May 26, 2009

Sale of shares in Guyana telephone company to develop ICT sector

From Caribbean360:

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, May 14, 2009 - The Guyana government plans to use the money from the sale of its 20 per cent stake in the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T) Company to develop the country's information communication technology (ICT) sector.
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May 22, 2009

Cable & Wireless plans to cut more jobs

From the Telegraph:

John Pluthero, executive chairman of C&W Worldwide, said job cuts will be an "on going feature" as the company reshapes its operations. C&W has cut about 600 jobs from the integration of rival Thus and 1,000 of 1,500 planned job cuts as part of its "One Caribbean" programme to consolidate 13 businesses into one.
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May 19, 2009

Cellular rivals in Guyana sign SMS interconnection agreement

From The West Indian Newspaper:

GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- The rival cell phone carriers in Guyana have finally reached an agreement that allows their clients to exchange text messages, ending a yearlong dispute.

Digicel and the Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Co. said on Saturday that their clients can start text-messaging each other by June.

The companies said technical details were worked out a year ago but disagreements had remained over contract terms. The pact was reached the same day regulators were scheduled to begin hearings on the issue.

A joint release issued on Sunday said, "Digicel and GT&T are pleased to announce that they have come to an agreement to enable cross-network mobile texting in Guyana"

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May 18, 2009

Analysis of Broadband Rates in the Caribbean

From Signals Telecom Consulting:

  • At year-end 2008, Cable Modem subscriptions charge that is 48.68% and 61.38% more economical than DSL and fixed wireless accesses alternatives respectively.

  • Maximum average speed in the Caribbean is 3 Mbps. However, many operators provide above average downlink speeds throughout the region, including: Cable Bahamas (9 Mbps), Caribbean Cable Communications (6 Mbps, Anguilla), Flow Communications (10 Mbps, Jamaica), LIME (8 Mbps, St Kitts & Nevis), and TSTT's Blink (10 Mbps, Trinidad & Tobago) among others.

  • The principal impact of increased competition in broadband offer has been a reduction in rates and greater service availability. Operators such as Digicel and Flow Communications will be seeking ways to increase their differentiation by means of the launch of value-added services, local content and alliance with local service providers in each market. This will enable them to successfully confront any future packaging of DSL services on UMTS/HSPA by operators such as TSTT, LIME and UTS, among others.

  • At 4Q08 Signals points out that the greatest concentration of service offer takes place in the 1 and 2 Mbps speed segment, whereas in 2007 it was in 512 Kbps. This represents an encouragement by operators for a more intensive use of access by users.

  • Furthermore, it can be seen that the presence of LIME in most of the islands of the Caribbean and its concern regarding the possibility of the entry of new competitors is driving that operator to provide plans with higher minimum speeds (1 Mbps), causing a greater market concentration at that speed.

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  • Why PJ, Digicel officials went to Cuba

    More intrigue in the Caribbean telecom world - from the Jamaica Observer:

    THE one-day trip to Cuba last Thursday that ended in a swirl of controversy involving former prime minister P J Patterson was a proactive attempt by telecoms giant Digicel to secure a phone service carrier contract between Jamaica and Cuba, the Sunday Observer has learnt.

    At the same time, the storm triggered by media reports that local authorities had reason to search the aircraft chartered for the trip has left the public wondering what information the authorities had and the credibility of the intelligence they received.

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    May 11, 2009

    Digicel seeks to end Guyana telephone monopoly

    Potentially big news today from AP today on Digicel - they are going after one of the regions last monopoly markets, Guyana:

    A Caribbean mobile phone company is challenging a U.S.-owned company's monopoly over international cell phone calls in the South American nation of Guyana.

    Digicel says it is missing out on millions of dollars because its nearly 300,000 subscribers can't make international calls.

    Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Co. has had a monopoly on the calls since it was privatized in 1991. The company is owned by Salem, Massachusetts-based Atlantic Tele-Network.

    The permit expires next year. The company can renew it for 20 more years, but the government is against it.

    This can't be good news for Atlantic Tele-Networks - it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

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