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 appointed Dispute Resolution Panel rules on interconnection rates between Digicel and TSTT

From the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) :

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (the “Authority”) advises the public that the Dispute Resolution Panel appointed to resolve the dispute in relation to final interconnection rates between Digicel Trinidad and Tobago Limited (Digicel) and Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (TSTT) delivered its final decision yesterday, 7th March 2008.

Read : TATT’s press release (PDF ; 28K) and the actual Report and Decision of the Arbitration Panel (PDF ; 576K)

Both Digicel and TSTT has issued press releases pointing out decisions which favour them at the expense of the other.

Laqtel’s concession to provide mobile services in Trinidad and Tobago terminated

Laqtel’s concession to operate a “public domestic mobile telecommunications network” in Trinidad and Tobago was terminated by the Ministry of Public Administration following the recommendation to terminate by the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT).

Laqtel was granted a concession to operate on December 30th, 2005. However, Laqtel and its main partner, Saskatchewan Telecommunications International (Sasktel) parted ways in March 2006 . In late May 2006, Laqtel and TSTT announced that they has signed a interconnection agreement . In June 2006, it was reported that Laqtel intended to partner with the Paltel, a Palestinian based telecommunications company. However, Paltel and Laqtel parted ways in November 2006.

In December 2006, Laqtel announced that they were hoping to launch in time for the March 2007 Cricket World Cup (being held in the West Indies) and a technology/equipment alliance with Sprint Nextel. This did not happen, amid continuing financial difficulties and warnings from TATT in July 2007 that Laqtel risked losing its concession.

Since the award of Laqtel’s concession in December 31st, 2005, Laqtel failed to pay a $4,000,000 TT performance bond to TATT and failed to launch before 30th June 2006 as the concession stipulated. TATT sued Laqtel in September 2007 for its failure to pay the performance bond. Laqtel plead guility, and its attorney argued that the magistrate consider the circumstances Laqtel found themselves in, in considering sentencing.

The magistrate sentenced Laqtel to pay additional fines in November 2007 until the performance bond was paid.

The Minister of Public Administration revoked Laqtel’s concession on March 14th, 2008 ; TATT also seized several of Laqtel’s assets to collect funds owned from the performance bond and court fines. You can read more details from TATT’s press release about the termination of Laqtel’s concession to operate a mobile network in Trinidad and Tobago (PDF ; 34K).

Laqtel isn’t giving up ; it has asked the Minister of Public Administration to reconsider the termination of Laqtel’s concession.

Ping times in Trinidad with broadband from Flow or Blink

Since I’ve gotten Flow broadband I’ve been playing online games (Quake 3 Arena, DotA Allstars) with another Flow subscriber using Hamachi.

The ping times are great ; typical ping times between two Flow subscribers (one in St. James, the other in Glencoe) are around 15-25ms. However, the ping time between a Flow subscriber and a TSTT Blink Broadband subscriber is around 220ms which results in some lag during gaming.

Anyone knows what the ping times are between two Blink Broadband subscribers? Let us know in the comments.

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 : )

TTCS meeting on Thursday 18th October 2007 from 6pm at TSTT’s office in Port of Spain

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS) will be having a meeting on Thursday 18th October 2007 from 6-8pm at TSTT’s offices at 116 Edward Street, Port of Spain.

At this meeting, we will be meeting with Mr. Joseph P. Herde, the Head of Broadband Marketing and Sales at TSTT, to discuss TSTT’s new broadband ADSL2+ service called “Blink Broadband”.

Space is limited for this meeting. Persons interested in attending this meeting are asked to “register” for it by sending an email to admin at ttcsweb d.o.t org with the subject line “want to attend meeting with TSTT” and your full name and a telephone number

Do you have questions you would like to ask TSTT about Blink Broadband?
You can login to the TTCS wiki and add your question(s) to this page:

Suitable questions will be collected and used at the meeting on the 18th October 2007.

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

TSTT to announce $79 TT per month for unlimited ADSL?

According to the October 1st, 2007 press release, TSTT has announced it is completing its broadband infrastructure upgrade and plans to introduce unlimited ADSL as low as $79 TT per month. Wow. Wonder what is going to happen to regular dial up pricing? Surely, it can’t stay at $300 TT for TSTT unlimited dialup.

Edit (11pm) :  TSTT is to market the new broadband launch as Blink Broadband with speeds up to 10MBits. And the $79 TT amount is a initial promotional offer.

Text of TSTT October 1st, 2007 press release :

On October 1st, TSTT entered the final phase of its multi-million dollar broadband infrastructure upgrade that will see the company ramp up its customer broadband capacity to over 100,000 ports within a 4-month period. The project will ultimately deliver broadband access speeds of up to 10Mbps and reach every Exchange in Trinidad and Tobago. Trevor Deane TSTT’s Executive Vice President Broadband Services says that with the upgrade, TSTT will be able to extend the distance limitations that were a feature of its current High-Speed Internet offering. “We have invested in ‘future proof’ technologies that are versatile enough to support current and emerging technologies. Modernising our infrastructure and completing our Metro Ethernet fibre distribution network will mean the sky is the limit for business and residential users.”

Deane says the upgrade has enabled TSTT to quickly reach critical mass and customers will soon see a value proposition that will be hard to resist. “The final numbers are still being crunched but we are going after an extremely competitive price point with rates for unlimited monthly broadband access starting as low as $79 a month! This is Broadband redefined.”

Deane says TSTT is very excited about these developments. “Broadband access is the single most important growth area in the communications industry because of the transformative power it has in business and social spheres.” He explains that TSTT is laying the ground work for customers to use broadband access for entertainment, research and education, communication, buying and selling, accessing Government services, health care and much more.

Deane is confident that TSTT’s macro broadband initiative will single-handedly give Trinidad and Tobago a quantum leap forward. “While we have placed a lot of emphasis on the wired network, we are simultaneously developing our wireless broadband coverage so there will be virtually universal affordable broadband access throughout Trinidad and Tobago, a feat that few anywhere else in the region can boast about.”

The service will be rolled out in three phases. Customers serviced off the West, San Juan and Diego Martin exchanges will be included in the first phase, while the second phase inclusive of four more exchanges is due to begin by mid November.