January 31, 2008

Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Selects Ethernet-based Calix E-Series Platform

PETALUMA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Calix today announced that Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) has selected the Calix E5-100 product family to provide innovative gigabit Ethernet solutions to office buildings and residential multi-dwelling unit (MDU) locations. TSTT is one of the largest service providers in the Caribbean, serving over 350,000 wireline and one million wireless customers, and is jointly owned by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and Cable & Wireless.

TSTT plans to utilize the Calix E5-100 product family as a right-sized solution for extending Gigabit Ethernet services to MDUs. The E5-100 product family often acts as an extension to existing Calix C7 multiservice access platforms, which deliver broadband capabilities to more than 150,000 TSTT customers, or can connect directly to the MPLS core network. An integrated complement to the Calix C7, the E5-100 product family is managed via the Calix Management System (CMS), allowing TSTT to administer, maintain, and provision its entire island-wide access network of Calix products using a single, centrally located management solution.

According to Cedric Cole, TSTT vice president of access infrastructure and new business, “We had an urgent need to extend broadband services to key MDU locations on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. We identified and selected the E5-100 Ethernet service platform based on installation simplicity, ease of provisioning, and the ability to immediately deliver 20+ Mbps broadband services to MDU residents.”Calix

Designed with a native Ethernet architecture, the Calix E5-100 product family enables TSTT to connect small-form-factor access products to its IP infrastructure with multiple gigabit Ethernet fiber uplinks - while leveraging DSL for service delivery over an MDU’s existing twisted-pair infrastructure. The E5-100 product family also supports future advanced broadband service delivery needs by enabling loop bonding for both ADSL2+ and VDSL2 technologies.

Roberto Peon, TSTT CEO, states, “The Calix E5-110 has allowed us to cost effectively fill an immediate service delivery need that previously would have been cost prohibitive. We see the E5-100 product family as a logical network extension that will allow us to tap into new revenue streams, enabling a new generation of residential and business services.“

“The E5-100 products are continually demonstrating their design and deployment flexibility by allowing service providers to satisfy the increasing bandwidth requirements of their broadband customers across a variety of deployment scenarios,” said Teresa Sperry, Calix director of multiservice over Ethernet market development. “Whether the service provider requires innovative Ethernet solutions deployed from an MDU or central office, or as a retrofit to existing outside-plant cabinets, the Calix E5-100 product family provides a right-sized and cost-effective solution for delivering advanced broadband services.”

About Calix

Calix is the largest telecom equipment supplier focused solely on access solutions for broadband service delivery. Service providers deploy Calix access systems to enable a rich set of information, communication, and entertainment services and to expand their revenue base beyond connectivity. Calix access innovation helps service providers transform their networks from circuit to packet, narrowband to broadband, and copper to fiber. Calix has deployed millions of ports and tens of thousands of systems into hundreds of service provider networks throughout North America. For more information, visit the Calix website at www.calix.com.

About TSTT

Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited, is jointly owned by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago (51%) and Cable & Wireless (49%). The company provides a complete suite of communications services throughout the twin-island state including fixed line and mobile communications, broadband Internet access, lease lines, and data services. TSTT is the only communications solutions provider in the country deploying both wireless and wired next generation networks with voice, data, and multimedia capabilities making it one of the most advanced solutions providers in country. The company’s customers include key industry leaders in the finance, energy, government, and tourism sectors. For more information, visit the TSTT website at www.tstt.co.tt.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements that are based upon management’s current expectations and are inherently uncertain. Forward-looking statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this release and we assume no obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statement to reflect any event or circumstance after the date of this release. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from current expectations.

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January 17, 2008

Cable & Wireless International implements Fair Isaac's RoamEx

"Cable & Wireless International (CWI), a UK-based communications company, will be using Fair Isaac's RoamEx, a roaming fraud service, to minimise fraud risk and provide better roaming facilities to its customers.

According to Fair Isaac, a provider of analytics and decision management technology, RoamEx roamer data exchanger is capable of providing near real-time roaming data exchange (NRTRDE) between wireless operators.

The system transfers or sends voice, message and data call records from the serving operator to home operator, when CWI subscribers use the roaming facility, enabling the team to get additional visibility on the calls. The company says that the data delivered through the system will facilitate faster delivery, enabling the service provider to respond to a potential fraud threat."

More here.

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January 14, 2008

Caribbean telecom sues C&W, regulators over acc

No - not us - from Reuters:

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Internet provider Cariaccess has sued Cable & Wireless (CW.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and local regulators in two Caribbean nations, claiming it lost more than $65 million because it was denied access to telecommunications networks.

Cariaccess said on Monday it was also reviewing its legal options in other English-speaking Caribbean nations where Britain's C&W once held a virtual monopoly.

Cariaccess filed a $43 million lawsuit in mid-December against C&W and the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The company, which is based in Dominica, filed a second lawsuit of $25 million against C&W and the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of St. Lucia late last month.

Cariaccess said that nearly five years after receiving its first Organization of Eastern Caribbean States telecoms license, it remains unable to connect to the public-switched telephone, Internet or other networks in any of the nine member countries.

"Had we started when we were supposed to and had gotten the interconnection, we could have done an enormous amount of business, but we have lost a lot of market and a lot of ground," Anthony Gunn, managing director of Cariaccess, told Reuters.

Without interconnection, its subscribers would be unable to communicate with those served by other companies.

Cariaccess is also exploring its legal options in the other OECS member states where it has been unable to do business and earn revenue, Gunn said.

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January 8, 2008

Second day of Cable and Wireless strike

Just catching this story this morning for the first time:

"Cable and Wireless (Barbados) workers remained off the job Saturday resulting in the closure of several retail outlets and delays for regional customers trying to reach the company’s contact centre which serves several islands.

As the workers remained on the sidewalk outside the telecommunication company’s headquarters on the outskirts of the City for the second straight day, C&W issued a statement advising that all but one of its retail outlets had been closed and the regional contact centre would close at 11 p.m. Saturday.
It also advised customers from across the region that they could expect details when trying to contact the centre."

Does anyone have anything more recent?


" Tuesday, 08 January 2008 Operations at most Cable and Wireless facilities ground to a halt Monday as striking workers remained off the job.

The workers turned out in their numbers at the company's Windsor Lodge headquarters to show their dissatisfaction with the state of affairs.

They carried placards spelling out their messages as they picketed the entrance to the company's Government Hill headquarters.

BWU General Secretary, Sir Roy Trotman addressed the strikers telling them that things are likely to get worse before they get better.

The union boss was highly critical of the way Cable and Wireless has conducted the negotiations and has pledged to continue the struggle even if it means calling out other divisions of the union.

Monday afternoon Sir Roy told CBC that the industrial action had gone as expected.

“We knew that it would be slow at the beginning. We have a number of younger people who have not had the experience of industrial action before so it takes them a while to get into the rhythm but their spirits are good and they know what the issues are.”

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January 7, 2008

Paradise Lost: Successful entrepreneur now in bankruptcy

Semi-friendly background article on Jeff Prosser and the Innovative bankruptcy from what sounds like his hometown paper - The Omaha World Herald - which includes this time line:

Jeffrey Prosser's business dealings

Prosser learns that international conglomerate ITT Corp. wants to sell its telephone business in the U.S. Virgin Islands. To pay for the deal, Prosser approaches Cornelius Prior, who oversaw telecommunications financing at the now-defunct brokerage and investment banking firm Kidder, Peabody & Co.

The two men purchase the Virgin Islands Telephone Co., or Vitelco, with a private loan for $87 million. That loan is repaid with about $100 million in credit from the Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative, the first big loan made by the nonprofit co-op based in Herndon, Va.

Prior and Prosser establish a publicly traded holding company, Atlantic Tele-Network Inc., over Vitelco.

The men use Atlantic to buy Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Co., a lucrative venture involving about 9 million minutes per month of "audiotext" traffic. Callers dial "900" numbers for horoscopes, psychic services and phone sex.

The business partners split. Prior gets the Guyana phone business; Prosser gets the Virgin Islands phone business and puts it under his new publicly traded company, Emerging Communications Inc.

Prosser takes Emerging Communications private with a stock purchase by another new Prosser-owned company, Innovative Communications Corp. • Prosser embarks on an aggressive expansion strategy. He buys cellular and cable TV businesses in the Virgin Islands, St. Maarten and rural France, aided by financing from the rural telephone cooperative. Prosser buys the Virgin Islands Daily News.

Prosser reveals plans to develop a resort hotel and other attractions and to give the Virgin Islands government 1,000 acres of land. In exchange, he seeks a 30-year tax holiday for Innovative. The tax bill is approved, but the governor vetoes it.

The New York hedge fund Greenlight Capital LLC sues Prosser, saying it got too little money as a minority shareholder when Prosser took Emerging Communications private in 1998. In May 2004, Delaware Chancery Judge Jack Jacobs sides with Greenlight and awards about $130 million. Prosser is appealing.

Prosser charges that the Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative is shifting profits to its affiliate, the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. If true, the cooperative isn't giving Innovative and other customer-members their proper patronage dividends. Prosser notifies them he will deduct what he says is owed from his loan payments, $30 million to $50 million. The cooperative sues, demanding immediate repayment of all loans.

Innovative Communications offers $105 million for Belize Telecommunications Ltd., provider of local phone service in that Central American country. Prosser pays about $28 million but skips a subsequent $57 million payment, in part because he says the government didn't exclude the previous owner from involvement in the company, as agreed upon in the sale. The Belize government seizes the phone company, and Prosser sues. Phone service is shut down. Street protests erupt. Prosser's control is in limbo.

The rural telephone cooperative and Greenlight join forces to try to force Prosser and his companies into bankruptcy over the stock case and the lending dispute.

• Innovative files for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy, seeking to reorganize. Prosser files for personal bankruptcy. His settlement requires that he pay creditors $402 million, but he fails to do so.

Prosser lines up financing to pay off much of the company's debts. But he requires Greenlight and the cooperative to sign a release against future claims. They reject the deal. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judith Fitzgerald affirms their decision. By fall, the judge orders Prosser into involuntary bankruptcy, and begins proceedings to liquidate Prosser-related assets to pay off debts.

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Digicel faces wireless war as phone giant enters market

Interesting story from the Independent.ie:

"Digicel, Denis O'Brien's Caribbean mobile operation, is facing a wireless war following plans by Latin American phone giant America Movil to ramp up its presence in the region.

Mobile operator Movil is owned by the world's richest man, multi-billionaire Carlos Slim.

It is understood Movil is planning to undertake a massive network expansion plan in Jamaica which will provide the platform for its newly acquired MiPhone to aggressively compete against Digicel & Cable and Wireless, the other main operator in the Caribbean.

According to market sources, the move is a direct response to Digicel's incursion into Central America, which has, for years, been the stomping ground of Mr Slim."

Digicel has appeared to be running unfettered through these markets - it will be interesting to see how much of a fight Senor Slim can actually put up. I don't know figures on customer satisfaction in Jamaica for Digicel, but you can only imagine there has to some customer loyalty to a company that rescued the island from the monopoly of C&W. Digicel seems to have made almost no wrong moves yet - let the games begin!

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