Summary of TTCS Meetings held in 2004

We hold two types of meetings : Pizza Limes and Tech Meetings. A Pizza Lime is the name given to our monthly discussion forum which is usually held at Pizza Hut, Roxy Roundabout, Port of Spain on the second Wednesday of the month. The tech meeting is when we have computers on site to demonstrate a particular type of hardware or software.

Continue reading Summary of TTCS Meetings held in 2004

GSM in TnT | [05-jul-2004]

GSM in TnT

updated : 05 July 2004


Introduction

This page is about the GSM cellular telephone service offered by TSTT to citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

GSM is the: Global System for Mobile Communications. It is a next generation telecommunications service that offers capabilities beyond the traditional voice and text of exisiting cellular services. TSTT is marketing the service under the brand name: “mpower”.

Note: the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS) is unable to answer questions about services in other countries.


What are the features of GSM?

GSM offers the same features as the existing TDMA system :

  • Voice calls
  • Call waiting
  • Call hold
  • Call forwarding
  • Caller ID
  • SMS (short messaging service)
  • Per second billing (TSTT will not round the call time up to the nearest minute).
  • Voice Mail (a fee will be applied for playing-back recorded messages while roaming).

In addition to these features:

  • “Call barring of incoming calls while roaming” (block incoming calls while roaming).
  • Ability to roam, that is, use GSM networks outside of Trinidad and Tobago. See this section of the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section for more information about roaming.
  • Data Services
    The original GSM specification has a data transfer rate of 9.6K. Technologies such as GPRS (general packet radio service) have increased those transfer rates to allow users to browse the Internet, send/receive e-mail. In the near future, users will also be able to take advantage of multimedia services such as streaming audio and video.
  • WAP Internet access. (not available from TSTT at this time)

Data Services, including Internet access, are currently under trial and have not been officially launched at this time (early July 2004). The Services should be launched towards the end of July 2004. Further information about data services can be found at this link.

[ Back to Top of page ]


Where can I roam with my TSTT-based GSM phone?

The ability to roam with a TSTT-based GSM phone is dependant upon these factors:

  • The GSM frequencies supported by your phone. The TSTT system uses 1800MHz (1.8GHz). If you travel frequently to different areas of the globe then a tri-band phone would be a better investment. See the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section for more information about tri-band phones.
  • Whether or not TSTT has a roaming agreement with the network operator that provides GSM service in the area where you wish to roam. The roaming agreement provides for user authentication, billing procedures and service charges. See the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section for more information about roaming.

Reminder: roaming with a cellular phone (either TDMA or GSM) is expensive.

List of countries where TSTT customers have GSM or TDMA roaming capability. More countries will be added to this list as information becomes available:

  • This table is based on TSTT advertisments in the Guardian newspaper (Monday 13 October 2003, pages 36 and 37) and (Thursday 12 February 2004, page 79).
OperatorAvailable ServiceTechnology/FrequencyRate (US$ per minute)
AnguillaCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
AntiguaAPUA PCSvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.66
AntiguaCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
ArubaDigicelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.55
AustraliaOptusvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.44
AustriaConnect Austriavoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.68
AustriaAUTMM-T-Mobilevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.72 ($0.33 for SMS)
BarbadosCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
BarbadosDigicellvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900/1800/1900Mhz$0.55 ($0.36 for SMS)
BelgiumBasevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$0.77
BelizeBTLvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$1.43
BermudaTelecom/AT&Tvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.60
Brazil1TNLvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$0.92
BrazilBTLvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$1.43
BulgariaGlo Bulvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.40
CanadaMicrocellvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.69
CanadaRogersvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.76
CanadaAT&Tvoice, voice mailTDMA$0.74
CanadaCingularvoice, voice mailTDMA$0.99
Cayman IslandsCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
DenmarkSonofonvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.58
DenmarkTDC Mobilevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.03
DominicaCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
Dominican RepublicOrangevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.46
FranceOrange Francevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.74
FranceSFRvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.73
GermanyO2voice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$1.04
GrenadaCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
GrenadaDigicelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.55
GuadeloupeOrange Caraibevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.61
GuadeloupeBouyguesvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.91
Hong KongCSLvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.32
Hong KongHutchisonvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.30
IndiaSpice-Punjabvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$1.44
IndiaSpice-Karanatakavoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$1.44
IsraelCellcomvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$1.36
IsraelOrange/Partnervoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.70
ItalyVodafone/Omnitelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.39
ItalyTIMvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.52
JamaicaDigicelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.55
JamaicaCable & Wirelessvoice,voice mailTDMA
MartiniqueBouyguesvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.91
MartiniqueOrange Caraibevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.61
MauritiusEmtelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.48
MontserratCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
NetherlandsBen/T-Mobilevoice, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$0.50
Republic of PanamaCable & Wirelessvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 850MHz$0.76 ($0.22 for SMS)
PortugalVodafonevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.61
RussiaBeeline/KB Impulsvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.50
South AfricaMTNvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.38
Spain2ESPRT-Amenavoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.80 ($0.29 for SMS)
SpainTMEvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.82
SpainVodafone/Airtel Mobile SAvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.70
St.BathelemeyOrange Caraibevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.61
St.Kitts & NevisCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
St.LuciaAT&Tvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.61
St.LuciaDigicelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.55
St.LuciaCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
St.MaartenOrange Caraibevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.61
St.MaartenBouyguesvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.91
St.MartinOrange Caraibevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.61
St.VincentAT&Tvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.61
St.VincentDigicelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.55
St.VincentCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
SwedenTelia Mobile ABvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.63
SwitzerlandSunrisevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.72
TaiwanFarestonevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.24
Turks & CaicosCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
UKO2voice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.81
UKOrangevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$0.32
UKT-Mobile/One 2 One/DT Mobilevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$0.35
UKVodafonevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.20
USAAT&Tvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$1.09
USAAT&Tvoice, voice mailTDMA$0.74
USACingularvoice, voice mailTDMA$0.99
USACingular Eastvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.76
USACingular Westvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.76
USAVerizon/Rogers AT&Tvoice, voice mailTDMA$0.99

Important Notes:

1 ALL calls terminated on the TNL Brazil network are charged a one time charge of US$0.54.

2 ALL calls terminated on the ESPRT-Amena network are charged a set-up charge of US$0.17.

  • Rates are in US dollars and DO NOT include value added tax (VAT)and other taxes/tolls.
  • Rates are subject to change without further notice.
  • Charges apply to ALL calls made and received on the handset.
  • Prices/rates valid as of 09 February 2004.
  • Prices represent the per minute rate.
  • Toll and other charges are applied to all international calls made while roaming.
  • Toll charges are similar to those printed in the TSTT telephone directory.
  • Additional taxes maybe applied by the individual carriers.
  • TSTT’s GSM network operates on the 1800MHz (1.8GHz) frequency.

Note to visitors from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”): If your “home network” is based in one of these countries/with one of these cellular/network operators, then you may have “seamless” GSM roaming facilities in Trinidad and Tobago. As always, contact the cellular/network operator who currently provides you with GSM services for further information.

[ Back to Top of page ]


New roaming agreements (countries) for TSTT customers

Information in this section is based on a TSTT advertisment in the Guardian newspaper (Tuesday 22 June 2004, page 40).

TSTT has expanded its roaming coverage by entering into agreements with the following cellular operators:

OperatorAvailable ServiceTechnology/FrequencyAirtime (US$ per minute)SMS (US$ per message)
CuracaoTelecom Curacaovoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1900MHz$0.66$0.40
DominicaOrange Caraibevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.78$0.25
FinlandFinnet Networksvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz/3G$0.40$0.19
GreeceCosmote Mobile Telvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$0.54$0.20
IndiaBPL-Keralavoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$1.82$0.48
IndiaBPL-Maharashtravoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$1.82$0.48
IndiaBPL-Mumbaivoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$1.82$0.48
IndiaBPL-Tamil Naduvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$1.82$0.48
MaltaGo Mobilevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$0.62$0.31
MexicoTelcelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.94$0.39
St. MaartenTelcellvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.60$0.17
SurinameTelesurvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.90$0.28
TaiwanChunghwa Telecom Mobilevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.31$0.17
USAT-Mobilevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.69$0.10

Notes:

  • Prices are valid/effective as of Thursday 3rd June 2004.
  • Prices DO NOT include tolls and taxes.
  • TSTT customers who roam in these countries will be able to:
    • Make and receive voice calls.
    • Send text messages.
    • Retrieve TSTT voicemail.
  • Customers of these carriers will be able to use the same features when they roam in Trinidad and Tobago.

[ Back to Top of page ]


Special roaming rates for TSTT/Cable and Wireless customers

Information in this section is based on a TSTT advertisment in the Guardian newspaper (Wednesday 02 June 2004, page 6).

TSTT customers roaming on any Cable and Wireless cellular network in the Caribbean will be able to use the following roaming rates:

  • Airtime: US 22 cents per minute.
  • SMS text: US 35 cents per message. Receiving is free.
  • These prices DO NOT include VAT.
  • These prices are applicable as of 29 April 2004.
  • Additional taxes and tolls may be added to the base price depending on location.

These rates are effective only when roaming in the following countries:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • St Kitts & Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent
  • Turks and Caicos

Notes:

  • TSTT customers roaming on other cellular networks will be billed according to this table.
  • These rates apply to both TDMA and GSM customers.

[ Back to Top of page ]


New international rates

Information in this section is based on a TSTT advertisment in Newsday (Tuesday 29 June 2004, page 24).

TSTT has reduced the rates on international calls by fifty percent (50%) effective 29 June 2004. This rate reduction is applicable to mobile users and means that the discount offered on the 10-10-335 service will no longer be available.

These new rates DO NOT APPLY to the following countries:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua
  • Barbados
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • French Guiana
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique
  • Monserrat
  • Nauru Island
  • Niue Island
  • Norfolk Island
  • Sao Tome
  • Solomon Islands
  • St. Bartholomew
  • St. Helena
  • St. Kitts/Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Turks and Caicos
  • Venezuala
  • Wallis and Fortuna
  • Callers to these countries will receive a forty percent (40%) discount after the first four (4) minutes.

[ Back to Top of page ]


What are the rates for post-paid GSM service?

Mpower post-paid plans:

mpower 100mpower 200mpower 500mpower 800mpower 1500mpower 2500mpower unlimitedmpower corporatempower corporate employee
Monthly access fee$161.00$287.50$517.50$690.00$1,150.00$1,725.00$5,750.00$86.25$92.00
Included minutes10020050080015002500UnlimitedNot applicableNot applicable
Rollover minutesIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedNot applicableFree calls Mon – Fri: 10pm – 6amFree calls Mon – Fri: 10pm – 6am
Sunday calls12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minuteNot applicable12 cents per minute12 cents per minute
Lingo messages2525255075100UnlimitedNot applicableNot applicable
Additional minutes$1.30$1.0492 cents81 cents75 cents63 centsNot applicable63 cents63 cents
Additional lingo25 cents25 cents25 cents25 cents25 cents25 centsNot applicable20 cents20 cents
  • This table is based on a TSTT advertisment in the Guardian newspaper (Saturday 29 March 2003, pages 40 and 41).
  • All prices are in TT dollars and are VAT inclusive.
  • These rates apply only to calls made on the TSTT network (i.e. within Trinidad and Tobago).
  • Rates for a TSTT customer roaming abroad can be found here.
  • Post-paid customers get the following “value-added-services” at no additional cost: caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding,
    call barring (block incoming calls while roaming) and voice mail, roll-over minutes, 12 cents per minute on Sundays, per second billing.
  • Data services will incur separate, additional service charges.
  • A fee will be applied for playing-back recorded messages (voice mail messages) while roaming.
  • Note to visitors from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”): These rates are for TSTT customers on the TSTT network. Your roaming charges will be different.

TSTT has revised its post-paid mpower plans. The new plans will be effective from 1st August 2004. All prices are in TT dollars and are VAT inclusive. The following table is based on an official TSTT advertisment (Trinidad Guardian Wednesday 30th June page 6 and Express Wednesday 30th June page 47).

mpower 75mpower 150mpower 300mpower 600mpower 1000mpower 2000mpower 3000mpower unlimitedmpower corporatempower corporate employee
Monthly access fee$89.00$161.00$287.50$517.50$690.00$1,150.00$1,725.00$3,450.00$86.25$92.00
Included minutes75150300600100020003000Unlimited100100
Rollover minutesIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedNot applicableFree calls Mon – Fri: 10pm – 6amFree calls Mon – Fri: 10pm – 6am
Sunday calls12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minuteNot applicable12 cents per minute12 cents per minute
Lingo messages252525255075100Unlimited2525
Additional minutes99 cents90 cents80 cents70 cents60 cents50 cents40 centsNot applicable40 cents50 cents
Additional lingo25 cents25 cents25 cents25 cents25 cents25 cents25 centsNot applicable20 cents20 cents

[ Back to Top of page ]


What are the rates for pre-paid GSM service?

An official TSTT advertisment (Trinidad Guardian Friday 5th December 2003 page 39) states the following rates for pre-paid GSM service:

  • Peak rate: TT$1.99 per minute.
  • Off-peak rate: TT$0.99 per minute.
  • Sunday rate: TT$0.65 per minute.
  • To send TSTT Lingo (SMS) messages: TT$0.35 per message.

TSTT has revised the rates for its mpower pre-paid GSM service. The new rates will be effective from 1st August 2004. All prices are in TT dollars and are VAT inclusive. The following information is based on an official TSTT advertisment (Trinidad Guardian Wednesday 30th June page 6 and Express Wednesday 30th June page 47).

There are 2 packages for pre-paid customers: “just talk” and “talk ‘n lingo”:

“just talk” rates:

  • Peak: TT$1.59 per minute.
  • Off peak: TT$0.79 per minute.

“talk ‘n lingo” rates:

  • Peak: TT$1.79 per minute.
  • Off peak: TT$0.69 per minute.
  • Saturdays and holidays: TT$0.69 per minute.
  • Sundays TT$0.59 per minute.
  • Lingo: 50 “free” per month.

Pre-paid cards (for both Liberty and Mpower pre-paid customers) are available in the following denominations: The rates are in TT dollars:

This table is based on an official TSTT advertisment: Trinidad Guardian Monday 24th May 2004 page 22.

Card DenominationCost of card (VAT incl)BonusExpiryAvailable in
$10$11.50nil30 dayse-card only
$15$17.25nil30 dayse-card and mobile prepaid card
$25$28.75nil60 dayse-card only
$50$57.50nil120 dayse-card and mobile prepaid card
$100$115.00$10120 dayse-card and mobile prepaid card
$200$230.00$50150 dayse-card only

[ Back to Top of page ]


Mzone: description and rates

Information in this section is based on an official TSTT advertisment in Newsday Wednesday 30th June 2004 page 20.

TSTT will be marketing its GSM-based data services under the brand name mzone. The first mzone service will be Internet access via GPRS (general packet radio service). Users will have an always-on connection and will be able to use their mobile telephone (once it is capable of doing so) or GPRS-enabled device (e.g. a PDA) to:

  • access their email.
  • browse the WWW.
  • transfer files.
  • use instant messaging.

Preliminary reports from users of the trial service indicate that access speeds are similar to those of dial-up Internet access via regular land-lines.

Data services will be launched soon and TSTT has published the following introductory rates:

  • Introductory rates are valid from 22nd July 2004 to 31st August 2004.
  • Users who sign for these special rates will pay them until 31st March 2005.
  • Users will have to pay regular rates from 1st April 2005.
mzone unlimitedmzone 10mzone 20mzone basic
Monthly access fee$99.99$37.50$75.00$15.00
mbytes includedunlimited10200
Additional kbytesNot applicable3 cents3 cents3 cents

REGULAR mzone rates (see following table) will be effective from 1st September 2004.

mzone unlimitedmzone 10mzone 20mzone basic
Monthly access fee$149.99$49.99$99.99$19.99
mbytes includedunlimited10200
Additional kbytesNot applicable3 cents3 cents3 cents

[ Back to Top of page ]


Will existing (TDMA) cellular phones continue to work now that TSTT operates a GSM service?

TSTT has stated that it will continue to maintain/support the existing (TDMA) cellular network. However, as of Monday 17th May 2004, TSTT no longer activates TDMA phones for post-paid (“Connect”) service but existing “Connect” customers will continue to receive service. TSTT will continue to activate pre-paid TDMA (“Liberty”) phones. If you want to be on a post-paid plan, you will now have to purchase a GSM phone and sign up for one of the GSM packages. See these sections for more information:

[ Back to Top of page ]


Can my (USA/Canada/European/Asian/”foreign”) GSM cellular phone work on the TSTT GSM system?

It should be able to work on the TSTT system as long as it can use the 1800Mhz frequency. However, the ability to use your “foreign”
phone and the features available to you while in Trinidad and Tobago will be determined by the roaming agreement between TSTT and the network operator that services the
area where you normally use your phone. The roaming agreement provides for user authentication, billing procedures and service charges.

Contact the cellular/network operator who currently provides you with GSM services. This network operator is the entity responsible for making the roaming agreement and will be able to tell you:

  • Where (geographic location) you can roam with your phone. For example, if you can roam with your phone in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • If your phone/handset is compatible with those foreign systems.
  • Which network and/or card-enabled features will be available to you while you roam.
  • The rates for roaming.
  • The billing procedures for roaming.
  • If the roaming is “seamless” or “unregistered”. See the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section for more information about roaming.

[ Back to Top of page ]


What models/brands of cellular phones will work on TSTT’s GSM system?

Any GSM cellular phone that can use the 1800Mhz frequency should be able to work on the TSTT system. However, you should check with TSTT before
purchasing that “used”/”pre-owned” phone. If you decide to switch from TDMA to GSM, there are a variety (in terms of features and cost) of GSM phones available from the popular brands e.g. Motorola and Nokia. At the present time GSM handsets and service plans are more expensive than TDMA handsets and service plans in Trinidad and Tobago.

TSTT is offering the following Nokia handsets with its various GSM service plans :

  • Nokia 2100
  • Nokia 3310
  • Nokia 3410
  • Nokia 3510
  • Nokia 5100
  • Nokia 5210
  • Nokia 6310i
  • Nokia 6510
  • Nokia 6610
  • Nokia 7210
  • Nokia 7650
  • Nokia 8310
  • Nokia Communicator 9210i

Further details about the Nokia phones on this list can be found at the official Nokia website: http://www.nokiausa.com/.

TSTT is offering the following Motorola handsets with its various GSM service plans:

  • Motorola A388
  • Motorola C332
  • Motorola C333
  • Motorola T190
  • Motorola V66i

TSTT is offering the following Samsung handsets with its various GSM service plans:

  • Samsung A300
  • Samsung R220

TSTT is offering the following Sony-Ericsson handsets with its various GSM service plans:

  • Sony-Ericsson T202
  • Sony-Ericsson T68i

As always, contact TSTT for further information on cost, availability, different brands of phones, etc.

[ Back to Top of page ]


Will TSTT provide Subscriber Identity Modules (SIMs) for the GSM phones?

TSTT will provide Subscriber Identity Modules (SIMs) (See: What are SIMs?) for the phones that are bundled with its various GSM service plans. In general, SIMs will be issued with the purchase of a handset. You will be able to purchase additional SIMs without having to purchase a handset.

SIM configuration: TSTT will provide the SIM configuration in order to identify TSTT specific customers as well as enable various services for the local network. See the What models/brands of cellular phones will work on TSTT’s GSM system? section for a list of GSM phones being provided by TSTT.

[ Back to Top of page ]


Activating non-TSTT SIMs

  • TSTT has stated that it cannot activate a foreign SIM card.
  • TSTT has stated that its GSM services cannot be activated on SIMs from a foreign provider.

[ Back to Top of page ]


About “locked” phones

  • Handsets sold by TSTT will be “SIM-locked” and therefore will only work with TSTT SIMs.
  • If you have a (new/used) GSM phone from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”) and it is “SIM-locked” to a foreign operator’s network, that phone/handset will not work with TSTT SIM cards. See: What are SIMs? and What is “SIM lock”?.
  • Note to visitors from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”): The SIM provided by YOUR network operator will continue to work in YOUR phone when you roam in Trinidad and Tobago. However, if your phone is “SIM-locked”, you will not be able to use a TSTT SIM card in that phone.
  • The creator(s) of this page cannot provide any sort of help/instructions on how to unlock “SIM-locked” or any other sort of “locked” GSM phones! Do not ask for such instructions.
  • The creator(s) of this page cannot provide any sort of help/instructions on how to unlock “locked” TDMA phones!

[ Back to Top of page ]


I am from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”) and I want to use my GSM cellular phone on the TSTT GSM system

You must first contact the cellular/network operator who currently provides you with GSM services. The network operator will be able to provide you with the relevant details about roaming especially where (geographic location) you can roam with your phone. You can also consult the following sections on this page:

[ Back to Top of page ]


I want to purchase my GSM cellular phone from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”) and use it on the TSTT GSM system

If you want to purchase a GSM cellular phone from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”), it must meet these specifications:

  • It must be able to operate on the 1800MHz (1.8GHz) frequency.
  • It must not be “SIM-locked” to a foreign operator’s network. If the phone/handset is locked, it will not work with TSTT SIM cards. See: What are SIMs? and What is “SIM lock”?.

Other factors to take into consideration:

  • Do not purchase SIMs from outside of Trinidad and Tobago for use on the TSTT GSM network. See: Activating non-TSTT SIMs.
  • If you travel frequently and wish to roam with your GSM phone then you may want to purchase a tri-band phone. See the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section for more information about tri-band phones.
  • If you wish to use the GSM data services (e.g. GPRS), make sure the particular phone model has that capability.
  • Know what you are purchasing! Less expensive GSM phones tend to be limited to voice and text messaging and do not have data capability.
  • SIM-locked phones restrict you to a particular cellular network. Lock-free phones (that is, phones which are not SIM-locked at the factory) allow you to use any SIM from any GSM provider anywhere in the world.

[ Back to Top of page ]


TSTT GSM network specifications

  • Operator Name: Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd
  • Network Name: TSTT
  • Network Type: GSM 1800
  • Handset Code: TSTT
  • Network Code: 374 12
  • Network Status: Operational

[ Back to Top of page ]


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • What is dual band?
    Dual band refers to the ability of GSM network infrastructure and phones to operate across two frequency bands. For example at 900MHz and at 1800MHz.
  • What is a tri-band phone?
    A tri-band cellular phone has the ability to operate on the 3 different frequencies (depending on location) commonly used by GSM operators. These GSM frequencies are: 900MHz, 1800MHz and 1900MHz.
  • What is a dual mode phone?
    A dual mode cellular phone has the ability to operate in either analog or digital mode depending on network conditions. This description is exclusive to TDMA phones since the GSM system is one hundred percent digital. TSTT has discontinued analog TDMA service.
  • Can my existing (TDMA) cellular phone work on the TSTT GSM system?
    No, because TDMA cellular phones are incompatible with the GSM system.
  • What is GPRS?
    GPRS is the GSM Packet Radio Service. Packet switching utilises the network only when there is data to be sent as opposed to sending a continuous stream of data over a permanent connection. Users are able to send and receive data at speeds of up to (a theoretical maximum) of 115Kbit/s. GPRS enables users to connect to a wide range of public and private data networks which use standard data protocols such as TCP/IP and make use of applications such as email or Internet (WWW) access.
  • What are SIMs?
    What are “Smart” cards?
    Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards are used to provide individual identities for each mobile user: e.g. authentication and storage for user data and network configuration information. The current generation of SIMs (“Smart” cards) contain microchips which extend the “intelligence” and capability of the card. Users are now able to access a vast range of card-enabled (as opposed to network-enabled) applications. The SIM must be inserted in the phone for the user to make and receive calls.
  • What is “SIM lock”?
    “SIM lock” is the term used to describe the pre-programming of handsets by manufacturers to ensure that the handsets will only work with SIMs issued by a specific GSM network operator. For example: TSTT has stated that it will be selling SIM-locked phones. This means that if you try to use a non-TSTT SIM, the phone will not work.
  • What is “roaming”?
    Roaming is the ability for a cellular customer to make and receive voice calls, send and receive data, etc on “visited” networks, that is, GSM networks located outside the geographical coverage area of their home network. These “visited” networks can be accessed in the same manner as the home network. For example, a TSTT customer (with a GSM phone) is able to make and receive voice calls while travelling in Europe (an example of international/global roaming). There are 3 types of roaming:

    • National Roaming: The visited network is in the same country as the home network.
    • International Roaming or Global Roaming: The visited network is outside the home country.
    • Inter-standard roaming: The visited network operates on a different technical standard than the home network.
  • What is “seamless roaming”?
    Seamless roaming allows cellular customers to make and receive calls on “visited” networks, as long as there is a roaming agreement between the operator of the “visited” network and the operator of their “home” network.
  • What is “unregistered roaming”?
    Unregistered roaming allows cellular customers to make (originate) calls on “visited” networks where there are NO roaming agreements between the operator of the “visited” network and the operator of their “home” network. Calls are billed via one of these methods: Collect, Credit Card or Calling Card. Calls which originate via unregistered roaming are usually more expensive than calls which originate via seamless roaming. TSTT does not officially support unregistered roaming at this time (July 2004).
  • Where did you get all of this information? Do you work for TSTT?
    The creator(s) of this page and the TTCS are not affiliated with Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT). All information on this page was gathered from public sources. No one invoved in the creation and maintainence of this page is employed by TSTT.
  • How long has this GSM page been online?
    This GSM page has been online since 20 October 2002.

[ Back to Top of page ]


How do I contact TSTT for more information?

TSTT can be contacted about GSM service:

  • At any TSTT Customer Service Centre.
  • Via telephone number: 824-TSTT (8788).
  • At the official TSTT website: http://www.tstt.co.tt
  • You can also check the local telephone directory for general information about TSTT Mobile Services and contact information.

[ Back to Top of page ]


Contact the creator of this page

Before you send that email, remember:

  • We can only answer questions involving services in Trinidad and Tobago
  • Do not email us about services/problems etc in other countries.
  • We may not be able to answer your question(s). No one invoved with this page is employed by/affiliated with TSTT.
  • Information on this page is subject to change without further notice.
  • The creator(s) of this page cannot provide any sort of help/instructions on how to unlock “SIM-locked” or any other sort of “locked” GSM or TDMA cellular phones!
  • We may not reply if your question has already been answered by material provided on this page.
  • This page is for information purposes only. It is not an endorsement of the services provided by TSTT.

If you have questions (that have not already been answered on this page), comments, more information to add to this page, etc, please contact us at: [email protected]

Last updated : 05/july/2004

[ Back to Top of page ]


DISCLAIMER: The creator(s) of this page and the TTCS are not affiliated with Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT). This page has not been endorsed in any way by TSTT. Information on this page is subject to change without further notice. If you use any information from this page, you do so at your own discretion and risk and you are solely responsible for any and all: financial loss, damage to your equipment or loss of data that may result directly or indirectly from such use. In other words, if you screw-up, or your equipment or data gets screwed up, it is 100% YOUR fault! Don’t blame anyone else.

[ Back to Top of page ]


SMS in TnT | [05-jun-2004]

SMS in TnT

updated : 05 June 2004

Introduction

SMS or Short Message Service, (also known as short messaging service, text messaging, mobile messaging, or alphanumeric paging, celltext, texting, phone messaging) enables you to send brief text/numeric messages to and from digital cellular telephones. Messages can originate from cell phones as well as e-mail addresses and public SMS gateways on the Internet. Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) is offering the service under the brand name “TSTT Lingo”.

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS) is unable to answer questions about services, cellphones, etc offered/available in other countries.

What are the benefits of SMS?

Messages can be received while making voice calls, there are no busy signals to contend with, it is silent and discreet (unless you have one of the many annoying alert tones enabled!). Messages generated by SMS are delivered immediately and directly to your phone, there is no need to call an access number or enter/remember a password to retrieve it (as must be done with voice-mail).

In Trinidad and Tobago, users of the pre-paid services (both “Liberty” for the TDMA and pre-paid Mpower GSM) have found that brief messages sent via SMS are cheaper than making a voice calls to “send” the same information.

SMS messages are sent to and processed by a Short Message Service Centre, which then delivers the message to the recipient’s phone. If the phone is turned off, the service centre will store the message and attempt to re-deliver it for a period of 3 to 7 days. The actual time is dependant upon the service provider (TSTT).

What is the difference between SMS, Instant Messaging Service (IMS), and E-mail?

E-mail and SMS are both “store and forward” systems that utilize a “gateway” to pass messages from senders to recipients, however, the obvious difference between the two are the length/complexity of the messages that can be sent on the respective systems. The maximim size of a SMS message is usually 160 characters (actual size is dependant on the service provider). The messages are limited to text and numeral characters. Graphics, colour, HTML formatting and file attachments are not allowed.

On the other hand, e-mail can contain thousands of characters and allows the use of HTML formatting, files to be attached and images to be embedded within the message . Instant Messaging Service (IMS), (e.g. AOL Instant Messenger “AIM”, ICQ, MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger) allows you to conduct real-time text conversations (“chat”) with people who are simultaneously connected to the Internet and, in some cases, allow the transfer of files. SMS messages are immediate, but not simultaneous.

How do you send and receive SMS messages?

Receiving messages is easy. Most phones will display an incoming message alert graphic on the screen. You may also set a tone to sound when incoming messages are received. Once a message is received, you can use the scroll keys on your phone to view the content of the message. Options to store, reply, or forward each message will be available at that time. The exact procedure to send a message varies from device to device, but it usually involves entering the recipient’s phone number or e-mail address, and then composing the message with the phone keypad. You may have the option to send the message instantly or store it for later delivery. Check the user’s manual for the specific details on how to access these features on your particular brand/model of cell phone.

How do you use public gateways to send messages?

Cellular service providers who offer SMS usually offer public SMS gateways, which allow you to compose and send messages from the service provider’s web site. TSTT does not offer such a service from/on any of its websites at this time. A number of independently operated message gateways also exist on the Internet. These public gateways are usually available from any computer with Internet access. Examples of locally operated gateways can be found at:

Update: According to a news report (Sunday Guardian: 14th December 2003 page 3 and Sunday Newsday: 14th December 2003 page 8) TSTT will begin to charge for receiving SMS messages sent from the Internet in April 2004. How will this affect the public SMS gateways? We do not know but most likely they will have to shut down.

Update 2: May 2004: TSTT has not implemented any charges for receiving SMS messages sent from the Internet at this time.

What are the fees for the TSTT Short Message Service?

Some information in this section is based on a TSTT advertisment in the Trinidad Guardian newspaper (Sunday 9th November 2003 pg 61)

At this time (May 2004):

  • There are NO activation fees.
  • There are NO charges/fees for receiving messages.
  • There are NO charges/fees for sending messages via Internet email to a cellphone.
  • There are NO charges/fees for receiving messages sent via Internet email to a cellphone.
  • There are NO charges/fees for sending messages via a public SMS gateway to a cellphone.
  • There are NO charges/fees for receiving messages sent from a public SMS gateway to a cellphone.
  • Sending messages from a “Connect” (post-paid TDMA) cellphone costs TT 35 cents (VAT inclusive) per message.
  • Sending messages from a “Liberty” (pre-paid TDMA) cellphone costs TT 50 cents (VAT inclusive) per message.
  • Sending messages from a “Mpower” (post-paid and pre-paid GSM) cellphone costs TT 35 cents (VAT inclusive) per message.

Update: According to a news report (Sunday Guardian: 14th December 2003 page 3 and Sunday Newsday: 14th December 2003 page 8) TSTT will begin to charge for receiving SMS messages sent from the Internet in April 2004. Actual prices have not been released. The charge for receiving SMS messages sent from the Internet will be applicable only when the sender “is not an Internet or mobile customer using TSTT’s network”.

Update 2: May 2004: TSTT has not implemented any charges for receiving SMS messages sent from the Internet at this time.

TSTT has implemented a commercial/pay “SMS Content service”. See this section: Commercial SMS Services for further details.

Commercial SMS Services

Information in this section is based on TSTT advertisements in the Trinidad Guardian newspaper (Saturday 22nd May 2004 pg 34 and Wednesday 26th May 2004 page 20)

The TSTT SMS content service was launched on Monay 24th May 2004. It is being marketed under the brand “TSTT Lingo Info Text”.

Lingo Infotext is available in the following categories/times/cost:

  • News: every morning: TT 40 cents per message for Liberty and Mpower (pre-paid and post-paid) customers.
  • Sports: once a day (Monday to Friday): TT 40 cents per message for Liberty and Mpower (pre-paid and post-paid) customers.
  • Scriptures: every morning: TT 40 cents per message for Liberty and Mpower (pre-paid and post-paid) customers.
  • Stock: as traded: TT 80 cents per message for Liberty and Mpower (pre-paid and post-paid) customers.
  • Movie schedules: on demand (will be more than one message): TT 20 cents per message for Liberty and Mpower (pre-paid and post-paid) customers.
  • Lotto: twice a week (Wednesday and Saturday): TT 30 cents per message for Liberty and Mpower (pre-paid and post-paid) customers.
  • Play Whe, Pick 2 and Cash Pot results are
    sent as one text message. Cost is TT 30 cents per message

    • Play Whe: twice a day: Monday to Saturday.
    • Pick 2: twice a day: Monday to Saturday.
    • Cash Pot: once a day: Monday to Saturday.
  • “Connect” customers (TDMA post-paid) pay a flat fee of TT$29 per month (ALL services included).
  • All prices are VAT inclusive.

How to subscribe to the service:

  • Send a text message to 683-9999 with the words START ‘service name’.
  • e.g. START NEWS is the text to send to 683-9999 if you want messages about the news.
  • A confirmation text will be sent to phone being used to subscribe to the service.
  • Users can subscribe to as many services as they desire.

How to UN-subscribe to the service:

  • Send a text message to 683-9999 with the words STOP ‘service name’.
  • e.g. STOP NEWS is the text to send to 683-9999 if you want stop messages about the news.
  • A confirmation text will be sent to phone being used to UN-subscribe from the service.
  • Users can RE-subscribe to the service whenever they desire.

How to send a message via SMS on the TSTT system

Some information in this section is based on an official TSTT advertisement in the Trinidad Guardian newspaper (dated Monday 4th March 2002 page 15)

There are three ways to send messages via SMS:

  • To send a Short Message using Internet-based email, the message must be addressed to: 868#######@tsttmobile.co.tt (where ####### = the cell number of the person receiving the message). The email must conform to SMS message specifications
  • To send a Short Message using a local public gateway, use these links and follow all instructions:
  • To send a Short Message using your cellular telephone, the message must be addressed to: 868####### (where ####### = the cell number of the person receiving the message). The exact procedure to send a message from one cell phone to another cell phone varies from device to device, but it usually involves entering the recipient’s phone number and then composing the message with the phone keypad. Check the user’s manual for the specific details on how to access these features on your particular brand/model of cell phone.

Using SMS to send/receive ringtones

The TTCS has a separate page about ringtones:
https://www.ttcs.tt/2002/07/17/about-ringtones-17-07-2002/

Cell phones (in TnT) that support text messaging

TDMA

Ericsson:

  • A1288
  • A1228dsi
  • T18D

Motorola:

  • V60t
  • V2300
  • V2390
  • 7790
  • 7890
  • Motorola Timeport

Nokia:

  • 3320
  • 3360
  • 5120
  • 5120i
  • 5125
  • 6120i
  • 8260
  • 7160
  • 8860

GSM

  • Nokia 2100
  • Nokia 3410
  • Nokia 3310
  • Nokia 3510
  • Nokia 5100
  • Nokia 5210
  • Nokia 6610
  • Nokia 7650
  • Nokia 6310i
  • Nokia 6510
  • Nokia 7210
  • Nokia 8310
  • Nokia Communicator 9210i
  • Motorola A388
  • Motorola C332
  • Motorola C333
  • Motorola V66i
  • Motorola T190
  • Samsung A300
  • Samsung R220
  • Sony-Ericsson T202
  • Sony-Ericsson T68i

Notes:

  • Check your retailer to make sure your new phone supports sms before purchasing it!
  • If your phone model/manufacturer is not listed here, check your user’s manual to make sure it supports these features.
  • All sms options supported by these units may not be available on the TSTT system.
  • Check the users manual for further info on how to use these features on your phone.
  • Contact TSTT at: 824-TSTT(8788) if you require more information on the features, availability, restrictions, requirements, fees, etc associated with this service.

SMS message specifications

Your SMS message must meet the following specifications in order to be sent and received successfully:

  • Maximum size of the message: 160 characters (punctuation marks AND spaces are counted as characters).
  • Messages have to be in plain text. SMS does not support HTML formatting. In other words, it won’t look like a web page and you can’t see colours, graphics or those email “wallpapers”. Outlook/Outlook Express users take note! You may have to check your software settings/options/configuration and switch off HTML formatting.
  • You cannot send any sort of file attachments e.g. zip, mp3, mpeg, mpg, avi, doc, xls on the SMS system.

SMS Etiquette

  • Turn down the volume of your alert tone. YOU need to know you received a message. No one else does.
  • Keep your subject line brief. The characters in the subject count towards your total of 160. Better yet, do not use a subject line that way you can maximise the content of your message.
  • Messages must be read on cell phone screens so keep your message brief.
  • Don’t send a “signature”, a tagline, inspirational quote or any other unnecessary material with your message. Remember, there is a character limit so your message will be truncated if it exceeds that limit.
  • Avoid unnecessary spaces in the message. Spaces count towards your total of 160 characters.

The SMS (Short Message Service) Dictionary

SMS supports a limited number of characters per text message (approx. 160) so here’s a list of abbreviations and emoticons to help create that message.

Numerals

@WRKAt work 2BCTNDTo be continued 2D4To die for 2G4UToo good for you 2HT2HNDLToo hot to handle 2l8Too late 4BARSFeeling very good today 4EForever 4YEOFor your eyes only

A

A3Anytime, Anywhere, Anyplace AAMAs a matter of fact ABAh Bless! ADCTD2LUVAddicted to Love AFAIKAs far as I know AFK:Away From Keyboard AKAAlso known as ALLWANISUAll I want is You AMLAll my love ASAPAs soon as possible ATBAll the best ATK:At The Keyboard ATM:At The Moment ATWAt the weekend AWHFYAre we having fun yet

B

B4Before BAK:Back At Keyboard BBFNBye Bye for now BBL:Be Back Later BBSBe back soon BBSDBe back soon darling BCNUBe seeing you BFBoy Friend BGWMBe gentle with me BRBBe right back BTWBy the way

C

CLD9Cloud 9 CMCall me CRSCan’t remember stuff CuSee you CUIMDSee you in my dreams CULSee you later CUL8RSee you later CYASee You

D

DkDon’t know DUR?Do you remember?

E

E2EGEar to ear grin EODEnd of discussion EOLEnd of lecture

F

F2FFace to face F2TFree to talk FAQFrequently Asked Questions FCFingers Crossed FITBFill in the Blank FUBARFouled up beyond all recognition FWIWFor What It’s Worth FYEOFor your eyes only FYAFor your amusement FYIFor your information

G

GALGet A Life GFGirlfirend GGGood Game GMESUMLUVINGive me some loving GMTA:Great Minds Think Alike GR8Great GSOHGood Salary, Own Home GTGGot to go GTSYGlad to see you

H

H2CUSHope to see you soon H8Hate HAGNHave a good night HANDHave a nice day HLDMECLSHold me close HT4UHot for You H&KHugs and Kisses

I

ICI See ICQI Seek you IDKI dont know IGOTUBABEI’ve got you babe IIRCIf I recall correctly IMHOIn my humble opinion IMII mean it ILUI love You IMBLUVIt must be love IOWIn other words IOUI owe you IRLIn Real Life IUSSIf you say so

J

J4FJust for fun JFKJust for kicks JSTCLLMEJust call Me

K

KCKeep cool KHUFKnow how you feel KISSKeep It Simple, Stupid KITKeep in touch KOTCKiss on the cheek KOTLKiss on the lips

L

L8Late L8RLater LMAOLaugh My A## Off LOLLaughing out loud LOLROFLaughing out load, rolling on floor LTNCLong time no see LTSGT2GTHRLets get together

M

MTEMy Thoughts Exactly M$ULKECRZMiss you like Crazy! M8Mate MCMerry Christmas MGBMay God Bless MYOBMind your own Business

N

NANo access NCNo comment NEAny NE1Anyone No1No-One NRN:No Reply Necessary NWONo way out

O

O4UOnly for you OICOh, I see OTOHOn the other hand

P

PITAPain In The A## PRTParty PRWParents Are Watching PCMPlease call me PPLPeople

Q

QTCutie

R

RAre RMBRing my Bell ROFLRolling On The Floor Laughing ROFLOLRolling On The Floor Laughing Out Loud ROTFLMAORolling On The Floor Laughing My A## Off RU?Are you? RUOK?Are you Ok?

S

SCStay cool SETESmiling Ear to Ear SOSignificant Other SOLSooner or later SME1Some One SNAFUSituation normal but all fouled up SOSSame old stuff SRYSorry SWALKSent with a loving Kiss SWGScientific Wild Guess

T

T+Think positive T2ulTalk to you later TDTUTotally devoted to you THXThanks T2GoTime to Go TICTongue in Cheek TMIYTake me Im yours TTFNTa ta for now. TTYLTalk to you later

U

UYou URT1You are the one

V

VRIVery

W

WB:Welcome Back WTF:What The F### WTG:Way To Go WUF:Where Are You From W8:Wait W4U:Waiting for you WAN2:Want to WRT:With respect to WUWH:Wish you were here

X

X!Typical Woman XKiss XCLUSVLYURSExclusively Yours

Y

Y!Typical Man YBSYou‚Äôll be Sorry YGMYou’ve got mail

Z

No “words” available at this time.

Emoticons

Emoticons (also known as “smileys”) are used to convey a facial expression in text messages on mobile phones (SMS).

:-)Smiley :-(I’m upset/angry > ;-> Rude suggestions %-)Google Eyes :*)I’m drunk B-)I’m wearing sunglasses :-)~I’m drooling :~~)I’ve got a cold :’-(I’ve been crying :[email protected]’m gonna scream :-0Uh-oh :-XMy lips are sealed :-QI smoke !-)Black eye :”)Blushing ūüėź :-|Deja vu :@)Pig :-$Put your money where your mouth is :-)Smiley :-PStick tongue out :-(*)You make me sick x-(You’re mad :-“Whistling ;-)Wink :-Sceptical : @Shouting :-oAppalled :-XNot saying a word |-ISleeping |-OSnoring %-}Intoxicated :-vTalking :-wTalking with two tongues (0_0)bTalking on cellphone d(0_0)bWearing headphones (O_O)/Great to see you,want a hug?/getting mugged ([email protected][email protected])Scared/funky sunglasses (x_x)Dead (:0_0:)Freckles :)Smiling without a nose 8-)Smiling with glasses [:-)Smiling with walkman :-)8Smiling with bow tie {:-)Smiling with hair d:-)Smiling with cap C|:-)Smiling with top hat (:-)Smiling with helmet :-)=Smiling with a beard #:-)Smiling with a fur hat :-DLaughter :-(Sad :(Sad, without nose :’-(Crying :-cUnhappy :-||Angry :-(0)Shouting >:-(Very angry :-OWow :-|Determined O :-)An angel :-9Salivating ūüôĀ )Shocked :-~)Having a cold ūüėģ zzBored B-)Sunglasses B:-)Sunglasses on head 8:-)Glasses on head {:-)Toupee }:-(Toupee blowing in the wind -:-)Punk :-{)With a moustache :-{}Lip stick q(0_0)pHands over ears/not listening/girl with bows (-_-)Sleeping <|>_<|>Cat (*_*)Unconscious (D_D)Looking sideways

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • Who can I contact at TSTT for further information?The contact number given in a TSTT advertisment is: 824-TSTT(8788).
  • Can you tell me if brand X, model y is sms capable?If it is not on the list, then no. Read your user’s manual and/or check the manufacturer’s website for further information.
  • You keep telling me to “read the user’s manual” but I don’t have one! Where can I get one?The manufacturer of your cell phone should have an electronic version of the manual available for download (usually a Word .doc file or an Acrobat .pdf file) from their official website. Nokia and Motorola offer such a service.
  • Why is there a limit of 160 characters?This is due to the limits of the SMS specification as well as the system in use by the SMS provider.
  • Can my phone be “upgraded” (via hardware or software) to support SMS?If the manufacturer did not include the capability then you either have to live without it or buy a new phone with SMS support. It cannot be upgraded.
  • Can I use SMS to download new ringtones to my phone?Yes,but your phone (brand/model) must support the ability to change ringtones (check the user’s manual for the specific details). At this time (June 2004) TSTT does not offer this feature. The TTCS also has a separate page to provide details about (Nokia) ringtones at this URL:¬†https://www.ttcs.tt/2002/07/17/about-ringtones-17-07-2002
  • How do I change the “message received” alert tone for my phone?Check the user’s manual for the specific details on how to access these features on your particular brand/model of cell phone.
  • Why must I change the settings in Outlook/Outlook Express?These email clients send HTML formatted email by default. HTML is the “language” used to create web pages. SMS does not support HTML formatting. So if you want to use these clients to send SMS messages you have to turn off HTML formatting and send it in plain text.
  • I used the SMS gateway site(s) mentioned on this page but my message was not sent or I got an error message. What’s wrong with the gateway?These gateways must interface with TSTT so whenever the TSTT system is down, the gateway sites cannot transfer your message. The operators of the gateway site(s) have no control over the availability or reliability of the TSTT SMS service.
  • Is SMS the same as email?No.
  • Can I send SMS messages from the network in my office?Only if your network has Internet access and only if the system adminstrator allows it.
  • Can I send SMS messages from my TSTT cellphone to a cellphone on a foreign network in another country?No. At this time, you cannot send a SMS message from a cellphone on the TSTT cellular system (either TDMA or GSM) to a cellphone on an overseas (TDMA, GSM or PCS) network.
  • Can I send SMS messages from a cellphone on a TDMA network to a cellphone on a GSM or PCS network?Yes, but only because the networks are operated by the same carrier. In Trinidad and Tobago, TSTT operates both TDMA and GSM networks. Therefore it is possible to send a SMS message from a cellphone on the TDMA network to a cellphone on the GSM network and vice versa.
  • If I “roam” abroad with my TSTT cellphone, can I still send/receive SMS messages?Only if the following conditions are met:
    • You are using a GSM phone from TSTT
    • TSTT has a roaming agreement with network operator(s) in the country where you are roaming.
    • You are using a TSTT SIM-card in your phone.

    You will not be able to send/receive SMS messages if you are using a non-TSTT SIM. The TTCS page about GSM service in Trinidad and Tobago provides a list of coutries where TSTT GSM customers can roam and send/receive SMS messages.

  • How do I send SMS messages to cellphones in other countries?You will have to investigate this on your own since it will be country/SMS-provider specific. It is possible that there is an internet-email to SMS facility or a SMS gateway you can use to send such messages. Ask the intended recipient to do some research for you. If you want to share the information then email us: [email protected]
  • Can someone from another country send SMS messages to me?Yes. They can use the email method or log onto one of the local sms gateways and send you a message. Remember
    , they have to know the number of your cellular telephone! Check this section for details.
  • Will SMS work on my GSM phone?Will the local SMS gateways be able to send messages to my GSM phone?Yes. Further information about the TSTT GSM system can be found here:¬†https://www.ttcs.tt/2004/07/05/gsm-in-tnt-05-jul-2004
  • I don’t want this service . . . Can I switch it off?Once the cellphone provider has switched on the service and your phone is SMS capable, it will automatically receive messages addressed to it. However, (according to an official TSTT advertisment in the Trinidad Guardian newspaper, Thursday 7th March 2002, page 15) TSTT cellular customers can contact TSTT to have the service discontinued. The contact number given in the advertisment is: 824-TSTT(8788).
  • Is there any way to block someone from sending SMS messages to my phone?The only definite way to block messages to your phone is to contact TSTT (at 824-8788) and have the service discontinued, unfortunately, this would mean all SMS service/features, not just the nuisance messages, would be blocked.
  • How long has SMS been officially available on the local cellular network?TSTT officially launched the service to the public under the brand name “TSTT Lingo” on Monday 4th march 2002.
  • Where did you get all of this information? Do you work for TSTT?The creator(s) of this page and the TTCS are not affiliated with Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT). All information on this page was gathered from public sources. No one invoved in the creation and maintainence of this page is employed by TSTT.
  • How long has this SMS page been online?This SMS page has been online ever since TSTT started testing the service in the last quarter of 2001.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Why can’t I receive messages?
    • Is your phone capable of receiving SMS? Some older phones cannot receive sms. Check your users manual.
    • Was it sent properly? review the send messages via SMS section and SMS message specifications to make sure.
    • Did the sender include some sort of attachment or HTML formatting that could “confuse” the SMS gateway?
    • Is it a used phone? Did the previous owner have the service switched off?
  • Why is the message cut off half way through the text?Why did I receive only part of the message? This will happen if the sender did not restrict the message to 160 characters!
  • Why can’t I send messages?
    • Is your phone capable of sending messages? Some older phones cannot transmit sms. Check your users manual.
    • Was it formatted properly? review the send messages via SMS and SMS message specifications to make sure.
    • Is it a used phone? Did the previous owner have the service switched off?

Useful Links

Contact the creator of this page

Before you send that email, remember:

  • We can only answer questions involving services in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Do not email us about services/problems etc in other countries.
  • We may not be able to answer your question(s). No one invoved with this page is employed by/affiliated with TSTT.
  • Information on this page is subject to change without further notice.
  • We may not reply if your question has already been answered by material provided on this page.
  • This page is for information purposes only. It is not an endorsement of the services provided by TSTT.

Last updated : 05/june/2004

Disclaimer

The creator(s) of this page and the TTCS are not affiliated with TSTT. This page has not been endorsed in any way by TSTT. Information on this page is subject to change without further notice. If you use any information from this page, you do so at your own discretion and risk and you are soley responsible for any and all: financial loss, damage to your equipment or loss of data that may result directly or indirectly from such use. In other words, if you screw-up, or your equipment or data gets screwed up, it is 100% YOUR fault! Don’t blame anyone else.

Summary of TTCS Meetings held in 2003

We hold two types of meetings : Pizza Limes and Tech Meetings. A Pizza Lime is the name given to our monthly discussion forum which is usually held at Pizza Hut, Roxy Roundabout, Port of Spain on the second Wednesday of the month. The tech meeting is when we have computers on site to demonstrate a particular type of hardware or software.
Continue reading Summary of TTCS Meetings held in 2003

FLOS Caribbean 2003 Report

FLOS Caribbean 2003 Report

(Updated : March 2015¬† – added wayback links to FLOS Caribbean website and removed the “contact the creator” section)

Introduction

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society was one of the exhibitors at the Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOS) Conference.

The Conference and Exhibition was held at the Central Bank, Port of Spain on Thursday 26th and Friday 27th June 2003.

This page provides details about Society activities for the conference.

NOTE: Programs on the GNUWin II CD were updated by the TTCS for the FLOS Software Conference. You can get the CD for TT$20. Please email us at: ttcs at opus.co.tt and let us know if you wish to purchase a CD.

Preparations for the conference

Preparations for the Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOS) Conference began in early 2003 when we offered space to operate a booth in the DOT Org section of the main exhibition area by the conference organisers: the Caribbean Centre for Monetary Studies and Trinidad and Tobago Linux Users Group.

During March and April, members were asked to contribute ideas and suggestions as to what could be done at the booth; they were also kept updated on the status of the conference thanks to regular email notices and live reports from Richard J at TTCS Pizza Limes.

Work on the booth began in the middle of May. The objectives were to promote:

  • the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society.
  • the GNUWin II CD: a CD-ROM containing a variety of open source software for the Windows operating system.
  • Knoppix: a GNU/Linux distribution that runs completely from the CD (no hard drive installation required) and includes recent Linux software and desktop environments.

Sunday 25th May 2003: Created the initial booth layout sketch and equipment list.

Saturday 31st May 2003: Timetable for conference preparations finalised. Began planning booth activities.

Saturday 7th June 2003: Draft versions of the 3 OpenOffice.Org Impress presentations presented to members. CD label designs modified.

Saturday 14th June 2003: Finalised: the Impress presentations, the Society brochure, the one-page flyer (for use with the CD sales), tested the video splitter for the first time.

Saturday 21st June 2003: Tables, chairs and computer equipment were set-up, plugged in and tested. The initial layout was modified to accomadate a “demo” machine. This computer would be used by anyone who desired hands-on experiance with the GNUWin software or Knoppix. Everything worked smoothly. The “Booth Crew” and daily timetable were also finalised.

Monday 23rd June 2003: Informal site visit to the exhibition area at the Central Bank.

Wednesday 25th June 2003:

  • installed and tested the GNUWin software on the “demo” machine.
  • burned CDs for sale during the Exhibition.
  • packed equipment.

The Booth

The Booth was located on the western side of the exhibition area between the TTLUG and TTAC booths.

Diagram showing the general layout of the booth

 

Picture of the booth at the Central Bank

 

Photo of the booth at the Central Bank

 

Equipment used:

  • Three Athlon class machines.
  • Three 17″ CRT monitors.
  • One LCD monitor.
  • One 15″ CRT monitor.
  • One 4-port video splitter.
  • One 4-port KVM switch.
  • One 4-port ethernet network hub.
  • Three tables.

Software on display:

  • Applications and games from the GNUWin II CD-ROM.
  • The Knoppix GNU/Linux distribution.
  • An offline version of the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society website.

Two of the machines were plugged into the KVM and video splitter. These were used to demonstrate the software on the GNUWin II CD and the Knoppix live Linux distro. The third machine was a “hands-on” demo machine where visitors to the booth were able to use the GNUWIN software. In the case of Knoppix, visitors could boot the machine themselves and use all the Linux software on the disk.

The Society’s FLOS Caribbean “Blog”

Thursday 26th June 2003:

There was a mix-up in the scheduling and we were unable to set up the booth on Wednesday 25th. This meant that we had to spend the first three hours of Thursday morning transporting and setting up tables and equipment. Fortunately, our staging area for the Conference was located in Port of Spain so only a little time was lost due to transportation.

The Conference was well attended on Day One, in fact so many people were present that the initial area set aside for lunch (on the 16th floor) could not accomadate everyone. The Conference organisers decided to split the group: half would take lunch immediately while the other half would go downstairs to the official launch of the Exhibition. The original schedule called for the launch to take place at 1300 hrs.

Many of the Conference attendees were curious about the Knoppix CD since many of them were of the belief that GNU/Linux could only work if it was installed on a hard drive. The GNUWin CD was very popular with visitors since many of them were unaware that there was open source software available for the Windows operating system. Others who were aware, were surprised at the variety and high quality of the available applications. Many of the visitors took the opportunity to try out both the Knoppix distro and the various applications from the GNUWin CD on the Demo machine. We had 30 CDs (19 GNUWin and 11 Knoppix) alloted for the two days of the conference. All were sold by closing time (1700 hrs) on Thursday.

Friday 27th June 2003:

The traffic from Conference attendees on Friday was not as heavy as on Thursday but more members of the general public, Central Bank employees and TTCS members visited the booth. In a way, less traffic was a good thing because visitors got to use the Demo machine for a longer period of time.

A second batch of 23 CDs (11 Knoppix, 12 GNUWin) was burned overnight for the second day of the conference. All were sold out by noon. We had to purchase and burn additional CD-Rs, print new CD labels and handouts.

Closing time on Day Two was about 1715 hrs and all equipment was returned to the staging area by 1830 hrs. There was a get-together after the close of the conference at Pizza Hut Roxy Roundabout (it was not a TTCS Pizza Lime). Some of the TTCS booth crew attended along with other Conference persons such as Robin ‘Roblimo’ Miller, David Sugar and Steve Traguott. FYI: We sold a total of 30 Knoppix CDs and 40 GNUWin CDs.

Comments

  • Overall there was a good level of enthusiasm for the concept and (perhaps more importantly) the products of Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOS). Our (TTCS) experiance with booth visitors suggests that local computer users are willing to experiment with alternatives to expensive, proprietary software. If they will continue to use it after the initial “thrill” has worn off is unknown.
  • Awareness of the existance of Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOS) is another problem. Local user groups and individuals have been promoting FLOS concepts and products for some time now but mainstream users have yet to hear about them.
  • Many mainstream users who know about Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOS) are reluctant to try it because they fear it is not as good as commercial, proprietary software.
  • Acceptance of FLOS is less about technical merit of the software and more about the attitude some i
    ndividuals and comapnies have towards it.
  • There was talk of a need for a “grassroots” movement to spread awareness of FLOS. While it is good to “start small but think big”, persons who are involved with such a concept or who are thinking about becoming involved with such a concept, must remember:
    • There are no short cuts to success.
    • Difficult and thankless work is required to achieve a successful “grassroots” movement.
    • The “grassroots” movement will be in direct competition with multi-million dollar advertising campaigns and other promotional efforts from financially wealthy proprietary software companies.
    • Acceptance of FLOS requires a change in attitude amongst potential users. Changing that attitude will be difficult.
  • FLOS can only achieve its full potential if there is a change in the local attitude towards: self-sufficiency, computers/information technology, data security, the local economy and expenditure of local tax dollars.
  • The FLOS Caribbean Conference was a first step in raising awareness of FLOS and addressing some of the issues mentioned in this list of comments. Attendess, presenters and the organisers must now capitalise on this surge of interest and show how FLOS can truly benefit this nation.

Thanks and acknowledgements

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society would like to say thanks to:

  • The “Booth Crew”: Dev, Paul, Colin, Helen, James.
  • Dev, Paul and Anil for donating equipment.
  • Richard, our liason with the conference organisers.
  • All members who took time out to visit us at the Conference booth.
  • All members who contributed ideas, comments and suggestions via email and helped us to have the best booth possible.
  • The Trinidad and Tobago Linux Users Group (TTLUG) and the Caribbean Centre for Monetary Studies (CCMS) for the invitation to take part in the Conference and for providing the exhibition space.

Links to sites mentioned in the slideshow, the brochure and at the conference booth

Summary of TTCS Meetings held in 2002

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society held two types of meetings : Pizza Limes and Tech Meetings. A Pizza Lime is the name given to our monthly discussion forum which is usually held at Pizza Hut, Roxy Roundabout, Port of Spain on the second Wednesday of the month. The tech meeting is when we have computers on site to demonstrate a particular type of hardware or software.

This year, there was only one tech meeting due to a lack of a suitable venue. As a result, there were two pizza limes each month
Continue reading Summary of TTCS Meetings held in 2002

Summary of TTCS Meetings held in 2001

Summary of TTCS Meetings held in 2001

We held two types of meetings : Pizza Limes and Tech Meetings. A Pizza Lime is the name given to our monthly discussion forum which was usually held at Pizza Hut, Roxy Roundabout, Port of Spain.

The tech meeting is when we have computers on site to demonstrate a particular type of hardware or software. Tech Meetings were held at the Cyberstate Cybercafe in Tacarigua courtesy of Shiva Maharaj. (Note: Cyberstate has since moved from this location).

The computers used for the tech meetings were provided by Pcw and/or Dave.

Continue reading Summary of TTCS Meetings held in 2001

Summary of TTCS meetings held in 2000

We hold two types of meetings: Pizza Limes and Tech Meetings. A Pizza Lime‚ĄĘ is the name given to our monthly discussion forum which is usually held at Pizza Hut, Roxy Roundabout, Port of Spain. At the tech meeting, we have computers on site to demonstrate a particular type of hardware or software.

Meetings were held at the Brass Institute at 117A Henry Street, Port of Spain (next to Spectacula Forum), courtesy of Francis Pau.

The computers used for the meetings were provided by Pcw and/or Dev while refreshments were provided by Francis Pau and Raul Bermudez.


Thursday 24th February 2000

As one might guess, we ate lots of pizza and “ole talked” about computer technology.

Mr David John, director of Information Systems for Bayerische Landesbank, New York, NY, (visit his website at www.caribone.com), was in Trinidad at the time but was unable to attend. However, he arranged to have several copies of a report documenting global Y2K problems which occured within the first week of this year delivered to those members who attended the “meeting”.

The TTCS thanks Mr. David John for his valuable contribution.

Sunday 9th April 2000, 1pm – Installing GNU/Linux on a Win 98 machine

The meeting was a demonstration of how to install a second operating system on an existing Windows 9x machine using only freeware tools. The demonstration machine had:

  • A 4Gb hard drive
  • Windows 98 installed as the only operating system as one primary partition
  • A fragmented file system

Dev did the following procedures:

  • Defragged the hard drive (using the Windows 98 defrag software).
  • Allocated space on the hard drive for Linux using the freeware tool
    Partition Resizer. 
    This allowed the existing Win98 partition to be re-sized without destroying the data stored on it.
  • Installed Caldera’s OpenLinux 2.3.
  • Configured LILO (the LInux LOader included with Linux) to enable the user to decide which OS to use when the machine is switched on (in this installation, Linux was the default boot OS).

Dev and Pcw also used Partition Resizer to help a new member successfully install Red Hat Linux v 6.1 on a Windows 98 machine.

Thursday 11th May 2000

The pizza was delicious as usual but this time around we were there to discuss the various proposed computer laws for Trinidad and Tobago.

Members and other interested persons were given brief overviews of the laws and their implications for citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. They were encouraged to obtain their own copies and let their comments be known on an email list that is collecting and forwarding comments about these bills.

Information about these proposed computer law bills is on our Computer Bills page.

 

Sunday 4th June 2000, 1pm – Internet security for home and business users

PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE

This meeting focused on the various Internet security threats that may be encountered by both the home and business user.

Razor described the ways in which:

  • viruses (email, macro, etc)
  • trojan horse programs
  • “spyware” and “adware” (programs that install themselves on your system and track your Internet activities¬†without¬†your knowledge and report to some central server/”homebase”)
  • vulnerabilities in the Win 95/98 networking components

can compromise system security and even your privacy while your computer is connected to the Internet. The emphasis was on preventative measures that both home and business users can take to protect themselves from such breaches in security. Razor also gave demonstrations of:

  • how to uninstall the Windows Scripting Host in Windows 98;
  • what the Zone Alarm personal firewall software fromZone Labs¬†looks like and how it works;
  • where to find the Windows 95/98 networking components and how to modify/uninstall them to improve the security of your Internet connection.
  • how the Shields Up web site at¬†grc.com¬†works and why everyone who uses the Internet should test their machine for security loopholes at this site.
  • a known spyware program

The material presented in this meeting has been downloaded from our
Internet Security page.

Thursday 29th June 2000

There was no formal agenda for this meeting (except, of course, to eat pizza!) so members in attendance discussed various issues such as:

  • The¬†Napster¬†vs RIAA issue; software and other intellectual property copyright issues;
  • New cellular telephone based web browsers, MP3 players and who would use them
  • The current state of international E-commerce and the lessons locals can learn (and in some cases the mistakes they should avoid) in order to benefit from it;
  • Microsoft’s network computing strategy (microsoft.NET)
  • The sudden closure of CECP (a veteran local computer company)
  • Various internet access strategies e.g. caridirec’s satellite download services, cable modems, efreenet and local ISPs
  • Gamecon 2000 – a Starcraft and Quake 3 multiplayer tournament organised by the Gaming Association of Trinindad and Tobago (GATT)
  • The popularity of “retro-computing” e.g. many people are reviving or emulating Commodore 64, Amigas, DOS and arcade games
  • The recent scandal in which Oracle hired private detectives to invesitigate lobby groups affiliated with Microsoft
  • TSTT’s proposed rate change (25 cents per minute anywhere/anytime in Trinidad)

 

Sunday 23rd July 2000, 1 pm – LAN party

The TTCS had its first official “LAN party” at this meeting held at the Brass Institute, Port of Spain. We had three networked PCs running¬†Quake 3 Arena¬†and members in attendance (some of whom never played Quake before) were able to play “deathmatches” against one another and with additional bots. Equipment for this meeting were as follows:

  • 3 PCs with 10/100Mb network cards (“NICS”) and AGP graphics cards
  • 1 Ethernet 4 port hub
  • 3 Cat-5 ethernet cables
  • Network protcol: TCP/IP

The gaming was intense but in the end, Wayne emerged as the undefeated champ in the various death matches. Machines were provided by Dev, PCW and Wayne; hub and cabling provided by Dev.

Thursday 10th August 2000

Eating pizza and “ole talk” were on the agenda for the evening. Topics covered included:

  • Internet security.
  • The new breed of “spyware” based on the infamous Netzip Download Demon program.
  • C and JAVA programming.
  • The launch of¬†linux.co.tt.

Members in attendance were also told about the Java Consortium, a group of local university graduates who program in JAVA to create both open source and custom projects.

 

Sunday 27th August 2000, 1:30 pm – BeOS Personal Edition v5

The focus of this meeting was the BeOS Personal Edition v5operating system from Be, Inc which is free for personal, non-commercial use.

Dev gave a brief history of Be, from its origins as an alternative to the MacOS to its rejection by Apple CEO Steve Jobs and ultimately as a GUI for the x86 platform (there are versions for both Win 9.x and GNU/Linux).

He then showed members how to install BeOS version 5 Personal edition on a Windows 98 machine (a Pentium II 266Mhz, 64MB RAM, 32X CDROM drive, 3Dfx Voodoo 3 video card, 100Mb Iomega IDE Zip drive) and demonstrated some applications.

BeOS has been designed for multimedia work and Dev highlighted this capability by simultaneously playing 2 MP3 files and 2 Quicktime (.mov) files DIRECTLY from the CDROM drive. There were no pauses, skips or slow downs in the music or the video. There was a brief discussion afterwards about the availability of both robust applications for BeOS and development tools for those programmers who wished to create programs for this OS.

Razor then provided an update for the 4th June internet security meeting. He recapped the topics covered at that meeting for those who were not there and then talked about the latest threat: the Netzip file download manager and its derivative spyware; the Java security flaw in Netscape Communicator (all platforms and all versions up to version 4.74); the new personal firewall product from Sybergen; the latest trojan/script based email threats.

Other topics discussed at this meeting: the disappearance of local computer company American Computer Express (ACE), the newly formed Webmaster Association of Trinidad and Tobago and on a lighter note, alternative computer case design.

Thursday 14th September 2000

The meeting began minutes after 6pm after the various introductions. Members in attendance held a lively discussion on the following topics:

  • The advantages and disadvantages of computer networks and internet access in local primary schools.
  • Can computers really “make kids smarter”? or is the money better spent in a more traditional manner? e.g. better training and pay for teachers, school repairs, better school transport etc
  • The american court cases against both¬†Napster¬†andMP3.com
  • Local copyright issues
  • The disappearance of ACE (american computer express) and its impact (if any) on the local computer reseller market
  • The release of Windows Me (released on the same day in the U.S) and the beta of Mac OS X
  • Would the local telecom market benefit or suffer from the introduction of another telephone company?
  • The advantages and disadvantages of the free StarOffice v5.1¬†and how¬†StarOffice v5.2¬†to be made available under the¬†GNU¬†General Public License (GPL).
  • The reasons why so many american dot com companies have failed or have yet to turn a profit and what lessons can be learned by locals to avoid such failure.
  • The current and future possibilities for e-commerce in Trinidad and Tobago
  • Violence in both computer and console video games and how these M rated games are being marketed to children
  • The possible advantages of wireless communications in the local market
  • What are the best sci-fi movies ever made ūüôā

This meeting is certainly one for the record books: it ended at 9:30 pm!!

Thursday 12th October 2000

On the agenda for this meeting:

  • The¬†Computer Misuse Bill 2000¬†(which is now before Parliament!).
  • The alleged “hacking” of a local bank.
  • An update about the Infoline Intranet server.

The Computer Misuse Bill 2000 inspired the most discussion. See the Computer Bills page for the points/issues raised.

The second most popular topic on the night’s agenda was the the alleged hacking of a local bank. Members in attendance debated the technical aspects of the claim and concluded that the incident was more likely an “inside job” rather than some one obtaining confidential information via a dial-up connection.

Finally, members were updated on the status of the Infoline intranet server: the machine is up and running, content is being uploaded and the completed project will make its debut on at the next TTCS meeting on Sunday 22nd October 2000 at the Brass Institute.

Sunday 22nd October 2000 – Freeware image tools, short films, GNU/Linux intranet server

The first item on the agenda was a demonstration of the FREEWARE Windows 9x software used for the Trinbago Scenes section of the TTCS website.

Dev demonstrated:

  • Irfanview, an image viewer/converter with basic editing facilities, free for personal use.
  • Digital Camera Enhancer, which easily enhances and clean digital images.
  • Pixaround, the stitching and VR creation program used to create the 360 VRs on the¬†Trinbago¬†Scenes¬†page.
  • JPEG Wizard, a tool for compressing JPEG (and other image formats) without losing quality like traditional compressing prgrams.
  • Imageforge¬†a freeware image editing program with features similar to the shareware Paint Shop Pro.

There was a short pause for refreshments and during that time we showed the two short independent films

  • “Troops” (a Star Wars parody) and
  • “Killer Bean 2” (Note: KB2 was created by¬†Jeff Lew).

After the refreshments, it was time to debut the “new Infoline”. Dev and Pcw used a Windows PC to login over a null-modem cable and demonstrate the capabilities of Infoline, the new dial-in Intranet server which will replace the old BBS.

The GNU/Linux-based server (powered by Red Hat Linux version 6.2) supports many Internet-style features:

  • web page server (using Apache)
  • DNS (using BIND) (so you can enter URLs like infoline.org , ftp.infoline.org, etc )
  • FTP (with resume capability so you can resume an aborted download)
  • e-mail (standard POP3 and SMTP protocols)
  • browser based public forums/message board (using PHP3, Postgres and Phorum)

 

Thursday 9th November 2000

This time around, members in attendance discussed the following topics:

  • Microsoft being “hacked”.
  • The First Citizen’s Bank (FCB) e-banking venture at¬†https://www.fcb-e-bank.com¬†which allows registered users to perform many traditional “counter” transactions online. A representative from FCB was present to answer questions.
  • Electronic commerce, credit card use/misuse, local bank credit card policies and the future of e-commerce in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • BMG’s parent company investing in¬†Napster.
  • The¬†“Starworx”satellite download service being offered by¬†Opus Networx.
  • The Computer Misuse Bill issues which were raised at the¬†ITPS¬†breakfast seminar that was held on Tuesday 7th November 2000.
  • The release of the Sony Playstation 2 and the impact it would have on both the local and foreign game markets.
  • The recent closure of several popular “dot com” companies including Pets.com (remember the sock puppet??), mother nature.com and furniture.com.

 

Sunday 3rd December 2000, 2 pm – second LAN party

The second LAN party at the Brass Institute, Port of Spain. We had two networked PCs running¬†Quake 3 Arena¬†and members in attendance were able to play “deathmatches” against one another and with additional bots. The equipment used was the same used at the¬†first LAN party.

Thursday 14th December 2000

This was the final Pizza Lime‚ĄĘ and the last official TTCS meeting for the year 2000.

Members focused on the following topics:

  • TheScotiabank¬†EScotia CardPoint Merchant Service which generally allows local merchants to authenticate and receive payments from credit cards over the internet.
  • The proposed¬†Trinidad and Tobago Tech park¬†by¬†TIDCO

The TTCS was fortunate to have in attendance, Simone Penco, a commercial manager for the EScotia CardPoint Merchant Service to explain :

  • How the service works (from the time customers enter their credit card number on the secure website, to the processing and finally the acknowledgement that the credit card has been accepted).
  • The various security requirements that businesses must have in place to ensure that both the customer and the merchant can have secure transactions at all times.
  • Why Scotiabank decided to offer this service.

The TTCS was also fortunate to have in attendance Kevin Stewart, an Economic Development Officer from the Tourism and Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) to discuss matters related to the local techpark project.

He spoke about

  • the reasons for establishing the park;
  • what sort of investors TIDCO was hoping to attract to the project;
  • what sort of industries were best suited for the park;
  • what TIDCO and the government hope to achieve with the park (e.g. increased employment for citizens, transfer of technical knowledge; diversification of the economy).

Both guests held impromptu question and answer sessions which allowed members at the meeting to ask about material not covered in the general discussions.

It was yet another meeting for the records: it finished at 10 pm!

Electronic Transfer of Funds Crime Act 2000

The Electronic Transfer of Funds Crime Bill 2000 was introduced in the Senate in October 2000 at the same time of the Computer Misuse Bill in the House of Representatives. The Bill was passed with modifications in October 2000.

The main purpose of this Bill is to regulate the transfer of money through an electronic terminal by means of a card for the purpose of instructing or authorising a financial institution to debit or credit a cardholder’s account when anything of value is purchased.

The application of the Bill is limited to bank cards, credit cards or smart cards or other similar type of cards used for purchasing anything of value.

It doesn’t address the use of credit cards online.

Summary of pre-TTCS Meetings held between 1995 and 1997

Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS) was officially launched in August 1997. Prior to that launch, the co-founders were members of the (now defunct) Society of Computer Users (SCU) and were in charge of organising meetings and maintaining the Infoline BBS.

This page chronicles the efforts of those co-founders: from the final days of the SCU in 1995, through the official dissolution in January 1996 to the seven months in 1997 leading up to the the launch of the TTCS.

Continue reading Summary of pre-TTCS Meetings held between 1995 and 1997