My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Phillip Paulwell broker's Telecom Deal - Telecom Regulator and Mobile Number Portability Coming


Friday, February 17, 2012

Phillip Paulwell broker's Telecom Deal - Telecom Regulator and Mobile Number Portability Coming

Looks like Minister of Energy Mining and Telecommunications, Philip Paulwell has done it yet again. This time in the Telecoms realm, he has brokered a deal in a meeting with the three (3) remaining Telecom Players Telecoms Providers Digicel, LIME and Triple Play Provider FLOW on Tuesday February 7th 2012AD as it relates leveling the Telecoms Sector for all players. Telecom Provider LIME, however, is playing possum.

I am glad that the commitment is in place, whether Telecom Provider LIME acknowledges it or not. Minister of Energy Mining and Telecommunications, Philip Paulwell is doing for the Telecom Sector what he is currently doing for the Energy Sector as state in my blog article entitled “Senator Phillip Paulwell chooses LNG over Coal - Power Engineers in Stephen King's Graveyard Shift

Minister of Energy Mining and Telecommunications, Philip Paulwell has negotiated as now reported in the article “Paulwell brokers Lime/Digicel agreement”, published Tuesday, February 14, 2012, The Jamaica Observer the following significant changes:

At least Triple Play Provider FLOW is being pragmatic, urging for the negotiations to proceeds and just get it over with, as intoned by FLOW’s CEO and President Michelle “Dallas” English, quote: “Minister Paulwell has made the right move in making a public commitment to this process and we look forward to actions being taken in the shortest possible time. It is important to ensure that Jamaican consumers can freely select their carrier of choice and also make calls between networks unimpeded by high cross network charges”.

Again Minister of Energy Mining and Telecommunications, Philip Paulwell is exuberant, quote: “I am pleased to state that the result of our efforts is agreement between the Ministry and the three largest carriers; LIME, Digicel, and FLOW on a broad range of issues. The complete understanding of the parties is that the following matters will be addressed with expedition for the betterment of the industry and the nation as a whole”

Telecom Provider LIME’s Managing Director Gary Sinclair was quick to jump into the Media spotlight, stating emphatically that no solid agreement had actually been reached as pointed out mere hours later in the article “No agreement yet, says LIME”, published 2012-02-14 18:42:45, Go-Jamaica.

In fact, he went even further, giving the GOJ (Government of Jamaica) an ultimatum of three (3) months to implement interim regulatory measures, such as OUR’s proposed JA$5.00 Flat Rate Cross-Network Calling charge, or they plan to leave Jamaica as stated in the article “LIME sets three-month deadline”, published Wednesday, February 15, 2012 by CAMILO THAME Business Co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer.

Apparently, Telecom Provider LIME claims, they are losing money as stated in the article “LIME Jamaica low on cash”, Published Wednesday February 15, 2012, The Jamaica Gleaner

But something is amiss, I fear dear reader, as Telecom Provider Digicel pointed out: Telecom Provider is playing possum as pointed out in the article “Digicel rebuts LIME”, published 2012-02-15 19:16:02, Go-Jamaica.  Digicel simply asserts that the meeting did indeed take place with the Minister of Energy Mining and Telecommunications, Philip Paulwell explaining his plan in detail.

Whether or not Telecom Provider LIME had reached concordance on the issues discussed can only be ascertained from the minutes of the meeting. But Telecom Provider Digicel  points out that Telecom Provider LIME was indeed informed.

More interestingly, they have even pointed out that Telecom Provider LIME is misrepresenting in the Media the number of active subscriber as being three hundred and eighty thousand (380,000) on their Network of which Telecom Provider LIME claims only two hundred and ninety thousand (290,000) are active.

Telecom Provider Digicel however claims that in fact their MGW (Media Gateway) resolves approximately five hundred thousand (500,000) unique phone number terminations, effectively suggesting that Telecom Provider LIME has about that many active subscriber, be they prepaid or postpaid.

Tit-for-tat, with my opinion swinging in Telecom Provider Digicel’s favour, as indeed Telecom Provider LIME did have approximately six hundred thousand to seven hundred thousand (600,000 - 700,000) subscribers.

This based on figures obtained by The Jamaica Observer from the 2010 Office of Utilities Regulation's “Quarterly Report for the Telecommunications Sector” which covers the three (3) month period July to September 2009 as stated by the in the article “Jamaican mobile still a talkers market” Published Wednesday July 7, 2010, The Jamaica Gleaner and “Answering LIME's factotums — here and elsewhere”, published Friday, September 30, 2011 BY AL EDWARDS, The Jamaica Observer.

So it appears that Telecom Provider LIME is indeed playing possum, possibly even faking death to malign the GOJ as not having the Telecoms Sector in Jamaica set up to their liking, even making claims of Jamaica being a loss making asset as stated in the article “Tough times for Cable & Wireless Communications”, published Friday, February 17, 2012 BY LEWIS CYPHER, The Jamaica Observer.

The possibility of C&W Worldwide, the global subsidiary of C&W PLC, being sold out to Telecom Provider Vodafone as stated in the article “Vodafone eyes bid for Cable & Wireless Worldwide” published Wednesday February 15, 2012, The Jamaica Gleaner may just be hokum, as I do recall as a Network Maintenance Technician working at C&W Jamaica (2001 to 2004) the annual ritual of threats of purchase that materialize out of nowhere and disappeared just as fast.

More as this story develops, as this marks some exciting times in the Telecoms Sector.
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