SOURCE: Digicel

June 09, 2008 08:30 ET

Digicel Gears Up for 2008 Hurricane Season

Hurricane Preparedness Program Ensures Customers Are Equipped to Weather 2008 Hurricane Season and Remain Connected During Storms

KINGSTON, JAMAICA--(Marketwire - June 9, 2008) - Digicel, the fastest-growing telecommunications company in the Caribbean and new entrant to the Central American market, today announced that it has enhanced its 2008 hurricane preparedness program to ensure customers and employees are equipped to weather this year's hurricane season, which officially began in June and typically lasts through November 30 with August and September being peak months across the Caribbean.

"Digicel's primary concern is the safety and welfare of our customers and employees. Each year we make significant investments in our wireless networks to ensure that we're doing everything possible to help our customers fully prepare for expected hurricanes," said Kevin White, COO of Digicel Group.

According to weather forecasters from Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Project, 2008 is expected to be a "very active" Atlantic hurricane season with 15 named storms and eight hurricanes -- four of which will be major hurricanes, clocking in at Category 3 or stronger.

Today, nearly all Digicel cell sites have on-site back up generators that are routinely tested to ensure they are ready in the event the local electrical power source is comprimised. In addition, Digicel maintains a fleet of mobile generators and "Cells on Wheels" (COWs) -- which are self powered call transmitters -- that can be rolled into hard-hit locations to provide additional service. Throughout the year, Digicel's technical team continuously checks the network's performance and durability.

In November 2007, Digicel Haiti donated US$100,000 in food and household supplies to aid displaced Haitians affected by Tropical Storm Noel -- one of the most devastating storms to ever hit the country. Digicel employees and the Digicel Haiti Foundation also provided support and call credit to the Haitian relief agency, FONDHACOT, to help agents maintain constant communication while working in communities most affected by the storm.

Digicel also continues its partnership with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) and provides free handsets and airtime to emergency response teams. In conjunction with CDERA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the company has developed a WAP page through Digicel Live, a web portal that can be accessed though GPRS enabled phones and provides continuous updates and maps on weather systems.

In all hurricane-affected markets, Digicel provides a text alert service that allows customers to text short codes and receive important updates on current weather systems. The company has launched a comprehensive, public awareness campaign that provides general hurricane information and practical tips educating people on what to do, before, during and after a hurricane. In the Cayman Islands, Digicel provides complimentary hurricane tracking maps at all store locations.

"We advise our customers to take precautionary steps to protect their lives, families and properties. We also encourage them to charge their phones to ensure their maintaining all lines of communication, save emergency contact numbers, keep a spare battery and a car charger on hand and in the case of prepaid customers, ensure they have credit on their mobile phones," added Kevin White.


Since its launch in 2001, Digicel has become the largest wireless telecommunications operator in the Caribbean with more than six million customers. After seven 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. 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 23 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 & the Grenadines, Suriname Trinidad & Tobago and Turks & Caicos. With new launches planned for the British Virgin Island (BVI), Honduras and Panama, Digicel expects to be in 26 markets in the next 12 months. The Caribbean company also has coverage in St. Martin and St. Barths.

Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean sports teams including the West Indies Cricket Team, Special Olympics teams and is title sponsor of the Digicel Caribbean Football Union Cup and the Copa De Naciones, the Caribbean and Central American qualifiers to the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

For more information on Digicel, please visit

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