Roundup: for the week ending 6 April 2014

A roundup of ICT/technology news from across the Caribbean region during the period Monday 31 March to Sunday 6 April 2014.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Bahamas telecom sector to be liberalised by April 1

Bahamas – Prime Minister Perry Christie is welcoming the liberalisation of the telecommunication sector here on Monday saying “Bahamians would for the first time have competition and competition breeds greater levels of efficiency”… more

Young Man’s View: ‘Poor’ Too Good A Word To Describe BTC Services

Bahamas – TODAY, years after it was privatised and sold to Cable and Wireless, the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) continues to be one of the Bahamas’ worst service providers, public or private. Telecoms in the Bahamas have regressed in the last few years… more

“This is the year of LIME”

British Virgin Islands – “This is the year of LIME”, is the declaration being sounded from the LIME Headquarters, Palestina, Tortola, Virgin Islands… more

Columbus International Inc. Closes US$1,250,000,000 Bond Offering Setting Stage to Fund Continued Caribbean-Latin America Expansion Plans

Regional – Columbus International Inc. (“Columbus”) today announced that on March 31, 2014 it closed the issuance of a US$1,250,000,000 offering of senior unsecured notes. The notes were issued with a 7.375% coupon, priced at par and will mature in 2021… more

LIME Mobile and Data Services outages

Saint Kitts and Nevis – IME wishes to advise all its valued customers on the Island of Nevis, that we are currently experiencing a technical issue resulting in the outage of Mobile and Data services island-wide… more

Flow announces US$1.25bn refinancing plan

Trinidad and Tobago – Plans to charge broadband customers $5.99 per printed bill… more

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

BTC deal not yet finalized

Bahamas – More than two months after the government and Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) announced a deal to transfer nearly two percent of the shares in the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) back to the Bahamian people, the agreement is still not yet concluded and has not yet been tabled in Parliament… more

BTC: No Fears In Face Of Greater Competition

Bahamas – WITH the government now able to move freely towards liberalising the communications sector, executives at the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd said they have no concerns regarding competition from additional service providers… more

URCA: BTC must compensate over outage

Bahamas – Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has been called upon by the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) to provide a “full report” on what led to a service disruption that BTC itself estimates may have impacted up to 250,000 people throughout the country, and suggest how it intends to compensate customers for the incident… more

B.T.L. changes…who is in and who is out

Belize – When we contacted former Chief Operations Officer of Telemedia, Karen Bevans, today, she told us that she was awaiting word from the Belize Tourism Board on the offer to take up a high level position at the B.T.B… more

Digicel 4G Coming Soon To Grenada

Grenada – The revolution in mobile telecommunications which began in Grenada over a decade ago, when Digicel pioneered the introduction of GSM services, is set to be taken to another level with the introduction of 4G services shortly… more

‘HackPR’ Links Companies With New Tech Talent

Puerto Rico – The second edition of Puerto Rico’s biggest student-run hackathon, “HackPR,” took place over the weekend in Mayagüez, allowing technology amateurs and professionals showcase their skills before big name companies like Microsoft and Google, and also to local start-ups that are in the lookout for new talent that can satisfy their technological needs… more

Columbus-communications logo (Source SLU News Online)Columbus Establishes Regional Centres of Excellence

Regional – Columbus International Inc., operators of Flow and Columbus Business Solutions, today announced the creation of two regional Centres of Excellence for its call center and customer retention functions to significantly improve its customer experience across all eight of its operations in the Caribbean… more

mSurvey changes data collection in the Caribbean

Regional – A mobile SMS-based survey service from a Caribbean-based company could change the way data is collected and analysed in the region… more

Digicel Made Extraordinary Individuals Happy in March

Saint Kitts and Nevis – The month of March saw Telecommunications trail-blazers Digicel St. Kitts and Nevis launching and executing a campaign to celebrate extraordinary individuals within the beautiful twin island Federation… more

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

BTC To Have Bahamian Majority At Board Level

Bahamas – PROVISIONS have been mutually agreed upon between Cable and Wireless and the Government to ensure that Bahamians are at all times the majority on BTC’s board of directors… more

LIME to improve customer service, give $100K towards community works

British Virgin Islands – While announcing plans to improve the customer service experience for persons entering its stores, LIME BVI has announced that it will be giving away a total of $100,000 to cover philanthropic works throughout this financial year, which runs from April to April… more

Govt renews telecoms licences

Jamaica – The country will see some $12.6 billion (US$115) in revenue as a result of Government’s renewal of the telecoms and spectrum licences of Digicel Jamaica, and LIME, for the next 15 years… more

LIME to debut Samsung Galaxy S5, Huawei P6 at Expo 2014

Jamaica – TELECOMMUNICATIONS company LIME says that patrons attending the JMA/JEA Expo 2014 will be among the first in Jamaica to experience the new Samsung Galaxy S5 and the emerging Huawei P6, which has gained huge popularity globally… more

LIME’s Ultra-Fast 4G Service Coming Soon

Jamaica – Within the next two weeks, telecommunications firm, LIME, will be flipping the switch to turn on its 4G mobile service that will deliver ultra-fast data speeds, improved voice quality and expand the availability of enhanced services to more places across Jamaica… more

TelEm Group to carry out maintenance upgrade from Midnight Thursday

Sint Maarten – TelEm Group today informed overseas vendors and customers on St. Maarten that company technicians and engineers will be carrying out important maintenance work on switching equipment from midnight, Thursday April 3, 2014… more

Samsung S5 launches in T&T

Trinidad and Tobago – Consumers wanting the newest phone in the Samsung Galaxy family of devices can pre-order them from today through bmobile and Digicel. The newest star in the Samsung Galaxy series, the S5, was officially launched last night at the Hyatt Regency… more

Digicel Acquires WIV

Turks and Caicos Islands – Digicel, together with its local partner Telemedia announced on April 1st the acquisition of WIV Cable TV, which has been operating in the Turks and Caicos Islands for over 30 years and its sister company TCT, which operates the TCExpress High Speed Cable Internet Service. The transaction closed on April 1st 2014 for an undisclosed sum… more

Thursday, 3 April 2014

‘Back on Track’ Compensation Package for BTC Customers

Bahamas – A gesture of compensation from BTC to their customers to apologize for the recent service disruption will get underway on April 5th for prepaid customers with a $5.00 credit and on April 6th for postpaid customers with a credit of a 100 on-net minutes… more

Bahamas breaks up mobile phone monopoly

Bahamas – A policy liberalising the telecommunications sector in the Bahamas took effect Tuesday, allowing new players to enter the market for the first time… more

Jamaica flag (Wikipedia)$12.6b raised from telecoms licence renewal, additional spectrum

Jamaica – THE country will be raking in some $12.6 billion (US$115 million) in revenue as a result of Government’s renewal of the telecoms and spectrum licences of Digicel Jamaica and LIME for the next 15 years, as well as the award of additional spectrum to both companies… more

Digicel Buys 700Mhz Band At Near Half Price

Jamaica – HAVING FAILED last year in its bid to sell bands on the prized 700-megahertz (MHz) spectrum, the Government yesterday announced that it has inked a deal with Digicel for the purchase of one of the three bands… more

Columbus Launches Two Customer Service Centers in the Caribbean

Regional – Telecom capacity vendor Columbus International has launched two customer service centers to bolster its presence in the Caribbean, where it has grown from operating in four countries to eight over the course of the last year… more

Optimizing your email communications

Regional – Email campaigns can be one of the best and cheapest methods to provide information to those who seek it. The key expression here is ‘those who seek it’. Information and time are wasted on those who do not care about the information you provide… more

Information security training begins for public servants

Saint Kitts and Nevis – Civil servants are being sensitized on ways to enhance computer security, safeguard information, protect against fraud, harmful viruses and spyware, as Government seeks to strengthen employees’ cyber abilities… more

The 411 on Communications Fraud

Trinidad and Tobago – IN early March a wave of fraudulent text messages swept over Trinidad and Tobago thousands of mobile users received text messages asking them to either call a “friend” urgently or informing them that they had won a large sum of money… more

Friday, 4 April 2014

Barrow Telecoms Limited

Belize – Prime Minister Dean Barrow seems to have accomplished what has turned out to be the real objective of the 2009 takeover of Belize Telecommunications Limited… more

Belize Communications Workers stage minute-long protests at B.T.L.

Belize – We’ve been reporting in the past few days on the changes in the top management of Belize Telemedia Limited… more

BTL Employees Protest Pay Negotiations

Belize – This afternoon in Belize City, PLUS News was witness to an unusual protest. Employees of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) are negotiating with their management for a 5% raise of pay. The state-run company has counter-offered at 3.5%… more

Cuba flag (Wikipedia)Washington faces scandal over cyber war against Cuba

Cuba – The United States spent over one and a half million dollars in a so-called ZunZuneo social network aimed at promoting a regime change in Cuba, financed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID)… more

Jamaica participates in the upcoming International Nearshore Nexus 2014 Conference

Jamaica – Island Outsourcers/itel-BPO Solutions, Jamaica Promotions Corporation, Barnett Tech Park and ADS Global have partnered to represent Jamaica at the upcoming Nearshore Nexus 2014 as a Gold Sponsor, which is taking place at Jersey City Hyatt Regency on Tuesday, April 8… more

LIME opts for LTE mobile technology

Jamaica – LIME invested US$30 million or J$3.25 billion to secure a new operating licence and additional high-speed mobile data spectrum. This will allow LIME to transition to a LongTerm Evolution (LTE) network through the deployment of AWS spectrum… more

Telecoms help Gov’t meet IMF target

Jamaica – THE Government collected an unexpected $7 billion in additional revenue from Jamaica’s two mobile operators, just before its first fiscal year under the latest IMF programme closed out… more

Digicel closes financing

Regional – The telecom provider, Digicel Group expects to raise over US$546 million ($60 b) in a bond offer to refinance existing debt… more

Digicel sells 70 per cent of bonds

Regional – Giving early tender results of its offer for 10.5 per cent bonds due 2018, telecommunications provider Digicel yesterday announced that it has sold more than 70 per cent as of April 1… more

Digicel Launches CASHBACK

Saint Kitts and Nevis – Digicel on Friday, 4th April 2014 unveiled its latest Promotion, CASHBACK, as it continues to deliver real rewards for those choosing Digicel in the Federation… more

St Lucians to benefit from major ICT grant

Saint Lucia – The government of Saint Lucia, through the Caribbean Regional Infrastructure Programme (CARCIP), will officially launch an EC$2.5 million grant instrument to support ICT business incubator services and training… more

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Spanish company willing to disclose details of anti-Cuban social network

Cuba – The Spanish media company expressed its willingness to provide relevant information about its participation in the ZunZuneo project, a social network created by the US government to promote opposition in Cuba… more

Trinidad_and_Tobago FlagEntrepreneur Sheldon Stephen shares his secret: How to grow $15,000 into millions

Trinidad and Tobago – At 28, Sheldon Stephen is a self-made millionaire with an estimated net worth of over $60 million. It is a fortune he amassed through hard work selling mobile phones and developing real estate up and down the value chain… more

Tech etiquette for wedding guests

Trinidad and Tobago – Did you know that the average wedding guest shares 22 photos on social media from your wedding? (Source: The Today Show, May 2013)… more

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Closing The ‘Gap’ With Internet – Charity Group Using Technology To Improve Life In Hagley Gap

Jamaica – The poor road conditions make getting to and from the Hagley Gap community in St Thomas near its border with St Andrew difficult at most times and almost impossible when it rains… more

Local telecoms lose over $1b a year to international call bypass

Jamaica – OVER $1 billion is lost by local telecommunications each year to people illegally making international phone calls to Jamaica… more

Samsung Galaxy S5 hits local stores this week

Jamaica – IMPROVEMENTS in Jamaica’s mobile broadband penetration and the size of the local market, makes the country attractive to Samsung Electronics… more

Top media executive for broadcasting conference

Jamaica – FORMER vice president of Fox, CBS and Universal Studios, Neal Lemlein will deliver the main address at the Broadcasting Commission’s one-day conference in St Andrew later this week… more

Vandals choking Flow, cramping growth

Jamaica – WITH Flow Jamaica spending in excess of $50 million yearly to restore infrastructure that is vandalised or damaged through general indiscipline on the island, vice-president of engineering for the Internet and cable company Carlton Baxter told the Jamaica Observer that these acts are seriously hampering Jamaica’s opportunity for growth… more

Wire thieves for sentencing

Jamaica – Two ‘bag juice’ vendors who admitted that they were going to sell wires belonging to telecoms company LIME in the scrap metal trade are to be sentenced on Friday… more

World Wide Web – Slow Catch For Jamaicans

Jamaica – The slow and creaking wheel of industry in Jamaica is yet to fully turn in the direction of the enormous unexplored opportunities in the creation of mobile applications (apps)… more

Youth have a new broadcast forum

Regional – THE youth of the Caribbean have opinions on the issues affecting them and they are being given a forum to express themselves to in excess of one million viewers across the Caribbean and the Diaspora… more


Image credit:  St. Lucia News Online;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia