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Intelligence Series

Latest reports

Convergent Services in Argentina: Ironing Out the Last Few Wrinkles
Argentina

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Argentine telcos suffered more than a decade with their telephony prices frozen, and could well have got used to having to wait for legislative change. However, in the blink of an eye (relatively speaking) telcos have been authorized to add TV services and the merger of Telecom and Cablevisión has been approved. Still under discussion are the promises of allowing DTH services for telcos and spectrum for co-operatives, and these processes are still battling the sluggishness that we are more familiar with. But it's often the case that a change in one plane forces us to treat other areas differently, and the Telecom-Cablevisión merger could be one such lens in this market. And despite impressive service penetration levels in major conurbations, the government continues to address the task of connecting provincial towns through Arsat and improving ICT literacy across the population.

How Latin America's Ad Industry is Going Digital
Regional

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The advent of digital media has greatly increased segmentation of content, and hence segmentation of the consumers who view it. Our online activity leaves many clues as to what kinds of segment each one of us belongs to, and on platforms like Google and Facebook they are not even clues, but facts that we actively dictate to the system. With so many audience types, content types and media formats to distribute between so many brands, it was inevitable that technology would come to have a role in coordinating this market. This report describes how this process is playing out in Latin America.

Feeding Our Addiction to Video: Pay TV and OTT in Latin America
Regional

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Thanks to the increasing number of means through which video content can be delivered to audiences, and the increasing number of screens in our lives, consultancies point to an increasing amount of time dedicated to viewing TV and video content per day. A recent study by Tivo put the average time spent watching video content at more than four hours per day in Latin America, and sales of TV sets are also on the rise, particularly smart TVs and units capable of 4K resolution. This report analyzes how the telcos, content providers and OTT operators are jostling for a piece of the action in this booming market.

When ICT Bridges the Gap between Doctors and Patients

When ICT Bridges the Gap between Doctors and Patients

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Tech vendor Infor notes that healthcare is becoming a consumer industry, with more and more options for patients, and service providers are turning increasingly to technology solutions to stand out from the crowd. While this may apply more to private sector health organizations, governments too see ICT as a major part of the solution to issues such as staff and equipment shortages, not to mention dealing with national crises such as epidemics. In this report BNamericas compares some of the major e-health programs in Latin America and asks vendors about forthcoming trends.

ICT Island-hopping: How the Caribbean is Harmonizing Tech Readiness

ICT Island-hopping: How the Caribbean is Harmonizing Tech Readiness

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The presence of two large operator groups in the Caribbean, Digicel and Liberty Latin America, means more and more markets are being served by firms that can draw on technology and knowhow attained elsewhere. This is good news in a sub-region with so many varied and dispersed markets. But the task of bringing all markets in line is immense, and any extra help is welcome. Industry associations CANTO and the CTU have stepped up to the mark to guide this harmonization process, often in partnership with multilateral financing groups like the IDB and the World Bank.

The LatAm Startup Ecosystem: Much More than Slick Pitches

The LatAm Startup Ecosystem: Much More than Slick Pitches

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In recent months there has been an uptick in Latin American startup acceleration programs launched by corporations from verticals outside the tech world. These include Mexican cement producer Cemex, insurance firm Sura, metals producer Nexa Resources and Brazilian conglomerate Andrade Gutierrez. Rather than implying competition with the traditional tech-focused accelerators like Y-Combinator or 500 Startups, this development demonstrates how the startup community is truly becoming an ecosystem, offering even more scope for partnerships between finance providers, mentor groups and firms from specific verticals. Latin America's economic turbulence in recent years has not been a deterrent, and investors from outside the region have no qualms about participating in this ecosystem.

Telecom Infrastructure in Perspective
Regional

Telecom Infrastructure in Perspective

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A quick search of our story archive using the term "fiber" reveals 17 stories in January alone about operators or governments making announcements relating to new projects. The same search for January 2017 reveals eight such stories Similarly, the constant talk of IoT and the mobile data explosion means stories about 4G expansion and even preparation for 5G are regular features in the news. Governments bear this in mind when looking at the connectivity component of their digital agendas, and most countries have thought about how to bring broadband to neglected areas, giving dual attention to backbone expansion and ways to facilitate the entry of access network operators. This report uses the BNamericas Telecom Infrastructure features from 2017 as the basis for comparing Latin America's leading markets in terms of these various types of network infrastructure.

Wi-Fi and Small Cells Prepare the Path to 5G
Regional

Wi-Fi and Small Cells Prepare the Path to 5G

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More and more Latin American governments are launching programs to provide free Wi-Fi in popular locations, almost certainly thinking in terms of providing basic internet access to those without it, rather than satisfying the general consumer's lust for bandwidth. The well-publicized government initiatives perhaps divert attention away from the telcos' own efforts to deploy alternative network infrastructure that can bolster their capacity to meet demand for mobile data. There have been sporadic announcements of operators turning to Wi-Fi or small cells in specific circumstances like buses or subway systems, but blanket, high-capacity coverage is without doubt something that they are planning for and investing in. In this report BNamericas talks to operators and system vendors to gauge the general status of this vision.

ICT Survey 2018

ICT Survey 2018

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Behind all the hype, are advanced analytics and big data technologies really being put to use more than ever? Have governments aligned their digital agendas with the trend towards digital transformation? These are some of the questions that we put to our readers and expert contacts in this year's survey. Not only do the results provide a snapshot of the mood in this sector, but the survey also casts light on the way the mood has changed in the last 12 months.

ICT Outlook 2018: Rise of 4G Positions LatAm for the Next Big Thing
Argentina,Brazil,...

ICT Outlook 2018: Rise of 4G Positions LatAm for the Next Big Thing

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We read a lot how most telcos in Latin America are under pressure to install the fastest and most reliable fixed and mobile networks, and it's easy to forget that in many cases they are operating in countries where access to services is far from universal. Most countries now have digital agendas that simultaneously aim to facilitate expansion of networks as well as increasing the breadth of services that run on top of them. However, in some cases there are structural and legal issues that get in the way, and for BNamericas the most noteworthy developments are governmental measures that succeed in eliminating such barriers. 2018 promises progress on all these fronts, while progress in cutting edge ICT areas such as big data, artificial intelligence, cloud services and IoT can be expected to continue unabated.

Peru Maps ICT Path to Match Peers
Peru

Peru Maps ICT Path to Match Peers

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Peru's transport and communications minister Bruno Giuffra emerged unscathed from the cabinet crisis that dominated headlines in September. This gives the ministry (MTC) some much needed stability as it ponders several pending issues that have come to languish in a state of relative inertia. Chief among these are the ministry's 2012 mandate to draft a national broadband plan, and the proposal going back to late 2016 to convert the MTC into the ministry of Transport and ICT. In the meantime, Peru's operators have done a good job of keeping up with global trends, and where they have 4G coverage it is generally considered one of the most reliable 4G offerings in Latin America. In this month's ICT Intelligence Series, BNamericas goes into detail about these issues and more.

Colombia ICT: On a Roll
Colombia

Colombia ICT: On a Roll

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Any tech event in the last couple of years will have had a number of speakers referring to 'the fourth industrial revolution' to describe how practically every industry is applying the concept of digital transformation to become more competitive. It was surely just a matter of time before it would occur to government officials to wonder whether the idea could be applied to an entire country, and in Latin America Colombia appears to be among the first to make that connection. Thus, Colombia's government dubbed as "Colombia 4.0" its recent trade fair targeting the digital content industry, accompanied by suggestions that Colombia could become the regional leader in this field. And content is just one element of a digital agenda that continues to evolve year to year. This report looks at the progress made so far in the national digital agenda and the subtle improvements planned for the next few years.

Cloud Services: Hybrid in More Ways than One
Brazil,Regional

Cloud Services: Hybrid in More Ways than One

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Although the notion of hybrid cloud services has been around for many years, tech firms still talk about the need to educate Latin American companies about the concept and its advantages. And this need has becomes more pressing as the technology has evolved, bringing even more benefits and advantages. Gartner has reported that globally, data center operators have been cutting their prices by roughly 10% per year, all the time making the option more affordable for SMEs, which are still wary of turning to the cloud. In this report, BNamericas describes how Latin America is up to speed with the latest trends in cloud technology, even if network readiness and enterprise education are still lacking.

How Chile is Working to Make ICT a Way of Life
Chile

How Chile is Working to Make ICT a Way of Life

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Chile's telecom regulator Subtel is presiding over LatAm regulators' association Regulatel during 2017, and has said that the emphasis will be on international roaming agreements, evolution towards a single digital market and economic development through technology. On home turf the latter point is particularly salient, with Subtel recently launching a national R&D unit, and working closely with organizations like País Digital and Corfo in promoting ICT strategies for industries and ministries. In this respect the country's 2020 Digital Agenda has succeeded in bringing all relevant stakeholders together, which sets an optimistic precedent for future iterations of the Agenda and the national ICT discussion in general.

Mexico Telecom Reform: Herding Cats Requires Patience
Mexico

Mexico Telecom Reform: Herding Cats Requires Patience

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This month's report on Mexico comes just as the country takes stock of the four years since enacting sweeping reform in the telecom sector. The country now has a third major competitor in the form of AT&T and has completed the tender of its Red Compartida concession, which will allow multiple operators to provide 4G services outside of the main urban centers. Yet there is plenty of criticism that the market has not changed sufficiently, and some even say the initial promise of the reform is actually being undone. This report is more optimistic, considering that the regulator IFT does still have some tricks up its sleeve, and continues to propose ideas that have potential to steer the dominant players into a corner.

Pay TV in Latin America: Chasing Versatility
Regional

Pay TV in Latin America: Chasing Versatility

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Pay TV is increasingly an essential service for telcos, and a growth area, yet Latin America - famed for its diversity - displays mixed results in this industry, depending on the territory and the service provider. Even so, service providers across the board are aware of the increasing variety of customer types and preferences, and there is no shortage of operators investing in the cutting edge solutions needed to satisfy that demand. In this report BNamericas notes the changing role of OTT players, and considers the implications of forthcoming developments like 4K content, cloud platforms and the analog switch-off.

Brazil: Telecom Market Reform Inches Closer
Brazil

Brazil: Telecom Market Reform Inches Closer

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We have watched this last year as Brazil's ailing economy took its toll on pay TV and prepaid mobile subscriptions, and how major operator Oi entered bankruptcy proceedings in June. Political instability and the regular emergence of corruption scandals add to the image of an increasingly problematic market in all sectors. Nevertheless, the more the situation threatens to worsen, the more the reform solutions in the current proposal appear to make sense and the more likely it is to garner full political backing. In Oi's disastrous situation there are also glimmers of hope, as its weakened state has attracted several offers of third party investment, and there is even speculation that a possible turnaround in its fortune has spurred former investor Banco Opportunity to move in on the action. Opportunity was ousted from Oi's precursor companies before the group took shape, and recently reopened legal action against groups indirectly involved in that process. This report describes how the reform bill, known as PLC 79, is a kingpin linking Oi's future prospects, Brazil's digital agenda and the telecom market's competitive scenario.

Argentina: Finally, Wheels are in Motion
Argentina

Argentina: Finally, Wheels are in Motion

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Speaking at a Mobile World Congress panel on creating a single digital market in Latin America, Argentina's telecom regulator Enacom recently suggested that governments across the region should collaborate and coordinate with each other to arrive at standardized norms for convergent of services. The suggestion reflects a matter that is 'top of mind' within Enacom, since Argentina began 2017 by passing a decree that allows traditional telcos to enter the pay TV segment, and TV fims to launch mobile, as well as promoting deployment of Next Generation Networks. Parliament is also working on a bill to set ground rules for converged services across all kinds of operators in Argentina. However, Argentina has taken a somewhat unconventional approach to creating its legal framework for convergence, which has generated a lot of criticism due to a lack of transparency. Some may therefore say that Argentina is not the best model to be emulated across the region. On the other hand, it could be a case of the end justifying the means, since Argentina's telecom market is now going through a period of relatively rapid change.

In Search of the MVNO Magic Formula
Regional

In Search of the MVNO Magic Formula

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Mid-2016 mobile broadband advisory group 5G Americas spoke of a wave of activity occurring in the MVNO space in Latin America, led by Mexico. It is admittedly a relatively minor wave, since there is little to report from Brazil and Argentina - countries that passed MVNO-specific legislation several years ago and were expected to lead the charge. Nevertheless, in both countries the few licensed MVNOs that are operating do feature in the sector authorities' regular updates, ensuring that no-one loses sight of the model's potential. There are also unexpected developments, like Vodafone targeting Chile and Virgin launching in Ecuador, that could serve to rekindle interest in the model in countries that have yet to dive in with both feet. This report highlights the different evolutionary paths the concept has taken in the Latin American markets where MVNOs have taken hold, and considers whether some of those twists could arise elsewhere in the region.

Data Analytics: New Tools, New Horizons
Regional

Data Analytics: New Tools, New Horizons

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ICT research firms like Gartner point out that tools for analyzing big data have been a top priority among CIOs for many years, and yet news articles and blog entries still talk of this area as an incipient concern. This is possibly because there is now more of a sense of urgency, tied to the popular theme of 'digital transformation', which companies in just about any industry must now consider in order to remain competitive. In this report BNamericas highlights the sectors that are at the forefront in adoption of the latest analytics tools, including concrete examples of the benefits they have reported as a result of pursuing this line of development.