SOURCE: Digicel

August 17, 2005 16:30 ET

Digicel Approved to Enter Dominica

Government of Dominica Approves in Principal Digicel's Acquisition of Cingular Wireless' Dominica Operation

ROSEAU, DOMINICA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 17, 2005 -- Digicel Group, the fastest growing mobile telecommunications provider in the Caribbean, has today confirmed that the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica has approved in principal the company's planned acquisition of Cingular Wireless' Dominica operation. Full approval will be subject to any conditions following the special meeting of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) Council of Ministers.

This development represents an important milestone as Digicel moves forward with its agreement to acquire Cingular Wireless' Caribbean and Bermuda operations as part of its mission to create a seamless pan-Caribbean network with enormous benefits for the region and its customers.

The purchase, which is subject to regulatory approval on each individual island, will expand Digicel's network to Bermuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica, in addition to its existing nine markets of operation which include the most recent addition of Trinidad & Tobago. The acquisition also strengthens Digicel's market share in the Cayman Islands, Grenada, St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Vincent & the Grenadines, where Cingular's customer base will transition to Digicel and licenses to provide service in St. Martin, St. Barths, Guadeloupe and Martinique.

"Based on the enormously impressive market penetration shown in Jamaica and in the OECS islands, we are confident that the presence of Digicel in Dominica will bring increased competition which will result in new and improved quality of services provided, better coverage and lower prices to the Dominica consumers. In addition to the company playing a significant role in raising the quality and level of communications services on the island, we look forward to their active participation in the development of Dominica's communities," said Minister Reginald Austrie, Minister for Housing, Lands, Telecommunications, Energy and Ports.

"We are delighted to have received this approval in principal from the Commonwealth Government of Dominica," said Digicel Chairman, Denis O'Brien. "We wish to thank Minister Austrie and the government of Dominica for the level of support they have shown both Digicel and Cingular and we look forward to full confirmation in the near future. We are working with Cingular on full integration plans to ensure that this process will be as seamless as possible with former Cingular customers in Dominica being able to keep their mobile phone, telephone number as well as their current benefits."

"As the best performing network with the widest coverage in the Caribbean, Digicel is committed to changing the face of mobile telecommunications on the island by focusing on raising the acceptable levels of quality and coverage of calls for Dominican customers as well as introducing our award-winning customer care service," added Digicel Eastern Caribbean CEO, Mr. Kevin White.

In addition to offering superior service, Digicel continues to support a broad range of social and cultural initiatives throughout the Caribbean. Additionally, Digicel is a proud sponsor of West Indies Cricket, the Digicel Caribbean Cup and Special Olympics teams across the region.

With investments in the Caribbean exceeding $US600 million, Digicel recently reached a milestone of 1,051 employees in its fourth year of operation. The Company anticipates a 30 percent increase in staff by the end of 2006, due to subscriber growth and market expansion.

Digicel plans to enter into a roaming agreement with Cingular that will provide former Cingular and Digicel customers with favourable roaming rates in additional markets. Digicel's planned expansion to five new territories -- Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis -- will also result in more savings on calls within the Digicel network.

ABOUT DIGICEL

Since its launch in 2001, Digicel has become the fastest growing wireless telecommunications operator in the Caribbean. In four years, Digicel has become 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 operates in eight countries including Aruba, Barbados, Curaçao, The Cayman Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines with plans to launch in Trinidad & Tobago. Digicel has entered into an agreement to acquire, subject to regulatory approval, Cingular Wireless' Bermuda and Caribbean operations that will significantly increase the size of its pan-Caribbean network to include Bermuda, Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica. Digicel's market share in The Cayman Islands, Grenada, St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Vincent & the Grenadines, will also be strengthened as Cingular's customer base will transition to Digicel.

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 www.digicelgroup.com for more information on Digicel.

Contact Information

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

    Jill Wallis
    Cohn & Wolfe for Digicel
    T: +1 (212) 798 9837 (New York)