Displaying items by tag: South America

Sparke, the International Services arm of the TIM Group and among the top ten global operators, announces the expansion of its South American backbone with a new Point of Presence in Cartagena, Colombia.

The new PoP responds to the fast growing demand for capacity services in Colombia, providing local and international network providers, ISPs, Content Players and OTTs with transport solutions up to 100 GB through Sparkle’s City2City service 

Thanks to the interconnection with the PCCS and SAm-1 cables, Sparkle will provide its customers with advanced connectivity solutions from Colombia and other Latin American countries up to the United States.

The combination of Sparkle’s terrestrial and submarine networks in the Americas, enriched by the new generation Seabras-1 cable, ensures complete redundancy and a top quality data experience.

In the next few months Sparkle will further expand its presence in Colombia, with the opening of a new PoP in Bogotá that will enhance the performance of Sparkle’s global Tier-1 IP transit service Seabone with lower latency and improved traffic routing capabilities.

The new PoPs in Cartagena and Bogotá confirm Sparkle’s positioning as one of the main providers in the Americas and as first Tier-1 backbone in Latam.

Published in Telecom Operators

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

Spanish telecom giant Telefónica posted its Q2 results for 2017 showing strength in its South American subsidiaries and declines in Europe. The company showed “a general acceleration in growth in main financial and operational terms” as it moves to organically reduce its €48.5 billion debt pile rather than sell off assets.

The operator posted revenue of around €13 billion, an increase of 1.9 percent from the same quarter in 2016. Net profit for Telefónica reached €821 million, an increase of 18.4 percent from the same period in 2016. The company’s key revenue drives, it said, was mobile data revenue.

Telefónica was able to reduce its debt by €3.7 billion year-on-year, which will increase once the company completes the sale of its 40 percent stake in tower unit Telxius, which it’s selling for €1.3 billion. Telefónica moved to sell its O2 unit in the UK to help reduce its debt after it felt pressure from investors, but the company is now attempting to reduce its debt organically by improving cash flow.

“The strength and better business trends in the first half of the year, as well as being well-positioned to continue capturing sustainable growth in the coming quarters, allow us to upgrade our guidance for 2017,” commented José María Álvarez-Pallete, Executive Chairman of Telefónica.

Published in Finance

Telefónica and Huawei to launch NB-IoT Open Lab in Chile

Written on Thursday, 29 June 2017 10:40

Spanish telecom giant Telefónica and Huawei have announced the opening of an Open IoT Lab to work on the development of products and applications related to Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) technology.

Telefónica´s NB-IoT Open Lab to be opened in Chile in the next few months aims to boost the IoT business ecosystem and drive innovation in the IoT space. It will allow IoT players such as equipment vendors, service providers, end-user OEM device makers and application developers, to deploy faster their services and applications over Telefónica´s networks.

They will also have early access to new IoT developments by combining Huawei resources and capabilities with Telefónica´s well established R&D Centre´s facilities, resources and know-how.

As Hernán Orellana, CEO I+D Chile, said: “This Open Lab will allow us to put Chile at the forefront of technology, especially in the IoT networks arena, more precisely NB-IOT, where our experience is already recognized in the industry.”

This Open LAB will have a permanent showroom in Telefónica´s headquarters in Madrid where the newest IoT solutions coming from Chile will be demoed regularly.

Telefónica Chile’s R&D Centre is a joint initiative between Telefónica and the Chilean government with the goal of promoting an open and participatory Internet of Things ecosystem.

The NB-IoT Open Lab in Chile IoT Competence Centre will be a meeting point for the IoT community in order to foster the use of the new technologies by organizing events such as “plug-fests”, collaborative design and testing, tutorial sessions and co-development programs for start-ups amongst others.

It is a fruitful networking space where different players in the delivery chain can work together to boost the adoption of new IoT services. Telefónica and Huawei jointly deployed the first field NB-IoT smart metering service in Chile during 2016.This initiative enables the roll out of such experiences to many other areas and applications.

Vicente Muñoz, Chief IoT Officer at Telefónica, explains: “Telefónica NB-IoT Open Lab is an IoT space that aims at building a complete ecosystem of partners, manufacturers, technicians, developers and designers to bring the best solutions to market around Mobile IoT networks. Chile NB-IoT Open Lab will accelerate the development of IoT commercial solutions and ensure they are supported by a broad ecosystem.”

Patrick Zhang, President, Huawei Marketing and Solutions Department said, “We are proud to be partnering with Telefónica in the creation of the NB-IoT Open Lab. The NB-IoT Open Lab will strengthen the strategic cooperation between Huawei and Telefónica on technology innovation and eco-system maturation relating to NB-IoT. Huawei will work closely with Telefónica to launch the NB-IoT Open Lab for the continuous technology evolution and acceleration of the commercial deployment.”

Published in Internet of Things

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

Nokia has extended its long-term relationship with TIM in Brazil, signing a new contract supporting the operator's strategy to build a robust network infrastructure to cope with increasing consumption of mobile data with 4G.

TIM, the leader in 4G coverage in the country, is the first operator in Brazil to use the frequency of 2600 Mhz and refarm the 1800 Mhz frequency band to 4G LTE. TIM is now ready to make the move to future-proofing its network using the 700 MHz spectrum band, which enables excellent indoor and rural area coverage for 4G-enabled devices.

To support this groundbreaking network project, TIM has selected the Nokia AirScale radio  access platform, which runs multiple radio technologies simultaneously in one base station and allows virtually unlimited scalability that will support massive IoT demand and 5G speeds. With the network upgrade to 4.5G Pro the operator will be able to better mix frequencies and technology usage at the same site, reducing costs and ensuring a fast and smooth deployment of the new LTE network.

"We're looking at the highest technology quality standard today in the market, with the combination of three spectrum bands to increase our capacity and improve the end-user experience,” said Leonardo Capdeville, head of Technology at TIM. “With the support of Nokia and its AirScale radio access, we will be able to reach more areas and speed up LTE coverage in the country, reinforcing our innovation capabilities and commitment to the Brazilian market."

Luiz Tonisi, head of the TIM Brazil customer team at Nokia, said: "Our commitment with TIM is to deliver a best-in-class service experience for its subscribers. This project is an important milestone for us as it paves the way towards the network of the future and reinforces our long-standing partnership with TIM. The near future looks very promising with the possibility to expand further our LTE footprint and make a positive impact in the digital society."

This news follows another initiative, announced in late 2015, in which Nokia and TIM collaborated to modernize and expand TIM's 3G and 4G LTE networks in 17 states in Brazil with the use of Nokia's small cells products, as well as the implementation, optimization and care services.

Published in Telecom Vendors