Roundup: for the week ending 22 February 2015

A roundup of ICT/technology news from across the Caribbean region for the period Monday 16 February to Sunday 22 February 2015.

Monday, 16 February 2015

BTC Mobile Towers Require $20k Co-Location Upgrade

Bahamas – A senior Digicel executive has bemoaned the failure to design existing Bahamian cell phone towers for co-usage, suggesting it will cost $20,000 per location to modify them… more

BTC union fears competition

Bahamas – Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) President Bernard Evans said yesterday he does not believe the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) is ready for competition… more

Bidder: Mobile Licence Process Is ‘World Class’

Bahamas – A leading contender for the Bahamas’ second cellular licence has described the bidding process as “world class”, and among the best of 50 such exercises he has been involved in… more

Call For Clarity Over Cellphone Licence

Bahamas – OPPOSITION Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest is calling on the government to clarify details surrounding the set up of the country’s second mobile services provider amid what he believes to be confusion about what will happen to the 51 per cent majority share in the company… more

Digicel Aiming To Be ‘Full Service Provider’

Bahamas – Digicel will ultimately become a “full service provider” in the Bahamian communications market if it wins the second cellular licence, as it attacks this process with “full gusto”… more

Digicel likely not interested in third mobile license

Bahamas – Digicel, one of the three companies vying for the country’s second cellular service license, will likely not pursue the potential third license due to limited market share and a three-year delay between licenses, according Digicel Vice President of Business Development Frank O’Carroll… more

Digicel: Local Ownership No Business ‘Limit’

Bahamas – Digicel would not have bid on the second mobile licence if it was unhappy with the Government’s insistence that the winner be 51 per cent majority Bahamian-owned, a senior executive saying it did not see this condition as “limiting”… more

Digicel Targets 1,300 Jobs In Network Roll-Out And Launch

Bahamas – Digicel will create an estimated 1,300 direct and indirect jobs via its network roll-out and launch if chosen as the second Bahamian mobile operator, as it takes aim at “a sleepy incumbent”… more

Digicel: ‘We’ll Cross Union Bridge When We Reach It’

Bahamas – Digicel is unconcerned about trade union hostility towards its bid for the Bahamas’ second cellular licence, a senior executive telling Tribune Business: “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” … more

Ownership, rollout plans criticised; govt intends to delay third licence until 2018

Bahamas – Pan-Caribbean operator Digicel has questioned the Bahamian government’s policies regarding the liberalisation of the cellular market, the Nassau Guardian writes… more

Williams:  BTC positioned for competition

Bahamas – As the government moves to liberalize the telecommunications sector, Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) CEO Leon Williams has one message: Bring it on… more

“Belize – Telecoms IP Networks Digital Media and Forecasts” Published

Belize – One the smaller countries in Central America, Belize is the only English-speaking nation in the region, and has closer affinities with countries in the Caribbean than with its immediate neighbours… more

New Digicel boss wants standards raised

Cayman Islands – The new Digicel boss in Cayman says his priority is to raise standards and give customers a better service… more

Dominican_Republic FlagClaro to invest DOP 35 bln in Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic – Dominican mobile operator Claro aims to invest nearly DOP 35 billion in its local operation within the next three years, El Caribe reports… more

DBJ, UTech sign pact for phase two of U-Touch software

Jamaica – THE Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) has provided $7.3 million to the University of Technology (UTech) to continue the development of the U-Touch multimedia software designed to enhance the learning process for deaf and hearing-impaired students… more

Wheatley slams Gov’t for failing to bring ICT legislation to safeguard citizens’ privacy

Jamaica – Opposition spokesman on Science, ICT & Digital Society Development Dr Andrew Wheatley is today highlighting the recent controversy regarding the National Security Interest in Personal Property (NSIPP) regime, which led to a shutdown of the website by the Government, as yet another manifestation of the gaps that exist in the ICT landscape… more

Draft on Advancing Telecommunications in the OECS

Regional – The Caribbean telecommunication sector and wider information and communication technologies (ICT) industry are in a state of transition… more

Hyatt Begins Offering Free Wi-Fi

Regional – Hyatt has officially begun offering free Wi-Fi in all of its hotels and resorts worldwide… more

Riding the Waves of the Future

Regional – Yes, that was the theme of this year’s Caribbean Cable and Telecommunications Association (CCTA) conference. This annual event was held in sunny Montego Bay, Jamaica, over the first week of February… more

Tech News – Tech Problem Of The Week

Regional – Some persons will say that the’90s were the last decade in which persons invested in forming genuine relationships or showing true emotion… more

NEL reports better performance from TSTT

Trinidad and Tobago – National Enterprises Limited (NEL) has already evaluated ownership structure options for TSTT, so when the acquisition of Columbus International by Cable and Wireless (CWC) is finalised a structure can be put in place… more

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Mobile ‘Holdingco’ To Be National PPP Fund

Bahamas – The ‘HoldingCo’ that will have a 51 per cent majority stake in the Bahamas’ second mobile operator is being structured as a national investment fund, which will ultimately “expand its reach” into private-public partnerships (PPPs) and other economic opportunities… more

SPECIAL REPORT — Slow broadband in regulator’s spotlight

British Virgin Islands – Nearly 18 months ago, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission held a small celebration at Maria’s by the Sea, a routine event that was supposed to be a happy “re-launch” of the agency. Then Communication and Works Minister Mark Vanterpool rose to speak… more

FTC discontinues investigation of CWC, Columbus deal

Jamaica – The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) has discontinued its investigation into the purchase by Cable & Wireless of Columbus Communication, which operates Flow… more

Digicel Customers Will Never Lose Unused Data Again: Company Launches Rollover Data

Regional – Digicel 4G Data customers will no longer have to worry about losing their unused data when their current plan expires, thanks to the introduction of Rollover Data by the island’s leading telecommunications company… more

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 eyes staff cuts

Bahamas – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) intends to offer voluntary separation packages to as many as 150 employees, The Nassau Guardian understands… more

Cable Prices

Bahamas – EDITOR, The Tribune. Following my viewing on television media a night ago, and listening attentively to the discussion on the impending fee hikes of Cable Bahamas products, and their services to the Bahamian public; I personally say no, to such raises, and, for many reasons… more

C&W revenue up by six per cent

Barbados – CABLE & WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS (CWC) is reporting an improved financial performance, including in Barbados where the company says revenue has increased by six per cent since the launch of the Upgrade Barbados initiative late last year… more

Cuba temporarily cuts price of Internet access

Cuba – Cuba has temporarily reduced the hourly charge for using state-run Internet cafes in the country’s first small but substantive public move to increase online access since the declaration of detente with the US… more

CANTO’s 31st Annual Conference & Trade Exhibition to focus on “Improving Lives Through Broadband Innovation”

Regional – CANTO will hold its 31st Annual Conference & Trade Exhibition (CANTO 2015) in Miami Florida from the 26 to 31st July 2015, with the theme “Improving Lives through Broadband Innovation”… more

Seminar Mobile Spectrum Management.

Sint Maarten – On February 16th 2015 Bureau Telecommunications and Post St. Maarten (BTP-SXM) hosted a seminar on Next Generation Mobile Spectrum Management at Divi Little Bay Beach resort, to educate St. Maarten Telecom providers on several topics that are important to effectively manage a mobile telecom network… more

Thursday, 19 February 2015

BTC: No comment on cell tower design accusation

Bahamas – The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) has issued proposed regulations that would require operators of mobile networks, where possible, to share facilities and the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC)… more

BTC unions on alert

Bahamas – Executives of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s (BTC) managers and line staff unions said they will do “whatever it takes” to save the Bahamian jobs that are threatened… more

BTC Wanted To Cut 200 Jobs Pre-Xmas

Bahamas – The Government intervened to prevent the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) laying off some 200 staff before Christmas, forcing the company to delay the process until the New Year… more

FNM Deputy: ‘No One Satisfied’ With BTC

Bahamas – The Opposition’s deputy leader yesterday said the Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s (BTC) desire to shed another 150 jobs was “not a surprise”, especially given its relatively poor performance post-privatisation… more

ON THE LEFT: Relevance a key point

Barbados – WE SEEM TO BE hearing about new branches of the future constantly… more

ON THE RIGHT: Major role for technology

Barbados – I THINK AS A SOCIETY we have not yet fully caught on to using channels besides branches and there is very little that can be done in the physical branch that cannot be done through alternative channels… more

THE ISSUE: Embracing e-commerce

Barbados – IF YOU WALK INTO a branch owned by any of the five commercial banks operating in Barbados, chances are you will see a line of customers waiting to be serviced by a teller… more

British_Virgin_Islands flagEDITORIAL — VI needs top-tier Internet service

British Virgin Islands – Because Internet service in the Virgin Islands still leaves much to be desired, we are encouraged by ongoing efforts toward improvement… more

Internet service draws complaints

British Virgin Islands – Poor Internet and questionable cell phone service are simply part of a wider culture of poor customer service, and low service expectations, in the Virgin Islands. Simply put, telecom services in the territory are a rip-off… more

Plan to roll out faster mobile Internet

British Virgin Islands – Twenty years ago, ads placed by Cable & Wireless began appearing in the pages of this newspaper depicting a smiling surfer selling dial-up Internet access to the “Information Super Highway.” … more

Tech companies want Caymanians for jobs

Cayman Islands – Tomorrow’s tech sector jobs are available today in Cayman Enterprise City, where companies there are seeking Caymanians to fill those roles… more

UTS Carries Out 4G LTE Trial In Curacao

Curacao – Curacao’s telecoms firm UTS is currently testing its 4G LTE service. The two-week trial is expected to be completed on today… more

Digicel Jamaica gets new boss, O’Brien goes regional

Jamaica – Digicel Jamaica CEO Barry O’Brien is to be promoted to the role of Director of Business Development for Digicel Caribbean and Central America and Board Director for Digicel Barbados after two years at the helm of Digicel in Kingston… more

Jamaica Launches Cybersecurity Strategy

Jamaica – Jamaica has officially launched a new “cybersecurity strategy” for the island… more

Opposition concerned about pace of ICT sector reform

Jamaica – In response to the Government’s approval of the Cable & Wireless and Flow merger, the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) says it is concerned about the pace at which the Government is approaching reforms to the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector… more

Online protest launched to promote awareness of child abuse in St Lucia

Saint Lucia – Zandoli International Foundation has embarked on a peaceful online protest for the silent victims of child molestation and sexual abuse in Saint Lucia… more

Trinidad_and_Tobago FlagSacha Thompson now Digicel CEO for T&T

Trinidad and Tobago – Digicel Trinidad and Tobago chief executive John Delves has been promoted to the role of Digicel regional CEO for Trinidad and Tobago, the French West Indies, Suriname and Barbados, the mobile telecoms provider announced yesterday… more

TSTT deploys LTE technology in Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago – State-controlled telecoms company Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) has deployed LTE technology to replace its WiMax infrastructure, Telesemana reports… more

Friday, 20 February 2015

BTC TV services to begin testing on Long Island

Bahamas – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has been further developing, improving and expanding the BTC network to transform the entire country into a connected Bahamas… more

BTC Union Moves For Strike Vote

Bahamas – Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC)employees yesterday staged a sick-out in protest at plans to cut up to 150 jobs, with the union representing its line-staff indicating it has applied for a strike vote… more

Gov’t Extends Web Shop Bid Deadline

Bahamas – The Government has extended the deadline for web shops to submit their licence bids by two-and-a-half weeks to March 10, with both sides yet to completely resolve their differences on how the sector’s taxes are to be calculated… more

Minnis appears to back Cable Bahamas bid for license

Bahamas – During his contribution to debate on the mid-year budget communication in the House of Assembly yesterday — and based on the fact that it is 100 percent Bahamian-owned — Free National Movement Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis seemed to endorse the bid of Cable Bahamas Ltd. (CBL) for the second mobile license, due to be awarded before summer 2015… more


Bahamas – PRIME Minister Perry Christie expects to meet with BTC CEO Leon Williams sometime this week to discuss the company’s plans to streamline staff in preparation for liberalisation of the mobile services sector… more

Sick-out hits BTC

Bahamas – Some workers at the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) called in sick yesterday, forcing BTC to close its flagship store in the Mall at Marathon and several other locations on New Providence and the Family Islands… more

‘Sick Outs’ Close Doors On Stores

Bahamas – THE Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union has filed an application for a strike vote against the Bahamas Telecommunications Company, union president Bernard Evans said yesterday… more

Columbus Business Solutions brings true redundancy to Barbados’ Business Landscape

Barbados – Everything breaks down eventually. That is a fact of life so there needs to be methods put in place to deal with these eventualities especially in the world of ICT, where millions of investment and profit dollars are at risk, in addition to the brand’s reputation… more

Tech company offers “foot in door” with paid internships for Caymanians

Cayman Islands – Landing a career in any industry takes drive, determination, and some experience… more

Cuba flag (Wikipedia)Breathe-It Opens Cuban Market For Mobotix Products

Cuba – Together with MOBOTIX and our local partner, Breathe-IT has organized the first two MOBOTIX training seminars in Cuba and has certified 40 people after completing an intense training… more

Information technology should be one of Guyana’s focal points

Guyana – Dear Editor, The recent advances in information technology are becoming central to the process of socio-economic development in many countries worldwide… more

Cable compendium: a guide to the week’s submarine and terrestrial developments

Regional – Caribbean IXP, which is backed by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), the Caribbean Network Operators Group and Packet Clearing House… more

CWU leader: Conflict of interest in CWC/Columbus merger

Regional – Most of the US$5 billion earned annually by the region’s telecommunication sector is taken away by foreign multinationals, Joseph Remy, secretary general of the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU), said yesterday… more

Flow/LIME merger will bring “truly intergrated services” — Hume

Regional – AS the merger between LIME and Columbus Communication Jamaica Ltd looms, the Flow cable operator has vowed it will continue to “outclass” its competitors in customer service, according to a news release yesterday… more

Saturday, 21 February 2015

‘Govt should do more to protect BTC workers’

Bahamas – Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Michael Pintard yesterday said the government can and should do more to protect the workers who will be laid off from the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC)… more

Miller: Unions have sucked BTC dry

Bahamas – Talls Pines MP Leslie Miller said yesterday that while he is sorry for the families of those who will lose their jobs at the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), he added that the workers have been “their own worst enemy”… more

Digicel makes key changes

Barbados – After leaving Barbados almost two years ago to serve as chief executive officer of Digicel Jamaica, Barry O’Brien is to refocus his energies on the domestic market as a newly appointed director for the island… more

Chinese spyware discovery revives Caribbean cyber-security fears

Regional – Lenovo, the Chinese computer manufacturer that has supplied tens of thousands of laptops to Caribbean governments, is reportedly selling computers that come preinstalled with spyware that hijacks encrypted web sessions and may make users vulnerable to cyber-attacks, security researchers said this week… more

Remy: Focus on cable deal, not Rowley ‘fun’

Trinidad and Tobago – The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) has criticised the attention being given to photo­graphs of Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley dancing with a masquerader during Carnival celebrations in San Fernando last Tuesday… more

Trinidad union to mount protest against CWC/Flow merger

Trinidad and Tobago – The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) says it plans to step up action to prevent the Trinidad and Tobago government giving regulatory support to moves by the British telecommunications giant, Cable and Wireless Communication (CWC) to acquire Columbus Communication… more

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Guyana flag (Wikipedia)A look at cyber crimes

Guyana – It speaks well for Guyana’s recognition that the convergence of computing and communications and the exponential growth of digital technology (cyberspace) although bringing enormous benefits also carry great risks as evidenced by the enhanced capacity of individual offenders and criminal networks to exploit new vulnerabilities exposed in the relatively new concept of cyber crime… more

Digicel lifts daily cap on internet usage

Guyana – Mobile giant, Digicel, has announced an end to daily cap for its internet usage… more

K/News to seek Chinese, InterPol help on website cyber attack

Guyana – The management of Kaieteur News is examining legal options after several instances of its website coming under attack in recent weeks… more

Cyber security predictions for 2015

Regional – Our 2014 predictions and awareness mission covered attack vectors across websites, data, email, and networks due a rise in malware infestations as well as a rise in persons being victims of cybercrime across the Caribbean… more


Image credits:  Wikipedia;  The Eleutheran;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia