Costa Rica 2017 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to José Ignacio Jenkins Moreno, President of Anphora, on the Internet of Things, consolidating the Wi-Fi market, and custom-made solutions.

 José Ignacio Jenkins Moreno
José Ignacio Jenkins Moreno holds a degree in electrical engineering from the Universidad de Costa Rica (1982). Jenkins began his professional development in radio broadcasting, where he worked as a design engineer for 10 years at the Electronic Corporation. In 1984, he founded Anphora S.A. as a specialized company in the design and implementation of network solutions and has been the President ever since. With more than 34 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, he has extensive knowledge and a strong professional background in the field. He is member of the Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y Arquitectos (CFIA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Your services include fiber optics, Wi-Fi networks, and security video cameras. What else is Anphora planning to add to keep its leading position?

In the beginning between 1984 and 1990, we were only a computer and printer reseller, but when we adapted to the local market we started working on projects. We do not sell to the final user as a retail store; we only work in IP networks projects, and nothing with analog technology. All our knowledge is in IP network and local area networks; therefore, all our work has to be covered by this. That is important because at this time all the services and products are in the IP market. Around 15 years ago, telephony was analog but is now IP; video security surveillance still have a lot of analog cameras, but the switch has been implemented and in less than three years there will be no more analog ones. The Internet of Things is another big market we are interested in entering as every sensor has to be connected to the internet in one way or the other. We work on projects and go to our customers to provide a full turnkey service.

With fierce competition in the market, what differentiates Anphora from other players?

We have to be careful to see what is happening in this market, but we have a strong position in that we sell projects. Normally many companies sell fiber optics and have to get the camera or the IP telephone system from another company, but we can provide the complete solution. Even if we have to integrate some products not in our portfolio, we will do it to satisfy the customer's expectations. We also have another important strength, which is that we design the systems as the customer wants them. For example, ICE needed a solution about two years ago for the dam in Cachí, at which there are many deep tunnels. The employees entered the tunnel to provide maintenance to the equipment, but had no communication. That was a problem in case an accident occurred. Therefore, we installed an IP security system inside the tunnels with alarm systems, voice-over IP, a paging system, cameras, telephones, and a siren, all of which is connected to a central location in the site's guard office. If something happens then he knows at which level and he can communicate to see if everything is okay. That is a custom-made solution.

How do you see the telecoms industry in five years?

The technology sector is the key to the country's growth. We have to provide more speed to communications, internet, and coverage. It is almost unbelievable that the average speed in this country is less than 2Mbps. As a first step, we have to increase this to 100Mbps very soon. The technology sector will be the country's motor not only because if we increase all the services then more companies will be here for manufacturing, services, or call centers, but because connectivity exponentially increases possibilities for new businesses.

What are your main goals and priorities for 2017?

To increase and consolidate the Wi-Fi market by developing this market with the service providers. When ICE was founded in 1949 with the revolution of José Figueres, a visionary president, the country was scarcely developed in the electrical market. They made a goal of having electricity in the whole country; 99% of the country is now covered. That goal was met many years ago—now we need the goal to have 99% of internet coverage at high speed of 100 Mbps and need to establish a mandate to achieve this goal.