Roundup: for the week ending 8 May 2016

A roundup of the latest ICT/technology news from across the Caribbean region for the period Monday 2 May to Sunday 8 May 2016.

Monday, 2 May 2016

BUSINESS BYTE: Flow hosts students on Girls in ICT Day

Dominica – Students of the Convent High School ICT Club have expanded their horizon and now have an improved understanding of the workings of telecommunications in relation to Information & Communications Technologies (ICT)… more

Dominican Republic aims for 70% internet users by 2020

Dominican Republic – The coordinator of the National Commission for the Information Society and Knowledge (CNSIC), Mirna Gonzalez, said that the percentage of internet users in 2015 in the Dominican Republic amounted to 53.5 percent and the target for 2020 is 70 percent… more

Record of 8.85 million mobile lines in February: Indotel

Dominican Republic – In February 2016 a total of 8.85 million mobile lines were in operation in the Dominican Republic, compared with 8.82 million a month earlier… more

GNBA mulls amnesty for TV broadcasters, reduced fees

Guyana – The Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) has announced plans to grant amnesty to all television broadcasters… more

GTT, Digicel to roll out 4G service

Guyana – With approval granted by government, coupled with its signalled intent to pass the long-awaited telecommunications liberalisation legislation, the country’s two mobile carriers GTT and Digicel have announced that they will roll out 4G service in time for Guyana’s 50th Anniversary celebrations… more

GTT monopoly held Guyana back for too long – Digicel CEO

Guyana – Competition is an essential element in the efficient working of markets. It brings important benefits to the consumer by encouraging innovation, efficiency and a widening of choice… more

Digicel celebrates ‘Girls in ICT’ with scholarship

Jamaica – Digicel Business has announced that it will be offering a three-year scholarship valued at US$3,000 (J$369,000) for young women to pursue tertiary level studies in the field of information and communication technology (ICT)… more

Marketing Strategies Today: Seventeen ultimate tools for social media marketers

Regional – We all create copy for social media, and we all need it to be amazing. Do you wish that you had some tools that would help you improve your quality and know that you were going to nail the interactions and the tone every time? … more

Concern over cyber attacks on journalists

Trinidad and Tobago – WHILE local press bodies are looking with concern at the emerging trend of cyber attacks on working journalists, the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) is today standing up for UNESCO World Press Freedom Day and its 2016 slogan, “Access to information and fundamental freedoms: This is your right!”… more

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

BTCLogo (The Eleutheran)BTC Hit By Near 30% Mobile Revenue Fall

Bahamas­ – The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) suffered an almost 30 per cent year-over-year reduction in its mobile revenues, which is blamed on falling subscriber numbers and the increasing use of Over The Top (OTT) applications… more

BTVI recognized by IT certification company

Bahamas­ – The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institution (BTVI) was recently recognized as an authorized educational partner of TestOut Corporation for its commitment to improving the lives of students… more

Police Officers Guilty Of Stealing Phones From BTC

Bahamas – TWO former policemen who took advantage of their former positions to commit theft may spend 18 months in prison if they fail to pay a $3,000 fine imposed on them by a magistrate… more

URCA preps for regulating electricity sector; awarding cell license for 15 years

Bahamas – The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) yesterday released its 2015 Annual Report and 2016 Annual Plan, laying out the steps the regulator will take with respect to its new duties regulating the electricity sector… more

Girls in ICT Day Observed

Barbados – DIGICEL Barbados, in collaboration with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) recently hosted a seminar at The St Michael School to celebrate International Girls in (ICTs) Day 2016… more

Training For Trainers To Commence Soon For ICT Centre For Excellence

Dominica – A team from India is currently in Dominica with the intention to accelerate the process for the commencement of training at the ICT Centre for Excellence at the Dominica State College… more

Flow hosts students on Girls in ICT Day

Dominica – Students of the Convent High School ICT Club have expanded their horizon and now have an improved understanding of the workings of telecommunications in relation to Information & Communications Technologies (ICT)… more

Broadcast authority looking to raise standards in television

Guyana – The Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) is working to ensure that an acceptable standard of broadcast is delivered to the public, Chairman Leonard Craig said last week… more

GNBA against political parties holding Broadcast Licence

Guyana – The Board of the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) is not in favour of political parties holding Broadcasting Licences. Therefore, it is unlikely that the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) will be in the Radio Broadcasting business much longer… more

…Cyber security hacks

Regional – 1. Ransomware An attacker deposits malware on your machines, which encrypts your files or makes them otherwise inaccessible, then makes payment demands to recover your files… more

Considering the S7

Trinidad and Tobago – At this point, it’s difficult to evaluate the newest entry in the line of Samsung’s premium smartphones, the S7, without considering everything that the company has brought to market before… more

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Cable’s BTC Purchase Objections Dismissed

Bahamas – Regulators yesterday rejected Cable Bahamas’ arguments that the impending change in majority control at its major rival would undermine competition in the pay-TV and international bandwidth markets… more

URCA approves new owner for 49% of BTC

Bahamas – The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) has – despite objections raised by Cable Bahamas Ltd. (CBL) about “serious public interest concerns” – put its stamp of approval on the $5.3 billion acquisition of Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) by Liberty Global, effectively approving Liberty as the new owner of 49 percent of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC)… more

Belize gets internet exchange point; BIXP becomes twelfth such facility in Caribbean

Belize – The Belize Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has announced that the country’s first internet exchange point (IXP), the BIXP, was successfully launched in Belize City on 27 April at the campus of the University of Belize…more

Cabinet gives $1 million to new cybersecurity initiative

Cayman Islands – Interpol and GCHQ, the United Kingdom’s surveillance organization, have visited Cayman over the past six months to help the country develop a new plan for cybersecurity, Planning Minister Kurt Tibbetts revealed Wednesday in the Legislative Assembly… more

Steep new fines for telecoms approved

Cayman Islands – Fines for phone, Internet and television providers in Cayman will increase from $25,000 to $500,000 for violating their licenses and telecom rules under new rules passed in a second reading at the Legislative Assembly on Sunday… more

Guyana flag (Wikipedia)Guyana’s GTT and Digicel to rollout 4G

Guyana – Guyana’s two mobile carriers Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) and Digicel have announced that they are to rollout 4G broadband services in the country having both been granted approval… more

Digicel Still Contemplating IPO

Jamaica – Digicel founder and chairman Denis O’Brien plans to return to the stock market with an initial public offering of Digicel shares, but will wait about a year to 18 months, Bloomberg has reported… more

GraceKennedy promises to roll out mobile wallet in 2016

Jamaica – GraceKennedy Group Ltd (GK), which through its money services arm GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) controls just over 50 per cent of the remittance market in Jamaica, has indicated in its just released 2015 annual report that it will deploy its mobile wallet in 2016… more

Jamaica approves new mobile operator licence

Jamaica – Jamaica’s finance minister Audley Shaw has confirmed that the country is to get another mobile service provider as the government’s cabinet has approved the granting of a new licence… more

PM Holness breaks ground for BPO complex in MoBay

Jamaica – Prime Minister Andrew Holness recently broke ground for the construction of a US$12-million BPO ICT complex in Freeport, Montego Bay… more

Caribbean, Latin American tech experts gather in Cuba as LACNIC 25 opens in Havana

Regional – This week, Cuba is the tech capital of the region as some 700 technology experts and professionals from across the region gather in western Havana for the annual meeting of the Internet Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC)… more

Good social media etiquette 101 — Part 1

Regional – In only a few years an online presence has become the norm not an exception. We market online, sell online, we reach out, we connect and we build relationships online… more

O’Brien in ‘no rush’ to take Digicel dividend

Regional – Mr O’Brien last year shelved a share sale, citing volatility in equity markets… more

T&T media association says journalists facing cyber bullying, character assassinations

Trinidad and Tobago – The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) says it’s extremely concerned about the cyber bullying and malicious character assassinations on media workers in the twin-island republic, particularly investigative journalists… more

The art of listening on social media

Trinidad and Tobago – ON May 23 and 24, 2016, the Nova Committee of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce will host its Fifth Biennial SME Conference… more

Thursday, 5 May 2016

e-Commerce training deemed a success

Bahamas – Scores of local businesses attended the e-Commerce Strategy Training Workshop hosted by the Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau (IGBSBB) last week… more

URCA rejects CBL’s competition concerns over Liberty/CWC deal

BahamasThe Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) has rejected arguments from Cable Bahamas (CBL) that changes in the ownership structure of fixed line incumbent Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) will have an impact on competition… more

BTEC completes its Job Preparedness BPO Training Programme

Belize – The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), a unit of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), today, completed its “Job Preparedness BPO Training”  which provided participants with an introduction to customer service, telephone etiquette, handling customer complaints, rapport building, sales and other skills to make them better equipped for employment in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Industry… more

British_Virgin_Islands flagNo Board Support? Malone alone turned down CCT

British Virgin Islands – More information has come to light, showing that the application which telecoms provider CCT recently submitted as part of the Spectrum Award process was rejected single-handedly by Guy Malone who is Chief Executive Officer at the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC)… more

DMedIS Combines ICT and Medical Records

Dominica – The Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) which currently exists in the Dominica Integrated Information System, DIISH, is currently being utilized in the test phase of the Dominica Medical Information System, DMedIS… more

Orange leads Dominican mobile portability figures

Dominican Republic – Orange Dominicana (Altice) is the leading operator in terms of number of ported lines gained since mobile portability was introduced in the Dominican Republic in September 2009, reports El Caribe, citing data published by telecoms regulator Indotel… more

CANTO Seeks to Change Girls’ Views on ICT

Regional – “You have two essential powers – the power within and the power of ICT. Use the power within to develop your attitudes and discipline, your dreams and aspirations, and use the power of ICT to help you realize these dreams…. more

TSTT commits to ICT investments

Trinidad and Tobago – Majority state-owned Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) will continue to invest millions in T&T’s information, communication and technology sector even as it deals with the effects of the economic downturn, chief marketing officer Camille Campbell said on Tuesday night… more

Friday, 6 May 2016

Judge chides CCT for causing dispute over fee

British Virgin Islands – High Court judge Justice Nicola Byer has made an order which could end a major dispute over the non-payment of royalty fees by telecoms company Caribbean Cellular Telephone (CCT), which will end up paying less fees than others may have liked… more

ICTA gets tough on licensees

Cayman Islands – For the first time since the regulator was established, the Information and Communications Authority (ICTA) has issued a fine to one of its licensees for breaching the rules regarding 911 outages… more

Digicel rolls out learning website with GoGSAT

Jamaica – PRIMARY and secondary students islandwide can now access educational content and support relating to examinations such as Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE), at their fingertips via LearningHub.Online… more

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Belize flag (Wikipedia)Belize: faster internet, greater possibilities

Belize – Today, Wednesday, April 27, at 2 p.m., the Belize Internet Exchange Point (BIXP) held its official launch at the University of Belize (UB) in Belize City… more

ICTA levies $75,000 fine over 911 call failures

Cayman Islands – A local telecommunications provider has been slapped with a $75,000 fine for several breaches related to a service outage in February which prevented customers from calling the emergency 911 service… more

Digicel to invest up to US$40M more as 4G service rolls out

Guyana – With the allocation of additional spectrum by the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, Guyana’s telephone service providers have finally launched their 4G networks across Guyana… more

GTT embraces the benefits of liberalization

Guyana – Dear Editor, We live in exciting times. In just the past week, the Government of Guyana has granted spectrum for Guyana’s Jubilee celebrations, allowing us to provide long-awaited 4G to Guyana… more

GTT is getting worse in Region Two

Guyana – Dear Editor, Nothing irritates you more than when you pick up your phone to call government departments  and other places and there is no dial tone; all you hear is a voice from the exchange at Anna Regina saying you cannot reach the destination… more

SIMEX 2016 : The Scouts and their satellites suitcases, a major asset

Haiti – This Friday, about 70 members of the Emergency Unit of the Scouts of Haiti in the North (CUSH) will be deployed in the field for the simulation exercise SIMEX 2016, of an earthquake followed by a tsunami, at the level of North department, which promises to be the biggest exercise of the year… more

New BPIAJ president pledges to assist gov’t in lotto scam, cyber crime fight

Jamaica – Recently named president of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) Dr Mupa Muppuri has pledged to partner with government and all other stakeholders to rev up the sector’s fight towards improving the destination’s tarnished image, brought about by cyber crimes including the lotto scamming… more

Sunday, 8 May 2016

4G spectrum release…Mobile Service Providers finally able to play catch-up

Guyana – For a few hours on Friday, many Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) customers experienced for the first time Fourth Generation (4G) services on their mobile devices. It was electrifying, for want of a better word… more

Digicel launches 4G in Guyana

Guyana – Digicel yesterday launched its 4G network at Bartica as that community was officially declared a town, offering a mobile experience on par with developed countries around the world… more

GTT not opposed to formal liberalisation – insists CEO

Guyana – “We have been pushing relentlessly over a period of years for a framework to formally liberalise the sector,” said Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Justin Nedd, when asked if his company has been resisting liberalisation of the telecommunication sector… more

US$5M balance for GTT shares… Granger says Ramotar can provide answers

Guyana – As conflicting information circulates about the location of the outstanding US$5 million for the sale of government shares in the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT), President David Granger is adamant that former president Donald Ramotar is the one to provide answers… more

Dehring promises cheaper cable

Jamaica – People should be able to choose and pay for the cable channels that they want to watch… more

FLOW takes measures to reduce cable theft

Jamaica – Managing Director of  Flow Jamaica, Garfield Sinclair, says the company has been resorting to transferring some of  its customers to the hybrid fiber network to reduce the impact of  cable theft… more


Image credits:  carterse (flickr);  The Eleutheran;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia;