Roundup: for the week ending 16 November 2014

A roundup of ICT/technology news from across the Caribbean region for the period Monday 10 November to 16 November 2014.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Bimini celebrates New BTC Store and IP TV Testing

Bahamas – BTC’s CEO Leon Williams delivered a double dose of good news for Biminites on November 6th when he officially opened a new BTC retail store in Alice Town and also announced that in two weeks, Bimini would be the first testing ground for IPTV, BTCs new internet television service available next year… more

Third Bahamian Contender Declares Cellular Intent

Bahamas – A Bahamian-led company has become the third local player to announce its intentions to bid on the second cellular licence, the tender for which is set to be launched shortly… more

Govt allocates $70m to put e-books on tablets

Jamaica – Government is to spend $70 million on e-books for on tablet computers currently being issued to several schools island wide… more

Digicel: No closed door approval of merger

Regional – The region’s largest mobile provider is calling on regulators throughout the Caribbean to ensure that there is “full disclosure and transparency” in the approval process of the proposed acquisition of Columbus International by Cable & Wireless Communications for US$3.02 billion… more

Flow in line for upgrade from rating agencies

Regional – Columbus International Inc, which trades as Flow in the region, is in line for an upgrade from two rating agencies… more

LIME shares continue to surge

Regional – LIME shares continue to show strong price growth in the aftermath of  last Thursday’s announcement that its parent company, Cable & Wireless, is acquiring Columbus International, the operator of Flow… more

Move into the digital age

Trinidad and Tobago – Futurist Gerb Leonhard has urged Trinidad and Tobago that the time has come for it to move away from its dependency on oil and gas and to focus on becoming a digital economy… more

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Digicel: We will make Bahamas a powerhouse

Bahamas – Digicel Chief Operating Officer (COO) Claudio Hildalgo has laid out that company’s case for why it should receive the second mobile license to be granted by the government of The Bahamas next year… more

Third mobile license in 2016

Bahamas – As upstart mobile company Junkanoo Mobile mounts its colorful campaign, “Dey comin’! Better service. Better prices. Better network”, Digicel and IP Solutions International (IPSI) have both renewed their own commitments to securing the next mobile license granted in The Bahamas… more

Go with the flow, says Minister Inniss

Barbados – Minister of Commerce Donville Inniss says he is not troubled by the proposed merger of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International Inc, which trade here as LIME and FLOW respectively… more

Inniss: Licence all telecoms rates

Barbados – Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss wants to see the licensing of services provided by all communications companies operating in Barbados… more‘Protect FLOW customer rates’

Barbados – CONSUMERS who migrated to FLOW from LIME in search of cheaper and more customer-friendly telecoms services should not now become victims of recriminations with the latter’s multibillion dollar buyout of its competitor… more

Logic moves to clear up unlicensed broadcasts

Cayman Islands – The new owners of Cayman’s biggest television company Weststar say the channel lineup offered to viewers is changing as they attempt to secure distribution agreements for existing and new programming… more

Gov’t has to safeguard competition, Paulwell says of C&W/Columbus deal

Jamaica – The Jamaican Government says it will be closely monitoring the proposed acquisition agreement between Cable and Wireless Communication (CWC) and Columbus International… more

CWC on the rise

Trinidad and Tobago – On Thursday, Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) announced that it would be buying Columbus International (, the quadplay, broadband backhaul upstart that matched the challenge to incumbent TSTT that Digicel mounted in the mobile telecommunications space on the ground… more

A battle ‘customers can win’

Regional – Below is an edited version of Barbados TODAY’S Marlon Madden’s interview with Cable & Wireless Communications chief executive officer Phil Bentley on Thursday, November 6… more

Columbus’ revenue over last 12 months was US$547 million

Regional – Hours before Cable & Wireless (CWC) on Friday morning raised around 113.8 million pounds sterling in a private placement of shares – part of the US$3 billion plan to acquire Columbus International Inc – two rating agencies put out statements favouring the deal (Thursday night)… more

LIAT expands distribution and e-ticketing technology

Regional – Sabre Corporation has expanded a multi-year distribution and technology agreement with LIAT, The Caribbean Airline which is based in Antigua… more

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Bahamas: Request for Proposals to Operate a Cellular Mobile Network and Provide Cellular Mobile Services

Bahamas – On Wednesday, November 12, 2014 the Government of The Bahamas took yet another step towards fulfilling their promise to reform policies and modernize The Bahamas through the liberalization of the cellular mobile market in The Bahamas… more

CEO Leon Williams Addresses Bahamas Society of Engineers

Bahamas – BTC CEO Leon Williams joined executives from BEC, Water and Sewerage Company, and Consolidated Water (Bahamas) to address attendees of the recent Bahamas Society for Engineer’s Annual Conference and the theme “Public Private Partnership (P3) in the Effective Delivery of Projects”… more

Govt invites players in pay TV, broadband

Bahamas – Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson told attendees at the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Busan, Korea, that in addition to the cellular/mobile market, the government wants to see more competition across the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, particularly in the markets for pay TV and broadband… more

Fiber networks expand across Cayman

Cayman Islands – Competition among cable and Internet providers is pushing into a new phase with the rollout of fiber networks… more

High-speed cables: Lifelines for Cayman’s economy

Cayman Islands – It is remarkable, the extent to which Grand Cayman’s physical infrastructure has been transformed over the past decade… more

Dominica flagICT workshop begins in Dominica

Dominica – Stakeholders from various countries in the region, including Dominica began a two-day workshop on a national Information Communications Technology ( ICT) policy at the Fort Young Hotel on Wednesday… more

Government pledges to protect consumers’ interests in telecoms deal

Jamaica – The Government of Jamaica has promised that it will be closely monitoring the proposed acquisition agreement between Cable & Wireless and Columbus International… more

Govt spends J$114m on content for Tablets in Schools

Jamaica – The Government has spent $114 million for the provision of electronic content on the tablet computers in the Tablets in Schools pilot programme… more

OAS launches course on cyber incident investigation in Jamaica

Jamaica – THE Organisation of American States (OAS) has launched a course in Jamaica on cyber incident investigation and analysis, aimed at teaching cyber-crime investigators and incident response teams basic and intermediate techniques in cyber investigation… more

CWC-Flow Deal Raises Questions, Says Gonsalves

Regional – Prime Minister of St Vincent & the Grena-dines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, says the acquisition of Columbus International by Cable and Wireless Communications Plc (CWC) raises the spectre of the monopolisation of Internet services… more

OAS Permanent Council Holds Special Meeting to Debate “Diplomacy, Development and Governance”

Regional – The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) met today in the framework of a special meeting to hear presentations from experts in international relations and telecommunications on the topic of “Diplomacy, development, and governance,” … more

TSTT reaches island retreats on mission towards 95% 4G coverage

Trinidad and Tobago – Telecommunications Services of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT) has established LTE-based wireless broadband coverage under the Blink Broadband banner on Chacachacare Island as part of its mobile and fixed-wireless broadband expansion programme to reach 95% of Trinidad and Tobago with high speed wireless services, reports local newspaper Newsday… more

Thursday, 13 November 2014

BTC Drives 40,000 To Smart Phones

Bahamas – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) is aiming to drive some 40,000 mobile customers to upgrade to smart phone technology, its chief executive yesterday confirming the incumbent carrier will start testing its TV product in Bimini next week… more

BTC Drops 40,000 Calls A Day But To Spend $65m

Bahamas – THE Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd has reduced its daily average of dropped calls to 40,000 from more than 70,000 and now expects fewer challenges, Chief Executive Officer Leon Williams said yesterday… more

Bahamas flag (Wikipedia)Bidding Begins On Second Cellular Licence

Bahamas – THE bidding process for the country’s second cellular provider licence begins today, Prime Minister Perry Christie said… more

Cellular Bidder Brings ‘Best Of Both Worlds’

Bahamas – A cellular licence contender yesterday said it “brought the best of both worlds” via its combination of Bahamian and international ties, expressing hope it would soon see “the fruits” of seven years’ work… more

Gov’t Sets Out Mobile Liberalisation Terms

Bahamas – The Government expects to award a second cellular license by April 2015 it was disclosed yesterday, with its Task Force announcing that tender documents would be launched today… more

Mobile Bidder: ‘Turn Us On’

Bahamas – A leading contender for the Bahamas’ second mobile telecommunications licence last night urged the Government to “turn us on”, after it formally launched the bidding process… more

PM Christie Launches Cellular Mobile Network Request for Proposals

Bahamas – Remarks for the Prime Minister for the Launch for Request for Proposals to Operate the Cellular Mobile Network in The Bahamas made on November 12th, 2014… more

Request for Proposal to Operate a Cellular Mobile Network and Provide Cellular Mobile Services in The Bahamas

Bahamas – The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas is inviting interested persons to apply to operate a cellular mobile network and provide cellular mobile services to the public in The Bahamas… more

Force reporting of cybercrime

Barbados – The recent hacking of banking systems by Bulgarians that resulted in several people losing money is proof that Barbadian financial institutions are not immune to cybercrime… more

LIME goes ebill

Barbados – COME JANUARY 1, LIME landline customers will have to pay nearly $5 to get their printed bills, so that they can pay them, as the company ramps up its ebilling programme… more

Smart and BTL Head to Court

Belize – Attorneys for telecom providers Speednet and B.T.L. were in court this morning… more

Cloud computing ‘inevitable’ for government

Cayman Islands – Government services will, in the coming years, start moving away from physical servers on the island and into big data centers in the United States and elsewhere, according to a deputy in the Ministry of Home Affairs… more

Flush from Columbus win, C&W says set to take battle to Caribbean rival

Regional – Cable & Wireless Communications Plc believes its expensive victory in the battle to buy broadband and TV provider Columbus will give it the heft it needs to take on fierce rival Digicel in the Caribbean… more

THE HOYOS FILE: End of the Camelot era in telecommunications

Regional – That once there was a spot For one brief shining moment That was known as Camelot” … more

Workers’ Concern VS Business Interest Editorial, Caribupdate Weekly

Regional – he troubled economies of the Caribbean region – from Jamaica in the north, to Trinidad, Grenada and Guyana in the south – could be inflicted with some additional heavy body blows with the news emanating from Bank of Nova Scotia, Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus Communications International, which is also known as FLOW… more

Friday, 14 November 2014

Bahamas’ BTC to launch IPTV trial in Bimini

Bahamas – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), part of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), expects to carry out a trial of its IPTV service in Bimini in the coming weeks… more

Barbados flagGovt fighting cyber crime

Barbados – With 123 000 internet subscribers in Barbados, Government is moving to establish a Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) to assess the readiness and capability of cyber security in the country… more

Govt wants Bahamians to own majority share in new cell company

Barbados – The government wants Bahamians to own a majority stake in the new company created to offer cellular services in The Bahamas under a new license to be granted by April 2015, if all goes according to plan… more

Longer wait for phone bill ease

Barbados – Consumers who might have been hoping for an ease with their fixed line telephone bills when the pricing plan under which they are charged expires next March, may have to wait for at least another year… more

Police website hacked

Barbados – The website of the Royal Barbados Police Force has again been targeted by cyber criminals… more

BTL and SMART Battle

Belize – Belize’s two telecom providers, SMART and BTL are in court – preparing for trial on December eighth. SMART, also known as SPEEDNET relies on BTL’s infrastructure for voice and data services in the south – but recently BTL gave them a 30 days notice of termination for that contract… more

BTL responds to SMART

Belize – On November 12th, 2014 Speednet Communications Limited (“Speednet”) issued a press release in which Speednet made a number of unfounded and misleading statements regarding the termination of DTN links provided to Speednet by Belize Telemedia Limited (“BTL”)… more

BTL rethinks move to pull plug on Speednet!

Belize – Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) has agreed not to discontinue the service they provide to Speednet Communications Limited, which Speednet says would have affected about 7,000 of its customers in Toledo… more

BTL says SMART was given sufficient notice to terminate links

Belize – On Wednesday, SpeedNet sent out a press release saying that it hadfiled an application for an injunction against Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) in the Supreme Court of Belize… more

Speednet Communications Limited Injunction Against Belize Telemedia Limited

Belize – The two competing telecommunications companies in Belize were in court today before Justice Shona Griffith after Speednet Communications Limited (SMART) filed an injunction against Belize Telemedia Limited… more

Cayman Enterprise City introduces Real Vision TV

Cayman Islands – Real Vision Television, a media startup offering financial video service, has experienced much success since the company launched from Cayman Enterprise City in early September. Real Vision TV is an on-demand, subscriber-based channel that offers a library of exclusive content on economics and investing… more

ITU makes computer donation to Dominica

Dominica – The communities of Petite Savanne, Campbell and Castle-Bruce will soon have more public access to Information Technology… more

Altice posts revs of EUR 143 mln in Dominican Republic in Q3

Dominican Republic – Altice posted revenues of EUR 143 million in the third quarter of the year in the Dominican Republic, up from EUR 141.3 million in the year-ago period… more

Crime app designers focus on campus security

Jamaica – The designers of a mobile crime alert application (app), which was soft-launched on the Android smartphone operating system in September, say they plan to earn from regional university campuses… more

Digicel Offers Millions For Christmas Promotion

Jamaica – Digicel’s Christmas promotion is now on and there is a whopping $60 million in cash and prizes from which more than 200,000 customers will win, making this the company’s biggest winning pool ever… more

ICT Offers Best Solution For Unemployment

Jamaica – WHILE THOUSANDS of individuals graduate from various secondary and tertiary institutions annually with no job prospects, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell has said information communication technology (ICT) is the best solution for unemployment… more

Blue Apple logo (wicker_man, flickr)iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus go on sale at LIME stores today

Jamaica – THE Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will today go on sale at LIME stores islandwide… more

Jamaica’s Gov’t to Monitor Proposed Acquisition of ‘Flow’ By ‘Cable and Wireless’

Jamaica – The Government will be closely monitoring the proposed acquisition agreement between Cable and Wireless Communication (CWC) and Columbus International… more

Student accused of stealing cop’s phone

Jamaica – A student accused of stealing a policeman cellular phone had his bail extended when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court yesterday… more

Lee-Chin: Flow Has Been A Game Changer In Telecoms Market

Regional – Jamaican-Canadian investor Michael Lee-Chin, whose firm Portland Private Equity (PPE) co-founded Columbus International Inc with the Risley group around 2005, says a decade later the telecoms has been pivotal to the delivery of top-notch cable TV and lowering the cost of Internet services for consumers across the region… more

O’Brien calls on internet giants to help pay for broadband in developing world

Regional – Telecoms billionaire Denis O’Brien has challenged Google, Facebook and other internet companies to contribute to the cost of making broadband available in the developing world… more

Saturday, 15 November 2014

NEOC says ‘Anguilla making steady progress towards recovery’

Anguilla – Hurricane Gonzalo impacted Anguilla on Monday 13th October 2014 causing damage primarily to utility infrastructure, vegetation and beaches… more

Sunday, 16 November 2014

BTC upgrades Bahamas network, readies pay-TV platform

Bahamas – As a result of the recent $65 million network improvement package, Bahamian telco BTC is upgrading its mobile network throughout the island, and will soon add a pay-TV service… more

FTC eye on LIME

Barbados – The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) is investigating LIME’s proposed charge of $4.68 for customers who want to continue receiving printed bills… more

OUR Touts Local IXP For Internet Traffic – Switch Installed In September

Jamaica– The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) is now pushing for service providers to make use of Jamaica’s Internet exchange point (IXP) following the installation of a switching station in September, a development that director Leighton Hamilton says will cut local server hosting costs and reduce Internet charges… more


Image credits:  carterse (flickr);  Flow;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia;  wicker_man (flickr)