Dominican Rep seeks ITU assistance to modify telecom law – Dominican R.
Claro investing in modernizing Dominican infrastructure – Dominican R.
Orange to build 1,900km cable linking Guyana, Martinique, Guadeloupe – Caribbean
Twitter posts 1% Q4 revenue growth – Regional
IBM, Ericsson announce research advance for 5G communications networks – Regional

Dominican Rep seeks ITU assistance to modify telecom law – Dominican R.
The Dominican Republic’s telecom regulator Indotel will seek assistance from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to modify the country’s telecom law, which dates form 1998.
Indotel president José del Castillo Saviñón said it is urgent to review and update the legislative framework given the accelerated pace of the telecom market and the constant technological advancements of telecommunication networks.
Del Castillo, who supports a zero tax rate on internet services, hopes the ITU will assist Indotel in drafting a proposal for new legislation that considers international best practices and trends.
The request to be sent to the ITU has been approved by Indotel’s board, del Castillo Saviñón said. As for the modifications to the existing law, he said the initiative will foster the active participation of all players involved in the ICT sector.
Indotel’s board is also planning the country’s digital switchover. According to the watchdog, freeing up spectrum by switching to the digital TV signal will generate earnings of approximately US$500mn for the government. The authorities expect to complete the digital switchover no later than 2021.

Claro investing in modernizing Dominican infrastructure – Dominican R.
América Móvil’s Dominican Republic subsidiary Claro will invest 31bn pesos (US$663mn) in the next three years to improve operations, local media reported.
Most of the resources will be directed at expanding and modernizing infrastructure.
Oscar Peña, president of Claro República Dominicana, said the company has begun modernizing its network by successfully replacing over 12,000 cells. This allows the telco to provide greater coverage and broadband speeds.
Peña said the telco’s fiber optics now covers 26 provinces and over 20 cities now have fiber-to-the-home infrastructure.
Last year, América Móvil CEO Daniel Hajj said the Mexican company would invest US$200mn a year in rolling out broadband and LTE networks in the Caribbean country.
Data from regulator Indotel indicates that Claro leads the local mobile telephony segment with 4.57mn subscriptions, followed by Orange with 3.46mn and Trilogy Dominicana with 343,151.

Orange to build 1,900km cable linking Guyana, Martinique, Guadeloupe – Caribbean
Orange has announced plans to build a 1,900km submarine cable linking Guyana, Martinique and Guadeloupe.
The 35mn euro (US$37mn) cable will be commissioned in the second half of 2018 and is designed to anticipate growth in traffic and diversify connection points, Stéphane Richard, chairman and CEO of Orange said during a visit to French Guiana.
The new cable will interconnect to the existing ECFS cable, offering a direct link between Guyana and the American continent. Traffic to and from the US currently represents more than 80% of total volume.
The new cable will be composed of two fiber pairs and will deliver up to 50 times 100Gbits/s or 5 Terabits/s.
Since 2000, Orange has routed traffic from Guyana via the Americas 2 submarine cable. In 2012, the company replaced its connectivity with a new satellite connection, linking up to the SGS-CS cable that routes traffic from Guyana via Suriname.

Route of the new cable (Credit: Orange)

Richard added that 80% of French Guiana’s population will be covered by 4G by year-end. He added that 100% of homes on Cayenne and Remire-Monjoly will be connected to fiber by year-end.
In November French telecoms regulator Arcep granted permission to operators to launch 4G LTE services in French Guiana, Reunion, Mayotte, Guadeloupe-Martinique and St. Barthelemy-St. Martin.
The announcement followed the award of spectrum in the 800MHz, 2.6GHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2.1GHz bands in October.

Twitter posts 1% Q4 revenue growth – Regional
Press release
By Twitter
February 9, 2017
Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) today announced financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2016.
“2016 was a transformative year as we reset and focused on why people use Twitter: it’s the fastest way to see what’s happening and what everyone’s talking about,” said Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO.
“We overcame the toughest challenge for any consumer service at scale by reversing declining audience trends and re-accelerating usage. As a result, in the fourth quarter, daily active usage accelerated for the third consecutive quarter, and we see this strong growth continuing. While revenue growth continues to lag audience growth, we are applying the same focused approach that drove audience growth to our revenue product portfolio, focusing on our strengths and the real-time nature of our service. This will take time, but we’re moving fast to show results.”
Fourth Quarter 2016 Operational and Financial Highlights
The company posted fourth quarter revenue of $717 million, an increase of 1% year-over-year. Quarterly GAAP net loss was $167 million, or ($0.23) per diluted share, with quarterly non-GAAP net income of $119 million, or $0.16 per diluted share. Average monthly active users were 319 million for the quarter, up 4% year-over-year and compared to 317 million in the previous quarter. Average daily active usage grew 11% year-over-year, an acceleration from 7% in the third quarter, 5% in the second quarter and 3% in the first quarter of 2016. Tweet impressions and time spent on Twitter also remained strong with each increasing by double digits in the fourth quarter on a year-over-year basis.
Advertising revenue totaled $638 million, down slightly year-over-year. Mobile advertising revenue was 89% of total advertising revenue. Data licensing and other revenue totaled $79 million, an increase of 14% year-over-year. U.S. revenue totaled $440 million, a decrease of 5% year-over year.
International revenue totaled $277 million, an increase of 12% year-over-year. Total advertising engagements were up 151% year-over-year.
Fiscal Year 2016 Financial Highlights
Total revenue for 2016 reached $2.5 billion, an increase of 14% year-over-year. Full year GAAP net loss was $457 million, or ($0.65) per diluted share, with full year non-GAAP net income of $406 million, or $0.57 per diluted share. Adjusted EBITDA for the full year improved by nearly $200 million, reaching $751 million with a 30% margin and exceeding the forecasted range of $700 to $715 million and the company’s initial forecasted range of 25-27% for adjusted EBITDA margin.
Adjusted EBITDA margin improved to 30% of revenue, compared to 25% for the previous year. Adjusted free cash flow generated for the year totaled $444 million, compared to less than $5 million in 2015.
Twitter had $3.8 billion in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities at the end of 2016. Annual stock-based compensation expense for the year, on an absolute basis, decreased 10% year-over-year and declined over 600 basis points year-over-year as a percent of revenue, reaching 24% in 2016, down from 31% in 2015 and 45% in 2014.
“Twitter gives advertisers the ability to reach the most engaged audiences in the right context at the right time, and we’re focusing our investments on revenue products that strengthen our unique value proposition, especially in live and video,” said Anthony Noto, Twitter’s COO. “We’re hearing positive feedback from our ad partners about our continued acceleration in audience growth and engagement. That said, revenue growth will continue to lag audience growth due to the sales cycle, and could be further impacted by the escalating competition for digital advertising spending and our efforts to re-evaluate our revenue product feature portfolio. We will continue to increase the value we provide advertisers by simplifying and differentiating the portfolio and improving the engagement and measurement of our products. We are confident that this path will return us to long-term revenue growth.”
Outlook
Twitter today provided guidance for the first quarter and full year 2017. At the end of each year, Twitter revisits its approach to guidance and evaluates the practice of companies across its industry as well as what’s appropriate for Twitter. As detailed below, Twitter is not providing specific revenue guidance for the first quarter, but is providing adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA margin guidance and stock-based compensation expense guidance. As previously stated, the company expects advertising revenue growth to continue to lag that of audience growth in 2017. Advertising revenue growth may be further impacted by escalating competition for digital ad spending and Twitter’s re-evaluation of its revenue product feature portfolio, which could result in the de-emphasis of certain product features.
For the first quarter, Twitter expects:
• Adjusted EBITDA to be between $75 million and $95 million;
• Adjusted EBITDA margin to be between 17% and 17.5%; and
• Stock-based compensation expense to be between $125 and $135 million.
Additionally, for full year 2017, Twitter expects:
• Total non-GAAP expenses to be flat to down 5%, compared to full year 2016;
• Stock-based compensation expense to be down 15% to 20%; and
• Capital expenditures to be between $300 and $400 million.
Note that the company’s outlook for the first quarter and full year 2017 reflects foreign exchange rates as of January 20, 2017.

IBM, Ericsson announce research advance for 5G communications networks – Regional
Press release
By Ericsson
February 8, 2017
IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) today announced a research breakthrough that could accelerate the launch of 5G communications networks and support new mobile enterprise and user experiences enabled by very high data rates, including IoT, connected vehicles, and immersive virtual reality.
The companies have created a compact silicon-based millimeterWave (mmWave) phased array integrated circuit operating at 28GHz that has been demonstrated in a phased array antenna module designed for use in future 5G base stations.
2017 has been described as a defining year for 5G. More countries and governments are opening up new frequency portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, including portions known as millimeter wave bands, which are more than 10 times higher than the frequencies currently used for current mobile devices, offering a new source of bandwidth for cellular networks that are being made available for 5G networks.
Scientists at IBM Research and Ericsson reached their breakthrough as a result of a two-year collaboration that set out to develop phased array antenna designs for 5G. IBM’s expertise in highly integrated phased array mmWave IC and antenna-in-package solutions, together with Ericsson’s expertise in circuit and system design for mobile communications, helped the team reach several new technological milestones.
Thomas Noren, Senior Advisor, Business Unit Network Products, Ericsson, says: “There has been a lot of encouraging progress in 5G standardization last year including the beginning of live field trials. Big efforts in research and development are key to this and our collaboration with IBM Research on phased array antennas can help operators to effectively deploy radio access infrastructure necessary to support a 5G future. New use cases and applications that span human machine interaction, Virtual Reality, smart home devices and connected cars will depend on innovative technologies that can bring the promises of faster data rates, broader bandwidth and longer battery life to reality.”
“The development of this 5G millimeterWave phased array is an important breakthrough, not just because of its compact size and low cost, which make it a very commercially attractive solution for network equipment companies and operators, but its potential to unleash and inspire brand new ideas and innovations we haven’t yet imagined, thanks to a fully networked society,” said Dr. Dario Gil, Vice President of Science & Solutions, IBM Research.
Making 5G a Reality
The first release of the 3GPP 5G specification is targeted to be ready by 2017/2018, but there has already been much progress in the industry with field tests and demonstrations of new user experiences and capabilities made possible by the higher bandwidth, lower latency, greater density and lower energy requirements of 5G networks.
5G is expected to support data rates exceeding 10Gbps in certain scenarios. New capabilities are designed to allow users to download a full-length HD movie in seconds, provide very high bandwidth and uninterrupted live streaming experiences in highly dense environments such as sports or concert venues, experience ‘life-like’ response times to enable remote surgery or fully immersive virtual reality experiences, as well as see battery life of 10 years for remote cellular devices that may be part of IoT environments.
About the Phased Array Antenna Module Breakthrough
For future 5G phased array deployments to be commercially viable the size, weight, cost and performance of the component are important factors. The IBM and Ericsson team’s result, the world’s first reported silicon-based mmWave phased array antenna module operating at 28GHz, is a significant step towards meeting this challenge. The module, which consists of four monolithic integrated circuits and 64 dual-polarized antennas, measures approximately 2.8″ by 2.8″, or about half the size of a typical smartphone. Achieving this compact form factor is necessary to support the vision of this technology’s widespread deployment, especially in indoor spaces and dense downtown areas.
Another performance advance reported by the team is the demonstration of concurrent dual-polarization operation in transmit and receive modes. This capability enables one phased array antenna module to form two beams simultaneously, doubling the number of users to be served at the same time and so improving the overall value and economics of the technology.
A major hurdle for the use of mmWave signals in mobile communications is achieving sufficient range between radios to support target applications. At 28 GHz, each antenna is tiny and individually would support short communication distances, but combining multiple such tiny antennas not only increases the range but also enables steering of signals in specific directions. The IBM and Ericsson team’s phased array design supports beam-steering resolution of less than 1.4 degrees for high precision pointing of the beam towards users.
IBM Communications Circuits & Systems Innovation
IBM Research has a long history designing and developing integrated circuits and phased arrays, and were pioneers of the first monolithic mmWave radio in 2006. In 2013, the team presented results of a highly integrated mmWave phased array transceiver for both mobile communications and radar imaging applications that laid the foundation for this latest scientific work. The IBM scientists have also explored how mobile handsets will communicate at new mmWave frequencies, showing a path for how mmWave 5G radios could be implemented in mobile phones.
A paper describing the IBM Research and Ericsson team’s work, “A 28GHz 32-Element Phased-Array Transceiver IC with Concurrent Dual Polarized Beams and 1.4 Degree Beam-Steering Resolution for 5G Communications,” will be presented on February 7 at the 2017 International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco.

Copyright 2015 Business News Americas
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