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Government Information – Notice

PIN Notice

 This is a prior information notice (PIN) only: publication and call for competition will only be conducted when final approval is given for programme design and funding.

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) intends to fund the provision of a new submarine fibre optic cable for the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean. The new cable will link with the neighbouring islands of Antigua and St Kitts and Nevis. Due to volcanic activity the island has been without fibre optic connectivity since 1997 and has since relied on a precarious and expensive microwave link with Antigua. The lack of fibre connectivity has been one of the main constraints affecting Montserrat’s prospects for economic growth.

The key outputs envisaged for this programme are:

  • The provision of a submarine cable, laid between Montserrat and Antigua and Montserrat and St Kitts and Nevis. This will require the necessary preparation works, including but not limited to obtaining required permissions and Environmental Impact Assessments. The cable will be the property of the Government of Montserrat.
  • The laid fibre optic cable connected to landing site and ready for connection to on island infrastructure.
  • The provision and maintenance of effective fibre optic service for the island of Montserrat.
  • Effective communications and partnership with key stakeholders: DFID, Government of Montserrat Department of Information Technology and E-Government Services (DITES), Government of Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis.

DFID would like to ask the market a series of guiding questions about the tender and would like a written response to them. These questions can be found on the DFID Portal https://supplierportal.dfid.gov.uk/selfservice/ using the reference number PO 7271. Further information and supporting documentation is available via the supplier portal.

Parties interested in submitting a written response or requiring any other information should register interest via the DFID Portal. Written responses should be received no later than 14:00 UK time on Monday 10th August 2015 and should be no more than 5 A4 pages in length in Arial font 12.

After we have reviewed the written responses a Partners/Suppliers Information Day is planned at DFID’s offices in Brades and Whitehall with the aim of further gauging interest in the project, engaging with the market to gain expert opinion, exploring possible approaches and increasing DFID’s knowledge on how best to proceed with this programme.

This is Information Day is indicatively planned for Thursday 27th August (9:30 local time and 14:30 UK time), and will be confirmed within the coming days. The two hour session will include a presentation and Q&A session regarding the programme and the services required. This will be an opportunity for interested parties to learn more about DFID, the role expected of any appointed supplier, and to discuss innovative approaches to programme delivery

Partners/Suppliers are encouraged to register on the DFID Portal and use the ‘Dialogue/ Clarification’ function on the DFID Portal in advance of this meeting to raise initial questions or recommendations.

For logistical reasons, the deadline to register an intention to attend the engagement session is Monday 24th August. Attendance should be confirmed via the ‘Dialogue/ Clarification’ function on the DFID Portal.

Posted in Classified, Local, Technology, Uncategorized1 Comment

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Digicel opens big with launch of 4G services in Montserrat

By Staff Reporters

The first Digicel customers in Montserrat DSC_1756  DSC_1778 DSC_1798DSC_1763BRADES, Montserrat – Montserrat became the 33rd country on Monday to fly the banner of the company dubbed ‘the Bigger Better Network, Digicel.’

In an almost surprise launch for many, the company unveiled its new flagship store at Farara Plaza in Brades, with an attractive incentive to subscribers of its cable services. This saw hundreds of clients waiting in lines to claim their free smartphone with the purchase of a SIM card for the price of $20.00.

For clients unfamiliar with how to use a smartphone, a short video presentation was delivered by sales representatives. While officials expressed surprise at the large turnout, local manager Mrs. Petronella Browne said the presentations will be offered as long as they were necessary to help customers feel comfortable with the features which were now at their fingertips.

Honourable Minister Claude Hogan speaking in place of the Premier who was at the time welcoming Antigua’s Prime Minister to the island, said at the opening he was very impressed with the speed and work ethic of the people involved in bringing Digicel into the market in three months. He commended the Montserrat Information and Communications Authority (MICA) which has responsibility for spectrum management for designing the strategy which enabled Digicel to get into the market within a short space of time.

He noted that telecommunications was now critical to human development and this entry brought Montserrat closer to creating call centres and other technology-based ventures which will positively impact the island’s economy.

Honourable Minister of Telecommunications Works and Labour Paul Lewis said the Digicel launch signaled a “win for Montserrat” and commended the company for “braving the way into the market. If competition means that the consumers will benefit then I will back it 200%.” The Minister did the honours of cutting the big, red ribbon to open the doors to the already large crowd waiting after the brief opening ceremony which took place in front of the Government House entrance.

Meanwhile in a later release “We are pleased with the overwhelming response from Montserratians for this launch,” says Victor Corcoran, CEO of Digicel, Antigua. “Digicel’s presence on Montserrat is not just about business,” he continues. “It’s about providing the best value, best service and best network to our customers.”

According to Corcoran, the group acquired Caribbean Cable Communications (CCC) in November of 2013, and is giving a landmark offer of a FREE DL700 Smartphone to all CCC customers once they sign up as a new Digicel customer. For customers who activate a Digicel 4G data plan, the telecommunications company is also giving four-times the data, with prices starting as low as $2. As a lead in price, for a limited time, data that was 30MB will be 120MB.

One already Digicel customer said: “I am extremely pleased that the monopoly barrier has been broken,” he says. “Competition in the market will force companies to provide better service and affordable prices. The people came out in droves to welcome Digicel,” he continues. “Judging from that response and Digicel’s reputation in the other islands, I think Montserratians are satisfied that this company will raise the bar in terms of efficiency and customer satisfaction.”

The day also included a carnival-infused motorcade from Salem to Lookout which incorporated the unique sights, sounds and culture of Montserrat. The recently crowned Ms. Montserrat, 2013/2014, Tazia Briscoe -Jarrett also a member of the lovely Digi-Girls team, helped to bring the vibes to an already electric atmosphere.

Digicel acquired Caribbean Cable Communications in November 2013 as part of its push to diversify its offerings in the telecommunications market.

The Telecom giant boasts that, “Apart from being a leading global communications provider whose operations, in just 13 years has amassed a total investment of over US$5 billion worldwide, Digicel is also a good corporate citizen.

“From being lead sponsors of various sports teams regionally and internationally, including the West Indies Cricket team, Digicel also runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago which focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes.”

Posted in Local, News, Technology4 Comments

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Digicel opens big with launch of 4G services in Montserrat

By Staff Reporters

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The cutting of the ribbon

Untitled-4BRADES, Montserrat – Montserrat became the 33rd country on Monday to fly the banner of the company dubbed ‘the Bigger Better Network, Digicel.’

In an almost surprise launch for many, the company unveiled its new flagship store at Farara Plaza in Brades, with an attractive incentive to subscribers of its cable services. This saw hundreds of clients waiting in lines to claim their free smartphone with the purchase of a SIM card for the price of $20.00.

For clients unfamiliar with how to use a smartphone, a short video presentation was delivered by sales representatives. While officials expressed surprise at the large turnout, local manager Mrs. Petronella Browne said the presentations will be offered as long as they were necessary to help customers feel comfortable with the features which were now at their fingertips.

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Hon. Claude Hogan

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Digicel Headquarters at Farara Plaza in Brades

Honourable Minister Claude Hogan speaking in place of the Premier who was at the time welcoming Antigua’s Prime Minister to the island, said at the opening he was very impressed with the speed and work ethic of the people involved in bringing Digicel into the market in three months. He commended the Montserrat Information and Communications Authority (MICA) which has responsibility for spectrum management for designing the strategy which enabled Digicel to get into the market within a short space of time.

He noted that telecommunications was now critical to human development and this entry brought Montserrat closer to creating call centres and other technology-based ventures which will positively impact the island’s economy.

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Hon. Paul Lewis

Honourable Minister of Telecommunications Works and Labour Paul Lewis said the Digicel launch signaled a “win for Montserrat” and commended the company for “braving the way into the market. If competition means that the consumers will benefit then I will back it 200%.” The Minister did the honours of cutting the big, red ribbon to open the doors to the already large crowd waiting after the brief opening ceremony which took place in front of the Government House entrance.

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Digicel Employees

Meanwhile in a later release “We are pleased with the overwhelming response from Montserratians for this launch,” says Victor Corcoran, CEO of Digicel, Antigua. “Digicel’s presence on Montserrat is not just about business,” he continues. “It’s about providing the best value, best service and best network to our customers.”

According to Corcoran, the group acquired Caribbean Cable Communications (CCC) in November of 2013, and is giving a landmark offer of a FREE DL700 Smartphone to all CCC customers once they sign up as a new Digicel customer. For customers who activate a Digicel 4G data plan, the telecommunications company is also giving four-times the data, with prices starting as low as $2. As a lead in price, for a limited time, data that was 30MB will be 120MB.

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Cable customers line up to take advantage of Digicel promotions

One already Digicel customer said: “I am extremely pleased that the monopoly barrier has been broken,” he says. “Competition in the market will force companies to provide better service and affordable prices. The people came out in droves to welcome Digicel,” he continues. “Judging from that response and Digicel’s reputation in the other islands, I think Montserratians are satisfied that this company will raise the bar in terms of efficiency and customer satisfaction.”

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Minister Paul Lewis and Nathalie Weekes

The day also included a carnival-infused motorcade from Salem to Lookout which incorporated the unique sights, sounds and culture of Montserrat. The recently crowned Ms. Montserrat, 2013/2014, Tazia Briscoe -Jarrett also a member of the lovely Digi-Girls team, helped to bring the vibes to an already electric atmosphere.Digicel acquired Caribbean Cable Communications in November 2013 as part of its push to diversify its offerings in the telecommunications market.

The Telecom giant boasts that, “Apart from being a leading global communications provider whose operations, in just 13 years has amassed a total investment of over US$5 billion worldwide, Digicel is also a good corporate citizen.

“From being lead sponsors of various sports teams regionally and internationally, including the West Indies Cricket team, Digicel also runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago which focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes.”

Posted in Local, News, Technology4 Comments

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Entrepreneurs challenged to innovate and take advantage of new telco services

By Nerissa Golden

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Mr. Denzil West, Director of the Department for Information Technology and eGovernment Services

Director of the Department for Information Technology and eGovernment Services (DITES), Denzil West has challenged entrepreneurs as well as young people on Montserrat to take advantage of the widening technological offerings on island to create ICT-driven businesses. He is also hoping that LIME and the newest player on the market, Digicel, would fully embrace the plans to reintroduce the sub-c fibre to Montserrat.

This challenge was made at the launch of Digicel 4G services on Monday, December 30, 2014. This launch now gives residents two options for mobile services and in the near future digital television and internet according to officials. He did this with the view that this development would benefit both companies as well as the people of Montserrat.

West said “I would like to encourage young entrepreneurs to pay attention to what is happening in the Info Communications sector and seize the new opportunities which are presenting themselves in this new era of liberalization and wider service offerings.”

“Do not get locked into simply being consumers of other people’s content; let us strive to create and market innovative ICT products to the world market.”

The director, who is also a member of the National ICT Council, also expressed his fervent hope that, “the Telecoms providers in Montserrat both fully embrace the Government’s plans to facilitate the reintroduction of subsea fibre to Montserrat; thereby improving their networks and providing additional resiliency and redundancy to our international communications gateway.”

“I am therefore serving public notice, that going forward microwave backhaul to Antigua will not be seen as sufficient to fulfil Montserrat’s goals in the info communications sector,” he cautioned.

“Both telco’s are now larger and more diversified than when they started the year, and we look forward also to keen competition in the Broadband Internet and High Definition Cable TV markets. We would like to suggest that the Telcos think of Montserrat when rolling out new cutting edge technology; and work with us in our quest to make Montserrat Digital by default,” West declared.

The monopoly telecommunications agreement between Government of Montserrat and Cable & Wireless ended in May 2007 while the monopoly Cable TV agreement between the government and Caribbean Cable Communications ended in January 2008. In 2010 the Information Telecommunications Act was enacted with the requisite regulations following in 2011.

 

Posted in Local, News, Technology1 Comment

Regional and international telecom executives meet in Dominican Republic

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Dec 16, CMC – The proposed multi-billion dollar merger between the British telecommunications company, Cable and Wireless (CWC) and Columbus International will be among issues discussed in the Dominican Republic in February next year.

Capacity Caribbean 2015 will be held in Punta Cana, February 10-11 and the organisers said that it will provide for an in depth discussion on the Caribbean telecoms market which “is going through a transformative phase, spurring significant growth opportunities for the regional and international communities”.

The organisers said that despite fierce competition, high mobile penetration and many telecoms markets being a duopoly, operators are focussing on the Caribbean as the region’s promising telecoms market continues to evolve.

They said that more than 200 telecom executives will attend the “Capacity Caribbean 2015” that will also feature research-led speaker presentations, panel discussions and dedicated networking sessions.

CWC chief executive, Phil Bentley, has given a commitment to Caribbean governments and regulators that if the company’s three billion US dollar acquisition of Columbus International is approved, the enlarged CWC will not negatively impact competition in the cable and broadband markets.

“In the Caribbean countries in which CWC and Columbus overlap—Jamaica, Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent and Grenada—we know that we have to work closely with governments and regulators to ensure that our customers benefit and competition is not compromised,” he said.

Digicel, CWC’s biggest competitor in the Caribbean, has repeatedly stressed that approval of the transaction will provide CWC with market dominance in fixed broadband and in cable.

The organisers said that delegates “will discuss how operators can leverage the geographical position of the Caribbean and continue the telecom growth of the market.

“ The highlight of Capacity Caribbean 2015 will be the announcement of the results of an exclusive Caribbean telecoms survey. Completed by key players in the Caribbean, the survey will look into the region’s confidence with the current regulatory, competitive and investment frameworks. The results of the survey will be revealed for the first time at the conference and will be debated by local telecom operators.”

 

Posted in Local, News, Regional, Technology44 Comments

 Lime gives Montserrat a Christmas UPGRADE as it launches first Mobile 4G on Island

 Lime gives Montserrat a Christmas UPGRADE as it launches first Mobile 4G on Island

Sweeneys, Montserrat

Mobile data speeds never before experienced in Montserrat have now become a reality nationwide for the first time, as LIME launches its brand-new, superfast 4G mobile network.

LIME customers in Montserrat will now automatically have access to the same superfast mobile data speeds, as is now available in global nations such as the USA, UK, and Canada, as long as they have a data enabled device. This also places Monserrat on par with surrounding Caribbean countries already enjoying the latest in superior network technology. Customers now have the opportunity to connect and interact with the latest devices in a 4G powered environment transforming how the live, work and play.

LIME’s 4G network, which uses HSPA+ technology, means that mobile customers will enjoy faster data speeds with quicker access to the Internet. Customers can now watch videos at blazing speeds, simultaneously browse the web while making a call, send e-mails, download photos, apps and music at superfast speeds. They will also have the ability to conduct video conferences on their mobile device, plus much more. Since HSPA+ is compatible with the other mobile technologies already in use on the network, LIME mobile customers with 2G and EDGE compatible devices will be able to continue browsing and using data applications seamlessly.

Manager Ron Lewis

LIME Montserrat’s General Manager, Randolph Lewis said, “LIME has been working tirelessly to bring Montserratians a world-class network and this is now a reality. Our customers have been telling us they want a fast and reliable network that is comparable to the very best in the world. We have responded and have rebuilt our mobile data network with our promised $2.5 million dollar Upgrade Investment plan and rolled out a brand-new 4G mobile network, which will delight our many data and speed hungry customers just in time for the holidays.”

Minister of Communications, Works, Energy and Labour Hon. Paul Lewis said, “I’m extremely pleased with the nationwide availability of the new LIME 4G mobile network. The new network will be a catalyst in supporting the government’s initiatives to allow for wider broadband access, greater productivity and improved training in technology for all Montserratians.

As a responsible corporate partner, LIME has consistently demonstrated its support for the government’s vision in all areas, including the crucial area of information technology.”

LIME’s launch of nationwide 4G is another major milestone for the company and for Montserrat.  The island is expected to have a second Mobile provider shortly and the telecommunications space will become a competitive one for the first time.  General Manager, Randolph Lewis, said, “LIME welcomes competition. We believe it will ultimately benefit our current and new customers on the island.  We have already engaged the team of the other provider.  The public can be assured that we will be working closely with them to ensure that any action required from LIME to enable the delivery of their services to local Montserratians, is executed with speed and excellence.”

Posted in Local, News, Technology6 Comments

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DIGICEL announces – ‘COMING SOON’ to Montserrat

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On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, telecommunications company DIGICEL, in a press release announced its countdown of its arrival to Montserrat, according to it,  “The anticipation of the imminent arrival of telecommunications company, Digicel.”

The company says this follows, “buildup as Montserratians are gearing up to welcome the bigger, better operator in just a few weeks.”

The release continues: “Today is the beginning of the count down to the official launch of Digicel as several billboards with the “Coming Soon” message will be installed across the island.

In preparation for the big launch, Digicel is giving new customers the opportunity to reserve their desired numbers in advance of the launch day. To do so, customers can simply visit the Digicel store at # 7 Farara Plaza in Brades and secure their desired number so they will have it when the network goes live.

Victor Corcoran, Digicel Chief Executive Officer – North Eastern Caribbean, promises that it is exciting, “for those customers who are set to experience faster speeds, greater reliability, and the only 4G network on the island.

“Customers can expect lots of exciting promotions where they will get the best rates, 24/7 customer service and a better retail experience with longer opening hours, lowest entry smartphone price point, and a bigger, better, more reliable 4G network that will deliver on all of their telecommunications needs.” He also said that with Digicel entering the market, the consumers will harvest the benefit of competition, better value, better rates, and the first and only 4G network to Montserrat.”

The Digicel release concludes: “The roadshows will bring families together with lots of activities for the children and of course, some of the most exciting offers to hit Montserrat.”

The telecommunications company reminds, that for the latest information on the official launch of Digicel Montserrat, “tune in to the radio, check out the newspaper, go online using Facebook, twitter or Instagram.”

Posted in Local, News, Technology950 Comments

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