Displaying items by tag: Latin America

Telefónica Chile to completely virtualize core network

Written on Thursday, 09 November 2017 10:25

Telefónica Chile, the country’s largest mobile network operator and internet service provider, has selected Ericsson to completely virtualize the operator’s core network. A fully virtualized core network provides faster time-to-market of innovative new products and services that capture the opportunities presented by use cases in 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Under the terms of the new deal, Ericsson will deploy its Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) solution, including virtual EPC, virtual IMS, virtual AAA and NFVi. This provides Telefónica Chile with the largest number of virtualized telco applications in a shared resource environment known as UNICA.

“As market leaders in key 5G technologies such as NFV and SDN, Ericsson is helping operators around the world to evolve their existing networks toward 5G,” said Nicolás Brancoli, Head of Customer Unit South Latin America. “With this deal, we will deliver the first 5G Ready Core network in the country to Telefónica Chile, enabling the operator to cement its leadership position in the region well into the future.”  

Ericsson will virtualize all telecommunications applications into a shared environment known as UNICA, with three datacenters in operation across the country. Installation, project management, network optimization, training and Managed Services are part of the agreement. Complete rollout and live service is expected during Q2, 2018. 

Published in Telecom Operators

Telefónica Chile to completely virtualize core network

Written on Thursday, 09 November 2017 10:25

Telefónica Chile, the country’s largest mobile network operator and internet service provider, has selected Ericsson to completely virtualize the operator’s core network. A fully virtualized core network provides faster time-to-market of innovative new products and services that capture the opportunities presented by use cases in 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Under the terms of the new deal, Ericsson will deploy its Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) solution, including virtual EPC, virtual IMS, virtual AAA and NFVi. This provides Telefónica Chile with the largest number of virtualized telco applications in a shared resource environment known as UNICA.

“As market leaders in key 5G technologies such as NFV and SDN, Ericsson is helping operators around the world to evolve their existing networks toward 5G,” said Nicolás Brancoli, Head of Customer Unit South Latin America. “With this deal, we will deliver the first 5G Ready Core network in the country to Telefónica Chile, enabling the operator to cement its leadership position in the region well into the future.”  

Ericsson will virtualize all telecommunications applications into a shared environment known as UNICA, with three datacenters in operation across the country. Installation, project management, network optimization, training and Managed Services are part of the agreement. Complete rollout and live service is expected during Q2, 2018. 

Published in Telecom Operators

Ericsson has extended its 20-year strategic partnership with Entel, the largest telecommunications company in Chile. Under the terms of the new contract, Ericsson will prepare Entel’s network in the evolution path towards 5G by deploying its latest LTE FDD network technologies and LTE TDD Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output).

This will allow Entel to increase its competitiveness and capture additional revenue streams. Entel will be the first operator in Latin America to deploy Massive MIMO nationwide.

Massive MIMO is a wireless technology that uses multiple transmitters and receivers to transfer more data at the same time. Multi-antenna transmission is playing a critical role in the evolution of 4G and 5G networks.

Entel will also evolve the Radio Network Controllers and EVO controllers across the network, including remote locations such as Easter Island, and upgrade the transport network with the introduction of Ericsson’s microwave solutions, a section of which now tap into E-band spectrum to cater for capacity increases in backhaul and fronthaul.

“With mobile traffic volumes expected to increase exponentially through 2020 and beyond, operators around the world are bolstering their existing networks to deliver higher speeds and lower latency to their subscribers,” said Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Market Area Europe and Latin America, Ericsson.

“We write a new chapter in the history of our strategic partnership with Entel by evolving their network to Gigabit LTE and paving the way to 5G and beyond, cementing their leadership position among operators in the Latin American region,” Bansal added.

Within the agreement, Ericsson will also deliver several strategic core network projects intended to upgrade Entel’s voice and data networks to the latest generation in order to provide new end-user services, enable increased broadband capacity and higher data speeds, enhanced voice quality, optimized latency, and reduced network operation costs.

“Entel has a long-standing partnership with Ericsson that is based on a history of excellence in product and service delivery,” said Alfredo Parot, Vice President of Technologies and Operations, Entel.

“Now, as we evolve our network to capture the new business opportunities of Gigabit LTE and the evolution towards 5G and IoT, we naturally extend this partnership with Ericsson in these areas,” Parot added. “Our subscribers and enterprise customers will enjoy the benefits of a very high performance network in the region for years to come.”  

Among the projects is a fully virtualized network service (VNS) for Voice over LTE (VoLTE) including virtual IP Multimedia Subsystem (vIMS), virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) for VoLTE. vIMS is a core network solution that delivers rich real-time communication services for both consumer and business users over any access network and for any device types, including smartphones, tablets, wearables and laptops.

Supported communication services include HD voice (VoLTE), Wi-Fi calling and video calling. The NFV infrastructure solution including Hyperscale Datacenter solution 8000, Ericsson Cloud Execution Environment (ECEE) and Ericsson Cloud Manager (ECM) will be deployed. The ECM and Ericsson Network Manager (ENM) will help orchestrate rollout of Entel’s nationwide VoLTE service.

Additionally, Ericsson introduces its Adaptive Network Inventory solution (EAI) which will become an integral part of Entel’s Digital Transformation project. Deployment of the core network projects begins immediately and will be completed in different phases throughout 2018 and 2019.

Published in Telecom Operators

Ericsson has extended its 20-year strategic partnership with Entel, the largest telecommunications company in Chile. Under the terms of the new contract, Ericsson will prepare Entel’s network in the evolution path towards 5G by deploying its latest LTE FDD network technologies and LTE TDD Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output).

This will allow Entel to increase its competitiveness and capture additional revenue streams. Entel will be the first operator in Latin America to deploy Massive MIMO nationwide.

Massive MIMO is a wireless technology that uses multiple transmitters and receivers to transfer more data at the same time. Multi-antenna transmission is playing a critical role in the evolution of 4G and 5G networks.

Entel will also evolve the Radio Network Controllers and EVO controllers across the network, including remote locations such as Easter Island, and upgrade the transport network with the introduction of Ericsson’s microwave solutions, a section of which now tap into E-band spectrum to cater for capacity increases in backhaul and fronthaul.

“With mobile traffic volumes expected to increase exponentially through 2020 and beyond, operators around the world are bolstering their existing networks to deliver higher speeds and lower latency to their subscribers,” said Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Market Area Europe and Latin America, Ericsson.

“We write a new chapter in the history of our strategic partnership with Entel by evolving their network to Gigabit LTE and paving the way to 5G and beyond, cementing their leadership position among operators in the Latin American region,” Bansal added.

Within the agreement, Ericsson will also deliver several strategic core network projects intended to upgrade Entel’s voice and data networks to the latest generation in order to provide new end-user services, enable increased broadband capacity and higher data speeds, enhanced voice quality, optimized latency, and reduced network operation costs.

“Entel has a long-standing partnership with Ericsson that is based on a history of excellence in product and service delivery,” said Alfredo Parot, Vice President of Technologies and Operations, Entel.

“Now, as we evolve our network to capture the new business opportunities of Gigabit LTE and the evolution towards 5G and IoT, we naturally extend this partnership with Ericsson in these areas,” Parot added. “Our subscribers and enterprise customers will enjoy the benefits of a very high performance network in the region for years to come.”  

Among the projects is a fully virtualized network service (VNS) for Voice over LTE (VoLTE) including virtual IP Multimedia Subsystem (vIMS), virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) for VoLTE. vIMS is a core network solution that delivers rich real-time communication services for both consumer and business users over any access network and for any device types, including smartphones, tablets, wearables and laptops.

Supported communication services include HD voice (VoLTE), Wi-Fi calling and video calling. The NFV infrastructure solution including Hyperscale Datacenter solution 8000, Ericsson Cloud Execution Environment (ECEE) and Ericsson Cloud Manager (ECM) will be deployed. The ECM and Ericsson Network Manager (ENM) will help orchestrate rollout of Entel’s nationwide VoLTE service.

Additionally, Ericsson introduces its Adaptive Network Inventory solution (EAI) which will become an integral part of Entel’s Digital Transformation project. Deployment of the core network projects begins immediately and will be completed in different phases throughout 2018 and 2019.

Published in Telecom Operators

Latin American telcos band together to achieve UN SDGs

Written on Tuesday, 03 October 2017 10:11

Ecuador’s Telecommunications Regulation and Control Agency (ARCOTEL) and the GSMA have launched the “We Care Ecuador” campaign to set up local actions by telcos that will help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Operators Claro, CNT EP and Telefónica Movistar have banded together on a coordinated awareness campaign via social networks, digital media and websites to help create a culture of prevention in vulnerable areas and reinforce good practices during emergencies.

The GSMA and ARCOTEL will also work together to step up the fight against handset theft. They will support the ARCOTEL initiative Tu Celular Legal exchanging regional good practices and the global experience of the GSMA IMEI database, a global central database containing basic information on the serial number (IMEI) ranges of millions of mobile devices (e.g. mobile phones, laptop data cards, etc.) in use across the globe.

“As a mobile ecosystem, we’re focusing on supporting communities during crisis or natural disasters and tackling the daily scourge of mobile phone theft, continually aiming to help reach the SDGs by fully leveraging mobile technology,” said Sebastián Cabello, Head of GSMA Latin America.

The mobile industry in Ecuador will jointly work with authorities to improve the disaster preparedness and response, according to the GSMA. During the earthquake in April 2016, the country’s mobile operators mobilized technicians and vehicles to provide satellite phones, water, phone chargers and internet service to affected areas.

They also installed temporary base stations, provided power generators and offered discounts and free calls and texting, among other actions to facilitate communications access to users in affected areas. Ecuador’s Secretary of Risk Management said that by 22 April 2016 (six days after the earthquake), 84 percent of telecommunications had been reestablished in Manabí, and in Esmeraldas and Guayas, they were fully restored.

“Joining “We Care Ecuador” reaffirms our willingness to collaborate and encourage a culture of preparedness and response for situations that can put lives at risk,” said Victor García, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Claro. “The mobile industry contribution to improving people’s quality of life is even more evident in actions that help to improve public safety, both in times of natural disaster and in working with the authorities to tackle handset theft.

José Manuel Casas, CEO of Telefónica Ecuador, said: “I reiterate my gratitude and my pride in the work of everyone at Telefónica and the pledge to the country. In record time we set up vital telecommunications services, sent out vehicles that covered the worst hit areas, provided free calls and built seven Proniño centers to teach, entertain and support children affected by the tragedy. This shows what we’re capable of. If we’re united and focused, we’ll achieve our objectives, fully in line with the SDGs.”

Underscoring the mobile industry commitment to the SDGs, the GSMA “We Care” campaign is an initiative of the region’s leading mobile operators to ensure all their users can enjoy the life-changing benefits of mobile technology in a safe and secure environment.

To achieve this, operators have joined forces as an industry and taken on a series of commitments in every country in the region where mobile phones and networks can provide solutions to social problems.

The initiative has been launched in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and the Dominican Republic, and will continue to expand across the region.

Published in Telecom Operators

The average monthly cost of mobile services in Central and South American countries dropped approximately 20 percent between 2014 and 2017, according to Strategy Analytics Latin America Emerging Markets report. In addition, the level of data included in mobile plans in Latin America has doubled to an average of 3.4GB.

The report takes into account SIM only, prepaid and postpaid plans for individuals and businesses among more than 55 suppliers in 19 countries. A summary of the report says, “The implementation of 4G LTE technology in South and Central America has resulted in easier and better access to mobile telephony and internet services throughout the region. We have seen a strong shift from voice and SMS based services to data-based services.”

The report highlights that the number of free minutes included in monthly services was 26 percent higher in 2017 compared to 2014 in Latin America. Also, the average published maximum download speed increased from 12Mbps in 2014 to almost 40Mbps in 2017.

“We have seen a strong change in terms of minutes, SMS and free data included, with a big increase especially in the amount of data included in the plans during the period from 2016 to 2017,” said Strategy Analytics analyst, Pawel Kmiec. “They linked in the reduction of cost by surplus for all types of calls and data.”

Published in Government

Satellite communications giant Intelsat said it will provide communications solutions for maritime customers in Latin America under an agreement with Brazil’s Mareste, a privately held firm based in Rio de Janeiro.

Under the agreement, Mareste will provide Ku-band communications services delivered by the Galaxy 28 satellite for the leisure, fishing and coastal sectors in Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.

Mareste will package the satellite services with its Ello product, which includes antennas and hardware, to provide a cost-effective satellite communication system designed to serve smaller coastal and regional vessels, where physical space for onboard equipment and budgets can be scarce or limited.

“With access to Intelsat’s satellite fleet and services, Mareste will be able to rapidly grow into a market that has traditionally been underserved,” said Márcio Esteves, Mareste’s President. “These leisure, fishing and coastal sectors traditionally have been forced to settle for low-speed, expensive connections.”

Esteves added, “With faster, more affordable broadband connectivity, Ello will solve the communications challenges for these customers, delivering a cost-effective satellite system that can be easily and rapidly deployed on smaller vessels.”

Carmen González-Sanfeliu, Intelsat’s Managing Director, Latin America & Caribbean, Sales, said, “Satellites are delivering next generation broadband services to the maritime sector.  Intelsat is focused on simplifying the process of acquiring the services and integrating them into existing operations.”

Carmen added, “Intelsat makes it easier to access connectivity from across the Intelsat fleet, including the Intelsat EpicNG platform and IntelsatOne Flex for Maritime service. For network operators and service providers, Intelsat delivers accelerated time to market, ensured availability and secure delivery of bandwidth.”

Published in Satellite Industry

Samsung leads Latin America’s smartphone marketshare

Written on Monday, 21 August 2017 13:18

Motorola was the fastest growing smartphone brand in South America in Q2 2017, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, while Samsung rose to a healthy and highest ever 41 percent marketshare. Smartphone shipments in the region grew 9 percent annually during Q2 (April-June) driven by improved macroeconomic climate, LTE rollout and open channel growth in some markets.

"Latin America's positive smartphone growth this quarter can be attributed to the uptick in demand in Brazil and Colombia compared to last year despite softness in Peru and Chile,” said Counterpoint's Senior Analyst Tina Lu. “Relatively speaking, Q2 2016 last year saw a great dip in demand as the biggest LATAM market, Brazil suffered from a deep recession and low consumer sentiment surrounding the impeachment of former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.”

According to the World Bank, Brazilian economy is forecasted to grow at a marginal rate of 0.3 percent indicating more stability than last year. Colombia's smartphone market grew 26 percent annually and was the fastest growing market in Q2 2017 due to entry of newer brands such as Meizu, Infinix and Xiaomi expanded the open market, said Lu.

Peru's growth tapered off after a strong growth last year due to aggressive competition between operators, Lu added. Meanwhile, Chile's shipment volumes declined as government cracked down the illegal transshipments to the neighboring countries.

"The other driver of growth has been proliferation of LTE smartphones,” Lu said. “Almost nine out of ten smartphones sold in LATAM was LTE capable and instrumental in driving up the replacement rate and feature phone to smartphone upgrade rates. LTE is also allowing some brands to increase their market share as many brands and operators are switching to an all-LTE portfolio of devices."

Commenting on the smartphone OEM competitive environment, Research Analyst, Parv Sharma, noted, "While new Chinese brands have focused on entering and increasing their footprint in LATAM, however, it has been difficult for many of these brands to scale, leverage domestic manufacturing and align well to some of the operator-centric markets in LATAM.”

Sharma added, “Unlike in many regions in Asia or Africa, Chinese brands still contribute to only 31 percent of the region's total smartphone volumes. Brazil and Argentina both have local assembly requirements that most Chinese brands struggle to comply with. The exceptions are Lenovo-Motorola and TCL-Alcatel in Argentina and Brazil due to their years of presence in the region and Huawei in Argentina which have invested and partnered for domestic manufacturing to grow in these markets."

Commenting on OEM performances, Senior Analyst, Jene Park highlighted, "Samsung is the king in Latin America and its share is four times higher than its closest competitor, which is LG. On the marketing side, Samsung has capitalized on more than ten years of heavy investment in brand building and an aggressive channel strategy that targeted both the operator and open channels.”

Park added, “On the product side Samsung consolidated its advantage in both Brazil and Argentina, which requires local assembly, by exceptional product availability and faster than ever time to market. For example, the Galaxy S8 was launched and available for the Brazilian market just 20 days after the global launch, while the Galaxy S7 took almost 40 days after the global launch."

The Samsung Galaxy J series was the star performer in the LATAM market, according to Counterpoint; however, not the newly refreshed J series, but the 2016 models that were discounted. LG focused on its mid-range K series, especially K4 and K10. This resulted in LG K10 making it to the top five bestselling models in LATAM.

Mr Sharma, noting Motorola's performance highlighted, "Motorola (excluding Lenovo) was the fastest growing brand in LATAM up 65 percent year-on-year in volumes. Biggest boost was Motorola successfully made its way back to America Movil (Claro)'s shelves, which it had not been ranged with for around one year. This win has boosted Motorola's performance not only in Brazil, but also in Colombia and Mexico. Furthermore, Motorola has also been aggressively increasing its open market participation."

Published in Devices

The Chairman and CEO of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, and the President of Real Madrid C.F., Florentino Pérez, announced their collaboration and sponsorship agreement through which Movistar, a major telecommunications brand owned by Telefónica, operating in Spain and in many Hispanic American countries, becomes a “Connecting Partner” of the white club for the remainder of the 2016-2017 season, and the following 2017-2018 season.

The scope of the agreement includes Telefónica’s most relevant business areas: Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, and Latin America.

In this way, Movistar will accompany and ‘connect’ more than 500 million Real Madrid football and basketball aficionados and fans with the day-to-day activities of the club through different activities. In this first phase the agreement considers marketing, advertising, and hospitality actions, events with players, and image rights.

Movistar will also be part of Real Madrid’s social network actions before, during, and after each match with the #RMMovistar hashtag, and joint contents will be created for sharing among the followers of both brands.

In addition, Telefónica will provide Real Madrid with its technological capabilities applied to sport, as it has already done in other activities, such as cycling and winter sports, as a result of the big data analysis conducted within Telefónica, in the unit known as LUCA.

In his intervention, Álvarez-Pallete took the opportunity to detail the new focus of the company’s sponsorships which will now be focused on the benefits for Movistar customers in Spain.

Telefónica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world by market capitalization and number of customers with a comprehensive offering and quality of connectivity that is delivered over world class fixed, mobile and broadband networks.

With a significant presence in 21 countries and 350 million accesses around the world, Telefónica focuses an important part of its growth strategy in Spain, Europe and Latin America.

Published in Telecom Operators

Telecommunication organizations in Latin America are devising strategies aimed at implementing structures which can enable them to monetize ‘Big Data’. Many are currently involved in developing and deploying ‘Big Data’ solutions. However - monetizing these efforts remain a challenge for telco’s in South America.

The growth of direct and indirect competition in the telecommunications sector has rather inevitably impacted revenue growth rates and the profitability margin of traditional operators worldwide. Universally telecommunication entities have found it difficult to monetize over-the-top services, value-added services and cloud as they try to move away from the traditional connectivity and capacity business. In relation to South America, the potential to monetize ‘Big Data’ has got Telco’s in the continent enthusiastic about the topic – and what ‘Big Data’ technology can bring to business.

Telco’s in Latin America are currently embarking on the initial phase of the project in relation to ‘Big Data’ – focusing their attention firstly on optimizing infrastructure – then they intent to transform their business with predictive analytics, next-generation applications and advanced use cases. In addition to this, companies are also rethinking and re-evaluating their organizational structure and the portfolio it offers clients. Some have developed special units to specifically define roadmaps focused on their digital and innovation strategies in an attempt to re-invent business operations and ultimately to lead them to be in a position to enable new services.

Research has found that capital expenditure or ‘Big Data’ telecommunications services in Latin America market reached $633.3 million in 2016. The investment is projected to reach $1.779 billion in 2022, led by countries such as Brazil and Mexico.

Some of the main priorities for the telco’s will undoubtedly be on improving customer experience satisfaction based on deeper customer understanding, prediction of issues based on extensive and more accurate network analysis, and revenue creation based on identified sales opportunities in the sector. Whether or not the companies can achieve these targets is yet to be seen.

However, it’s clear that as the digital transformation continues to evolve – ‘Big Data’ will become a new revenue source for Telco’s who are preparing to take advantage of new business opportunities. Data from users, services, networks, locations and management sources could be monetized through product promotion, targeted advertisement- new sales opportunities - quality of experience and network optimization. The question for telco’s is not only how to implement the technology, but how to effectively set the value it will extract.

Published in Telecom Operators
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