Roundup: for the week ending 14 December 2014

A roundup of ICT/technology news from across the Caribbean region for the period Monday 8 December to 14 December 2014.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Cable Bahamas appoints mobile telecommunications leader to board of directors

Bahamas – Cable Bahamas Ltd (BISX: CAB) today announced the appointment of Michele M. Merrell to the company’s board of directors, taking the board to its full complement… more

Keeping children safe online

Cayman Islands – The Optimist Club of George Town says unfiltered internet access can leave children vulnerable, so they’re educating parents and children about the safe use of the World Wide Web… more

Regulator announces new safety guidelines for telecoms

Cayman Islands – The Information Communications Technology Authority has released new safety guidelines for telecommunications workers laying cables on electricity poles in the Cayman Islands… more

Need To Improve Santo Domingo’s Internet Connectivity

Dominican Republic – A total of 8,618,015 mobile phones are in use in the Dominican Republic, which means that 82.69% of the population has a telephone… more

Any licence for Columbus/CWC merger must consider fair competition — ECTEL insists

Regional – The Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) says it will ensure that any new licence granted to British telecommunications giant, Cable and Wireless (CWC) to operate in the sub-region will take into account the need for fair competition… more

Business as usual for CWC and Columbus? Not for long, says ECTEL

Regional – So far, it looks like business as usual for telecommunications consumers in Saint Lucia, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. But regional regulators say that could soon change… more

Cable and Wireless mega deal sparks regional worries

Regional – Concerns have been expressed that Cable & Wireless Communication’s (CWC) proposed US$3 billion acquisition of regional cable provider Columbus International (also known as FLOW) could lead to a decline in telecommunications competition across the region and anti-competitive behaviour in T&T… more

CWC and Columbus Promise to Protect Consumer Interest

Regional – Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International today announced plans to launch a series of special “Customer Panels” in 14 markets throughout the region, beginning Monday, December 8, 2014… more sets up merger ‘hotlines’

Regional – Customers of Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International are being given an outlet to discuss the planned merger of these two companies… more

Digicel CEO says investments hang on CWC/Columbus merger

Regional – The chief executive of international wireless operator Digicel Group has said that the firm could re-examine its investment strategy in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region should Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) be given the regulatory go-ahead for its proposed USD3 billion buyout of another regional operator, Columbus International… more

Digicel demands level playing field in Jamaica

Regional – Mobile telephone giant Digicel has warned that it will re-examine its investment plans in Jamaica and the region if it is not happy with the terms of the buyout of Columbus International by Cable and Wireless Communications Plc (CWC)… more

Protect consumers and competition

Regional – I see that Cable & Wireless’ Miami-based executives have been travelling around the Caribbean trying to sell the benefits of their intended acquisition of Columbus in terms of it being good for consumers, good for the economy and good for staff… more

CFBC student government association organizes first QR Code (Treasure) Hunt powered by LIME

Saint Kitts and Nevis – The Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College exploded with excitement for their first ever QR Code Treasure Hunt. The Student Government Association definitely took advantage of LIME’s #UpgradeChristmas Campaign and facilitated a fun and exciting way for students to win a number of gifts and great prizes for the holiday season… more

Samsung Experience goes to West Mall

Trinidad and Tobago – Samsung Electronics Latin America has deepened its footprint in the T&T market with the opening its second Samsung Experience Store, this one located at Westmoorings, yesterday… more

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Alcatel introduces products at BTC

Bahamas – The cellular market is about to be liberalized in The Bahamas, and IPTV is being tested in Bimini. In this atmosphere of new technology, Alcatel Onetouch has announced its new line up of mobile devices in The Bahamas… more

BTC on schedule with IPTV in Bimini

Bahamas – Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has announced that it is on schedule in regards to delivering television services to Bimini before the end of the year… more

Cable Slams ‘Ill-Timed’ Internet, TV Price Caps

Bahamas – Cable Bahamas warned regulators that their decision to impose price caps on its pay-TV and Internet services would be “ill-timed, intrusive and disproportionate”, arguing that these controls were unnecessary due to emerging competition… more Will Keep Speednet’s Southern Link Going Till End February

Belize – Earlier we told you about the legal showdown in the Caribbean Court of Justice tomorrow. While that fight ensues, a legal dispute with BTL’s competitor, SMART!, came to a temporary resolution yesterday… more

Student allegedly swipes money from cable company

Belize – Twenty-one year old Carlos Echeverria, a student of the University of Belize, was charged with theft when he appeared today before magistrate Dale Cayetano… more

The Wikimedia Foundation and Digicel partner to offer free Wikipedia access

Jamaica – Today Digicel and the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organisation that operates Wikipedia and its sister projects, announced a partnership to offer free access to Wikipedia to all Digicel customers, whether they are subscribed to a data plan or not… more

CWC deal good for customers

Regional – I was pleased to read that Mark Linehan, former chief executive officer (CEO) of Digicel Jamaica and current CEO of Digicel Barbados, has taken note of our recent visits to various Caribbean states, and acknowledged the importance of engaging with key stakeholders. I couldn’t agree more… more

Digicel could scale back Caribbean investment

Regional – Colm Delves, who runs Denis O’Brien’s Caribbean telco Digicel, gave a most interesting interview over the weekend in its main market of Jamaica… more

ECTEL to analyse acquisition

Regional – THE Eastern Caribbean Telecommunication Authority (ECTEL) will closely analyse the impact of a proposed US$ 3 billion acquisition of Columbus by Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC). ECTEL stated this intention as part of the closing statement it issued following a special meeting of its Council of Ministers in St Lucia last Thursday… more

Regional Company Registrars Consider Integrated Online Registry

Regional – A meeting to discuss the development of a complete online registry among 12 Member States participating in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) will be held in Saint Lucia from 8 – 10 December 2014… more

TATT, ECTEL to collaborate on analysis of mega merger’s impact

Regional – Eastern Caribbean ministers with responsibility for telecommunications, meeting in St Lucia last week, have resolved to undertake their analysis of the impact of the proposed acquisition of Columbus International by Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) in conjunction with the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT)… more

Learning programme embraces ICT

Trinidad and Tobago – Students are taking responsibility for their own education with ICT learning programmes, says Director of the I Can Learn Programme (ICLP) in Trinidad, Araceli Marchan. Technology, she added, it is also helping to bridge learning gaps… more

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Cell phone ban outdated, says principal

Barbados – THE BAN ON cell phones in schools is outdated… more

B.T.L. & B.E.L. Nationalizations Heard at CCJ

Belize – Hearings started today at the Caribbean Court of Justice in Trinidad, which will determine the fate of B.T.L. and B.E.L., the two utility companies that were acquired from their owners by the government… more

BTL offers economy phone promotion

Belize – Belize Telemedia is today offering a special promotion of phone devices and Belizeans are lining up to take advantage of what is being offered… more

Cable & Wireless shareholders approve Columbus merger

Cayman Islands – Shareholders of Cable & Wireless Communications plc, the parent company of LIME, voted in favor of a merger with Columbus International Inc., operator of Flow in Jamaica, at a general meeting in London last week… more

Employee emails easy entry point for hackers, expert says

Cayman Islands – Almost 90 percent of all hacker attacks start with an email, and not the kind from your long-lost “Nigerian prince cousin.” … more

Cayman_Islands flag (Wikipedia)New safety guidelines for telecoms industry

Cayman Islands – The Information Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) has published guidelines for telecommunications workers working on electricity poles in the Cayman Islands to ensure that proper safety standards are being adhered to at all times… more

No legal protections in case of data theft

Cayman Islands – Cayman’s financial institutions face the same threats as any other financial centers around the globe, but local cybersecurity experts say people in Cayman may never find out if their personal information is stolen from a local bank… more

Brazil/Guyana fibre optic cable project collapses

Guyana – More than four years after an agreement was signed between Guyana and Brazil for a fibre optic cable to link Government facilities, the project appears to have collapsed because of technical issues… more

CWC Company Acquires Small Wifi Rival DEKAL

Jamaica – LIME Jamaica announced the acquisition of DEKAL Wireless, an Internet service provider whose services are mainly focused on rural Jamaicans, but declined to identify the specific buyer, said only to be “a member of the CWC Group”… more

UTech Seminar highlights need for transformation of ICT Regulatory Framework

Jamaica – The School of Computing and Information Technology, University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 hosted a public seminar on “Regulating the ICT Industry and its Effects on Growth and Development,” which highlighted the urgent need for transformation of Jamaica’s ICT regulatory framework… more

CWC-Columbus To Set Up Customer Panels In Caribbean Markets

Regional – Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International have announced plans to launch a series of special ‘customer panels’ in 14 markets throughout the region… more

Cable & Wireless shareholders approve Columbus merger

Regional – Shareholders of Cable & Wireless Communications plc, the parent company of LIME, voted in favor of a merger with Columbus International Inc., operator of Flow in Jamaica, at a general meeting in London last week… more

Dec. 10, 2014 Proposed merger of Cable And Wireless and Flow discussed by…

Regional – The ECTEL Council of Ministers met in St Lucia on Thursday, December 4, 2014 to discuss the proposed merger between Cable and Wireless Communications PLC, and Columbus Communication Ltd… more

Digicel hammers it out with Cable & Wireless, Columbus

Regional – Top executives of the region’s three major telecommunications players hammered out their differences in a five-hour meeting hosted by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) in Port-of-Spain… more

Digicel’s O’Brien flies in

Regional – Digicel founder and executive chairman, Denis O’ Brien, is due to fly into Trinidad on his private jet this morning as continues his attempt to drum up support among regional politicians and regulators for his position that the proposed acquisition of Columbus International by Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) would be detrimental to Caribbean telecommunications competition… more

OECS logo (SKNVibes)No monopoly of telecom market, say OECS ministers

Regional – Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) telecommunications ministers have taken a decision to prevent the return to a telecommunications monopoly following a proposed merger between Cable and Wireless Communications and Columbus Communications International… more

Open Letter On Flow’s Proposed Acquisition By CWC, From Digicel Barbados Boss; “Start Telling The Truth Cable & Wireless”

Regional – I was initially pleased to see that a Cable & Wireless representative took the time to respond to my letter on the proposed acquisition of Columbus by Cable and Wireless but after reading his response I was disappointed to see that Chris Dehring didn’t take on board my comments nor did he take the opportunity to ease the concerns of the public… more

Proposed Merger Of Cable And Wireless And Flow Discussed By ECTEL Ministers

Regional – The ECTEL Council of Ministers met in St Lucia on Thursday, December 4, 2014 to discuss the proposed merger between Cable and Wireless Communications PLC, and Columbus Communication Ltd… more

Sinclair points to benefits of CWC/Columbus merger

Regional – LIME Jamaica CEO Garfield Sinclair has said that the proposed merger of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International will be good for customers, Jamaica, and for shareholders… more

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Digicel Launches New Additions To Its Smartphone Range – Perfect Gift For Christmas!

Barbados – Digicel continues its mission to bring the best value to customers this Christmas with the latest additions to its own brand smartphone range – the all-new DL 800 and DL 900… more

Time for Smart Customers in the South to Make the Switch

Belize – After February 28, 2015 the Belize Telemedia Limited will no longer provide Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) Lines to Speednet; therefore, Smart customers in Southern Belize should start switching to the company owned by the Government and people of Belize… more

GPL loses $$millions annually through cable operators, GT&T

Guyana – Guyana Power and Light (GPL), in addition to the billions of dollars lost through technical and commercial losses, continue to lose millions of dollars each year as a result of cable operators and the Guyana Telephone and Telephone (GT&T) Company utilizing its poles countrywide without paying a dime… more

Changes at the head of Digicel

Haiti – Wednesday, Digicel Haiti CEO, Maarten Boute, has been promoted to the role of Chairman for Digicel Haiti with immediate effect… more

$1 million ‘bonus’ for 5 schools in tablet project

Jamaica – GOVERNMENT has set aside $1 million to reward five schools that are showing academic improvements from utilisation of the tablet computers provided under the Tablets in Schools Pilot project… more

LIME Jamaica acquires Dekal Wireless.

Jamaica – LIME Jamaica has acquired rival Wi-Fi operator Dekal Wireless for an undisclosed amount, The Gleaner reports… more

ONLINE READERS COMMENT: Mr Sinclair, how will the merger benefit consumers?

Jamaica – Dear Editor, I read an article that was published in the Jamaica Observer on December 10, 2014, where LIME’s head, Mr Garfield Sinclair, pointed out the benefits of the proposed merger between his company and Columbus Communications… more

Digicel boss wary of regional CWC monopoly

Regional – Digicel executive chairman Denis O’Brien said yesterday that to preserve competition and protect consumers in the Caribbean, regional regulators should insist that the combination of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International be required to sell assets… more

O’Brien: Telecoms at crossroads

Regional – DIGICEL Executive Chairman Denis O’Brien yesterday declared the proposed US$3 billion acquisition of Columbus by Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) has essentially placed the telecommunications industry at a crossroads… more

O’Brien wants regulators to look at CWC

Regional – Denis O’Brien, the chairman of Digicel, has hinted he will ask regulators in the Caribbean to force rival Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) to sell off chunks of the business created through its $3 billion purchase of cable operator Columbus Communications… more

Not a case of sour grapes

Regional – Irish billionaire and chairman of mobile provider Digicel Denis O’Brien, says his company’s complaints about the acquisition of Columbus Communications by Cable & Wireless are not “sour grapes”… more

Carnival launches Sugar Mas app, sashes Carnival Queen Contestants

Saint Kitts and Nevis – THE Sugar Mas product continues to evolve to incorporate more technology, and the latest in this advancement is the launch of its innovative, yet easy to use, mobile application… more

Flag_of_Sint_MaartenTelEm Group re-routes international voice and data traffic following outage in Miami.

Sint Maarten – TelEm Group last night re-route international voice and data traffic from its SS7 link operated through SMITCOMS N.V. to provide continuity of telecommunication service on St. Maarten after an important communication node in Miami became faulty… more

Bmobile and SAMSUNG raising the bar on technology and service

Trinidad and Tobago – SCORES of customers eagerly awaited the opening of two new Bmobile / Samsung Experience Stores on Thursday December 4, at the Falls West Mall, Westmoorings and at Trincity Mall… more

Cable Bahamas, HBO bring best of Hollywood films this December

Trinidad and Tobago – Cable Bahamas and HBO are committed to providing viewers with premium programming, films and television specials and this December, the longtime partners will bring some of Hollywood’s biggest films to television once again… more

Friday, 12 December 2014

Flow-ing as usual

Barbados – It is business as usual at Columbus Barbados, despite the acquisition of the company by Cable & Wireless. And while Columbus is pushing ahead with its plans, it is also moving to assuage public concern about the deal… more

CCJ sets nationalization decision for January 23

Belize – This morning the five-judge panel of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago wrapped up a three-day session of arguments over the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited and Belize Electricity Limited… more

Authority seeks to preserve public service television in Cayman

Cayman Islands – Certain types of programming – deemed to be public service broadcasting – will be retained in any new formula for ensuring viewers have access to local content on television… more

ICTA: New guidelines for telecom workers

Cayman Islands – The Information Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) has announced that a guideline document for telecommunications workers who work on electricity poles in the Cayman Islands has been published… more

Cuba says it’s committed to expanding computerization, Internet access

Cuba – Computerizing daily activities and expanding Internet access are priorities for Cuba, according to Communist party daily Granma, which said the island is making progress in those areas “steadily but unhurriedly.” … more

18,000 Tablets to be Distributed By December 18

Jamaica – Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says that 18,000 of the targeted 25,000 tablet computers will be delivered to students before the end of the Christmas school term on December 18… more

SOS To LIME, Digicel From St Thomas

JamaicaTHE EDITOR, Sir:I note with interest the ongoing competition between the two major telecommunications providers, Digicel and LIME. There have been mergers, acquisitions and all sorts of announcements in the press… more

‘500 news jobs’ from CWC-Columbus merger

Regional – Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International Inc have announced the formation of a new company that will create 500 jobs following CWC’s acquisition of Columbus… more

CWC/Columbus new company will invest US$400m in broadband expansion

Regional – Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International Inc. (Columbus) today announced a customer charter that they say will guide how the new company would operate following the approval and closing of their merger… more

FLOW’s Niall Sheehy peels open LIME deal – staff did not know until night before

Regional – Niall Sheehy may have married into the Caribbean and forged a new generation of Sheehy’s for the region, but he’s lost none of the Corkish charm from his hometown of Ireland… more

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Let Telecoms MinnJamaica flag (Wikipedia)ows Swim With Sharks

Jamaica – THE EDITOR, Sir: The recent acquisitions by LIME and Digicel have sent a mixture of excitement and concern to consumers and technology interests alike about the future of mobile, Internet and cable in Jamaica and the Caribbean… more

CWC/Columbus to form new company

Regional – TELECOMS companies Cable and Wireless Communications and Columbus International Inc have announced the pending formation of NewCo, a new company that they say will revolutionise telecommunications in the Caribbean by “putting customers at the heart” of their business… more

Regional competition commission looking into CWC/Columbus merger

Regional – The controversial merger of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), which trades here as LIME, with Columbus International Inc, which operates as Flow, has been taken up by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Competition Commission… more

Slaves to digital devices

Trinidad and Tobago – Some nights ago, a television news reporter covering one of the Prime Minister’s toys distribution functions asked eight children what they would like to get as Christmas presents… more

Sunday, 14 December 2014

500 New Jobs Coming – Cable And Wireless Promises More Employment Despite Initial Indications Of US$24m Saving In Staff Cost After Buyout Of Flow

Regional – Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International (Columbus) have promised to create more than 500 new jobs between now and 2019 if the planned merger of the two entities is approved… more

CWC/Columbus forming new company to transform customer experience

Regional – Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International Inc. (Columbus) have announced a ground-breaking customer charter that will guide how the new company would operate following the approval and closing of their merger… more

CWC To Invest US$400m In Broadband Expansion

Regional – Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International Inc are rolling out new plans for customer and broadband services even while still awaiting regulatory approval for their planned merger… more

Embrace the healthy competition, Digicel

Regional – In 2001, when Digicel arrived in Jamaica it had the body of a skinny little kid who had an eagerness to prove that it could discover the lay of the land and make its name felt throughout the tropical paradise… more


Image credits:  filipe ferreira (flickr);  Marketing Magazine;  Belize Web;  Wikipedia;  SKN Vibes;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia