Roundup: for the week ending 18 September 2016

A roundup of the latest ICT/technology news from across the Caribbean region for the period Monday 12 September to Sunday 18 September 2016.

Monday, 12 September 2016

NewCo touts per second billing intent

Bahamas – NewCo Limited 2015, The Bahamas’ second cellular mobile licensee, plans to offer customers a per second billing (PSB) plan, rather than a per minute billing (PMB) plan… more

Utilities, improve your services

Barbados – THE FAIR TRADING COMMISSION (FTC) wants Barbados’ longstanding electricity and telephone companies to improve their level of service… more

Digital Economy Fair 2016

Haiti – The 27 and 28 September at the Karibe Convention Center, will be held the Digital Economy Fair 2016 (SEN), around the central theme “The digital economy, accelerator of economic and social development in Haiti”… more

Statement by The Most Honourable Andrew Holness on Granting of Spectrum Licence

Jamaica – The Cabinet has given serious and deliberate consideration to the recommendations contained in the Special Report of the Office of the Contractor-General, on the investigation it conducted into the circumstances surrounding the Granting and /or Issuance of a Domestic Mobile Spectrum Licence to Symbiote Investments Limited… more

Cable TV, Gone Viral partner with Shoot Hoops, Not Guns

Sint Maarten – Every year St. Maarten Cable TV nominates an organisation for a grant from the Caribbean Cable and TV Association Community Programme (CCTA) and this year St. Maarten Cable TV nominated the Shoot Hoops, Not Guns project. The project was one of many in the region that received a donation of US $1,200… more

Caribbean countries urged to do more to tackle cyber-crime

Regional – A senior official of the accounting firm, Deloitte’s Global, says despite increased improvements in technology in Latin America and the Caribbean, the region remains highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks… more

ECTEL managing director provides CWC-Columbus post-merger update

Regional – Managing Director of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), Embert Charles, has given an update on the situation relating to the US$3 billion regional merger of Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus Communications group last year, and how it relates to regulatory matters going forward… more

Bad Call: Man Admits To Cell Phone Scheme That Allowed Fraudulent Calls To Caribbean

Regional – An American man has admitted to multiple offences in connection with a sophisticated global cell phone fraud scheme that involved hijacking cellphone customers’ accounts and “cloning” their phones to make fraudulent calls to Caribbean countries… more

Marketing Strategies Today: Content marketing explained to non marketers

Regional – When it comes to a way to start a conversation nothing is more common that the original “What do you do? … more

Powerful speakers for Caribbean Utility Regulators Confab

Regional – A powerful line-up of speakers will address next month’s Organisation of Caribbean Utility Regulators (OOCUR) 14th annual conference in Montego Bay, St James… more

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Bahamas flag (Wikipedia)URCA: Consultation on BTC’s amended Reference Access and Interconnection Offer

Bahamas – The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (“URCA”) issues this Notice in accordance with section 11 of the Communications Act, 2009… more

Broadband, Barbados & a 100G Breakthrough

Barbados – While some poor sods in so-called “developed” markets are still struggling with sub-10 Mbit/s DSL-based broadband, the team at Caribbean operator Digicel is already looking well beyond Gigabit for their service options… more

Clipboard virus belatedly removed from Cuban government website

Cuba – A clipboard virus that appeared to be capable of attacking vulnerable computers that had visited the Cuban government information service website ( was belatedly removed a day after Caribbean News Now had raised the issue for the second time last week and after denials from the Cuban authorities that the problem existed in the first place… more

Hytera awarded multi million dollar contracts in Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic – Hytera, a world leading solution provider of Professional Mobile Radio communications, was awarded two projects by the Ministry of the Presidency of Dominican Republic… more

Business Process Industry Boss Blasts Telecom Service Providers

Jamaica – Peeved by the recent inconsistencies in the provision of telecom services, the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ), the umbrella organisation for the lucrative business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, is demanding an emergency meeting with the heads of telecom providers FLOW and Digicel… more

Letter Of The Day | Mobile Money Modern Answer To Farmer Receipts

Jamaica – THE EDITOR, Sir: In a desperate effort to minimise, if not eliminate, praedial larceny – a plague on farmers – the administration of a previous minister of agriculture introduced the farmers’ receipt book… more

Symbiote gets nod for mobile licence despite OCG report

Jamaica – The Government has given the go-ahead for Jamaica’s third domestic mobile spectrum licence to be issued to Symbiote Investments, which will market as Caricel… more

Usain Bolt reports for work as Digicel’s Chief Speed Officer – Gets upgrade to fastest home in the world

Jamaica – Usain Bolt reported for his first day on the job as Digicel’s Chief Speed Officer on Tuesday, September 13. And to mark his first day, Usain’s home was officially upgraded to the fastest in the world… more

Haiti, Cuba and Nicaragua, the worst internet penetration rate…

Regional – According to the report “The State of Broadband in Latin America and the Caribbean 2016” just released by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), to be presented at the second meeting of the Conference of science, innovation and ICT, which opened yesterday, Monday in Costa Rica, Haiti, Cuba and Nicaragua are the 3 countries among the population of Latin America and the Caribbean, with the worst penetration rate, or less than than 15% of households connected… more

Internet access progressing across LatAm, Caribbean

Regional – In 2015, 43.4 percent of all households in Latin America and the Caribbean had access to the Internet, almost doubling the 2010 level, according to a report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)… more

Telecoms Sector Crucial

Regional – WITH the ever-changing telecommunications sector in the OECS sub-region being highly valued as one of the fundamental factors for regional growth, a great deal of emphasis must be placed on ensuring that the region remains on top of its game… more

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

BTC submits amended RAIO

Bahamas – The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) has published the Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s (BTC) amended Reference Access and Interconnection Offer (RAIO)… more

NewCo sitting on $125M

Bahamas – CEO of NewCo Limited 2015 Damian Blackburn said the company is sitting on a war chest of $125 million. Blackburn also said NewCo’s official brand would be unveiled as the company approaches its first deadline to provide coverage for 99 percent of New Providence and 80 percent of Grand Bahama by October… more

Bolt reports for first day at work

Jamaica – His flashy gold Nissan appeared at the gate a few minutes to midday… more

Green Light For New Phone Firm – Holness Rejects OCG Recommendation, Grants Cellular Licence To Holding Company

Jamaica – The true beneficiaries of Jamaica’s third cellular licence remain under a cloud as the Government has admitted that in doing its due diligence, it did not go beyond the names submitted on the application by Symbiote Investments Limited… more

Jamaica flag (Wikipedia)Symbiote/Caricel on track for third spectrum licence

Jamaica – JAMACA has moved closer to resolving the issue of its third spectrum licensee, with the Government’s decision to accept a conditional approval given by the previous Administration in February and issue the licence… more

Customers Embrace FLOW Lend – Credit Advance App For Prepaid Mobile Customers

Regional – Customers who need to top up their phone’s credit but are short on cash, or simply can’t make it to a top-up station, no longer have a problem. Prepaid mobile customers now have an easy way to top up with the innovative.. more

Deloitte executive says Latin America and Caribbean highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks

Regional – Deloitte’s global chief information officer, Larry Quinlan, said that, despite increased improvements in technology in the Caribbean and Latin America, the regions remain highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks… more

Thursday, 15 September 2016

NewCo seeking competitive advantage

Barbados – NewCo Limited 2015 (NewCo) intends to beat the incumbent Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) on prices, rates and other cellular services. In an interview with Guardian Business, CEO Damian Blackburn addressed the company’s expectation to obtain a competitive advantage in the telecommunications market… more

Utilities office will oversee IT, power, water and fuel

Cayman Islands – Government’s plan to create an umbrella utilities commission to oversee and regulate all of the utility related sectors in Cayman are now well underway and four pieces of legislation required to change the current regime and provide for the new office will be debated in parliament next month, with several more amendments to other laws due early next year… more

Cybercrime, Whistleblower legislation for next Parliamentary session – AG

Guyana – Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, has said that the Cybercrime Bill will be among the legislative pieces set to be addressed at the next parliamentary session… more

C&W appoints Michelle English to board

Jamaica – Cable & Wireless Jamaica has appointed Michelle English to its Board… more

Liberty Global Ligths Up TV Screns with Global Netflix Partnership

Regional – Liberty Global plc (“Liberty Global”), the world’s largest international cable TV and broadband company, today revealed a multi-year partnership with Netflix Inc. (“Netflix”) which will lead to Netflix’s content being made available to Liberty Global video customers across more than 30 countries around the world… more

Friday, 16 September 2016

Flow to critic: No one will need to stand in line

British Virgin Islands – Telecom company Flow has announced that two newly recruited staff members will start work next week, adding that one of them will meet customers at the door and make it virtually unnecessary for persons to stand in lines… more

Damaged GPL submarine cable should be repaired by mid-November –Patterson

Guyana – The damage to the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) submarine cable, which caused a widespread power outage in sections of regions 3, 4, and 5 back in July, should be repaired by mid-November, according to Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson… more

Guyana flag (Wikipedia)Guyana wants Chinese telecoms giant to expand fibre-optic network; downplays concerns about espionage

Guyana – Guyana has asked the Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei, to assess the feasibility of expanding the coastal fibre-optic network to include other areas of the country, even as it downplayed concerns that that company might be engaged in espionage… more

E-book nonprofit expands to Haiti

Haiti – On the day that would forever change Haiti, Valerie Noisette was thousands of miles away… more

Caricel set to win Jamaica mobile licence

Jamaica – The Jamaican prime minister says a company whose backers seem unidentified is likely to win the country’s third mobile licence… more

FLOW, Digicel And BPIAJ To Meet Government Today…Muppuri’s Letter To Wheatley High On The Agenda

Jamaica – The top leadership of telecoms giants FLOW and Digicel and the executive members of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) are slated to meet the Government today to address concerns recently raised by the BPIAJ, the umbrella organisation for the lucrative business process outsourcing (BPO) sector… more

HI-TECH CRIMINALS …Gangsters using iPhone, WhatsApp to plot attacks

Jamaica – Fearful that their phones have been tapped, criminals are said to be staying away from making phone calls to their cronies, relying instead on new applications such as WhatsApp… more

‘Mystery company’ set to win third Jamaica licence

Jamaica – Jamaica is about to get its third mobile network, as the government appears set to grant a licence to Caricel, a locally owned company that will compete with Digicel and Liberty Global’s Flow… more

ECLAC says Internet use, access sharply increase in the Caribbean

Regional – A study by the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has found that there has been a dramatic increase in Internet use and access in the region… more

Saturday, 17 September 2016

UCRA concerned over increase incidents of poor taste broadcast material to Bahamians

Bahamas – The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority, (URCA) says it has come across increase incidents of broadcast material that would be considered by the general public in The Bahamas to be harmful, abusive, offensive, discriminatory or otherwise contrary to the standards of taste and decency which generally obtain in the country… more

URCA  crack down

Bahamas – The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) is cracking down on broadcasters following what it noted was an increase in breaches related to “standards of taste and decency” and “harm and offence”… more

China trip: Guyana engages Huawei in expanding “big time” ICT programme

Guyana – “We have to change the focus and identify our own priorities as a nation. This is the time for Guyana to think big but act in a manner reflecting our small country.” That is the enthusiasm that characterized the mood of Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes, as she spoke about her recent trip to China… more

Guyana asks Huawei to help expand internet network

Guyana – Chinese ICT giant Huawei Technologies has been asked to assist Guyana to expand its internet network and this could lead to connections being available in remote parts of the country… more

Telecommunications Minister boasts of leading Guyana to ICT literacy

Guyana – The Ministry of Public Telecommunications is boasting that it has almost completed phase one of the Secondary School Internet Connectivity project which forms part of the E-Governance project… more

Golden Age Home Gets Computers from USF

Jamaica – The Universal Service Fund (USF) has donated three desktop computers to the Golden Age Home, located in Vineyard Town, Kingston… more

Digicel Simplifies Borrowing; FLOW Expands Credit Loan Product

Regional – If banks introduced a line of credit accessible by one SMS request and nothing more to existing account holders, they would probably make millions… more

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Bitcoin Exchange, Caricoin, Trying To Enter Jamaica – Discussions With BOJ Under Way

Jamaica – A new player is trying to set up a bitcoin exchange in Jamaica as the first-known operator in the virtual currency space locally, but it needs the approval of the Bank of Jamaica… more

Flow Wants To Drop Emergency Operator Service

Jamaica – Flow Jamaica has informed the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) that it will no longer host a centralised emergency operator service through its network. Instead, it wants all telecoms providers to offer the service to their own subscribers… more


Image credits:  NS Newsflash (flickr);  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia;