Roundup: for the week ending 26 February 2017

A roundup of the latest ICT/technology news from across the Caribbean region for the period Monday 20 February to Sunday 26 January 2017.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Despite Aliv, BTC’s subscriber base up 6,000

Bahamas – Cable & Wireless Communications Limited (CWC), part owner of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), said despite the entrance of BeAliv Limited as the second provider of cellular mobile services in the country, BTC’s subscriber base grew by 6,000 on a quarter to date (QTD) basis through increased data-led promotional activity… more

URCA statement of results and final determination on Mobile Number Portability

Bahamas – The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) today published its Statement of Results and Final Determination on Mobile Number Portability (MNP)… more

‘We March’ To Fight Spying Bill

Bahamas –  WE March Bahamas is urging residents to protest against the proposed Interception of Communications Bill before Parliament which, critics say, can impede civil liberties if passed and enacted without public consultation… more

“Utility company shares to be sold to SSB” says Prime Minister Dean Barrow

Belize – Prime Minister Dean Barrow explained this week that, contrary to statements made by opposition leader John Briceño, government will not be selling shares in utility companies to foreign buyers… more

Dominican Republic to begin digital switchover in 2019

Dominican Republic – The transition to digital TV signal in the Dominican Republic has been delayed for over a year and telecom regulator Indotel … more

Social Media Fuelling Crime

Regional – THE EDITOR, Sir: Social media is a necessary evil. In most cases, it is used as a weapon to carry out character assassination and reputational denigration, as well as the fuelling of crime and violence… more

SYLVESTER ATTAINS PRESIDENCY OF CABLE & WIRELESS BUSINESS

Regional – Jenson Sylvester has been appointed Vice President of C&W Business, the business solutions arm of Cable & Wireless Communications… more

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Antigua and Barbuda present transformational technologies event

Antigua and Barbuda – It is imperative that Caribbean leaders consider the opportunities presented by the information and communication technologies (ICT) revolution and adopt the technologies that can transform all sectors and promote social and economic development… more

BTC Deal Approval Wait Now 9 Months

Bahamas – Liberty Global’s acquisition of the controlling equity stake in the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has yet to be approved by the Christie government nine months after the deal closed… more

BTC promoting from within: Four women rise in the ranks

Bahamas – Women continue to take top positions at Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC). Just recently, four of them secured some of the company’s most senior titles, in a wave of new appointments to the executive leadership team… more

BTC Proposal Slammed As ‘Unacceptable Barrier’

Bahamas – Regulators have slammed the Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s (BTC) proposal that two days initially be allowed for the transfer of mobile subscribers, and their existing numbers, to a rival carrier as an “unacceptable barrier” for consumers… more

Mobile Number Transfer In Further Month’s Delay

Bahamas – Regulators yesterday announced a further month’s delay in launching mobile number portability, pushing the start date back to April 25, 2017, as they slammed both the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) and Aliv… more

Dominican Republic delays DTT migration to 2019

Dominican Republic – The Dominican Republic is set to finally begin its long-delayed analogue TV switch off in January 2019, reports local daily Diario Libre, citing new Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel) president Jose del Castillo Savinon… more

Union, GTT in showdown over 120 staffers being sent home

Guyana – The Guyana Postal and Telecommunication Workers’ Union (GPTWU) is not buying the story of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) of why it is sending home 120 workers over the next 12 months… more

Gov’t to Implement E-Tendering and Purchase System

Jamaica – The Government is to implement an electronic tendering and purchase system this fiscal year as it continues its work to streamline operations within the public sector… more

Mixed financial results for Liberty Global

Regional – FLOW’s parent company, Liberty Global Plc., has reported mixed financial results in the fourth quarter of 2016… more

Police Staff to receive CCTV Training in Taiwan

Saint Kitts and Nevis – A compliment of six persons, officers and civilians from the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force left the Federation on Friday February 17th for the Republic of China (Taiwan) to undergo extensive training in a “real world” environment on the effective and efficient use of Close Circuit Television Systems (CCTV) used in Public Safety… more

 T&T becomes CwC’s worst performing market

Trinidad and Tobago – Cable and Wireless Communications (CwC), owner of Trinidad and Tobago’s largest cable television provider, Flow, has lost 12,000 video subscribers in the nine months ended December 31, 2016 versus the same period a year earlier (YTD)… more

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

AG’s Office Reviewing BTC’s Sale To Liberty

Bahamas – A Cabinet minister yesterday said he was waiting for the Attorney General’s Office to complete its review of Liberty Global’s acquisition of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) before “re-submitting” it for approval… more

 ‘Spy Bill’ delayed

Bahamas – Amid widespread criticism and “partisan” uproar over the recently tabled Interception of Communications Bill, Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson yesterday said there will be a period of public consultation to better inform Bahamians about the contents of the tabled bill before moving forward with the legislation… more

We March Protest Against ‘Spying Bill’ Called Off

Bahamas – WE MARCH Bahamas has called off a planned protest on Wednesday afternoon against the Interceptions of Communications Bill after an announcement on Tuesday night by the Attorney General of a “period of public consultation” before the legislation is implemented… more

Barbados Developing the “Right Stuff” for Entrepreneurs & Boutique Call Centers

Barbados – Barbados is often recognized for its 166 square miles of pure island paradise, but it also has a few hidden gems that are made of the “right stuff” for the call center industry… more

GTT launches Pre-paid Mobile Bundles

Guyana – GTT has introduced Pre-paid Mobile Bundles which combine Voice, SMS and Data into an even more affordable offer for its customers on its 4G network across Guyana… more

Workers’ union promises ‘rigid’ action against GTT

Guyana – Following the announcement that the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company will be laying off about 120 of its employees over the next 12 months, the Guyana Postal and Telecommunication Workers’ Union (GPTWU) – which represents the majority of the workers – has committed to take ‘rigid’ action to protect the interests of its members… more

Liberty Global still awaiting regulatory review in Jamaica

Jamaica – Liberty Global’s acquisition of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) last year is still awaiting regulatory review and approval in several Caribbean jurisdictions, including Jamaica… more

Mount Peto Primary gets computer lab

Jamaica – TECHNOLOGY Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley says the outfitting and opening of a computer laboratory at the Mount Peto Primary School in Hanover has placed residents of the community into the fast-paced world of advanced technology… more

 Caribbean countries urged to promote affordable internet

Regional – Caribbean governments have been more reactive than proactive in nurturing the development of the internet to meet their countries’ needs and should provide further investment incentives to improve coverage, according to a new study from the Internet Society… more

Caribbean well positioned to capitalize on Internet growth, says Internet Society report

Regional – The Internet Society has released its “Removing Barriers to Connectivity in the Caribbean” report, together with recommendations for increasing Internet adoption in the region… more

CTU secretary general presents roadmap for CARICOM ICT single space

Regional – The secretary general of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), Bernadette Lewis, addressed the 28th inter-sessional meeting of the conference of the heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on February 17, 2017, in Georgetown, Guyana… more

Denis O’Brien’s Digicel to cut 25% of workforce

Regional – Denis O’Brien’s Digicel telecoms group is shedding more than 1,500 jobs over the next 18 months in an overhaul of the debt-laden business… more

“Digicel 2030” Global Transformation Programme Begins

Regional – Digicel today announced its Digicel 2030 global transformation programme promising customers a completely new communications and entertainment experience made possible by a more agile, customer-centric application of resources and investment… more

Digicel retrenching 25% of all workers

Regional – Digicel chief executive Colm Delves said yesterday that the company will reduce its global workforce by about 25 per cent over the next 18 months or so, starting on March 1, Ash Wednesday… more

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Antigua-Barbuda to host ICT week and symposium

Antigua and Barbuda – The rapid pace of innovation in information and communication technologies (ICT) is impacting every aspect of Caribbean life. There is a clarion call for the region to keep abreast with and understand the potential of these new and revolutionary technologies to overcome the challenges faced by the Caribbean and to drive economic growth… more

Questions but no answers on e-text books

Antigua and Barbuda – As further delays hit the implementation of the Ministry of Education’s e-textbooks initiative, educators are raising concerns over the quality of the content produced… more

AG says Bill Delayed

Bahamas – Amid controversy and concern surrounding the Interception of Communications Bill (ICB), Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson has revealed that in order to allow a period of consultation, the ICB will be delayed… more

Business offerings are brought Aliv

Bahamas – The Bahamas’ second mobile operator, Aliv, yesterday launched its business to business (B2B) offering, a senior executive describing it as a “core piece of the puzzle” in the company’s development… more

Communications Bill, a scary item

Bahamas – The Interception of Communications Bill 2017, which the Government of The Bahamas wanted to push through the House of Assembly and still prioritizes, is a scary item indeed. The proponents of the Bill point out to it’s enactment as law, enabling us to be in line with the “worldwide Community.” That does not give much comfort to Bahamians… more

Ashcroft Says His Good Turn on B.T.L. Was Rejected and Will Cost Belize Heavily

Belize – Much of the half a billion dollar settlement has to do with the Accommodation Agreement signed seven years earlier. That in turn reaches back to the mid-2000’s when Jeffrey Prosser was in charge at B.T.L. but was unable to come up with finance to complete his purchase… more

Editorial

Belize – The history of BTL, Belize’s premier telecommunication utility, is a tortuous and painful one… more

Lord Michael Ashcroft Confirms Terms of B.T.L. Settlement

Belize – In an exclusive interview with News Five in Washington, D.C. Lord Michael Ashcroft touched on a wide variety of major stories, from the settlement of Belize Telemedia Limited’s nationalization by Government and the problems with payment to ongoing wrangles over arbitration awards and the impact of the titanic struggle on Belize’s economy… more

Jaevion Nelson | BPO Growth At What Expense?

Jamaica – It baffles me how deafeningly silent we are about the complaints of persons employed in one of the 55 call centres and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in Jamaica… more

CaribbeanTales Flow into Production

Regional – Three of the Caribbean’s leading film producers will now develop pilots for their original TV series projects, via funding from Flow and CaribbeanTales Media Group… more

Digicel cutting global workforce

Regional – MORE THAN 1 500 PEOPLE, including some Barbadians, are expected to lose their jobs as Digicel restructures and cuts a quarter of its global workforce in the next year and a half… more

Digicel to cut jobs worldwide

Regional – Irish-owned telecommunications company Digicel, which has a large presence in Cayman and throughout the Caribbean, announced plans this week to slash a quarter of its workforce in the next 18 months… more

Digicel to cut one in four jobs in restructure

Regional – Digicel is a planning to cut a quarter of its workforce over the next 18 months,.. more

TSTT’s Retail Transformation

Trinidad and Tobago – TSTT has engaged Beesion Technologies, the pioneer of low-code telecom software, as part of its retail transformation of the bmobile in-store experience… more

Union: Digicel workers paying for poor decisions

Trinidad and Tobago – THE 25 per cent of Digicel’s global workforce who will be cut from the Irish-owned company’s payroll are being made to pay for management’s poor decisions to rack up over €6.2 billion in debt, Communication Workers’ Union Secretary General Joseph Remy said yesterday… more

Friday, 24 February 2017

FLOW STUDY RECEIVES KUDOS FROM EDUCATION OFFICIALS

Barbados – Flow Study could be entering local classrooms soon… more

Government Moves to Address “Cyber Crimes”

Belize – he chorus of disapproval in the wake of the social media spectacle is forcing lawmakers to look carefully at new legislation to address the issue of cyber bullying… more

Audit report reveals major discrepancies in One Laptop Per Family project

Guyana – The final report from the Financial Audit into the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) project, launched by the previous Government in 2011, has found that the financial systems and internal controls governing the project were generally weak, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported… more

Flow Parent Downscales Jamaica Mobile Subscriber Numbers

Jamaica – Cable & Wireless Jamaica (C&WJ), which trades as FLOW Jamaica, heralded its one millionth mobile customer last year, but its parent company is now reporting that the local telecom just surpassed 900,000 subscribers for the first time… more

Microsoft Hosts Successful Conference On Digital Transformation

Jamaica – As part of its global push to empower companies and individuals to be prepared for the digital transformation, Microsoft hosted its annual M4 Conference under the theme, ‘Jamaica EMPOWERED: Innovation Through Digital Transformation’, at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston recently with more than 150 members of the tech community in attendance… more

Digicel bonds trade up as investors react to cost cutting measures

Regional – Digicel bonds traded up on Thursday as investors reacted to a plan to dramatically cut costs at the telecoms group… more

Digicel Not For Sale But IPO Still Possible

Regional – Digicel Group, on Wednesday, said definitively the company was not positioning itself for sale amid a shake-up of the operation that affects its worldwide markets… more

Digicel revenue falls 6% due to currency weakness

Regional – Denis O’Brien’s Digicel telecoms group, which operates in 31 markets across the Caribbean and Asia Pacific regions, saw its revenue decline 6 per cent in the three months to December due to currency weakness across several of its main markets, according to sources… more

OECS ICT Strategy Group Considers New Options for Reducing Broadband Prices and Increasing Quality of Service

Regional – OECS Member States are taking steps to fully embrace the digital economy. The OECS Commission has formed a special ICT Strategy Group to consider the region’s options for using technology more effectively to facilitate its integration agenda… more

Women In Technology

Regional – “I have very personally felt the overwhelming loneliness, self-doubt, and frustration that often comes with the minority status of a woman in engineering… more

 St Kitts police welcome new crime-fighting technology

Saint Kitts and Nevis – Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr Timothy Harris, at his last press conference, said the government will soon introduce several new technologies to aid the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force in its fight against crime… more

The Cable Is At The Crossroads

Saint Kitts and Nevis – St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Cable, provider of television channels, VOIP, telephone and internet services is at the crossroads… more

Digicel Introduces Kiosks

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Telecommunications Company Digicel is continuing to revolutionize its operations here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines… more

Saturday, 25 February 2017

A sick media landscape …

Belize – The equipment and technology at Channel 5 are all sparkling and state-of-the-art. Channel 5 is a member in good standing of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU). The television station is owned by a billionaire international business mogul who has been feeding off the flesh and blood of the Belizean people for more than three decades… more

Belize gov’t to clamp down on misuse of social media

Belize – The Belize government is moving to clamp down on the misuse of social media and is establishing a taskforce to look at the issue of cyber laws, Solicitor General, Nigel Hawke has said… more

Cops pursuing “Belizean Cheaters” after cyber-bullying of child

Belize – Since this weekend, scandalous Facebook pages, carrying the name “Belizean Cheaters”, of which there are now several versions, captioned parts 2, 3, 4 plus other social media versions, described as “uncut” for their raw video content, have gone viral, with one social media group garnering as many as 12,000 members after a scandal broke about someone accused of being a cheating cop… more

Need a ride?

Guyana – Three companies, Ecab.gy, Drop and iRide are seeking to “revolutionize” transportation services in Guyana through mobile apps that promise their users speedy access to safe, reliable and inexpensive taxis through just the tap of their smartphones… more

US online visa, awareness for Internet cafes

Haiti – Friday, the Consular Section of the US Embassy held an information session for about 20 cybercafe owners and employees at the US Embassy in Tabarre… more

FLOW Says Thursday’s Disruption Was An Unusual Occurrence

Jamaica – The telecommunications company FLOW has described Thursday’s disruption in mobile and other services to its residential and business customers as an unusual occurrence… more

 Cable & Wireless Flows the Caribbean TV shows’ talent

Regional – Three of the Caribbean’s leading film producers will develop pilots for original TV series projects thanks to funding from Cable & Wireless’s Flow and CaribbeanTales Media Group… more

OECS considers new options for reducing broadband prices and increasing service quality

Regional – The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member states are taking steps to fully embrace the digital economy. The OECS Commission has formed a special ICT Strategy Group to consider the region’s options for using technology more effectively to facilitate its integration agenda. The group is being chaired by the OECS director general, Dr Didacus Jules… more

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Frauds increase on the Digicel network

Haiti – The Digicel phone operator informs its customers that it faces, from a few weeks, to a significant increase in cases of fraud known as “bypass or bypass traffic”… more

Ready TV teams with Facey Telecoms

Jamaica – Jamaica’s first digital subscription cable service, Ready TV, has teamed with leading distributors Facey Telecom to create a distribution and sales platform… more

The mobile wallet: Financially included, but users must be security conscious

Jamaica – Today there are in excess of four billion mobile phone users across the world. The figure continues to increase daily and it is therefore likely that by 2020 over five billion people will be connected to mobile technology… more

Digicel targets local supplier deals to share currency risk

Regional –  Irish-owned telecoms company Digicel is working with local suppliers to mitigate the risk of currency fluctuations, which have hit revenues and profits at the group… more

Single Regional ICT Space…Champions required at highest levels of governments – CTU Head

Regional –  The Secretary General of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Telecommunication Union (CTU), Bernadette Lewis, says the establishment of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single ICT Space is a complex undertaking, which presents many challenges… more

 

Image credits:  Dennis Skley (flickr);  The Eleutheran;  The West Indian;  Wikipedia;  Wikipedia;  Marketing Magazine;  Wikipedia

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