My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica

Saturday, May 28, 2016

How CPTC's Jamvision Reality TV, Theatre and Exclusive JCDC Content will beat 1Spotmedia and CVMTV

“The launch of Jamvision is strategic on a number of fronts. It will take its place alongside Jamaican media platforms through which our citizens here at home and those out there in the Diaspora will be able to access images of ourselves that present the very best of who we are, for our own consumption and ultimate pride”

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange speaking at CPTC's launch of their Cable TV Station Jamvision on Friday May 27th 2016

Looks like Television Jamaica and CVMTV have some capable competition coming on stream.

The CPTC (Creative Production and Training Centre) has now launched their own Cable TV Station on Friday May 27th 2016 named Jamvision as reported in the article “CPTC launches 24-hour Jamvision cable TV channel”, published May 27, 2016 by Al Edwards, LoopJamaica

The 24-hour cable channel was launched by CPTC CEO Shantal Hylton-Tonnes and is set to be a very disruptive Cable channel due to its content:

1.      Culture
2.      Arts

According to their website, this includes promos for an endless archive of content:

1.      Jamaica Beat
2.      Jamaica Fresh Cuisine Recipes
3.      Hill and Gully Ride
4.      CTV Rocks
5.      L'Acadco Passion Fruit
6.      Chalice- CTV Rocks
7.      Jonkanoo
8.      Mandora Time
9.      Rukumbine

Check out their Compilation video on their Jamvision website.

Clearly, they have the local content muscle to easily beat Television Jamaica and CVMTV, who're been pandering to Jamaicans foreign-mindedness with television loaded with a lot of American, European and even Indian and South Korean programming?

So why do Television Jamaica and CVMTV have much to fear? After all, being as this is CPTC, will this not be mainly past historical videos from their archives?

Jamvision and Local Content - How Reality Television, Theatre and exclusive JCDC Content will win over Jamaicans

Jamaicans love to see themselves on Television. The arts and culture shows the best of our creative side on Television.

Any new entrant into the Television business, such as ReadyTV, which is set to launch in early 2017 as predicted in my blog article entitled “How DISL ReadyTV set to deliver Wireless Cable TV with paid Local Jamaican Reality TV Content”, knows that the best way to get Jamaicans to watch Television is to make the ordinary man the star of the show.

This phenomenon, called Reality Television, draws upon the talents of regular Jamaicans instead of using University Educated journalists and broadcasters speaking proper English to deliver News, Entertainment and Sports content. The difference is that the viewer is left to interpret for themselves, what they consider news, once delivered in an entertaining manner.

Jamvision, basically CPTC combined with Streaming, can leverage their massive content vault of arts and culture programming that local Jamaicans and the Diaspora will pay to stream on their smartphones and computers.

Jamvision easily fill a niche; Arts and culture translates to means live exclusive broadcast of roots plays from the Theatre houses in Jamaica, Reality Television based content from aspiring producers and exclusive skits and commentary from Jamaican vloggers.

Jamvision and JCDC - Exclusive Streaming Content powered by 4G LTE from Telecom Providers

Jamvision has even booked exclusive rights to broadcast (JCDC) Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's National Festival of the Arts. Even more interesting, Jamvision will be delivering streaming content as well as Pay per View and VOD (Video on Demand) content.

So says Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, quote: “Through Jamvision, parents who are for whatever reason may not have had the opportunity to see first-hand their children in delivering renditions of the performing arts, will now be able to sit with these very children at a later time and celebrate together this image of their children excelling on the national stage, through the programs of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's (JCDC) National Festival of the Arts, presented on Jamvision”.

Folks, not even Television Jamaica and CVMTV have EVER been able to broadcast any JCDC National Festival of the Arts live, making this exclusive content a milestone for a Cable television station that hasn't even launched as yet.

Although they'll be coming out on Flow on Channel 116 and DigicelPlay on Channel 18, expect Jamvision to have not only their own Pay Per View and VOD Website but also a single app to stream their content similar to 1SpotMedia as explained in my blog article entitled “How Television Jamaica relaunched as 1Spotmedia with 1,000,000 Viewers for VOD Content”.

This would explain why Jamvision can broadcast 24-hours worth of content; they’ve been sitting on a treasure trove of their own quality content from the past.

With 4G LTE to be launched in August 2016 by CariCel, the new Telecom Provider as reported in my blog article entitled “How Caricel's US$100 million 4G LTE using White Space and Chinese Investors come August 2016”, expect the other Telecom Providers to follow suit.

4G LTE launched by Digicel Jamaica and FLOW Jamaica would make streaming the 24 hour reality and culture based content from Jamvision popular overnight, easily trouncing Television Jamaica and CVMTV. Folks, get ready for Jamvision, the Irie FM of Culture and Arts Television in Jamaica!

Here's the link:

Address: 37 Arnold Road, P.O. Box 9, Kingston 4, Jamaica W.I.
Telephone: (876) 922-9214-6
Fax: 876-924-9432

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Why the Blue Power Mosquito Repellent Laundry Soap and Castile Soap cannot stop Zika Virus

Remember back in 2014 there was a Mosquito Repellent Laundry Soap from Blue Power, a soap maker in Jamaica?

This Laundry Soap contained the essence of citrinella and was supposed to repel the Aedes Aegypti mosquito that carried the Chikungunya Virus as reported in the article “Mosquito Repellent Soap - The New 'Chik-V Fighter'”, Published Saturday October 11, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

However, the soap was made for clothing and not for human skin. So with the Zika Virus now connected, at least based on correlation studies to the conditions of Microcephaly, acute myelitis and Guillain-Barré syndrome in babies as explained in my blog article entitled “How the Zika Virus now connected to Microcephaly, acute myelitis and Guillain-Barré syndrome”, soap makers Blue Power thought it was time for an upgrade

Introducing the Blue Power Castile Soap, which is infused with citronella Oil that’s gentle on your skin as noted in the article “Blue Power hits market with Zika repellent soap”, published Sunday, May 22, 2016 BY Balford Henry, The Jamaica Observer

The Mosquito Repellent Laundry Soap and the Blue Power Castile Soap are the work of founder and chairman of the BPG (Blue Power Group), Dhiru Tanna. With the Zika Virus on the rise, the sales of this soap must be going through the roof. Still the use of a Mosquito Repellent soap might not protect against the bite of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

Making your own DEET-free insect repellant suitable for babies is also a good idea as explained in my blog article entitled “How to make non-DEET Mosquito Repellant and learn to love Zika Virus”.  

Recap of the Zika Virus – Why Blue Power Castile Soap cannot protect you from Zika

The symptoms of the Zika Virus, take four (4) to seven (7) days after the initial infection to manifest.

They can last for up to four (4) weeks or longer and are not much different from the symptoms of the common cold:

1.      Conjunctivitis
2.      Fever
3.      Headache
4.      Joint and muscle pain
5.      Rash
6.      Swelling of the lower limbs
7.      Weakness

Also seven (7) parishes in Jamaica have been listed as having a high risk of a Zika Virus outbreak.

This despite the Ministry of Health cover-up game they learned from Chikungunya 2014 as per my analysis in my blog article entitled “Why the Ministry of Health is covering up Local Transmission of Zika Virus in Jamaica”:

1.      Kingston
2.      St Andrew
3.      St Catherine
4.      St Thomas
5.      Clarendon
6.      Manchester
7.      Westmoreland

Zika Virus is especially dangerous to the following vulnerable groups:

1.      Babies
2.      Children suffering from an illness
3.      Elderly persons with other health problems

Preventing the Aedes Aegypti mosquito from breeding and reducing Aedes Aegypti mosquito bites be best achieved by:

1.      Wearing long-sleeved clothing or long pants
2.      Using DEET insect repellents
3.      Sleeping under mosquito nets
4.      Removing or covering container that can hold water

Reducing the breeding places for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito is crucial to controlling the spread of the Zika Virus as shown in the CARPHA Yard Poster below.

Possibly too, the Ministry of Health's plan to use irradiated mosquitoes may also work as explained in my blog article entitled “How Ministry of Health and IAEA using Radioactivity to reduce Aedes Aegypti Mosquito Population”.  

Finally boosting your immune system by taking Vitamin C and Vitamin B Complex as well as avoid pregnancy for the next two (2) years is what needs to be done, but may not be so easy to achieve, as many women still plan to have children, hoping that the Mosquito Repellent Laundry Soap and the Blue Power Castile Soap will protect them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

How Caricel's US$100 million 4G LTE using White Space and Chinese Investors come August 2016

 “Jamaicans will enjoy a coverage never seen before as we will employ the latest long-term evolution (LTE) 4G technology to focus on moving data”

Caricel’s unofficial spokesman, explaining to the Jamaica Gleaner what Caricel plans to launching by August 2016.

Looks like 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) will be coming in August 2016. More interestingly, it will not be launched by Telecom Providers Digicel or FLOW Jamaica.

Instead, Symbiote Investments Limited, using the brand name Caricel, may be launching 4G LTE by August 2016 as reported in the article “Caricel — first Jamaican company to get mobile spectrum licence”, published Sunday, May 22, 2016 by Balford Henry, The Jamaica Observer.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr Andrew Wheatley was quite pleased while he announced the coming of Caricel on Monday May 16th 2016, as it would bring much needed competition to Jamaica, quote: “In light of the merger between Cable and Wireless and Columbus Communications, and soon Liberty Global, I take the opportunity to once again welcome tripartite competition to the mobile telecoms sector, as the increased choice will empower the consumer and force greater innovation from the sector”.

Symbiote Investments Limited is in the process of procuring US$20,833,332 (JA$2.6 billion) for two (2) licenses, a Carrier License and a Service Provider License they've been testing out since 2014 as reported in my blog article entitled “How JA$6.2 billion Symbiote Investments Limited Spectrum may be Chinese-Jamaican Telecom Provider”. 

Already, FLOW Jamaica, who have now reached the 1,000,000 mark, has also dropped their latest FAM (Free Anywhere Minutes) that makes it possible for you to make local calls as well as international calls to USA, Canada and UK for 99 cents as detailed in my Geezam blog article entitled “How Flow Jamaica celebrated 1 million customers with a 99 cents FAM Plan”.

Coincidentally, Digicel and Huawei have begun testing a super fast fiber optic technology known as XG-PON (10Gbps Passive Optical Network), which has maximum theoretical speeds of 10 Gbps as reported in the article “Digicel And Huawei Technologies Successfully Test 10 Gbps Broadband In Jamaica”, published May 20, 2016 by Digicel Group, PRNewswire.
A potential upgrade to their FTTH Network to which FLOW Jamaica needs to match in terms of an Upgrade as described in my blog article entitled “Why FLOW Jamaica's 4G LTE Upgrade to counter Digicel Play needs islandwide LTE, VDSL and DOCSIS 3.1”, the test conducted in Digicel's lab in downtown Kingston  may herald speeds matching those of Korea and Singapore.

Albeit possibly mere coincidence, the coincidence is still ominous; FLOW Jamaica and Digicel Jamaica are both firing warning shots in preparation for anything from Caricel.

So how far advanced is Caricel that they can launch in weeks, possibly by August 2016?

Caricel to launch in August 2016 - Slow rollout in Portmore and Kingston and St. Andrew

Meanwhile I've not seen or heard of much significant tower construction activity in Portmore and Kingston and St. Andrew.

Despite this, the un-official spokesperson who spoke to the Jamaica Gleaner, not only revealed that they're launching 4G LTE as reported in the article “Three-Way Cell War ...As New Phone Company Vows To Fight Flow And Digicel With Price And Service Quality”, Published Sunday May 22, 2016 by Arthur Hall, The Jamaica Gleaner, he also dropped more interesting stuff about the Network.

The Caricel spokespersons claims that they'll initially be rolling out a 4G LTE Network in Portmore and Kingston and St. Andrew in the next three (3) years, quote: “We are ready to roll out and have conducted our tests. We have already invested US$50 million and expect to invest another US$50 million over the next three years while providing hundreds of jobs and business opportunities for Jamaicans”.

Good to note that at a total of US$100 million, this must be a very small Network and indicates a very slow rollout. Then again, to go islandwide would require at least US$500 million, which Symbiote Investments Limited probably doesn’t have at this moment.

However, their principal investors appear to be Jamaicans living in the diaspora, so securing additional VC (Venture Capital) funding may not be an issue for them, to quote the spokesman: “We have persons here and overseas who have already expressed an interest in investing in the company and the local financial institutions have been very helpful”.

 This would make them quite capable of paying for their Carrier License and a Service Provider License for such a small 4G LTE Network, which may just simply be a sandbox to test out the technology, according to quote the spokesperson: “We have agreed a payment plan with the Government and as soon as we get the official letter confirming that we have been granted a licence we will make the initial deposit of US$4 million within the 30 days allowed”.

So who are these mysterious investors?

Chinese Investors in Caricel – 4G LTE Ambitions possibly powered by Dekal Wireless Principals

A lot of local investors are also involved.

My suspicion is that they may be mainly Chinese businessmen as I'd predicted in my Geezam blog article entitled “How Chinese White Space Network possible in Jamaica by Independence Day”. In fact, my thinking is that Caricel is a Jamaican company with Chinese investors, both local and international.

According to my sources, they may be the same Chinese investors pumping money into CellOne in Bermuda and GTT in Guyana as opined in my Geezam blog article entitled “Digicel and GTT 80 Mbps 4G LTE in Guyana hints at August 2016 Launch in Jamaica”.

Caricel may also be a replacement to Dekal Wireless, seeing as testing on the Network began two (2) years ago, around the same time that FLOW Jamaica had purchased in December 2014 as reported in the article “LIME to take over operations of DEKAL Wireless”, published Tuesday, December 09, 2014, The Jamaica Observer

Chinese Investors in Caricel - White Space spectrum may power Caricel's 4G LTE ambitions

The spokespersons didn't reveal what spectrum band Caricel was using or how the backhaul transmission to the cell towers was being provisioned. This is of interest to many Telecom Engineers, being as Digicel is using the 700 MHz Band and FLOW Jamaica has been assigned the 1900 MHz and the 2100 MHz band for their 4G LTE rollout as explained in my blog article entitled “LIME and Digicel have purchase AWS and 700 MHZ Spectrum for 4G LTE”. 

For this reason, I'm betting that the 4G LTE Spectrum being used is based on the available White Space Spectrum which had been tested by Microsoft as detailed in my blog article entitled “How White Space Testing by Microsoft at Park Hall Primary and Infant School heralds 80 MBps Competition in Jamaica”. 

It's free, plentiful and has less attenuation than even Digicel's 700 MHz spectrum for their 4G LTE Network. Whatever spectrum they deploy, Caricel has already shaken up Digicel and FLOW Jamaica with their plans to offer faster Wireless Broadband and high quality affordable smartphones.

Here’s the link:

Symbiote Investments Limited
4 Eastwood Avenue,
Kingston 10
Tel: 876-614-4444
Twitter: @Cariceljamaica

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How US$24 million in Jamaican Agricultural Exports Lost and Why Agricultural Towers are Necessary

“It is somewhat underutilised right now; there is the capacity for a lot more traffic to go through those pre-clearance centres”

US agricultural attache to the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica, Morgan Perkins lamenting Jamaican Farmers not exporting more crops

Jamaican Farmers, listen up as this article is all about you.

Jamaican farmer are failing to produce crops for export despite having receive clearance to do so as reported in the article “Farmers Flunking ... Failing To Fill US Demand For Tomatoes, Sweet Pepper, Cucumber And Other Produce”, Published Sunday May 22, 2016  by Ryon Jones, The Jamaica Gleaner

So says the US agricultural attache to the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica, Morgan Perkins, who states that Jamaican farmers are missing out on a US$24 million worth Organic Foods Market.

Jamaica, through a MOU (memorandum of understanding) between the JAS (Jamaica Agricultural Society) and the NACE (National Association of Christian Educators) has preclearance to export 50 commodities to the United States.

Despite this, Jamaica is still failing to meet the demand for these agricultural products:

1.      Bell peppers
2.      Cabbage
3.      Carrots
4.      Chinese melons
5.      Chinese okras
6.      Corn
7.      Cucumber
8.      Cucumbers
9.      Eggplants
10.  Irish potatoes
11.  Okra
12.  Onions
13.  Squash
14.  String beans
15.  Sweet peppers
16.  Sweet potatoes
17.  Tomatoes
18.  Turnip green

This has resulted in a loss of revenue to the country. Worse, Jamaica has a US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine, Preclearance Offshore Programs at the Norman Manley and Donald Sangster international airports.

So having your agricultural products inspected before leaving the island is a fairly easy process, making it less of a hassle as you know right then and there if your produce will be accepted, to quote Mr. Morgan Perkins:  “There are actual USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) personnel at these preclearance centre who are supervising inspection and fumigation of agricultural products for shipment to the United States. This ensures that products arrive in the US they are going to go through inspection much more quickly and going to encounter much less problems with pest and diseases”.

So what's the cause of the short supply?

Improving Jamaica's Agriculture - How Agricultural Towers use Landspace more efficient in the City

It seems to be a matter of quality and quantity to quote Mr. Perkins: “The products on that list that are not going to the US are generally not going because they are not being produced in the quantity and quality that need to be produced in order to go to the US. There is a lot of demand for those products. So if you have a good-quality product, you can easily get it into the big wholesale markets and it will be just swallowed right up”.

Dominica seems to have the right attitude; they're exporting million of dollars worth of produce, filing demand and displacing the millions that Jamaica can potentially supply if our farming was more structured. This as Dominica has learned to capitalize on America's harsh winters, when production levels are lower, thus providing ready market for whatever they produce at whatever price.

Drought is no longer an issue as with the increased rains and proper water resources management, we can even grow onions as explained in my blog article entitled “Why Onion Development Programme by Agriculture Ministry hints at Drought Resistant Crops in the Future”.

The use of Agricultural Towers to allow plants to grow 24/7 hydroponically and utilize aquaponics to fertilize the plants in a climate controlled environment should be considered as explained in my blog article entitled “How IGES Canada Ltd Vertical Hydroponic Aquaponic Towers make low cost Organic foods”. 

Rainwater Harvesting would make it possible for Agricultural towers to capture rainwater for irrigation as noted in my blog article entitled “How NWC’s Water Conservation in Drought 2016 means Rainwater Harvesting with Digital Meters”.

Developing plants that require less water or even seawater such as CARDI's Salt water loving Dasheen as explained in my blog article entitled “How CARDI's Salt Water loving Dasheen and Agricultural Towers can help Pacific islands and Jamaica during Drought” would make Jamaican agriculture efficient enough to produce the quality and quantity for the entire island and for export.

Being as our farming is mostly organic, recycling organic waste would make farming more economically feasible as noted in my blog article entitled “Why Knockalva Enterprises Limited can solve Jamaica's Organic Waste, Bio-Fuel and Water Problem”.

Agricultural towers would make it possible to have hundreds of acres growing produce but stacked vertically instead of spreading outward, wasting land space already being wasted on burying Jamaicans as noted in my blog article entitled  “Jamaica running out of Burial Space - How to recycle the Dead as land for Agriculture and Housing”. 

The future of Jamaican Farming lies in Agricultural Towers, which are more efficient in using land.