SOURCE: Digicel

August 25, 2005 10:30 ET

Digicel Expands to Anguilla and Bermuda

Digicel Receives Government Approval for Cingular Acquisitions, Sets Goal to Be Number One Operator on Both Islands

KINGSTON, JAMAICA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 25, 2005 -- Digicel Group, the fastest growing mobile telecommunications provider in the Caribbean, today confirmed that it has been given governmental approval to launch a GSM network in the Eastern Caribbean island of Anguilla, whose telecoms market has been recently liberalized, and to acquire Cingular Wireless' operation in Bermuda.

Following a similar approval granted by the Commonwealth Government of the Eastern Caribbean island of Dominica earlier this month, this announcement signifies further progress in the company's plans to acquire Cingular Wireless operations and build a seamless Pan-Caribbean wireless network.

The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval on each individual island, will significantly expand Digicel's network from its existing nine markets of operation which include the most recent addition of Trinidad & Tobago, to Anguilla, Bermuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda and Dominica. 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.

In Anguilla, Digicel will launch a GSM network on the island and play an important role in the recent liberalization of the telecommunications industry, bringing all the benefits of competitive rates, international roaming, improved coverage, superior customer care and innovative products and services for which the Caribbean company has built its reputation over the past four years.

According to the Anguilla Minister for Infrastructure, Communities and Utilities, the Honorable Mr. Kenneth Harrigan, "We are very pleased that Digicel will be playing a role in the liberalization of the Anguilla telecommunications sector. Having seen the benefits that Digicel's presence in other Caribbean markets has brought, we are confident that we are in a strong position for improved telecommunications to make a significant contribution towards the development of our tourism, financial and information-based services on our island."

In Bermuda, Digicel looks forward to expanding Cingular's existing operation and becoming the number one mobile telecommunications provider. The transition process for Bermudian customers is promised to be as seamless an experience as possible with Cingular customers keeping all their current Cingular benefits such as BlackBerry as well as enjoying additional benefits that Digicel will bring.

"Being one of the first small countries in the world to break the stranglehold of monopoly in the telecommunications sector, we have seen in Bermuda first hand the benefits that competition brings in driving growth and development," said Minister of Telecommunications and E-commerce, the Honourable Mr. Michael J. Scott. "We look forward to and welcome the entry of Digicel into the Bermuda market.

"Digicel's business model and aims of attracting international business fairly complement the Bermuda model. The company's impressive track record of recruiting and training an energetic workforce, together with its highly efficient operational model, functional organizational structure, and quick decision making, is impressive and would add value to the Bermuda telecoms scene," he added.

Thanking both the Governments of Anguilla and Bermuda, Mr. Colm Delves, CEO of Digicel Group said, "Our customer-centric approach has led to success and increased market share in every country we have entered so far. We look forward to becoming the number one provider on both islands and are focused on creating a seamless pan-Caribbean network that benefits all of our customers. We are also very excited about strengthening connections with the people of Bermuda and Anguilla by becoming an active member of their communities."

Digicel and Cingular have also entered into a roaming agreement that provides favorable roaming rates in each other's markets

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.

ABOUT ANGUILLA

Location:       Eastern Caribbean
Area:           Total 102 sq km, 61 km of coastline
Population:     13,254 (July 2005 est)
Economy:        GDP US$112m, depends heavily on luxury tourism, offshore
                banking, lobster fishing, and remittances from emigrants.
ABOUT BERMUDA
Location:       North Atlantic Ocean
Area:           Total 53.3 sq km, 103 km coastline
Population:     65,365 (July 2005 est)
Economy:        GDP $3.7 billion

Enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, nearly equal to that of the US. Primarily based on providing financial services for international business and luxury facilities for tourists.

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.

The company has been consistently first to market with a number of innovative and welcomed product offerings including per second billing, Rollover Minutes, prepaid roaming to the UK, 'Call Me,' mobile internet GPRS and electronic recharge services.

Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and operates in eight countries including Aruba, Barbados, Curaçao, The Cayman Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines with plans to launch in Trinidad & Tobago and Haiti. 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 and allow licenses to operate in St Martin, St Barths, Guadeloupe and Marinique. 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 Group
    +1 (212) 798 9837 (New York)