Julian Wilkins, will step down as Chairman of the Board of CANTO having served the statutory two terms. The Chairman made the announcement at the Opening Ceremony of the Association’s 35th AGM & Mini Expo held in Guyana. The annual event co-hosted by GTT invited well over 200 delegates in the ICT sector to discuss the theme “Transitioning to a Digital Economy: Opportunities and Challenges”.
At the Opening Ceremony, Mr. Wilkins stated that “there can be no doubt that my role as Chairman of CANTO has been a most time consuming one. Fortunately, Digicel has always fully supported me and ensured that I have adequate time to perform my various duties as Chairman. I would take this opportunity to thank Digicel for all their support during my tenure as Chair.”
He went on to say that the industry has changed significantly since becoming Chairman 4 years ago. “I would say that the most significant change for network operators is the reduction of international voice revenue with the advent of Over The Top (OTTs) players such as What’s app, FaceTime, etc. Operators have been re-examining and changing their business models to compete with these unregulated online services. This is a significant challenge for Caribbean network operators who conduct business in a regulated environment but compete with unregulated OTTs offering the same services.”
Under his stewardship, the organization successfully lobbied Caribbean countries to vote for mobile service for the UHF Band at the Inter-American Telecommunications Commission meeting (CITEL) in Ottawa, Canada.
In 2016 – CANTO introduced a landmark agreement for most Network Operators in the Caribbean by introducing the Code of Practice for Safeguarding the Open Internet. It was a historic event where more than 30 operators signed the Code of Practice.
“CANTO has evolved over the years” he added by focusing more on inclusiveness: that is, embracing all ICT stakeholders in the region. “CANTO advocates on key issues of the day more often than we did in the past and we try to create an environment that encourages investment and innovation.”
Wilkins stated that though he will step down as Chair, he will continue to support CANTO in its objective to engage, lead and advocate during this important time in the industry’s development.