Liberty Global LatAm revenues up 2% in Q4 – Regional
Google brings ‘fact checking’ to Latin America – Regional
IBM targets emerging tech in LatAm’s first ‘Garage’ – Brazil, Regional
5G Americas report outlines LTE, 5G evolution – Regional
Toshiba chairman resigns on loss in nuclear business – Regional

Liberty Global LatAm revenues up 2% in Q4 – Regional
Liberty Global posted US$922mn in 4Q16 revenues from its Latin America operations (LiLAC), up 1.8% year-on-year, as growth in managed services in Panama and mobile subscriber gains in Chile and Jamaica were offset by losses in most other markets.
The results for the quarter were to reflect figures for Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), the acquisition of which was finalized in May last year.
CWC
The CWC business, which includes residential triple play and mobile telephony, corporate IT services and wholesale telephony services in the Caribbean and Central America, saw 2% growth in full-year revenue to US$2.4bn, driven by 8% mobile and 7% broadband revenue growth. Revenues from managed services grew 12%.
For the fourth quarter total revenues were down 8.6% year-on-year to US$594mn, which included a 4.6% drop in mobile revenues, partially offset by a 0.2% rise in fixed broadband revenues and 17.2% growth in managed services.
In the Caribbean, CWC faces fierce competition in the residential segment from Digicel. Declines in the Bahamas were offset by strong growth in Jamaica.
CHILE
Liberty’s cable business VTR, which offers triple play and mobile telephony, saw 11.5% growth in revenue in Q4 to US$227mn and 6% growth for the year attributable to growth in Arpu of cable subscriptions and the addition of 77,000 new subscribers in the year.
VTR’s MVNO mobile business performed well in 2016, as was seen in number portability statistics, after it launched 4G LTE services.
The Choice cable business in Puerto Rico saw modest 0.1% growth in Q4 revenues 1.1% growth for the year, driven by an increase in the B2B business, which was offset by declines in ARPU in the residential business.
Liberty expects to see US$1.5bn in operating cash flow in 2017 from its LiLAC group.


Google brings ‘fact checking’ to Latin America – Regional

Google has brought its fact-checking news feature to Latin America after launching it last October in the US and UK, followed by France and Germany.
The initiative, which consists of a ‘verification label’ for the news under the Google News service, was initially activated in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.
In these countries, Google has closed partnerships with independent fact-checking agencies. They are: “Chequeado”, in Argentina; “Agência Lupa”, “Aos Fatos” and “Agência Pública”, in Brazil; and “ChecaDatosMx” and “El Sabueso” in Mexico.
Users will come across the “verified label” on tagged articles in the expanded story box on news.google.com, in the Google News and Weather iOS and Android apps, according to a Google Brasil blog post.
“In recent years, we have sought to give space to different types of information and to categorize them on Google News with different labels ranging from local press to satire, to content generated by the users themselves. The new fact verification label is one more step in that direction,” the company wrote.
Google added it aims to take the feature to other Latin American countries soon.

IBM targets emerging tech in LatAm’s first ‘Garage’ – Brazil, Regional
US IT giant IBM has activated a site in São Paulo, Brazil for the design and development of proof of concepts of projects based on the company’s Bluemix platform, mainly in the fields of cognitive computing (artificial intelligence), internet of things (IoT) and blockchain.
Dubbed IBM Garage 11.57, it occupies an area of 118 m2 at the headquarters of IBM Brasil. It is the first of its kind in Latin America. Worldwide, the company operates 10 other such garages in cities such as New York, Toronto, Tokyo and Singapore.
Agostinho Villela, manager of the customer center for IBM Latin America, said during the inauguration of the São Paulo center that if it is successful it will set the base for more ‘garages’ across the region.
The São Paulo Garage will be exclusively dedicated to development of projects in the fields of cognitive computing, based on IBM’s artificial intelligence APIs and on the Watson platform, blockchain for areas such as supply chain and logistics, and the IoT.
The place works as a collaborative, start-up style environment that builds on ideas that have already gone through a design-thinking phase to create a pilot or a minimum viable product (MVP). The goal is to make the delivery of projects efficient, setting them up in 4-8 weeks.
According to Christina Bruner, Bluemix sales strategist for IBM Brasil, sales of Bluemix APIs have grown at “3 to 4 digit” rates in Brazil.
“Coincidentally, Garage 11.57 came in the year of IBM’s 100th anniversary in Brazil, putting the country at the head of innovative projects in Latin America,” said IBM Brasil’s industry solutions director Mauro D’Angelo.
The use of the center by clients will have a cost, but that IBM doesn’t plan to generate profit from it.
“We need to be able to pay the staff team, but this is just a stage in the development of projects to clients. It’s not here that we will profit,” D’Angelo said.


5G Americas report outlines LTE, 5G evolution – Regional

5G Americas, the industry trade association and voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas, today announced the publication of Wireless Technology Evolution Towards 5G: 3GPP Release 13 to Release 15 and Beyond which outlines the progress and evolution of LTE technology and the developing 5G standards. With the U.S. approaching 90 percent penetration of LTE [Ovum] the stage is being set for a new technology frontier with the fifth-generation wireless technologies.
“Dozens of 5G trials are occurring around the world, and the process of information gathering by leading operators and manufacturers to feed into the 3GPP standards process is underway,” commented Vicki Livingston, Head of Communications, 5G Americas and a contributing writer to the report. “Both LTE and 5G will work together to form our connected future.”
3GPP’s strong history of standardizing the technologies that drive the largest mobile wireless ecosystems from GSM to LTE and now to 5G creates the backbone for this whitepaper by 5G Americas. LTE is expected to be the dominant mobile wireless technology well into the next decade with LTE-Advanced Pro in Rel-13 completed in 2016. The 5G Americas white paper provides a detailed discussion on the key feature enhancements that were included in 3GPP Rel-13, such as:
• Enhancements to support Active Antennas Systems (AAS)
• Licensed Assisted Access (LAA)
• Aggregation of LTE and WLAN (LWA and LWIP)
• Low power / wide area coverage for IoT applications through Cellular-IoT
• Enhancements to previously introduced LTE technologies
o Advanced Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antennas
o Self-Organizing Networks (SON)
o Carrier Aggregation (CA) and Dual Connectivity (DC)
o Proximity Services and Device-to-Device Communication for Public Safety (ProSe/D2D)
The white paper also provides a detailed discussion of the LTE enhancements being worked on as part of Rel-14 including further MIMO enhancements, CA enhancements, enhanced LAA (eLAA), enhanced LWA (eLWA), Voice over LTE (VoLTE) enhancements and enhancements to ProSe/D2D.
Jim Seymour, Principal Engineer, Mobility CTO Group, and co-leader of the 5G Americas report explained, “3GPP Releases 13 and 14 provide additional innovative technical enhancements for the evolution of LTE as the 5G and LTE standards develop in parallel at 3GPP.”
Rel-14 and Rel-15 represent the first phase of work in 3GPP towards 5G standards with Rel-14 focused on the study items towards 5G and Rel-15 on the first phase of normative specifications for 5G. One of the requirements for 5G is the ability to optimally support a wider range of frequency bands in 5G, and in particular millimeter (mm)Wave bands. Given that radio accesses like LTE and HSPA were not designed to be optimized for mmWave frequency bands, 3GPP agreed that Rel-14 and Rel-15 will introduce a New Radio (NR) access technology for 5G that will be flexible enough to support not only frequency bands below 6 GHz but also mmWave bands up to 100 GHz.
The 5G Americas whitepaper provides details on 3GPP Rel-14 studies of the New Radio access technology, including Channel Modeling, RAN requirements, RAN technologies and potential solutions that meet a broad range of use cases. The RAN study item on requirements aims to identify typical deployment scenarios for next generation access technologies and the required performance and main functional capabilities:
• A range of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and their target requirements
• Several target deployment scenarios, covering enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC), and also enhanced Vehicle to Everything (eV2X)
• Other requirements, e.g., covering architecture, services and operation
The studies, explained in the whitepaper, focus on four main RAN specification areas: 1) Physical layer aspects; 2) Radio interface protocols and procedures; 3) Radio Network architecture, interfaces and protocols/procedures; and 4) Radio Frequency (RF) and performance requirements. At the service requirements level, the 3GPP studies include over 70 use cases for new opportunities in the next generation of telecommunications systems.
The IMT-2020 process is in part driving the work in 3GPP to define a 5G technology which consists of a two-phased approach with Phase I focusing on 5G New Radio and Next Generation System Architecture studies (Rel-14) and normative specifications (Rel-15) by 2018, and Phase II including everything needed to meet IMT-2020 requirements in Rel-16 by the end of 2019.
Wireless Technology Evolution Towards 5G: 3GPP Release 13 to Release 15 and Beyond was written by members of 5G Americas and is available for free download on the 5G Americas website. Co-leaders of the white paper working group are Betsy Covell, Nokia Bell Labs Standards Manager, Jim Seymour, Principal Engineer, Mobility CTO Group, Cisco and Vicki Livingston, Head of Communications at 5G Americas.
To highlight the importance of the 3GPP 5G standard, 5G Americas has partnered with FierceWireless for a luncheon event on February 27 at the Mobile World Congress. 5G Evolution: Transitioning from Fixed to Mobile will be the topic of discussion by expert panelists from Qualcomm, Deutsche Telecom and Verizon joined by Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas. The FierceWireless event is available for registration.
About 5G Americas: The Voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas
5G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization’s mission is to advocate for and foster the advancement and full capabilities of LTE wireless technology and its evolution beyond to 5G, throughout the ecosystem’s networks, services, applications and wirelessly connected devices in the Americas. 5G Americas is invested in developing a connected wireless community while leading 5G development for all the Americas. 5G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. More information is available at www.5gamericas.org.

Toshiba chairman resigns on loss in nuclear business – Regional
Japanese electronics and IT giant Toshiba said on Tuesday that its chairman, Shigenori Shiga, would resign after it published details of a multi-billion dollar loss related to a 713bn yen (US$6.3bn) write-down at its US nuclear business.
“Mr Shigenori Shiga is resigning to take management responsibility for the loss on goodwill and impairment cost,” the statement read.
The loss is linked to the acquisition by its US subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, of a nuclear construction and services business from Chicago Bridge & Iron in 2015.
The company is still struggling to recover from an accounting scandal in 2015 when the company admitted it had overstated its profits by nearly US$2bn over the past seven years and which prompted then-CEO Hisao Tanaka to resign.
At that time, Toshiba said it would withdraw TV operations outside Japan. The TV business has shifted to a brand-licensing model in North America, Europe, China, the Middle East and Africa.
The company has also downsized its home appliance and PC businesses and is concentrating on the B2B business.
With the latest loss, Toshiba said it would pull out of the business of building nuclear power plants.

Copyright 2015 Business News Americas

The information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CANTO and/or its members

 
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