SOURCE: Digicel

September 29, 2005 11:06 ET

Digicel Makes Significant Strides in Cingular Wireless Caribbean and Bermuda Acquisition

Continued Expansion of Digicel Pan-Caribbean GSM Network; Majority of Cingular Wireless Licenses and Operations Transferred in Caribbean and Bermuda

KINGSTON, JAMAICA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 29, 2005 -- Digicel Group, the fastest growing mobile telecommunications provider in the Caribbean, today announced that it has completed its acquisition of seven Cingular Wireless operations in the Caribbean as well as Bermuda following regulatory approval by the governments in those islands.

Digicel is now in a position to increase the size of its pan-Caribbean GSM network to include Bermuda, Anguilla, St Kitts & Nevis and Dominica and has received regulatory approval for the acquisition of Cingular's operations on the islands of Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The company looks forward to receiving regulatory approval in the remaining markets of Barbados, the Cayman Islands and Antigua & Barbuda in the near future.

According to Informa Telecoms & Media's market projections for the first quarter of 2005, there were 11.5 million GSM additions for Latin America and the Caribbean, compared to 3.3 million CDMA additions and a loss of about 300,000 TDMA customers. GSM growth was close to four times more than CDMA growth in the same time period. The shrinking trend in the TDMA customer base was first measured in the region in 4Q 2004. Telecom experts commenting on the report noted that GSM's family of technologies are a perfect fit for the Caribbean, providing not only advanced wireless data services over EDGE networks, but also the scale and scope for affordable high-quality communications for all demographics.

"Our vision to build a seamless wireless network across the Caribbean is fast becoming a reality. By leveraging the flexibility and superiority of GSM technologies, we can offer customers in every country a user experience that is unmatched and consistent when combined with our superior customer service and value based offerings," said Mr. Colm Delves, Digicel Group CEO.

"We are putting into place integration plans that have been developed with Cingular to ensure that the transition process is as seamless as possible for Cingular customers allowing them to keep their current benefits as well as enjoy Digicel's broad range of innovative products and services," he added.

Digicel has also fully acquired the Cingular Wireless' licenses in Jamaica as well as network assets in the Netherlands Antilles island of Curaçao where Digicel already operates following its acquisition of Curaçao Telecom in March 2005. Digicel's agreement with Cingular Wireless also includes the planned acquisition of Cingular's licences in the French West Indies islands of St Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Barths.

With a vision to establish a seamless pan-Caribbean wireless network, Digicel's investments in the region have exceeded US$600 million. The Company recently reached a milestone of over 1,000 employees in its fourth year of operation and anticipates a 30 percent increase in staff by the end of 2006, due to subscriber growth and market expansion.

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.

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.

With the recent achievements of new licenses and acquisitions, Digicel is now set to be operating in the near future in over 15 Caribbean countries, covering a total population of 14 million people across the region. Incorporated in Bermuda and currently operating in eight countries including Aruba, Barbados, Curaçao, The Cayman Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Digicel looks forward to launching in Trinidad & Tobago and Haiti as well as entering into the markets of Bermuda, Anguilla, St Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda and Dominica through its acquisition of Cingular Wireless' Caribbean and Bermuda operations, subject to regulatory approval. The acquisition will also allow Digicel licenses in St Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Barths.

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
    Corporate Communications Manager, Digicel
    +1 (876) 361 2852 (Jamaica)
    Email Contact

    Sarah Hunkins
    Cohn & Wolfe (for Digicel)
    T: + 1 212 798 9789