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Tech & Communications | July 14, 2011 [ 10:03 ]

Peru finalist in Intel challenge to compete online with pirated films

Manuel Olguín and Gary Urteaga, team at the You Noodle office in Silicon Valley, San Francisco. (Photo: Holosens)
Holosens, company dedicated to the development of Internet and new technology projects in Latin America, is currently executing a project to develop a platform for e-commerce of HD audiovisual content. The project has been chosen as a semi-finalist in the Intel Latin America Challenge.

The project received financing from FIDECOM (The Research and Development Fund for Competitiveness of the Ministry of Production of Peru.) It's developed under the PAPAYA.PE domain, which will count on a catalogue of movies, series, documentaries, sports content and educational tutorials that will be available to consumers at a price that competes directly with pirated films and will be available in high quality, HD.

PAPAYA.PE hopes to capture a large portion of a consumer sector who currently has no other option than to buy illegal bootleg DVDs, which currently accounts for 99% of the market.

The Desafio Intel® Latin America is part of the Intel Global Challenge program. A regional competition of business plans, the winners of their respective countries will participate in the final round of the Intel Global Challenge at UC Berkeley in November, 2011.

HOLSENS has launched a beta of PAPAYA.PE that currently holds up to date information on movies, actors and movie theater times as an initiative to register users and begin collaborating with movie distributors.

For more information, visit: and 

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Tech & Communications | April 26, 2011 [ 17:08 ]

Some 13 million cell phones to be sold in Peru, says Alcatel exec


Alcatel One Touch regional manager Omar Fuentes estimated Monday that roughly 13 million mobile phones will be sold in the Peruvian market this year as a result of the competition between mobile network operators and manufacturers.

“The Peruvian market is very interesting. Last year, more than 10 million units were sold and we expect this figure to grow to nearly 13 million this year,” Fuentes told Andina.

He added that new subscribers will mostly be from provinces in emerging regions, while sales of upgrade and replacement phones will dominate the market in the capital, Lima.

Fuentes went on to say that coverage in Lima is 100% and there are even some people who have two or three phones.

The manager said that during the upcoming weeks, Alcatel will introduce its new products in Peru in coordination with the mobile network operatrs.

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Tech & Communications | March 29, 2011 [ 15:46 ]

First Peruvian to work for Facebook is part of a team of young, successful techies

Walter Erquínigo. (Photo:

Walter Erquínigo, a 21-year-old information engineering student at Lima’s La Católica university, will be the first Peruvian citizen to work for Facebook, the social network that has more than 600 million users. He will complete an internship with the company.

Erquínigo arrived at Facebook thanks to his participation in the Peruvian team that qualified for the first time for the finals of the 2011 World Programming Contest. The contest is sponsored by IBM, and will take place in May in Orlando, Florida. The Peruvian programmers will be representing Latin America.

Erquínigo and his teammates Jesús Peña, Daniel Soncco and coach Víctor Laguna, all from La Católica, submitted their curricula vitae and caught the attention of multinational information technology companies, like Mark Zuckerberg’s social network and Google, which also showed an interest in them.

“We don’t know of any other Peruvian who works for Facebook, he is the first,” Laguna told He is the ‘coach’ of the group and has already signed with VMware, another software giant with offices in Palo Alto, California.

Laguna is also going through the application process for Facebook along with Peña, while Walter might do his next internship at Google. “He was tempted by the search engine, but he had already accepted the social network’s offer. Daniel is a mathematician and has decided to dedicate himself to his studies for now,” Laguna said.

Erquínigo and Laguna will travel to Palo Alto at the end of April. In May, the “fantastic four” will meet to represent Peru and Latin America in the World Programming Contest.

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Tech & Communications | March 28, 2011 [ 13:59 ]

New study reveals statistics on cable and Internet service in Peru

In Lima, 24.5 percent of homes have Internet service, while in rural Peru, only 0.3 percent of homes do. (Photo: El Comercio archive)

According to a new technical study done by Peru’s nacional statistics agency, “Information and Communication Technology in Homes, October-December 2010,” 27.1 percent of the country’s homes have cable television service, representing a 2.3 percentage point increase since 2009.

By area of residence, the largest growth in cable service took place in urban areas not including metropolitan Lima, with 3.6 percentage points (growing from 21.3 percent to 24.9 percent). Metropolitan Lima followed with a growth of 1.6 percentage points, growing from 48.1 to 49.7 percent, while rural areas grew 0.9 percentage points, from 1.9 to 2.8 percent.

The study also revealed that the number of homes that have mobile telephone service in rural areas grew 11 percentage points, to 48.6 percent. In metropolitan Lima, 82.6 percent of homes have mobile telephones, for an overall national mobile coverage rate of 73 percent.

As for computing, 34.4 percent of homes in metropolitan Lima have at least one computer. In other urban areas, the percentage is 27.4, while in rural areas it is 2.3.

Also in metropolitan Lima, 24.5 percent of homes have Internet service, which represents a 4.2 percent increase over 2009. In other urban areas, 11.8 percent of homes have Internet, while in rural areas the percentage is only 0.3.

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Tech & Communications | March 23, 2011 [ 16:54 ]

Lima: Miraflores to install free public Wi-Fi in Parque Kennedy

Miraflores' Parque Kennedy will soon have full wireless services. (Photo: El Comercio archive)

The district of Miraflores in Peru’s capital is planning to reinstall wireless Internet throughout the Parque Kennedy in the center of the neighborhood. Mayor Jorge Muñoz did not give a specific date, but said that the service would be implemented “soon,” according to El Comercio.

“The use of new information technologies by different government entities in the fulfillment of their duties.” That is the definition of “electronic government” that appears in the council agreement issued by the municipality of Miraflores, just four days after mayor Jorge Muñoz Wells’ administration began its work. The idea is to take advantage of technological tools to improve the lives of residents, and for Miraflores to reclaim its position as a district on the cutting edge of technology issues.

Speaking with El Comercio, Muñoz Wells gave more details about the measure.

Why was one of your first actions to declare the implementation of “electronic government” as a priority interest?
What we are looking to do is reposition Miraflores in its rightful place. In 2005, we achieved an important baseline in terms of using information technology, but unfortunately, over time we lost momentum. What are we proposing? To take up the 2005 platform once more and take it even further. With council agreement 08-2011/MM we are looking to generate transparency, more accessibility, more equality among neighbors, and to improve our use of resources.

What are you doing now and what do you plan to do to reach these goals?
One of the first things is to recoup the use of a Wi-Fi connection. We have already reinstalled it in private municipal spaces and soon we will reinstall it as a free public service in some parks, like Kennedy. We are also using our Web as a way of opening up the municipality, because we believe that transparency is fundamental. For example, on Wednesdays we hold walk-in hours for any resident, and these meetings are broadcast live via the Web. We also do live broadcasts of the meetings of the citizen safety committee, council sessions and other public meetings.

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Tech & Communications | March 17, 2011 [ 13:36 ]

IBM opens second office in Peru's capital

Cloud computing will be among the services provided by the new IBM Peru office. (Photo: Internet)

In an effort to offer better service to its customers, IBM is inaugurating a new techonology campus today in San Isidro, its second center in Peru.

“Today, businesses rely heavily on technology. For this reason, they are looking to make sure that their systems are available for as much of the time as possible, and this is what we want to insure with new spaces like this one that we are launching,” said Eduardo Sarmiento, service manager for IBM Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The new center will allow IBM to fulfill more of the demand for cloud computing, hosting and help services for the public and private sectors.

“This new investment is a part of our company growth strategy to consolide IBM Peru as a provider of high-value services,” said Jaime García, general manager for IBM Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.

This year marks a century since the founding of IBM (International Business Machines). Although many people believe that the company disappeared a few years when it stopped selling equipment for end users, the U.S.-based company has, in fact, remained economically solid, offering integral computing solutions for businesses. The original office in Peru, located in La Molina, has been operating continuously since 1932.

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Tech & Communications | February 28, 2011 [ 15:44 ]

Google places its bets on Peru for tech development in 2011

Gianfranco Polastri, general manager of Google Peru.

Due to its remarkable recent economic growth, Google considers Peru one of the most attractive current markets for tech companies in the world, said Google’s director of new markets for Latin America, Daniel Gertsacov.

“Peru has recorded a constant economic growth, and, in the middle of elections, has positioned itself as one of the countries in the region with the most potential to develop its technology industry in 2011. These are Google’s bets for this year,” he said.

He explained that Peru is a very attractive market thanks to the 9 percent economic growth it showed last year, ongoing elections and an Internet presence that has grown over 20 percent in the past few years.

He also said that Peru is one of the most demanding markets for any kind of firm, and tech companies are no exception.

“The most advanced Internet solutions, development of new services and applications, and a greater demand for precise and relevant content are some of the new requirements that users and the public are starting to ask of tech providers,” he said.

He remarked that Internet access will continue to improve for mobile devices, and that this is a growing trend in Peru, especially considering that the index of cell phone users in homes is already at 75 percent of the population.

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Tech & Communications | February 23, 2011 [ 14:24 ]

IBM and Fonafe bring cloud computing to critical government services in Peru

IBM and Fonafe bring cloud computing to critical government services in Peru
IBM will provide cloud computing technology for 10 Peruvian government-owned companies. (Photo: Internet)

Peru's National Business Funding Agency (Fondo Nacional de Financiamiento de la Actividad Empresarial del Estado-Fonafe) and IBM announced today a five-year information technology services agreement, reported various news sources.

This agreement will trigger the development and management of a private cloud-computing technology infrastructure that will centralize IT operations for 10 government-owned companies that provide power utility, postal, port shipping, transportation, housing and other critical services to Peruvian citizens.

As part of the five-year project, IBM will consolidate 10 data centers, virtualize more than 130 servers and centralize database administration for approximately 40 applications. Internet, e-mail and social networking systems, such as chat programs, will be centralized and delivered to more than 3,000 users through the use of cloud computing technology.

The government-owned civil services companies that will participate in the project include: Electroperú, Hidrandina, Electrocentro, Electronorte, Electro Noroeste, Corpac, Serpost, Enapu, Fondo Mivivienda and Fonafe.

"This is the first stage of a number of projects that we are designing for government companies to increase their productivity and competitiveness. We are confident that, through an outsourced service model, the FONAFE Corporation will more quickly adopt information technology standards and best practices," said Mario Gonzáles, Fonafe Corporation's executive director.

These solutions will enable government companies to increase their competitiveness and cut down operating costs through the creation of a Shared Service Center.

Through the use of cloud computing-technology the Fonafe companies, and eventually other institutions of the public sector, will be able to easily benefit from the advantages offered by the Shared Service Center, thus improving the competitiveness of the Peruvian State in the region.

"IBM's consolidation and virtualization strategy will enable these companies to have a more flexible and safe technological environment that will result not only in cost savings, but also in a more efficient use of power resources," said Jaime Garcia Echecopar, general manager for IBM Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay & Paraguay.

"Through the use of cloud-based services, the organizations can get what they need, as they need it - from advanced analytics and business applications to IT infrastructure such as virtual servers and storage or access to tools for testing software code," he said.

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Tech & Communications | January 8, 2011 [ 12:38 ]

Peruvian PhD student wins 2010 IBM Innovation Award

Peruvian PhD student wins 2010 IBM Innovation Award
Florez received US$ 20,000 after obtaining one of IBM's Scalable Data Analytics Innovation Awards (Photo: El Comercio)

Omar Florez, 26, a computer science graduate student from Utah State University and research intern at IBM’s Almaden Research Center, won a 2010 IBM Innovation Award, reported El Comercio.

Florez received US$ 20,000 after obtaining one of the Scalable Data Analytics Innovation Awards given by IBM’s Research and Collaboration center.

Born in Arequipa, with undergraduate studies made in the Universidad Nacional San Agustín (UNSA) in systems engineering, Florez is a PhD candidate in computer science at Utah State University since 2007.

Florez showed especial interest in science since he attended school. During his years as an undergraduate at UNSA, he did research that was presented to Japan, China, and the United States.

A brilliant student since his high school years, his university work drew the attention of Utah State and they suggested him to study a doctorate.

“I did not think twice the proposal and went over there,” said Florez currently in Peru. “I am conducting research three years ago.”

“I come back to Peru once a year where I organize conferences in order to take students to Brazil, Chile or the United States,” said Florez, who travels around the country visiting different universities.

The purpose is to have Peruvian students travel abroad in order for them to study and upgrade their knowledge, he said to El Comercio.

The Awarded Project

The work Florez has done so far is centered in social research and can be seen in his website.

In his native Arequipa, he developed an application that enables interaction between a computer and a person, through voice and audio, in order to help blind people and Parkinson patients, who can “speak” to the computer.

Florez won IBM’s Scalable Data Analytics Innovation Awards with a project he is currently developing for this doctoral thesis.

The Project consists of capturing information from moving vehicles in an expressway through a video camera. These movements will become messages reporting unsafe situations on the highway that can help establish traffic measures.

The purpose, according to Florez, is “to find abnormal situations in the freeways or dangerous situations that put in risk people’s security.”

City transit authorities will be able to make decisions based on “quantitative evidence obtained automatically of what is happening in the expressways,” he explained.

Florez plans to invest the award Money in his future travels and studies. He also hopes to go back and work for IBM.

“At the end I want to return to Peru and try to change things. There is little research in my country. We basically consume technology but do not produce it,” he said.

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Tech & Communications | January 6, 2011 [ 13:37 ]

Mobile phone sales in Peru grew 25 percent in 2010

Mobile phone sales in Peru grew 25% in 2010
Mobile imports is expected to grow 10 percent in 2011. (Photo: Andina)

The mobile phone sales in Peru increased by over 25 percent in 2010, said Jorge Nieto, Samsung's marketing manager in Peru.

The Lima metropolitan area led the mobile phone sales in 2010, followed by Arequipa, Trujillo (La Libertad), Chiclayo (Lambayeque), Cusco, Ica, and Huancayo (Junín) areas, reported.

Nieto estimates that, overall, nearly 5.2 million mobile phones were imported in 2010.

The figure is expected to grow by ten percent in 2011.

Sales of Samsung handsets increased by about 40 percent in 2010. Samsung plans to launch more than five SmartPhone models on the local market over the next few months.

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