Roundup: for the week ending 11 January 2015

A roundup of ICT/technology news from across the Caribbean region for the period Monday 5 January to 11 January 2015.

Monday, 5 January 2015

BTC launches IPTV trial in Bimini

Bahamas – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), part of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), has launched a trial of its IPTV service in Bimini, Telesemana reports… more

The 2015 Cuban Internet Revolution

Cuba – Following the announcement of the thawing of the U.S. embargo on the island country, Cuban technology—and residents’ creative hacks for dealing with the lack of tech—have been in the news… more

NOTICE : Mobile Number Portability postponed

Haiti – “Jean Marie Guillaume, Director General of the National Council of Telecommunications (CONATEL) presents its best wishes for the New Year and take this opportunity to inform you that the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service, which allows the subscriber to keep their telephone number by changing operator, initially scheduled for earlier this year, is postponed to November 1, 2015… more

Push to make Haiti an e-cash economy fell far short

Haiti – In the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, few people have bank accounts. But cheap cellphones are ubiquitous, and for people like Johanna Joseph, they are the sole link with any form of banking… more

Digicel rolls out free access to Wikipedia in Jamaica

Jamaica – Digicel has today launched free access to Wikipedia on its mobile network in Jamaica as part of the roll out of the complimentary service across 31 markets… more

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Guyana Telephone and Telegraph sends home several workers

Guyana – The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) on Tuesday dismissed several workers, as part of the streamlining of the company’s operations, according to Chief Executive Officer, Radha Krishna Sharma… more

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

BTC Rejects Leader’s Claim That Text Promotion Is Gambling

Bahamas – THE Bahamas Telecommunications Company yesterday rejected accusations that its “Text to Win” promotions were a form of gambling… more

CEO predicts improved BTC services in 2015

Bahamas – Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) CEO Leon Williams said yesterday that the company is well on its way to being prepared for mobile competition once the government announces a second cellular provider later this year… more publishes ADR scheme for licensees

Bahamas – As The Bahamas enters a new era in information and communications technology (ICT) competition — with the advent of Internet Protocol television (IPTV), the long-awaited liberalization of the cellular market and other advances — the major players in ICT services are all agreeing on ways to settle disputes within the sector… more

URCA publishes Draft Annual Plan 2015

Bahamas – The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) is pleased to publish the “URCA Draft Annual Plan 2015- ECS 21/2014” (“the Draft Annual Plan”) for its upcoming financial year (1 January to 31 December 2015)… more

Haiti’s MNP launch pushed back to 1 November

Haiti – Haiti’s telecoms regulator Conseil National des Telecommunications (Conatel) has announced that the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) services in the country has been pushed back to 1 November 2015, Haiti Libre reports… more

Digicel Jamaica Selects Alepo’s Carrier-Grade AAA Server to Support Mobile Data Network

Jamaica – Digicel Jamaica has added Alepo’s Carrier-Grade AAA Server to its mobile network in order to support a rapidly growing subscriber base on 2.5G (GPRS), 3G, and 4G (HSPA+) mobile broadband networks… more

Regional mobile provider upgrades data networks

Regional – Regional mobile phone network provider Digicel Jamaica has deployed new server infrastructure to support rapidly growing demand for mobile broadband services over 2.5G, 3G, and 4G (HSPA+) networks… more

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Complaint Filed To URCA Over BTC ‘Double Taxing’

Bahamas – AN independent consumer advocacy group has filed a complaint to the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) on the Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s alleged “double taxing” of its consumers who use the company’s prepaid services… more

Island Luck CEO: No guarantees on web shop licenses

Bahamas – Island Luck CEO Sebas Bastian said while his company is “strategically positioning” itself for regularization, it has paid millions of dollars in taxes on a gamble that may not pay off… more

New fee scrapped after public concerns – LIME

British Virgin Islands – Following howls of protest by its customers locally and regionally, telecommunications provider LIME has scrapped plans to start charging $2 for each bill that is printed and distributed (not those accessed online)… more

Troubled fibre optic cable project … E-Governance project may be piggybacking on GPL fibre-laced transmission lines

Guyana– Manager of the E-Governance initiative, Alexei Ramotar, told Kaieteur News that for the sake of cost effectiveness, the venture has been piggybacking where it can, on the fibre optic cable transmission lines of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) along the coastal region… more

Can The Media Not Do Any Better?

Jamaica – I am sick and tired of stories of crime and violence, and stories of doom and gloom every day, every night, every hour, and every minute on television and radio and the front pages of the newspapers! … more

PSOJ voices concern over frequent copper wire theft

Jamaica – The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) has voiced its concern about the frequent reports of copper cable theft affecting the telecommunications industry… more

PSOJ wants harsh penalties for theft of telephone cables

Jamaica – The Private Sector Organisation of  Jamaica (PSOJ) is calling for the government to implement stiffer penalties on persons convicted of vandalising or stealing telephone cables… more

Blink bmobile wraps up successful year with Ministry of National Security

Trinidad and Tobago – RAKESH Goswami, blink | bmobile Executive Vice-President, Strategic Alliance, Enterprise and Tobago Operations, was full of praise for the nation’s protective services when he recently hosted more than 20 senior members from various arms of the Ministry of National Security at an appreciation brunch… more

Friday, 9 January 2015

BTC issues statement on VAT

Bahamas – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited, BTC is responding to customer complaints about the ‘double charging’ of value added tax on prepaid mobile top-up by vendors… more

BTC Urges Customers To Call Its Hotline If Charged Vat On Top Up

Bahamas – THE Bahamas Telecommunications Company yesterday urged customers who have been charged value added tax at the point of purchase for pre-paid mobile Top Up services to contact the company with a formal complaint and identify the seller… more

Digicel raises concerns about dominant party

Bahamas – Digicel Group Ltd. was among the participants in a public consultation fielded by the Utilities Regulatory and Competition Authority (URCA) on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) guidelines for disputes between URCA licensees and also between licensees and their customers… more

Online reporting of school bullying underutilized

Barbados – Students who have been exposed to the Olweus Bullying Prevention Programme are not yet making good use of the online reporting system set up in local schools, to accommodate the anonymous reporting of acts of bullying… more

Dominican_Republic FlagCapacity Media eyes Dominican Republic’s thriving telecoms industry

Dominican Republic – Spurred by Dominican Republic’s vigorous telecoms industry and with its motto ‘Setting the agenda in telecommunications’, international consultants Capacity Caribbean announced its return to the country for another year, this time at Punta Cana, on February 10 and 11… more

LIME offered highest returns to investors last year

Jamaica – Loss-making telecom LIME offered the highest returns to investors in 2014 based on its 200 per cent price gain on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE)… more

Technical problems with 911 phone line

Sint Maarten – The St. Maarten Police Force has stated via a press release that it has been experiencing major problems with the 911 emergency telephone lines recently… more

Dial-a-teacher coming, says Dr Tim

Trinidad and Tobago – Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh said Cabinet has approved an initiative to allow students to ‘Dial-a-Teacher’ to assist those in need of extra assistance in preparation for the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) levels… more

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Barbados’ digital edge

Barbados – Barbados has what it takes to exploit “several emerging trends” and grow its international business and financial services sector… more

PUDDING & SOUSE: Cell turn-off for hotel staff

Barbados – Employees at one hotel are not too pleased with a newly introduced rule compelling them to turn in their cellphones to security before clocking in for work… more

Digicel Says Smartphone Users Surpass A Million

Jamaica – TELECOMMUNICATIONS GIANT Digicel says the number of its subscribers who use smartphones surpassed one million last December, reflecting a 20 per cent growth during the last three months of 2014… more

OECS releases draft of telecommunications regulatory document

Regional – The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission has released a public document articulating its interest and expectations of telecommunications providers in the region operating within the region… more

OECS Has Its Say On C&W-Digicel Row

Regional – THE OECS Commission says the current spat between Cable & Wireless/Columbus and Digicel over Cable & Wireless’s recent acquisition of Columbus Communications can have an adverse effect on the development and growth of the OECS region… more

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Digicel launches data storage app

Barbados – DIGICEL IS MAKING it easier for its mobile customers to store more photos, music, videos and other data with the introduction of Digicel Space, a new mobile data storage application… more

Digicel Hunting ‘Large’ Number Of Recruits; Launches Mobile Service In New Market

Jamaica – Telecommunications company Digicel, which has launched a new recruitment campaign, says it is upsizing its Jamaican services… more

Start-Up Jamaica alum, Revofarm, pitches app in Peru

Jamaica – A Jamaican team of app creators participated in a recent ‘hackathon’ designed to provide farmers with information to help them adapt to climate variability… more
Image credits:  Mars Hill Church (flickr); Bahamas Weekly;  Wikipedia