services provider Cloud Carib is looking to expand its Caribbean footprint into Latin America as it aims to replicate the strong growth it has seen in the last three years with a new venture in Ecuador, CEO Scott MacKenzie told BNamericas.

The company specializes in offering private and hybrid cloud services to institutions like governments and financial services organizations, and currently operates data centers in Bahamas, Jamaica, Barbados and Panama.

The expansion to Ecuador comes at the behest of a client needing services in that country, but the new facility will offer hybrid cloud services as well, MacKenzie said. “We have two main business verticals that we focus on, private cloud and hybrid cloud. The Ecuador expansion is via hybrid cloud.”

The region shows strong potential for growth and the company is looking at opening new facilities in countries like Bolivia and Trinidad. “Since launching the company in the Caribbean, we have [been] expanding rapidly, basically doubling our clients every year for the last three years and now we are shifting our focus, from a revenue perspective, into Central and South America,” MacKenzie said.

In February, Cloud Carib reported that 2017 was its most successful year since its creation in 2011.

As to what most clients demand, MacKenzie said that in a developing market most clients look to companies like Cloud Carib to help them with their digital transformation efforts.

“The more common services that people start with, as they start dipping their toes into the services outsourcing, cloud services, managed services offering, is managed security services, basically managing client-edge protection, intrusion prevention, intrusion detection, next generation firewalls.”

The other, he added, refers to business continuity, such as data replication to ensure survivability, as well as backup services.


Jamaica to revoke Caricel license – Jamaica

Jamaica’s science, energy and technology ministry plans to revoke the license of mobile operator Caricel due to perceived irregularities in the conditions of use of its license awarded in 2016.

According to a report by the Jamaica Gleaner, minster Andrew Wheatley told the house of representatives that he was acting on a recommendation by utilities regulator OUR.

Wheatley said the company, which is owned by Symbiote, had failed to address matters such as outstanding fees. A report from the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) also found that the telco used the 700MHz band for testing purposes without authorization.

Reports emerged in February that South African tech investment firm Involution Limited was pushing to acquire a majority stake in Caricel for an undisclosed sum.

That reportedly triggered concerns from the Office of the Contractor General, which noted that in order for the company to sell a controlling share it must first receive the approval of the minister, as dictated by the Telecommunications Act.


Cuba, Russia sign digital TV cooperation agreement – Cuba

Cuba and Russia have signed an agreement to increase collaboration on the area of digital TV in the Caribbean nation, including making the transmission of Russia Today (RT) and TeleSUR news channels available, according to local media reports.

Cuba is currently in the process of migrating analog TV signals to digital terrestrial TV (DTTV), with around 60% coverage, according to a report on the communications ministry‘s website. The country has announced a partial analog transmission blackout starting in July.

The agreement was signed between the president of the Cuban radio and TV institute (ICRT), Alfonso Noya, and Russia’s deputy minister for telecommunications, Rashid Ismailov.

Ismailov was quoted as saying the agreement “can complement Cuba’s ongoing work in terms of digitizing TV transmissions.”


LatAm pay TV market shrank in 2017 – Regional

The number of pay TV subscribers in Latin America fell for the first time in 2017, according to Dataxis.

The year ended with a total subscriber base of 71.5mn, down 0.6% compared to December 2016.

During a webinar, Dataxis research director Carlos Blanco attributed the drop to political and social factors in large markets but added that the dip is temporary and growth should resume.

The penetration of pay TV in 2017 fell to 2014’s level of 39.8%, down from 41.0% the previous year. Mexico and Brazil were the two largest markets accounting for 27.2% and 25.3%, respectively, of the total base with Argentina a distant 12.8%.

DTH was the main technology, accounting for 49.4%, followed by cable (46.2%), and IPTV (3.5%). América Móvil, AT&T and Televisa were the three main players in the region with a share of 19.3%, 18.2% and 17.1% respectively.


Latin America a bright spot for F5 Networks – Regional

Of all the geographies where US application-delivery networking company F5 Networks operates, Latin America has been a particularly bright star.

In the company’s 2017 fiscal year, the region was the fastest-growing in revenue terms, Roberto Ricossa (pictured), regional VP for F5 Networks in Latin America, told BNamericas.

Overall, F5 Networks posted US$2.1bn in sales in its fiscal year 2017, up 4.8% from US$2bn last year. Around 16% of global revenues go to R&D.

F5 Networks’ sales and engineering staff in Latin America grew by 30% in the last four months, said Ricossa. The company recently opened a sales center in Mexico to serve all Latin America markets. He did not want to disclose how much is being invested region-wide.

Because of the region’s growing importance, F5 Networks created a separate business geography covering Latin America, detaching it from the Americas unit, in August 2016.

The Latin America geography was then divided into three operations: Brazil, Mexico and MCA (multi-country area).

The size of each of these operations varies from quarter to quarter, and their revenue share difference is small overall, said Ricossa, but currently MCA stands as the one generating most Latin America revenues, followed by Brazil and Mexico.

Finance and retail are the main market segments targeted, followed closely by service providers, which include telcos such as América Móvil, one of its major Latin American clients.

In the region, the company has field offices in Brazil, Mexico and Chile.


Internet-of-things (IoT), mobility and cloud computing are the top three trends driving the market for F5 Networks and generating different business models, according to Ricossa.

However, it is necessary to ensure that all these transactions and connections operate in a secure model, which is where F5 Networks comes in.

But the company has been facing a challenging scenario.

F5 Network’s success has been largely based on the sale of its networking and application-delivery products, mainly hardware, designed for on-premises data centers.

The problem is that fewer and fewer companies are setting up data centers as many are moving workloads to public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.

Amid this transition, F5 Networks is pushing to boost sales of software-based security and application delivery.


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