Minister, STB meets with Huawei to explore connectivity possibilities

Minister responsible for Telecommunication Affairs Mellissa Arrindell Doncher recently met with officials from Huawei Technologies to explore possibilities of establishing wifi solutions for cruise visitors in collaboration with local providers.

The meeting was strictly exploratory in nature, in which the Minister sought and Huawei offered advice.

The meeting was held during the recently held CANTO conference in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The Minister also used the meeting to learn about what the technological advancements are at this time.

During the meeting, which included representatives of the Bureau Telecommunication & Post St. Maarten, Head of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) Rolando Brison made a presentation about how STB envisions Huawei working with telecom companies locally and internationally like Huawei, underscored by STB's information about the most crucial needs that tourists have asked for over the years.

Huawei in turn offered advice on some of the ways they can work with local telecom providers and government to provide what the island needs as a tourism destination.

One of these needs is access to the outside world by cruise visitors via wifi connection. "The fact is the first thing most of today’s cruise tourists look for when they come off the cruise ship is WiFi. We are encouraged to have them stay connected, as that opens the possibilities for them to share the great time they are having at real-time," Brison said.

"In this social media age of snap-chat-like applications and live streaming, its important we give them the access they need to be able to give us the free "word-of-social-media" advertising we want them to give us, which can prove to be much more valuable than any other form of advertising."

Should a cooperative approach be reached, Huawei would be asked to provide recommendations for implementation of wifi spots, financing and work with local providers in executing identified solutions. BTP would provide regulations guidance and support as well as act as liaison between parties. STB would provide the marketing effort, a financial injection, data collection and means of tourism conversion (from cruise to stayover).

Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Driven by a commitment to sound operations, ongoing innovation, and open collaboration, the company has established a competitive ICT portfolio of end-to-end solutions in telecom and enterprise networks, devices, and cloud technology and services. Its ICT solutions, products, and services are used in more than 170 countries and regions.

Estelle Gasnet