Roundup: for the week ending 23 November 2014

A roundup of ICT/technology news from across the Caribbean region for the period Monday 17 November to 23 November 2014.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Second Cellular Network Important for Bahamas Communications Resilience

Bahamas – The Government of The Bahamas embarked on the initial stages of liberalizing the mobile phone market in the country, November 12, when Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Chrisite said that after ‘years of waiting,’ competition in cellular telephone services was imminent… more

Orange Dominicana, Banco Popular launch new service

Dominican Republic – Mobile telephony operator Orange Dominicana has launched a new mobile financial service in association with local bank Banco Popular Dominicano… more

LIME launches Christmas campaign in Mandeville

Jamaica – Telecoms provider Lime recently launched its Christmas campaign and introduced its 4G service to this south-central town with a parade through the streets… more

Technology Minister Cites Emerging Opportunities In ICT Sector

Jamaica – Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says there are numerous emerging opportunities available within the information and communication technology (ICT) sector for young entrepreneurs… more

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

FTC probe

Barbados – THE FAIR TRADING COMMISSION (FTC) is assuring Barbadians that it is on the case of two corporate giants whose recent business decisions have angered consumers… more

LIME in the wrong?

Barbados – The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) is investigating whether a move by telecommunications company LIME to charge just under $5 for printed bills is in breach of its contract with customers or “excessive, unreasonable, discriminatory or predatory”… more

Smart and BTL battle over “10,000” customers

Belize – Since the cyber-attacks against Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) made the headlines four months ago, in July 2014, things have been relatively quiet on the telecommunications front, but customers in southern Belize, primarily those connected to SpeedNet/Smart, have been grappling with major connectivity issues… more

Cost savings help push up EBITDA at Altice

Dominican Republic – The Luxembourg-based telecoms investment group Altice has reported revenues of EUR832.3 million (USD1.04 billion) for its third quarter to 30 September 2014, down 0.3% year-on-year… more

AS I SEE THINGS: Let the games begin

Regional – For many decades, Cable and Wireless (now LIME) operated as the single provider of telecommunications services in the Caribbean and has undoubtedly transformed that vital industry with massive amounts of investment in required infrastructure and human resource development… more

Cable & Wireless US$3B Deal to Acquire Columbus Exposes Vulnerabilities in Caribbean Telecom Sector

Regional – When Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) announced an agreement to acquire Columbus International, news of the deal sparked widespread concerns about the impact of reduced competition on consumer pricing, infrastructure investment and wider economic development in the Caribbean… more hits back at C&W’s “sour grapes” comment

Regional – In a clash of words telecoms company Digicel today lashed out at rivals Cable and Wireless for assertions that the company is suffering from “sour grapes” regarding the recent acquisition of Columbus Communication… more

TelEm Group restoration work picking up pace, new areas of activity named.

Sint Maarten – TelEm Group technicians are picking up the pace with restoration works in several areas of the island following the passing of Hurricane Gonzalo in mid-October and many days of torrential rain in the past two weeks… more

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Cable invests $3m with eye on mobile

Bahamas – Cable Bahamas has invested $3 million to upgrade service quality on its fixed-line REVOICE network… more

EDITORIAL: Consumer voice too long missing

Barbados – The plans by LIME to charge customers who want to continue receiving printed bills and the move by CIBC FirstCaribbean to change contractual arrangements may be good business decisions… more

Police issue warnings over latest scams

Cayman Islands – he RCIPS are warning people to be on the look-out for fraudulent adverts and callers as a result of mounting scam reports… more

CWC Overpaid For Columbus By Us$1B, Says Digicel

Regional – Smarting from comments that it was motivated by sour grapes, Digicel Group is doubling down on its plan to push for aggressive review of the pending CWC/Columbus International tie-up Tuesday, even as it alleged that its British rival negotiated a bad deal… more

Thursday, 20 November 2014

BTC installs five new mobile towers

Bahamas – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has installed five new cellular towers in New Providence, in a bid to improve service quality for mobile phone users in key traffic areas… more

Cable Bahamas gets REVOICE ready for mobile service with $3 million network upgrade

Bahamas – Cable Bahamas has announced that its REVOICE phone service is operating at an optimal level following the success of a $3 million network upgrade… more

Barbados flag (Wikipedia)Telecom update

Barbados – A high-powered team from the newly combined telecommunications force of Cable & Wireless (C&W) and Columbus International spent yesterday in a rapid round of meetings with top officials including Prime Minister Freundel Stuart… more

Unfair move by LIME

Barbados – We have received a letter from Lime stating that as of January 1, 2015, they will be charging $4.68 for a written bill… more

Random targets in new telephone scam – FIA

British Virgin Islands – he Financial Investigation Agency (FIA) has issued a public advisory for residents of the British Virgin Islands to be mindful of what it said is a telephone scam that emerged recently… more

Data protection ‘removes’ right to trial

Cayman Islands – Few people understand legislation proposed to protect privacy rights in Cayman, and the Data Protection Bill (2014), if passed in its current form, may end up violating other human rights, including the right to a fair trial, according to the Cayman Islands Human Rights Commission… more

Digicel welcomes stance taken by Ectel in relation to proposed acquisition of Columbus by Cable and Wireless

Regional – Digicel welcomed the confirmation by the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ECTEL) that the proposed merger between Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus Communications Inc. (Columbus) is a matter of significant public interest for the region deserving of rigourous regulatory attention and diligent review… more

ECTEL: C&W, Columbus may be in breach of licences

Regional – Mobile service provider Digicel yesterday said it welcomed statements by the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ECTEL) that Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) purchase of Columbus Communications Inc was a matter of significant public interest for the region deserving of rigorous regulatory attention and diligent review… more

Meetings start

Regional – OFFICIALS of Cable and Wireless and Columbus Communications (FLOW) got down to business yesterday when they held meetings with Barbados Government representatives and those of the regulators, including the Fair Trading Commission, and the official Opposition… more

Catholic Church partners with local developer to give app technology a higher calling

Trinidad and Tobago – The Roman Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain is taking a leap of faith into the world of digital technology… more

DIRECTV demands transparency

Trinidad and Tobago – DIRECTV has no objection to the proposed acquisition of Columbus International Inc by Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) as long as the process is transparent and the telecoms regulators in each country take into account the overall effect on the markets and consumers… more

Howai, CWU meet on CWC/Columbus deal

Trinidad and Tobago – Government has not yet taken a position on the agreement by Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) to acquire Columbus International, Joseph Remy, secretary general of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said yesterday… more

Friday, 21 November 2014‘Not In Market’s Interest’ For BTC Appeal To Succeed

Bahamas – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s (BTC) main rival last night said it was “not in the market’s interest” for its appeal against a regulatory ruling, which found it guilty of anti-competitive behaviour, to succeed… more

Protect us (please) from government’s Data Protection Bill

Cayman Islands – “It is convoluted and complex legislation, even for lawyers,” declared James Austin-Smith, who is an attorney and head of the Cayman Islands Human Rights Commission… more

Competition Under Threat

Jamaica – THE EDITOR, Sir: I see that Digicel and Cable & Wireless continue to fight in the media, but what I would like to know is whether they will fight equally hard for consumers… more

Cable & Wireless says it appreciates intervention by regulators in Columbus merger

Regional – Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) today said it welcomed the intervention of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ECTEL) in its proposed merger with Columbus Communications… more

Current Issues in the Telecommunications Sector in ECTEL Member States

Regional – The sixteenth Consultative Forum of representatives of the five National Telecommunications Regulatory Commissions (NTRCs) and the staff of the ECTEL Directorate was held in Saint Lucia on November 10 – 11, 2014… more

Digicel calls on TATT to withstand joint CWC/Columbus pressure to limit regulatory approvals process

Regional – Digicel today publicly called on the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) to hold firm and withstand the severe pressure being applied by UK based Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International Inc. (Columbus) to rapidly approve the proposed acquisition of Columbus by CWC… more

How will regional regulators respond to CWC’s acquisition of Columbus?

Regional – Can telecommunications regulators from across the Caribbean see beyond their national interests and present a unified regional response to a common challenge? The recent announcement by Cable and Wireless (CWC) of its proposed US$3 billion acquisition of Columbus International could prompt them to try… more announces the arrival of the iPhone 6 and 6 plus to the region

Regional – The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus are here, thanks to LIME, the only authorised carrier in the English-speaking Caribbean… more

O’Brien has big calls to make

Regional – Denis O’Brien is well known in business and media circles for taking a rather muscular approach to his opponents and critics… more

Digicel Launches its Christmas Promotion

Saint Kitts and Nevis – Digicel fans are in for another treat this Christmas season… more

Saturday, 22 November 2014

$22 MILLION worth of cell phones

Jamaica – A man, who is accused of stealing $22,000,000 worth of cellular phones from the Kingston Wharves, was further remanded in custody when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court on Friday… more

Digicel Customers Can Opt Out Of Sms Notifications

Jamaica – THE EDITOR, Sir: I am writing in response to a letter that was published (‘Leave me the hell alone, Digicel!’) in The Gleaner on Friday, November 21, 2014 regarding text notifications from Digicel… more

Don’t Let C&W Fool You Again

Jamaica – THE EDITOR, Sir: Just when we thought that the telecoms sector in Jamaica couldn’t get any more interesting or surreal, now we have CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden getting in on the act… more

Young Entrepreneurs Display Technology Innovations

Jamaica – Young technology entrepreneurs participating in the Government’s Start-Up Jamaica (SUJ) initiative showcased their various innovations at a Demo Day held on Monday (November 17)… more

Digicel to TATT: Don’t rush to approve

Regional – Digicel yesterday called on the Telecommunications Authority of T&T (TATT) to hold firm and withstand pressure from UK based Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International Inc… more

LIME responds to licence breach warning

Regional – LIME’s parent Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) has responded to a warning from the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) that both CWC and Columbus Communications, better known as FLOW, could be in breach of their licenses if they engage in activities, which can unfairly prevent, restrict, or distort competition… more

Digicel Makes Christmas Better For Communities

Saint Lucia – During the festive season Digicel St Lucia will share and give even more value to its customers. Throughout the next month Digicel will bring smiles and cheer to families and communities with the hope of bringing everyone together to make this Christmas better… more

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Telecommunication : Interference and fraud, towards a bilateral solution…

Haiti – Jean Marie Guillaume, Director Genral of the National Council of Telecommunications (CONATEL), at the head of delegation recently visited the headquarters of the Dominican Institute of Telecommunications (INDOTEL), in order to meet his counterpart Dominican Gedeon Santos, as part of a workshop on interference caused by mobile telephony and audiovisual services and telephone fraud… more

Jamaica flag (Wikipedia)I welcome the Cable and Wireless acquisition of Flow

Jamaica – HAVING been a subscriber to Flow’s triple play service for many years, at the very moment I read that the Cable and Wireless (CWC) had bought Columbus Communications, known to us in Jamaica as Flow, I envisioned rates going down because of increased competition from the dominant player in the region, Digicel… more

Startuprobot Re-Engineers Company Registrations

Jamaica – At 37, Winston Wilkins, CEO and founder of StartUpRobot (SUR), the company which promises to take the pain out of company registrations, has turned a hobby in IT into a new company… more

CWC/Columbus: Deal good for prices, jobs, investment

Regional – Communications Columbus International have said that their proposed merger  will increase competition with Digicel, enhance customer choice and boost long-term investment and employment across the Caribbean… more

CWC-Columbus Heads East For Talks Over ECTEL Concerns

Regional – Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International say they have already initiated discussions with regulators in four of six markets and will head next to St Lucia and Grenada to meet with authorities there on their plans to merge… more

Digicel accused of violating network policy

Regional – Telecommunications Company Digicel has been found to be in breach of the principle of Internet Neutrality as a result of its move to restrict Over the Top(OTT) Services, in particular Viper to residents across the Caribbean… more

ECTEL slams company’s ‘interception’

Regional – On Thursday, Digicel issued a news release in which it agreed with the position taken by the telecommunications regulator in the Eastern Caribbean (ECTEL) on the acquisition by Cable & Wireless Communications of Columbus International… more


Image credits:  journalismthatmatters/flickr;  Brands of the World;  Wikipedia;  Eleutheran News;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia