Thursday, July 19, 2018

Study finds Cuba has faster internet than Mexico – Regional

Cuba starts offering mobile internet – Cuba

Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica are the region’s most tech ready – Regional

Costa Rica court orders regulator to determine minimum “fair usage” speed – Chile, Costa Rica

LatAm fixed broadband penetration below global average – Regional

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Study finds Cuba has faster internet than Mexico – Regional

With an average speed of 5.83Mbps, Cubans can download an HD movie faster than Mexicans who enjoy average speed of 5.69Mbps, according to a study by UK broadband comparison site Cable.

Concretely, downloading a 5GB movie takes 1 hour and 57 minutes in Cuba but 1 hour 59 minutes in Mexico, the study said.

Mexico’s average speed slowed significantly compared with a year ago, when it was 7.59Mbps, added the study that was conducted during the 12 months up to May 29.

The 200-country study showed that average global download speed increased by 23% from last year to 9.10Mbps, but warned that the increase stems mostly from countries with fast speeds further improving their networks. “On average, the top 100 countries in the table have gained 5.43Mbps while the bottom 100 in the table have gained by an average of only 0.41Mbps,” it said.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Barbados took the top spot at 39th position with 17.08Mbps average speed, followed by Aruba at 49 (13.27Mbps) Turks and Caicos at 51 (11.7Mbps), the Cayman Islands at 55 (11.49Mbps) and Trinidad and Tobago ranked 56 with 11.37Mbps.

All mainland Latin American countries showed average speeds below 10Mbps, with top-ranked Uruguay (78) clocking in at 6.19Mbps, followed by Mexico (85) with 5.69Mbps, Chile (92) with 4.74Mbps, and Costa Rica (106) with 3.96Mbps.

Peru, which recently decreed that broadband internet must have a minimum speed of 4Mbps download and 1Mbps upload, reaches the 113th spot with an average of 3.31Mbps.

Argentina ranked 116 with 3.18Mbps while Brazil made it to position 133 with 2.58Mbps. The worst placed country on the continent was crisis-hit Venezuela, at position 176 and average speed of 1.24Mbps, meaning a 5GB movie takes 9 hours and 9 minutes to download.

The UK’s OFCOM telecoms authority has defined the minimum speed to satisfy the needs of a typical family or small business at 10Mbps, which 136 countries on the list failed to achieve, the study said.

Singapore was ranked top for the second year in a row with 60.39Mbps.

Cuba starts offering mobile internet – Cuba

Cuba began deploying mobile internet via its expanding 3G network to some customers as it expects to roll out the service nationwide this year.

In May, state-run telecoms company Etecsa‘s business strategy vice-president Tania Velázquez, told local TV news that 520 of the company’s 1,400 radiobases were already transmitting under 3G protocols and that the service roll-out will come “soon”.

The service is already accessible for state journalists and post-paid clients including companies and NGOs, Reuters reported.

A Cuba-based foreign journalist who asked for anonymity told BNamericas that she has had the mobile internet service “for a couple of months now.”

Cuba appears next-to-last, only ahead of Haiti, in the International Telecommunications Union‘s 2017 ICT Development Index in the Americas, with 35.5 cellphones per 100 inhabitants, 7.5% of households enjoying internet access and no mobile broadband connections.

But the island has made inroads into connectivity, with its locally-developed ToDus messaging app garnering 170,000 subscribers within the first week of its launch in June. A recent study found that Cubans enjoy marginally faster fixed-line internet speeds than their neighbors in Mexico.

Countries across the region are focusing on deployment of 4G technology, and discuss the eventual shutdown of 2G networks.

Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica are the region’s most tech ready – Regional

Argentina, Chile and Costa Rica are the most technologically ready countries in Latin America according to a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Venezuela, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, on the other hand, rank the lowest regarding internet access, digital economy infrastructure and openness to innovation.

With a score of 9.71875, Australia, Singapore and Sweden occupy the global top spot in the 2018-2022 Technological Readiness Index, above the US with 9.4375 points.

Argentina, the highest-ranked Latin American economy, shares 32nd place with China and Russia with a score of 7.1875, followed by Chile ranking 36th with a score of 6.90625. Costa Rica registered a score of 6.34375 reaching place 42.

The region’s largest market, Brazil, reaches 47th place with Saudi Arabia, while Mexico comes in 49 out of 82 of the largest economies, together with countries such as Croatia and Turkey.

Venezuela appears dead last in the region at 77th place and only above Bangladesh, Libya, Nigeria and Angola on the global scale, the report adds. “Only one country is likely to see a decline in internet access in this period (2018-2022): Venezuela, which is currently enduring a debt and hyperinflation crisis that we expect to turn into an outright economic collapse,” the study says.

“The most fundamental element of technological readiness is access to the internet. In much of the developed world, a fast and reliable internet connection is taken for granted; in those places where this is lacking, business opportunities are significantly constrained.”

Argentina is the only country in the region where over 80% of the population had access to the internet in 2016.

Mexico appears third in the Americas, behind its NAFTA partners US and Canada, in terms of cybersecurity preparedness, but ahead of Brazil and Argentina. It also appears in third place for government online services, behind Canada and the US but ahead of Colombia and Chile.

Costa Rica court orders regulator to determine minimum “fair usage” speed – Chile, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s supreme court ordered the country’s telecoms regulator, Sutel, to determine within the next four months the minimum speeds that telecoms companies can use as the basis for their “fair usage” packages, according to court documents.

“Fair usage” policies typically offer an advertised speed for their users’ internet up to a set amount of data, after which speeds are reduced, often dramatically. The practice has come under scrutiny recently elsewhere in the region, with Chile’s regulator Subtel ordering companies to stop calling broadband offerings “unlimited” if they apply fair usage limits.

Companies argue that the policy serves the purpose of maintaining quality of service across all users by limiting the ability of heavy data consumers to hog the bandwidth.

The sentence orders Sutel to conduct the necessary technical studies to determine the minimum speed “to allow the user affected by such policy to maintain functional access to internet,” as well as to determine a timeline for updating such speeds, “as this is a dynamic concept which varies according to the advance of diverse technological elements affecting internet.”

It also orders the regulator to fix a provisional minimum speed while it conducts the required studies within the month after being notified of the sentence, which the documents states happened on July 14.

Companies will be able to maintain their own minimum fair usage speeds up until Sutel determines the provisional one.

The court said that the commercial fair usage practice would be suspended if Sutel fails to fix either the provisional minimum speed within the month or the definitive minimum speed in four months.

LatAm fixed broadband penetration below global average – Regional

The penetration of fixed broadband connections to the Latin American population stood at 12.3% in 2017, slightly below the global average of 13.4%, according to a report by GlobalData.

The rate compares to a 36% penetration in Western Europe and 30.7% in North America, but varies widely across the region.

It reaches 26% in Uruguay, but is below 5% in Paraguay, Guatemala, Bolivia and Honduras, according to GlobalData figures.

In Brazil, fixed broadband accesses increased to 30mn in May, according to data from telecom regulator Anatel, for a 14.5% penetration.

In Mexico, according to IFT, fixed broadband connections reached 17.6mn lines at the end of Q1, which represents a penetration of 13.5%.

GlobalData forecasts Latin America will end 2018 with around 82.2mn fixed broadband connections, up 6% year-over-year, to nearly 99.1mn by 2023.

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