SOURCE: Digicel

August 30, 2006 08:30 ET

Digicel's 119 Emergency Text Messaging Service Helps Combat Crime in Jamaica

New Real-Time Text Messaging Service Receives Overwhelming Public Response and Becomes Viable Option for People Seeking Emergency Assistance

KINGSTON, JAMAICA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 30, 2006 -- Digicel, the fastest-growing mobile telecommunications provider in the Caribbean, announced today that its new emergency text messaging service, launched in partnership with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), is helping to combat crime in Jamaica and quickly becoming a viable option for people seeking immediate emergency assistance from the police. The initial phase of service roll-out began in June 2006, and it has quickly gained momentum with 3,000 emergency text messages already received by the JCF.

Digicel's Emergency Text Messaging Service enables the public to text real-time messages to the JCF police control center using the short code 119. Text messages cost only J$1.00 (approximately US .01c).

According to the JCF Police Commissioner Lucius Thomas, "The 119 emergency text messaging service has already proven itself a viable option for members of the public to share information with the police and seek immediate help. We commend Digicel for having the foresight and technology innovation to help curb crime and violence island-wide. We hope it will encourage other organizations to take equal responsibility for fighting crime."

Users on each of Jamaica's three mobile networks can access the service, further ensuring that all residents can seek help in the event of an emergency. The new service also allows people with speech and hearing impairments to immediately contact the police in emergency situations.

"We are using the latest technology in order to overcome barriers for some of the more vulnerable people in our society," said Mr. Harry Smith, Digicel Jamaica Commercial Director.

"At Digicel we challenge ourselves to be innovative in every aspect of our business and we continually explore innovative ways in which the benefits of communications technology can be shared as widely as possible," he added.

Digicel Jamaica represents the company's largest and longest standing operation to date following its launch in April 2001. Breaking a decade-old monopoly, Digicel acquired 100,000 subscribers in its first 100 days of operation. In just five years, mobile penetration rates in Jamaica have increased dramatically, rising from four to 75 percent.

Digicel now operates in 20 Caribbean markets and has 2.6 million subscribers. With a total investment in the region valued at US$ 1.2 billion, the company employs more than 2,000 people.

About Digicel

Since its launch in 2001, Digicel has become the fastest growing wireless telecommunications operator in the Caribbean. After five years, Digicel is renowned for competitive rates, unbeatable coverage, and superior customer care, a wide variety of products and services, and state-of-the-art handsets. It is the largest GSM operator in the region.

By offering innovative wireless services and community support, Digicel has become a leading brand in the Caribbean and has placed the region at the cutting edge of wireless communications.

Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and has operations in twenty markets including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Curacao, The Cayman Islands, Dominica, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago & Turks & Caicos. Digicel also has coverage in St. Martin and St. Barths and expects further significant growth.

The company is the lead sponsor of Caribbean sports teams including the West Indies Cricket Team, Special Olympics teams across the Caribbean and is title sponsor of the Digicel Caribbean Football Union Cup, which involves over 30 Caribbean countries and is an important qualifier towards the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Visit for more information on Digicel.

Contact Information

  • Maureen Rabbitt
    Digicel Group
    T: 1+ (876) 361-2852 (Jamaica)

    Dacrie Brooks
    Cohn & Wolfe for Digicel
    T: +1 (212) 798-9804 (New York)