SOURCE: Digicel

January 09, 2007 09:59 ET

Digicel Achieved More Than 100% Subscriber Growth in 2006

Caribbean's Fastest Growing Mobile Telecom Provider Gained Significant Ground in 2006; Strategic New Operations and Acquisitions Resulted in Record Growth

KINGSTON, JAMAICA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 9, 2007 -- Digicel, the fastest growing telecommunications operator in the Caribbean and new entrant to the Central and South American markets, today announced its growth achievements in 2006.

Achieving record growth in 2006, Digicel ended the year with a total investment in the Caribbean region exceeding US $1.5 billion, operations in 22 markets and more than 4.0 million customers, representing subscriber growth in excess of 100%. In Haiti alone, where Digicel launched in May 2006, the company reached a milestone of one million customers after just eight months of operation.

"Digicel's progress in 2006 reinforced our position as the largest GSM provider in the Caribbean region, with sustained growth in our existing markets and unrivaled growth through our entrance into new markets, such as Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and El Salvador," said Colm Delves, Digicel Group CEO.

Digicel achieved a number of key milestones in 2006. These include:

--  New Mobile Markets: Since launching Haiti operations in May 2006, Digicel
    rapidly gained market share reaching one million customers by year-end. In
    Haiti, a country with a population of 8.5 million and combined fixed and
    cellular penetration of 5.7%, Digicel brought an unprecedented investment
    of US $260 million to the developing nation -- the largest investment ever
    made in the country by an international company. Digicel also launched new
    telecommunications services in additional markets, including Trinidad &
    Tobago, Turks & Caicos and Bonaire.
--  Strategic Acquisitions: In October 2006, Digicel acquired El Salvador
    mobile operator Digicel Holdings Limited, marking the company's first entry
    into the burgeoning Central American mobile telecommunications market. In
    November 2006, Digicel acquired U Mobile in Guyana and has plans to re-
    brand that business later this year. In the first half of 2006, Digicel
    acquired Bouygues Telecom Caraibe, which extended the company's mobile
    operations to Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana.
--  Technical Innovation: Digicel continued to significantly expand its
    product portfolio and customer offerings, introducing many first to market
    innovations such as Credit Me/Credit U, International Call Me, Pre-paid and
    Post-paid Dual Accounts, CaribFlex (allowing credit to be added to Digicel
    phones from the UK), Push-to-Talk, as well as introducing new BlackBerry
    devices and the cutting-edge BlackBerry Connect. The rollout of Digicel's
    WiMAX technology brought the service to new regions.
--  Employees: In response to the company's rapid growth in the Caribbean,
    Bermuda, and South and Central America, Digicel reached a 3,000-employee
    milestone and introduced the one-of-its-kind company-wide employee share
    option program, designed to reward each Digicel employee for his or her
    outstanding contributions to the company's business success.
--  Capital Markets and Bond Offering: Digicel closed a US $150 million bond
    offering in August 2006 to fuel strategic growth opportunities in Haiti and
    Trinidad & Tobago. Led by investment banks Citigroup and J.P. Morgan, the
    bond financing represented strong investor confidence in the company's
    continued expansion efforts in both countries.
"2006 had several major achievements and milestones for Digicel," said Delves. "We look forward to 2007 and continuing our ambitious growth in key target markets."

Note to Editor -- Subscriber growth -- some statistics

--  Since it launched in 2001, just over five and a half years ago, Digicel
    now records an average annual compound growth rate of an extraordinary
--  From January 2006 to September 2006, Digicel grew its number of
    operations to a total of 22 markets covering a population of more than 23
    million, and grew its active subscriber base by more than 100%.
--  The company's measurement is based on a highly conservative approach of a
    subscriber only being defined as "active" if that subscriber had a
    chargeable event in the last 30 days.

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, 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.

Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and has operations in twenty-two markets, including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Curaçao, The Cayman Islands, Dominica, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos and El Salvador. Digicel also has a license in Guatemala and coverage in St. Martin and St. Barths.

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. For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    Maureen Rabbitt
    T: +1 (876) 361 2852 (Jamaica)

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