CANTO Weekly Newsletter – BNamericas
Thursday, October 18, 2018
|Our Mission “Influence the innovation and development of ICT solutions for the benefit of members by developing, navigating and leveraging relationships with all stakeholders.” “Advocate for policies, legislation and rules which advance the creation of an environment which facilitates the deployment of services and technologies around the region.”
|Vision “To become the leading authority in shaping information, communication and technology in the Caribbean Region and the Americas.”
Customer experience drive fuels SAP Q3 in Latam – Regional
The need for companies in highly competitive markets like retail to up their game in customer experience drove Q3 sales for German corporate software giant SAP.
The company posted triple digit growth with solutions focused on customer experience and double digit growth in cloud solutions. Globally, SAP posted a 3.7% rise in revenues in Q3 to 17.280bn euros (US$19.7bn) and a 1% rise in net profit of 973mn euros.
SAP’s Latin America president Claudio Muruzabal told BNamericas that as e-commerce gathers steam and customers increasingly seek different channels through which to connect to and purchase from their providers, companies have to cover all the bases in an end-to-end solution from purchases to logistics and delivery.
“A company has done nothing if it is not fully integrated from end to end, from back office to the interaction with the client,” Muruzabal said.
The executive said that in Latin America the company is seeing its clients move towards more specific solutions to meet specific needs.
Grupo Boticario, one of Brazil’s largest cosmetics companies, signed up in the quarter for SAP Fieldglass to manage third party workers to assure greater visibility, control and efficiency of operations and to reduce costs.
Fibra Inn, a Mexican trust fund that specializes in the area of hospitality management, chose SAP’s latest generation ERP S/4 HANA suite and human resource management platform SuccessFactors for better HR management and automation of tasks.
Other applications seeing growth are travel management suite SAP Concur and platform procurement software Ariba.
“Our Q3 results with substantial growth in cloud-based solutions demonstrates a drive from companies to automate processes, empower their employees and cultivate customer loyalty, in other words, they want t be ‘intelligent companies’,” Muruzabal said.
“In a digital economy, driven by the consumer, connecting demand to the supply chain helps each part of the business to retain those customers,” he added.
SAP currently has 41,000 clients in the region
With regard to the issue of cyber security, which has been one of the central themes in technology this year, Muruzabal said that customers were no longer discussing whether the cloud is less or more safe than on-premise because attacks are coming from all sides.
América Móvil to keep US$8bn capex goal – Regional
Mexico telecoms giant América Móvil believes it can keep its capex budget around the current US$8-8.5bn long-term objective, despite the advent of 5G technology, as the company is making preparations for the new standard, CEO Daniel Hajj told analysts during a call.
The company has been investing in fiber to the node and the virtualization of its network as it deploys its 4.5G technology across all of its markets, Hajj added as he discussed the company’s Q3 results.
“I think we can sustain our US$8bn, US$8.5bn in capex for the next years. We are going to launch 5G when we feel it is the right time to do it,” the executive said. Current investments in enlarging its fiber network and modernizing its systems are already part of the future launch of the faster, data rich standard, which could be deployed around the world starting next year.
The company has vowed to be among the first to launch 5G. “All of these things that we are doing … are for preparing the launch of 5G.” América Móvil expects to have launched its 4.5G service, advertised as up to 10 times faster than 4G, in all its markets by year’s end to cope with fast-growing mobile data demand for applications including IoT, Hajj said.
CFO Carlos García Moreno said the company with assets in 20 countries. including the Netherlands and Austria, is currently not looking for acquisition targets, so it could reduce net debt levels from currently two times Ebitda to a more manageable 1.5 times next year.
“We don’t really have any significant M&A that we are looking at,” he added.
RISING REVENUE AND PROFITS
América Móvil ended Q3 with a 2.1% year on year revenue increase to 249bn pesos (US$13.2bn) helped by solid rises in average revenue per user (ARPU) in several countries, including Mexico (7.8%), Brazil (13%) and the US (11%), where it operates the largest MVNO in the country, TracFone.
Postpaid customers – which usually spend the most – increased by 1.1mn year on year. The company ended the quarter with 74.2mn postpaid customers and 279mn wireless subscribers. However, disconnections in the prepaid business led to an overall drop of 0.4% in the company’s customer base from 3Q17.
Fixed-line accesses, including fixed broadband and pay-TV subscribers, rose 0.7% to 83.3mn.
“Overall our data traffic per user rose 78.2% year-on-year doubling in Brazil, Peru and the U.S., and expanding more than 60% in Mexico, Chile, Ecuador and Guatemala. Voice traffic per user increased 8.8%, rising 35% in Ecuador, nearly 20% in Brazil and somewhere in the mid-teens in both Chile and Peru,” the company reported.
Net debt has been reduced by 45bn pesos since December of 2017 to 584bn pesos, the company added.
Costa Rica sets digital goals through 2022 – Costa Rica
Costa Rica is looking to fully digitize government and set guidelines for the development of Industry 4.0 in key sectors such as agriculture and tourism. It also defines a path toward the deployment of 5G wireless networks, according to the country’s digital transformation strategy.
The Central American country is also looking to establish new digital accountability and governance mechanisms and improve its response against cyber threats, according to the document presented this week by Costa Rica’s science, technology and telecommunications ministry.
Costa Rica is one of the best placed in Latin America in terms of ICT development, only behind Uruguay, Argentina and Chile and ahead of Brazil, according to the International Telecommunication Union‘s IDI index, with over 109 mobile broadband accesses and close to 160 mobile telephone subscriptions per every 100 inhabitants.
The new digital strategy aims to improve digital government through a plan called “Pura Vida Digital” which will see Costa Rica unify its catalog of citizen services through one single website, as well as create a single national patient record for the health system and a national “intelligent” transport network incorporating electronic payment methods.
This plan includes a digital ID for citizens including biometrics and measures to guarantee the interoperability of ID checking devices.
The country will also look for ways to employ Industry 4.0 technology in key sectors such as agriculture and tourism, creating for example digital agricultural production maps and digital entrepreneurial clusters.
“We have committed to position the country as a leader in leveraging digital technologies,” President Carlos Alvarado (pictured) is quoted as saying in the document. “We see disruptive technologies as a toolbox for building a more cohesive society and for the redesign of a more transparent and efficient state,” he added.
The plan also looks to an accelerated deployment of 5G, with the idea of “offering inhabitants access to a next generation network with faster speeds, allowing for better usage of ICT technologies.”
A roadmap has projects being developed from the first quarter of 2019 and begin an evaluation process by the end of 2021.
ICT: The week in 10 stories – Regional
Millicom said that it is acquiring a controlling stake of 80% in Cable Onda, the largest cable and fixed telecommunications services provider in Panama, Latin America’s fastest-growing economy.
–Argentine President Mauricio Macri announced a national connectivity plan with key objectives including taking 4G internet to 93% of the population by the end of next year.
–Hyperinflation could cause Spanish telecom company Telefónica a 625mn-euro (US$721mn) hit in 2018.
–Telecoms regulator IFT said the country finished liberating the coveted 600MHz band for telecommunications services by granting frequency changes to the last two broadcasters transmitting in it.
–New rules for telecommunications companies deploying cables over the 11mn-strong network of electricity poles throughout the country. The new rules have been published to order the often chaotic lattice of wires hanging from electricity poles.
Telefónica del Perú has allied with Facebook and local mobile infrastructure provider Mayutel to roll out 4G technology in the city of Atalaya in central-east Peru.
–Datacenter services firm Ascenty is investing 100mn reais (US$26.7mn) in the expansion of its datacenter in Rio de Janeiro. Works are expected to be concluded in the second half of 2019, the company said.
–The sale of servers, external storage and networking infrastructure in Brazil performed strongly against the backdrop of a weak economy. The segment expanded 41% in the second quarter of the year, compared with the same period in 2017.
Telecoms companies Claro and Entel have dropped legal action against regulator Subtel after the watchdog partially lifted a ban on using the 3.5GHz band.
El Salvador’s legislative assembly created an advisory group composed of telecommunications operators and regulatory institutions to discuss four competing bills to reform the country’s telecoms law.
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