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Mar 02 2015

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Roundup: for the week ending 1 March 2015

A roundup of ICT/technology news from across the Caribbean region for the period Monday 23 February to Sunday 1 March 2015.

Newsstand by Mars Hill Church (flickr)Monday, 23 February 2015

Consumer group to poll public on CBL rate hike request

Bahamas – Consumer Voices Bahamas (CVB) has announced that it will conduct a public poll on the proposed rate increase for Cable Bahamas… more

Long Island to begin testing BTC TV services

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. Every day their work demonstrates this commitment to bring telecommunications to the entire Bahamas, including High Definition (HD) Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service… more

McCartney: BTC Liberalization in the Lurch

Bahamas – For many years, BTC while under the government’s 51% majority control was a profitable entity which contributed millions to the local economy while providing thousands of secure jobs for Bahamians… more

Digicel targets US company with lawsuit and enlists Haitian police

Haiti – Digicel, the Caribbean mobile phone company owned by Denis O’Brien, has stepped up its war on internet telephony firms it accuses of profiting from a “free ride” on its networks by not paying fees to connect with its customers… more

Bustamante Hospital gets telemedicine centre

Jamaica – A telemedicine centre has been opened at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, which will facilitate video consultation among doctors for effective diagnosis and treatment of children with cancers and blood disorders… more

Taking technology to the bedroom

Jamaica – WHETHER Einstein really said it or not, the quote predicting a generation of idiots, where technology would surpass human interaction has become an apt representation of some people’s lives… more

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

‘BTC Job Cutbacks Show The Duplicity Of Government’

Bahamas – DEMOCRATIC National Alliance Leader Branville McCartney yesterday rejected the government’s clarification that it will not interfere with the Bahamas Telecommunication Company’s plans to offer voluntary separation packages to hundreds of employees… more

Tablets in classrooms?

Barbados – The ability to read and write is crucial, and Barbados boasts of a near 100 per cent literacy rate… more

Free Tablets for UB Students

Belize – Today, the Ministry of Education invited the media to a breakfast where they discussed the road forward. But that was only a prelude to the real show – the distribution of tablets to University of Belize students… more

LIME offers double credit after services go down

Cayman Islands – An outage on LIME’s network frustrated pre-paid customers. The outage started this morning and was resolved by early afternoon… more

Cuba’s Tech Start-up Sector: ‘People Are Hungry to Work’

Cuba – Growing up in Cuba, Jose Pimienta didn’t see the Internet until 2006… more

Online media outlet seeks police assistance for Cyber attacks

Guyana – A local online news outfit, which has been experiencing persistent cyber attacks, is calling on the Guyana Police Force to investigate the attacks on the online media… more

Jamaica investing heavily in technology

Jamaica – In a move to further boost technology in education, the Government has allocated more than $950 million for the Technology Infrastructure and Support Services programme… more

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2d/LIME_Logo.gifLIME Apologises To Users, Voice And Data Service Issues

Jamaica – Telecommunications giant LIME says actions have been taken to resolve problems experienced by some customers in making and receiving calls… more

OUR flooded with complaints about Lime’s paperless bill

Jamaica – n the meantime, the OUR says during the review period it was flocked with complaints by LIME customers regarding the decision to introduce a charge for paper bills… more

UPDATE: LIME Sorts Out Calling Problem

Jamaica – Telecommunications company LIME says actions have been taken to resolve problems experienced by some customers in making and receiving calls… more

Canada helps boost military capacity working with information technology

Regional – The Canadian Government in conjunction with the Barbados Defence Force hosted the second session of a ten week Information Technology (IT) workshop on Information Technology Systems Support for military members within the Caribbean region… more

Digicel Group Chooses PeerApp to Optimize the Delivery of Internet Content Over 4G/LTE Mobile and Broadband Networks

Regional – PeerApp, the market leader in fast and efficient Internet content delivery, today announced that the company has been selected by Digicel Group Limited to expand its use of PeerApp’s UltraBand transparent caching solution across all of its Caribbean properties to augment its 4G/LTE mobile and broadband networks… more

Digicel Limited Commences Tender Offer For Any And All Of Its 8.25% Senior Notes Due 2017

Regional – Digicel Limited (“Digicel” or the “Company”) today announced that it has commenced a cash tender offer (the “Tender Offer”) for any and all of its outstanding 8.25% senior notes due 2017 (the “Notes”)… more

St Vincent Holds Public Consultation On CWC, FLOW Merger

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Authorities in St Vincent and the Grenadines are seeking to ensure that the merger between British telecommunications giant, Cable and Wireless Communication and Columbus Communication will not seriously affect local customers… more

Flow launches upgraded video service

Trinidad and Tobago – The race for market dominance in the local cable television sector has intensified with the launch of Flow’s advanced video service. The upgraded digital media platform, which the service provider describes as TV you can control, offers subscribers a high definition (HD) visual experience… more

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

BTC bracing for possible loss of 30 percent of customers

Bahamas – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) could lose $100 million when a second mobile company enters the market this year, BTC CEO Leon Williams suggested yesterday… more

Gov‘t ‘In Stew’ On BTC Downsize

Bahamas – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s (BTC) decision to downsize by 150 persons was yesterday said to have put the Government “in a stew” over its earlier claims to have regained majority ownership for the Bahamian people… more

Williams: Further downsizing might come after competition

Bahamas – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) might have to downsize further after competition is introduced to the cellular market, BTC CEO Leon Williams said yesterday… more

Samsung and LIME unveil Galaxy A5

Barbados – Samsung and LIME have announced the launch of the Galaxy A5, that thanks to its ultra sophisticated design, refined metal body, and the inclusion of the most advanced features for use on social media, is ideal for young consumers… more

Digicel calls for regulation of Viber Internet phone calls

Cayman Islands – Digicel is calling on Cayman’s Information and Communication Technology Authority and other government entities in the Caribbean to regulate a relatively new service called Viber, which allows users to call phones around the world at cheaper rates by bypassing traditional international phone systems and charging local call rates… more

Business Access TV Comes Mid Year

Jamaica – After launching their flagship brand Wealth Magazine more than five years ago, Garth Walker and Leighton Davis have their sights set on television and laptop screens with the launch of their Business Access Channel… more

eMedia to launch online creative institution

Jamaica – Local media company eMedia Interactive will be launching its online creative institution in April 2016… more

Wheatley wants security audit of gov’t websites

Jamaica – OPPOSITION Spokesman Andrew Wheatley has urged the Government to immediately execute security audits on all its online services and websites, especially those which house sensitive citizen information… more

Customers Across Anguilla And Turks & Caicos Experience LIME’s New Superfast Broadband Network

Regional – Superfast Broadband speeds of up to 48Mbps- which is up to six times the speed customers previously enjoyed- is now available in Anguilla and Turks & Caicos Islands… more

http://www.brandsoftheworld.com/logo/digicel-1Denis O’Brien’s Digicel to raise $925 million to fund debt buyback

Regional – Digicel, the Caribbean mobile operator owned by Denis O’Brien, plans to raise $925 million in unsecured loan notes to fund a buyback of more expensive senior debt… more

Digicel Business Launches Video Surveillance Solution

Regional – Digicel Business today revealed details of its latest business solutions product, Digicel iSee, which sees customers across the region benefiting from always-on surveillance accessible from any mobile device and delivering peace of mind for their businesses… more

Digicel official warns: Merger will make monopoly

Regional – Irish-owned telecommunications provider, Digicel, said the proposed merger of Columbus Communications and Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC), will lead to a monopoly in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVC) and other regional markets… more

ECTEL has little room for intervention

Regional – Managing Director of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), Embert Charles, disclosed that licences were granted to LIME and Columbus as individual entities… more

Thursday, 26 February 2015

BTC Chief Projecting 30% Mobile Share Loss

Bahamas – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s (BTC) chief executive yesterday said the industry “rule of thumb” is that the second Bahamian mobile operator will seize 30 per cent of its market share… more

BTC Fearing $25-$30m Roaming Revenue Loss

Bahamas – The  BAHAMAS Telecommunications Company (BTC) is looking at a potential $30 million roaming revenue loss in its upcoming financial year after foreign carriers threatened to block their customers from using their phones in the Bahamas… more

Cable Bahamas VP: Why shouldn’t CBL get mobile license?

Bahamas – Cable Bahamas Vice President of Marketing David Burrows says his company ought to get the next mobile license, arguing that Cable has proved itself a leader in every arena it has entered… more

Tablets for tertiary level students

Belize – There is much cause for celebration for Belize’s most promising youths; as they are being provided with the cutting edge tools to connect to a world of information, thanks to the Government and people of Belize… more

LIME Signs Jaheel Hyde To Attract Youth

Jamaica – World Junior 400m hurdles champion and World Youth Olympic 110m hurdles record holder, Jaheel Hyde, has become the newest and youngest brand ambassador to represent the oldest telecommunications provider within the Caribbean, LIME… more

CBU launches sharing portal for Caribbean broadcasters

Regional – President of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union Shida Bolai has announced the launch of the union’s programme sharing portal, CBU Media Share… more

Single ICT platform on CARICOM agenda

Regional – One common platform for information, communication and technology (ICT) across the Caribbean is high on the agenda of today’s intersessional meeting of Caricom Heads in Nassau, Bahamas… more

Saint_Kitts_and_Nevis FlagHarris Clears Air On It Issue

Saint Kitts and Nevis – rime Minister Timothy Harris has also been commenting on the Information technology controversy. Dr Harris told Winn FM that his administration recognizes that this is the technological age and that information technology is considered important… more

Is Information Technology a Gov’t priority?

Saint Kitts and Nevis – Another query, about just where does information technology fits into the scheme of things in the new administration led by Prime Minister Timothy Harris… more

Friday, 27 February 2015

BTC And Unions To Meet Again On Separation Packages

Bahamas –BAHAMAS Communications and Public Officers Union president Bernard Evans said yesterday that Thursday’s meeting with Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) executives “did not produce results but was promising”… more

BTC Chief Tells Fellow Utilities: Go Pre-Paid

Bahamas – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s (BTC) chief executive says both the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) and Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) could significantly reduce their receivables by introducing a pre-paid system similar its own… more

On point with ON Media

Barbados – Do you remember the Brothers Grimms fairytale of Rumplestiltskin who spun straw into gold for the miller’s daughter? … more

Digicel (Guyana) gets new CEO

Guyana – Digicel Guyana has announced the promotion of Kevin Kelly to the role of Chief Executive Officer… more

Inauguration of 2 computer labs in Cornillon/Grand-Bois

Haiti – Thursday, as part of the Universal Schooling Program Free and Compulsory (PSUGO), the President Michel Martelly, in the presence among others of, Jean Marie Guillaume, Director of the National Council of Telecommunications (CONATEL), local authorities and several hundred students and local residents proceeded with the inauguration, two computer labs in the town of Cornillon/Grand-Bois [West Department], one at the National School of Cornillon and the other at the Lycée Amboise Toussaint… more

Digicel CEO Tells Government Enough Is Enough

Jamaica – Outgoing Chief Executive Officer of Digicel, Barry O’Brien, says the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) must move to ensure no additional or increased taxes are levied on the already shrinking budgets of businesses… more

Flow Advances Video Service

Jamaica – Guests who turned out at the National Indoors Sports Centre on Wednesday evening were witnesses to the start of a revolution… more

Government not returning to monopoly situation – Paulwell

Jamaica – “I want to assure you that as the person who was involved in liberalising (the sector), I am not going back to monopoly situations and I am making sure that in whatever joint ventures that emerge, there is the preservation of competition,” Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell stated emphatically at the official opening of the Farm Primary and Junior High School internet café in Green Pond, St James recently… more

caricom_standard (source: JIS)LaRocque: Region should pivot towards ICT

Regional – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) must invest in youth employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector as it establishes a single ICT space for the region, according to CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque… more

St. Maarten wants to buy UTS Eastern Caribbean

Sint Maarten – Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson, as representative of the shareholder in St. Maarten UTS said that the Government of St. Maarten wishes to purchase shares of UTS Eastern Caribbean… more

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Challenge Them! – Digicel Boss Urges Private Sector Organisation Of Jamaica To Resist Any New Taxes

Jamaica – Outgoing chief executive officer of Digicel Jamaica Barry O’Brien is urging the leadership of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) to “question and challenge” any additional taxation that might be levied on private-sector businesses by the Government… more

Fi God Sake, Digicel, Leave Mi Alone

Jamaica – Due to how Digicel tek set pon mi, yuh woulda think mi nyam sumthing fi dem… more

Flow Breaks New Ground With Launch Of Latest Cable Service

Jamaica – The entertainment revolution has begun – courtesy of Flow… more

Number Portability Plans Still In The Works, Says Technology Minister

Jamaica – Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Phillip Paulwell, says the Government will deliver on its promise that cellular phone users will have number portability by the end of May this year… more

CWC and Facebook to offer free Wi-Fi

Regional – Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) yesterday announced a partnership with Facebook to offer customers a simple, personalised way to access free Wi-Fi… more

Digicel Names New Country Manager

Saint Lucia – DIGICEL, in keeping with its mandate of employee development and growth has announced the promotion of Holly Hughes-McNamara to Regional CEO for St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada, and Siobhan James-Alexander to the position of Digicel St. Lucia Country Manager… more

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Government will deliver on number portability, says Paulwell

Jamaica – Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell, has said that the Government will deliver on its promise that cellular phone users will have number portability by the end of May this year… more

Jamaica To Target International ICT Firms

Jamaica – Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell says the government will be intensifying efforts to attract more ICT firms to Jamaica.

LIME complaints surge at OUR

Jamaica – LIME’s decision to introduce a charge for printed bills has led to the highest number of customer complaints for 2014, according to the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) quarterly performance report… more

Streaming sites hit sour note with local musicians

Jamaica – STREAMING sites led by Youtube and Spotify pay little to big artistes, say experts… more

Another 15 trained in IT Systems Support

Regional – Over 4000 military personnel from the Americas have received training through Canada’s Military Training Cooperation Programme (MTCP) and, in the Caribbean specifically, more than 1000 individuals have benefitted from the Information Technology component of the Programme alone… more

Parliament’s Website Revamped

Sint Maarten – The House of Parliament’s website has been revamped. The new site is back online in a new format as of Monday, March 2 at the same website address: www.sxmparliament.org… more

 

Image credits:  Mars Hill Church (flickr);  Wikipedia;  Brands of the World;  Wikipedia;  Facebook;

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About the author

Michele Marius

Michele Marius has a wealth of experience in the telecoms and ICT space, which has been gained in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, and in the public and private sectors. She is the Editor and Publisher of ICT Pulse.

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