SOURCE: Digicel

April 16, 2007 12:53 ET

Digicel Granted GSM Mobile License in Suriname

New Era of Liberalization to Bring Benefits of Seamless International Network, Competitive Offerings and Community Support

PARAMARIBO, SURINAME -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 16, 2007 -- Digicel, the fastest-growing mobile telecommunications operator in the Caribbean and new entrant to the Latin American market, today announced that it has been awarded a license to operate a GSM network in Suriname, extending Digicel's seamless international mobile network and competitive offerings to 23 markets.

The new license comes as a result of the liberalization process of the telecommunication market in Suriname, which started four years ago by the Government of Suriname with the drafting of the New Telecommunication Provisions Act. This Act comes into effect on April 16, 2007. With a population of close to 500,000 Suriname's mobile penetration is estimated at just over 40%.

His Excellency Drs. M.S.H. Hassankhan, Suriname's Minister of Transport, Communications and Tourism, welcomed Digicel to Suriname stating, "We are entering an exciting new era in telecommunications in Suriname bringing more advanced services at more competitive prices and allowing more people than ever before to access mobile technology.

"Digicel comes to Suriname with an impressive track record across the Caribbean. We are excited about their entry into Suriname and certainly looking forward to reaping the benefits of its customer-centric focus and innovative mobile telecommunications," he added.

Known for its speed to market and strong market presence, Digicel will enhance mobile communications and spur competition in Suriname by investing in a state-of-the-art infrastructure and offering innovative and accessible mobile services that offers real value to customers. Already a direct employer of more than 3,000 people in the Caribbean and Latin American region, Suriname will also benefit from significant direct and indirect job creation that will follow from Digicel's presence in the marketplace.

"Digicel will commence a rapid rollout of its service and give the people of Suriname the opportunity of choosing a service provider that will offer superior customer care, better value for money and wider coverage. Digicel is delighted to be entering Suriname and the tremendous opportunity this allows us to deliver a superior alternative," according to Digicel Group CEO Mr. Colm Delves.

Digicel already has a presence in South America through its operations in Guyana and French Guiana. Its Caribbean and Latin American GSM network extends across the British West Indies, the Dutch Caribbean, the French West Indies, Bermuda and El Salvador. Digicel Suriname will be headed by Philip van Dalsen, who brings more than seven years experience in mobile and fixed telecommunications management.

"Now it is time for the people of Suriname to join the Digicel family and share the benefits enjoyed by more than four million customers. As we build our Surinamese company, we will deliver the services that the people of Suriname want such as wide coverage, a full choice of handsets and extensive international roaming," said Philip van Dalsen, Digicel Suriname CEO.

"Digicel intends to make an important contribution to the growth and development of the burgeoning Information Communication Technology (ICT) development in Suriname as well as become involved in a range of sponsorships, and social and community initiatives," he added.

Digicel's investment in the Caribbean and the Central American region exceeds US$1.5 billion and in 2006 the company recorded a milestone of subscriber growth in excess of 100 percent.


Location: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean,
between French Guiana and Guyana
Area: 163,194 sq. km. (63,037 sq. mi.)
Population: 492,829 (2004 census)
Mobile Penetration: c 45% (Digicel estimation)
Telecommunications: 25 years of monopoly by TELESUR
Economy: Based on natural resources: Bauxite, gold, oil, iron ore, other
minerals; forests; hydroelectric potential; fish and shrimp

Since its launch in 2001, Digicel has become the fastest-growing wireless telecommunications operator in the Caribbean. 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 22 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 sports teams including the West Indies Cricket Team, the El Salvador Football Federation, Special Olympics teams across the Caribbean and the Haiti Football Federation amongst others.

Digicel is also title sponsor of the Digicel Caribbean Football Union Cup and in 2007 Digicel was title sponsor of the Central American Copa de Naciones Digicel 2007, both of which are important qualifiers towards the CONCACAF Gold Cup. In 2007 For more information, visit

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