Thursday, October 11, 2018
|ICT: The week in 10 stories – Regional
ICT: The week in 10 stories – Regional
Chilean telecoms authorities have announced plans to raise spectrum caps on low and high frequencies and partially lift a controversial freeze on using the 3.5GHz band as the country looks towards 5G technology.
The launch of an Argentine earth observation satellite (SAOCOM 1A) and a Brazilian cubesat satellite (ITASAT 1) has been postponed by at least one day.
Mexican telecommunications giant América Móvil aims to invest more than US$1bn in the Dominican Republic during the next three years to prepare for the deployment of 5G connectivity and developments in the internet of things (IoT), according to a statement from the country’s office of the presidency.
Brazil’s planning and budget ministry has set October 18 as the date for an electronic tender to hire a provider of public cloud computing services under the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) models.
Ahead of elections for president, state governors and legislators, dozens of platforms help voters identify the best candidates by tracking, mapping and ranking their proposals and even listing their legal issues.
Liberty Latin America closed the acquisition of an 80% stake in Cabletica, one of the leading cable operators in Costa Rica.
Mexico’s América Móvil will end the year having invested over US$250mn in Puerto Rico’s ravaged telecommunications infrastructure and the firm plans to continue developing its network in the territory to handle growing data demand.
CenturyLink’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) John Knies speaks to BNamericas about the main challenges for governments trying to push through a cyber security agenda and what telecoms companies can do to collaborate with those efforts.
The South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) is now on-stream and open for commercial traffic. The new digital information highway is the first and fastest link between Africa and the Americas with the lowest latency and will provide a more direct routing for internet traffic in the Southern Hemisphere.
Telefónica and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have completed preliminary studies to determine priority crops and geographical zones to be targeted for the development of water efficiency solutions in Latin America.
Puerto Rico planning submarine telecom cable south of island – Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is planning to bring a submarine telecommunications fiber optic cable to its southern coast to reinforce the island’s connectivity against natural disasters such as last year’s hurricane María, local officials were reported as saying by local media.
The project, with an estimated cost of US$130mn, will join Puerto Rico to an undersea cable between the US and Brazil and will provide telecommunications services if a natural disaster should hit the current connection of the country on its northern coast.
Governor Ricardo Roselló was quoted as saying that the new high-capacity cable “is a vital measure for preparedness. This project is a great advance not only in disaster preparedness, but also in Puerto Rico’s ability to offer technology… and to keep transforming the island into a center for new business opportunity development.”
The head of Puerto Rico’s telecommunications authority, Sandra Torres, added that the cable will have an initial capacity of 13,000Gb/s.
Last year storms devastated the US territory, almost completely destroying its telecommunications and basic infrastructure. Since then, companies have been investing heavily in rebuilding their networks.
América Móvil announced this week that it expects to end the year having invested US$250mn in the island, while T-Mobile has also announced in September the deployment of extended-range LTE connectivity, laying the basis for the deployment of 5G.
Latin America faces ICT skills crunch time – Regional
Latin America’s public and private sectors must collaborate urgently to train ICT professionals in order for the region to compete in an increasingly digitalized world.
Consultancy IDC has predicted that the region could see a shortage of 550,000 IT professionals in 2019, mainly in emerging technologies like cloud, security and analytics.
Furthermore, according to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest Future of Work report, 42% of the skills currently required by today’s workers will have to be re-adapted in the next three years. It also estimates that the automation rate of tasks will increase to 40% from 29% in the next three years.
“We are seeing moments of change and transformation in the basic knowledge needed by a worker to be effective in this market and the changes are happening very fast,” Ana Paula Assis, general manager of IBM Latin America, told BNamericas.
“These are radical structural changes occurring in a very short space of time. And it is incorrect to say that digitalization is going to reduce the number of jobs. On the contrary, it is going to increase the number of job opportunities so people will have to be prepared with the relevant skills to meet this demand,” Assis said.
There are certain emerging areas where the demand for professionals is more pressing. Cybersecurity is the fastest growing tech segment in the region, IBM Chile CEO Mauricio Torres recently told BNamericas, and Latin America faces a shortfall of 1.8mn cybersecurity professionals in the next three years.
IBM is working with 400 universities in Latin America by sending executives to give talks and providing data and IBM analytics technology.
Universities include the Tecnológico de Monterrey and UNAM in Mexico, Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, FIAP and Saint Paul business school in Brazil, Universidad Tecnológica Nacional and ITBA in Argentina, Universidad Andrés Bello in Chile and UTEC in Peru.
At the Tecnológico de Monterrey, engineering students developed an ID system using blockchain technology on the IBM cloud to use with Banorte, one of the leading banks in the country.
Meanwhile, Hackatruck is a “mobile classroom” project in Brazilian universities that provides courses in Swift (API storage platform) using IBM capabilities such as agile and design thinking, along with IBM cloud and artificial intelligence.
“All technologies are working in a collaborative and integrated manner. It is difficult to talk today about artificial intelligence without talking about analytics and security. Or to talk about blockchain without mentioning security and the cloud,” Assis said.
“Nobody can be an expert in all of those areas so that reinforces the need to establish ecosystems and collaborative networks coming to together to create the best solution. That is going to be key.”
Cable project linking Asia, Africa, Brazil and the US gets underway – Brazil, Regional
The South Atlantic Express (SAEx) submarine fiber cable to link the US, Brazil, South Africa, India and Singapore had a key development.
The company responsible for the project announced the hiring of Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), a subsidiary of Finnish firm Nokia, to carry out the marine survey and the manufacturing activities for the 25,000km cable.
South Africa-sponsored, SAEx is divided in two phases: SAEx1 will connect South Africa with Brazil and the US, with a branch to St Helena and sub-branches for future landings in West Africa and other Atlantic islands, while SAEx2 will connect South Africa to India and Singapore.
ASN has been hired as the supplier for both phases, including network design, manufacturing, installation and commissioning.
An ASN spokesperson told BNamericas that the desktop study is scheduled to start before the end of this year and finish early in 2019.
The source added that arising from this approach, the marine surveys are expected to start during the first quarter of 2019, with anticipated completion by September 2019.
Only after that the construction and the deployment of the system would begin. The entire SAEx system has an estimated ready-for-service date in the second quarter of 2021.
Values and estimated budget were not disclosed.
SAEx joins other initiatives being mulled to connect the Americas and Asia via Africa, such as Angola Cables-BRICS bet.
The SAEx system will have an overall ultimate capacity design of up to 108Tbit/s.
In a statement, SAEx International underlined that South Africa is uniquely positioned at the confluence of two oceans and two hemispheres, hence the interest in the project.
Also, the direct route will provide strategic diversity for global customers seeking to avoid narrow straits and difficult transits through potentially unstable areas or unreliable overland routes.
“SAEx (…) will further evolve South Africa’s positioning as a global hub, providing a direct link between the Americas and Asia, simplifying and enhancing communications between the five most populous countries in the world,” SAEx managing director Rosalind Thomas said in the statement.
Industrial software firm AVEVA foresees double-digit growth in LatAm – Regional
Regional advances in telecommunications and infrastructure are helping companies in Latin America to adapt Industry 4.0 solutions using sensors and big data systems to increase productivity, according to leading industrial software and technology company AVEVA.
AVEVA which merged last March with Schneider Electric Software to offer a larger catalog of industrial solutions, expects to close its fiscal year ending March 2019 with strong, double-digit growth across Latin America.
“Latin America represents around 10% of our global business, but more important is the region’s growth potential and how we have been expanding at double digits,” regional VP of sales Federico Hernández told BNamericas.
The Cambridge, UK-based company’s business mostly focuses on the oil and gas industry, followed by the electric power sector and the food and beverage industry. In the region, AVEVA’s presence is concentrated on the oil and gas industry, followed by food and what Hernández called the “three Ms” of mining, minerals and metals.
Oil and gas, in particular, is seeing increased growth, he added, expanding in Mexico after it was opened to private sector investment, as well as in other countries such as Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, where the latter is seeing a renewed push in the Vaca Muerta shale oil deposit thanks to higher fossil fuel prices.
Water infrastructure, telecommunications and the ship-building industry are also sectors on the rise, said Hernández, who will be one of the speakers at the AVEVA World Conference Argentina 2018 on October 17 at the Hotel Wyndham Nordelta.
TELECOMS AND INFRA ENABLING GROWTH
Hernández said that regional advances in development of both the telecommunications and infrastructure sectors have enabled more companies to make the leap into more advanced, automated and remotely monitored industrial systems such as the ones AVEVA offers.
Several countries and companies in the region are already experimenting with advanced 4.5G connectivity services, as well as internet of things and artificial intelligence solutions, as regional telecoms leader América Móvil has promised it will be among the first to offer state-of-the-art 5G services.
“AVEVA is focused on helping our clients face the challenge of the digital transformation,” Hernández said. “When Industry 4.0 started, a few years back, one of the main limitations was infrastructure, telecommunications and their ability to maximize the value of investments.”
The technology is also becoming more accessible and not just the purview or large, global companies, he added.
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