SOURCE: Digicel

May 03, 2006 12:12 ET

Digicel Launches in Haiti With Over US$ 130 Million Investment

Caribbean's Leading Mobile Telecommunications Operator Revolutionizes the Local Market With Superior Services, Reliable Coverage and Value Offerings

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 3, 2006 -- Digicel, the fastest growing mobile telecommunications company in the Caribbean, today launched operations in Haiti with a wide-range of customer focused services aimed at revolutionizing the local telecommunications market. This highly anticipated launch brings an investment of over US$ 130 million to the nation, the largest corporate investment ever made in Haiti by an international company.

Digicel's expansion signals confidence in Haiti's future as it enters a new era led by President elect René Préval.

For the first time in the Country's history, Digicel will offer Haiti's 8.5 million residents reliable nationwide coverage, superior 24/7 customer care, a wide range of state-of-the-art handsets, and first to market high-value services such as per second billing, international roaming, and free activation.

Speaking at launch activities in Port-au-Prince today, Digicel founder and chairman, Mr. Denis O'Brien said, "Haiti represents Digicel's largest launch to date, and we anticipate significant demand for our service. Communications technology is at the heart of all nations and the people of Haiti have put up with woefully inadequate services for far too long. Digicel Haiti will provide innovative and accessible telecommunications services that meet and exceed customer demand, and advance Haiti's mobile technology to an entirely new level.

"Digicel is committed to making an important contribution to the growth and development of Haiti economically and socially. Our launch has already resulted in significant job creation and social and community initiatives," added Mr. O'Brien.

Earlier this year, Digicel signed an unprecedented four-year, multimillion sponsorship with the Haitian Football Federation designed to grow Haitian football to its true potential.

Since receiving a license in Haiti in June 2005, Digicel has established a well-trained workforce of more than 300 employees led by Ms. Ghada Gebara, CEO of Digicel Haiti, who has ten years of management experience in mobile technology and wireless services. She has held senior positions at Asiacell, a major mobile phone provider in Iraq, and CELLIS (France Telecom Mobile Lebanon) in Beirut.

Digicel Haiti's local partner, the GB Group, is one of the most successful commercial and industrial entities in Haiti. Mr. Gilbert Bigio, Chairman of the GB Group, said, "We welcome our partnership with Digicel and share a vision of providing a world-class telecommunications service in Haiti. Combining our local market experience with this dynamic company, we are confident that Digicel Haiti will have a positive impact on the lives of the people of Haiti."

Digicel has moved quickly in the first six months of 2006 continuing its steady expansion across the region. The launch of Digicel Haiti follows the completion of its purchase of Bouygues Telecom Caraibe, the wholly owned subsidiary of Bouygues Telecom with assets in Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana.

After five years of operation, Digicel has operations in 20 Caribbean countries in its effort to create a seamless Pan-Caribbean network. Digicel's investment in the Caribbean region currently stands at US$ 1 billion. The Company expects its current staff of more than 1,500 to increase 33 percent by 2007.

ABOUT DIGICEL

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.

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 20 countries including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Curaçao, The Cayman Islands, Dominica, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, St Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago as well as coverage in St Martin and St Barths and expects further exponential growth.

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.

ABOUT GB GROUP

onefone is a portfolio company of the GB Group.

The GB Group is one of the largest industrial and commercial entities in Haiti. The Group has a long history of operating successful enterprises and has pioneered the development of several industries in Haiti.

Today, with a combined workforce of 2000 associates, these companies maintain significant presence in several key strategic sectors such as, building materials, edible oil, petroleum products, consumer products, construction, financial services and telecom solutions.

Dedicated to the development of Haiti, the Group maintains its tradition of seeking steady long-term growth through investments in durable projects.

Visit www.gbgroup.net to know more about the GB Group

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Maureen Rabbitt
    Corporate Communications Manager, Digicel
    +1 (876) 361 2852 (Jamaica)

    Adam Paige
    Cohn & Wolfe for Digicel
    +1 (212) 798 9833 (New York)