Columbus Networks, Cable & Wireless enter strategic alliance, will form joint venture company to sell bandwidth to companies in Caribbean and Americas region

Cable and Wireless and Columbus Networks have entered into a strategic alliance and will form  a joint venture company called CNL-CWC Networks Ltd. to provide international wholesale bandwidth to communication companies in the Caribbean and America’s Region.

Via the press release on Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC’) website dated May 13 2013 :

13 May, 2013

CWC agrees strategic alliance with Columbus Networks

Cable & Wireless Communications Plc (“CWC”) today announces it has entered into a strategic alliance with Columbus Networks Ltd (“Columbus”) to develop its international wholesale capacity business.

Under the alliance, CWC and Columbus will form a joint venture in the pan-America region which will provide international wholesale capacity to both companies, as well as to third party carriers. CWC and Columbus operate substantial and largely complementary sub-sea cable networks in the Caribbean and Central American region – the joint venture will have a network platform of  approximately 42,000 kilometres with connectivity to 42 countries.

The alliance positions CWC strongly to meet the data capacity demands of its retail operations in the future, as well as optimising its capital expenditure commitment to its undersea cable networks. Demand for data capacity is growing rapidly in this region, driven by the increasing availability of, and consumer demand for, mobile data and fixed broadband services.

The joint venture, which launched today, will initially operate on an agency basis by providing joint sales and marketing services for each of CWC’s and Columbus’ international wholesale capacity services. Columbus has a 72.5% majority share in, and management control of, the joint venture and CWC has a 27.5% share with appropriate minority protections.

The alliance will be broadened within the next two years with Columbus and CWC contributing their sub-sea and related assets into the joint venture company, subject to obtaining regulatory approvals and certain other conditions being met.

Until then, Columbus and CWC will retain complete ownership and control of their respective existing networks in the region.

Once the applicable approval requirements and conditions have been met, the joint venture will
then assume ownership and management control of the international wholesale capacity
operations of CWC and Columbus and all new investments in infrastructure will be made, and
owned by it.


There is another press release on Cable and Wireless website on the Joint Venture :

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS, AND LONDON – (May 13, 2013) – Columbus Networks and CWC Wholesale Solutions today announced the formation of a joint venture to provide
expanded wholesale bandwidth capacity to global, regional and local communications companies in the Caribbean and Americas Region. The joint venture company will be called CNL-CWC Networks Ltd.
In addition to the joint venture, CWC Wholesale Solutions, a subsidiary of Cable & Wireless Communications, has entered into a separate services agreement with Columbus Networks under which Columbus Networks will provide CWC Wholesale Solutions certain operation and monitoring services.

Columbus Networks and CWC Wholesale Solutions operate complementary networks in the rapidly growing region. After completing multiple network interconnections, the joint venture will offer wholesale customers an expanded network platform that spans more than 42,000 kilometers and reaches more than 42 countries in the region.

The joint venture company will serve as the sales agent of both Columbus Networks and CWC Wholesale Solutions for international wholesale capacity. Columbus Networks will be the managing partner in the joint venture. CWC Wholesale Solutions will provide support and management resources. Columbus Networks and CWC Wholesale Solutions will retain ownership and control of their respective existing networks in the region.

“Wholesale customers will be able to take advantage of expanded network reach and service benefits by doing business with a company that can provide more bandwidth and broader reach, faster and better,” said Paul Scott, president of Columbus Networks. “With this joint venture, one plus one equals three.”

In the coming months, customers will begin to enjoy much greater route choice, improved reliability and higher performance as the joint venture rolls out innovative, new service offerings spanning clear channel services, IP transit, carrier Ethernet and carrier MPLS.
“We have been investing heavily in recent years to upgrade existing networks and build entirely new subsea links such as CBUS and East West Cable,” said Simeon Irvine, chief  executive of CWC Wholesale Solutions. “By creating this joint venture, CWC Wholesale Solutions can expand its network reach and increase the diversity and security of supply for our customers and those of Columbus.”

The interconnected networks will enable more self-healing fiber optic rings with a future planned migration to a fully meshed network environment that will significantly
improve the region’s access to international capacity and better meet the increasing demands for reliability and performance.



Local mirrors of press releases:

CWC agrees strategic alliance with Columbus 140513

Press release – Columbus-CWC JV 140513

TATT – Refarming Plan for Broadband Wireless Access Services in the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz Bands.

Spotted on the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago’s website :

The Authority has prepared, and made available for public comment, a document titled Refarming Plan for Broadband Wireless Access Services in the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz Bands.

The Plan was produced as a result of an investigation into the availability of spectrum for new spectrum users in the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands for the provision of BWA services. In addition, the plan assesses the current uses of these bands by existing spectrum users with the intention of aligning the current uses to the goal and objectives of the Spectrum Plan.

Interested parties are invited to submit comments on this document to the Authority, on or before Friday 9th May 2008

View/Download the Refarming Plan for Broadband Wireless Access Services in the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz Bands (PDF ; 141K)

T&TEC plans to deploy broadband over power lines

More details about the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) planning to become a broadband internet provider in an article in Thursday January 3rd, 2008 Newsday newspaper :

…Carol Balkaran, Tariff Analyst at the Regulated Industries Commission (RIC) said TTEC plans to deploy the service utilising a Broadband over Power Line (BPL) Technology Platform which also has regulatory implications for RIC [Regulated Industries Commission] and TATT [Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago].

“BPL is a technology that offers exciting possibilities for TTEC. It can provide a host of internal benefits that can improve the performance of the service provider. If the service is to be offered commercially then it can possibly enhance the competitiveness of the broadband market in Trinidad and Tobago, “ Balkaran said.

BPL, also called Power Line Communications or PLC combines the technological principles of radio, wireless networking, and modems to send data over power lines at speeds equivalent to those of Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and cable.

The Federal Communica-tions Commission (FCC) of the US defines two types of BPL. Access BPL deliver high speed Internet and other broadband services over utilities medium voltage (1000-40000 volts) power lines to homes and businesses and In-house BPL which facilitates the implementation of home networks.

In terms of regulatory implications, Balkaran identified three issues that are likely to be of major concern in Trinidad and Tobago. These were technical, cost and revenue allocation as well as cross subsidy issues and Pole Attachment and Open Access, including safety issues.”

Read the rest of the Newsday article : “Spotlights broadband internet service”. Also see the Wikipedia article on BPL.

New November 2007 pricing for Flow Trinidad broadband

In Tuesday’s 30th October 2007 Guardian newspaper (Update : Nov 4th, 2007 : corrected URL), Flow Trinidad has announce new pricing for Flow Trinidad’s broadband pricing to mark the completion of its ARCOS fiber optic cable from Trinidad to Curacao.

According to the Trinidad Guardian article :

  • A 20 hour limited package with speed at 2mbps for $69.99 TT
  • U click unlimited one package with speed up to 2 mbps for $189.99 TT
  • U click unlimited two package with speed up to 6 mbps for $349.99 TT
  • U click unlimited three package with speed up to 15 mbps for $689.99 TT

Over the next 60 days, persons can try Flow’s broadband packages risk free with a 30-day money back guarantee and enjoy free installation and a modem during the promotional period.

Flow’s website has not been updated with the new pricing. (Update : 4th Nov 2007 – Flow’s website updated! – see the TTCS wiki page : )

TATT auction of radio spectrum for Broadband Wireless Access services

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) recently conducted an auction on October 5th, 2007 for radio frequency spectrum in the 700 MHz, 12 GHz and 28 GHz frequency bands for the delivery of Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) services.

Out of five companies which were pre-qualified to participate in the auction, three companies took part :

The other two companies which qualified but didn’t take part were Sigma Communications Limited and Columbus Communications Trinidad Limited. The auction was held at the Hotel Normandie with PricewaterhouseCoopers as the auction manager.

The results of the auction were as follows (quoting from the October 5th, 2007 TATT press release (PDF ; 35K)) :

  • “In the auction of spectrum blocks in the 12 GHz band, there was one (1) Winning Bidder. The Winning Bidder is Telstar Cable System Limited, who won all twelve (12) blocks in this band at TT$ 650,000.00 per block per annum. The annual licence fee for Telstar Cable System Limited will therefore be TT$ 7.8 million per annum in total, for spectrum awarded in 12 GHz band.
  • In the auction of spectrum blocks in the Lower 700 MHz band, there was one (1) Winning Bidder. The Winning Bidder is Green Dot Limited, who won three (3) blocks in this band at TT$ 177,000.00 per block per annum. The annual licence fee for Green Dot Limited will therefore be TT$ 531,000.00 per annum in total, for spectrum awarded in Lower 700 MHz band,
  • In the auction of spectrum blocks in the 28 GHz band, there was no Winning Bidder and, as a result, no award of spectrum blocks.”

Green Dot and Telstar Cable System Ltd are eligible for the spectrum license for a period of 10 years.

TATT publishes 2006 Annual Market Report on Telecommunications and Broadcasting Sectors.

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) has published a market report on the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors in Trinidad and Tobago for 2006.

Some of the interesting stats :Re: mobile market :

  • “As at December 2006, the estimated number of mobile subscribers totaled 1,654,921. This represents an extra-ordinary increase of 730,862 or 79.1 per cent over the previous year. Of this total, 1,494,986 were prepaid customers while other 159,935 were postpaid.”
  • Mobile revenues for 2006 totaled TT$1.64 billion, of which prepaid customers accounted for TT$1.45 billion while postpaid customers contributed TT$191 million.

Re: fixed line phone services –

  •  For  the  year  ending  December  31,  2006,  the  total  gross  revenues  earned  from  fixed  line subscribers amounted to TT$780 million. Of this amount, residential customers accounted for TT$405.7 million. Revenues from business customers on the other hand, accounted for TT$ 374.3 million.
  • There were 325,549 subscribers of fixed line telephone service at the end of 2006.

Re: Public International telecom services,

  • the total outgoing traffic from Trinidad and Tobago, for 2006, was estimated to be 183.4 million minutes while incoming traffic was approximately 480.9 million minutes.
  • Gross revenue for international traffic for the year ending December 2006, was estimated at TT$145.1 million for outgoing calls and TT$196.7 million for incoming calls.

Re: Internet Market :

  • “As at December 2006, there were eleven major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Trinidad and Tobago: TSTT, CableNett Limited, Carib-Link Limited, Cari Direc, Caribbean Interactive Limited, Illuminat Limited, InterServ Limited, Lisa Communications Limited, Opus Network Limited, WOW Net (2001) Limited and Green Dot Limited.” Hmmm…….Opus Networx stopped dial up access since Jan 2006 and there is no mention of Columbus Communications formerly CCTT or Caribtel.
  • As at December 2006, the total estimated number of Internet subscribers in Trinidad and Tobago is 81,064.
  • The demand for high speed access to Internet services has increased in Trinidad and Tobago in 2006 to 20,613 with 14,246 residential connections and 6,367 business connections.
  • the number of Internet users in Trinidad and Tobago stood at 15.4 per 100 inhabitants for 2006.

Lots of interesting information, check it out…….
Download : TATT Annual Market Report 2006 (PDF ; 236K)

TSTT Blink Broadband ADSL2+ pricing

(Edit 26 May 2009 – TSTT  doubles speed of residential packages  April 1st, 2009)

(Edit: 4th October 2007 – TSTT site is now live ; confirmed pricing includes VAT pricing)

(Edit : 3rd October 2007 – added more details about upload speeds via TTCS discuss mailing post )

More details about TSTT’s new broadband ADSL2+ called Blink Broadband which will be launched this week. TSTT’s new website to market this is at . See Flow’s residential and business broadband packages for comparison. Broadband competition is good for consumers. 🙂

TSTT’s Blink Broadband Packages Residential (pricing as of May 2009) :

All prices in TT dollars per month. VAT is included.

  • Blink Basic : 256kbits download / 64kbits upload
    • $79
  • Blink Basic Plus : 1MB download / 256kbits upload
    • $149
  • Blink Premium : 2MB download / 512kbits upload
    • $229
  • Blink Premium Plus : 4MB download / 768kbits upload
    • $349
  • Blink Super : up to 10MB download /768kbits upload
    • $699

TSTT’s Blink Broadband Packages for Businesses :

All prices in TT dollars per month. VAT is included.

  • 512kbits download / 128kbits upload
    • $799
  • 1MB download / 256kbits upload
    • $1,249
  • 1MB download (sync) / [presume this means 1MB upload]
    • $1,799
  • 2MB download / 768kbits upload
    • $2,399
  • 3MB download / 768kbits upload
    • $2,949
  • 4MB download / 768kbits upload
    • $5,249

So far, TSTT’s Blink broadband packages would be available in the following areas :

  • San Juan
    • El Socorro Rd, El Socorro Ext Rd, Boundary Road, Don Miguel Rd, Eastern Main Road, Aranguez Main Road, Saddle Rd, First Ave to Tenth Ave, Barataria, First Street to Twelfth Street, Barataria, William St, Mt. Hope Road, Lady Young Rd, 2nd Caledonia
  • Diego Martin
    • Diego Martin Main Rd, La Puerta, Victoria Gardens, Westmoorings, Glencoe, Petit Valley, Goodwood Park, Diamond Vale, St. Lucien Rd, Morne Coco Rd, Industrial Estate, Richplain, La Estancia
  • West
    • Federation Park, Ellerslie Park Champs Elysees, Long Circular, Dibe, Cocorite, The Greens, Hillsboro, St James, Newtown, St. Clair, Boissierre Village, Queen’s Park West, Poui Hill, Lady Chancellor, Woodbrook – North, Ariapita Ave – North, Saddle Rd, La Seiva

fastforward : National Broadband Strategy For Trinidad & Tobago

The Ministry of Public Administration and Information (MPAI) has on its fastforward website a press release titled “National Broadband Strategy for Trinidad and Tobago“. No concrete details are mentioned, perhaps a PDF document will be made available soon.

Text of the National Broadband Strategy for Trinidad and Tobago press release :

Imagine an eight-lane highway with vehicles travelling freely and safely at high speeds in both directions. In contrast, picture a two-lane street with ‘bumper to bumper’ traffic and irate drivers on either side sounding their car horns in a concerto of sheer frustration. Those travelling along the highway experience little or no congestion and arrive at their destinations in acceptable time. Those travelling along the street encounter the traffic jam, nevertheless arriving at their destinations, but only after hours and hours of delay. In the Internet world, Broadband is a communications autobahn with no speed limit and dial-up access is a slow street.

The Government recognizes the need for reliable, affordable, high-speed Internet services to be accessible by all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. This is a key focus of the National Broadband Strategy, which also considers the importance of developing local content. In the paradigm of highways and streets, the carriageway is the “how” and content is the “what” and “why” of passage.

Successful implementation of the National Broadband Strategy will allow Internet connection speeds of up to 40 times faster than current dial-up access, presenting new opportunities and advancements in areas such as education (distance learning, webcasts), health care (telemedicine, remote diagnosis), government (public services online), business (buying / selling goods online) and entertainment (streaming audio / video, interactive gaming). Additionally, the Strategy envisions the establishment of Broadband infrastructure and services as foundation blocks in the country’s evolution towards a knowledge-based society.

The National Broadband Strategy, as proposed by the Ministry of Public Administration and Information, promotes the establishment of Broadband facilities and services, and is aligned with the development and amplification of both the telecommunications sector and the National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Strategy, fastforward. The Broadband Strategy outlines key approaches for addressing the requirements of different sectors of society – the Public Sector, the Private Sector and the Non-Energy ICT–based Sector.

Among the Strategy’s infrastructure considerations are the landing of additional international submarine fibre optic cables, the establishment of data centres and carrier hotels, and the creation of a domestic Internet Exchange Point (IXP).

The Government has undertaken to make Broadband services available to at least 80% of the population by December 2008.