SOURCE: Digicel

July 16, 2007 08:00 ET

Digicel Teams With Caribbean Air Mail, Inc. to Make Mobile Technology More Accessible for More People Across Haiti

Partnership Allows US and Canadian Haitian Communities to Purchase Handsets and Call Credit for Friends and Family in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI--(Marketwire - July 16, 2007) - Digicel Group, the fastest-growing mobile telecommunications provider in the Caribbean and new entrant to Central American market, today announced a strategic partnership with Caribbean Air Mail, Inc. (CAM), a leader in the money transfer market to Haiti. This alliance gives the Haitian Diaspora communities in USA and Canada the ability to purchase mobile handsets and pre-paid minutes for friends, family and associates located in Haiti.

Digicel makes the entire process extremely simple and efficient for customers in need of call credit or a mobile phone. When call credit is purchased on behalf of a customer, it is immediately sent to the friend or family member's Digicel mobile account. Any amount -- ranging from US$0.77 to US$138 -- can be sent and the Digicel customer receives a text message notifying them of the top-up and new balance. The offer includes a choice of six cutting-edge mobile handsets, including the Nokia 1112, the Samsung X160 and the Motorola C261. Once a Digicel customer is notified of a purchase made on their behalf, the handset is available within an hour at any of CAM's more than 200 branches across Haiti.

"At Digicel, we believe in making mobile technology accessible for everyone and are continuously exploring new product innovations and partnerships to ensure that we can bring down telecommunications barriers," said Ben Atherton, Digicel Group Marketing Director. "Our partnership with Caribbean Air Mail further strengthens our commitment to raise mobile penetration levels in Haiti and drive the development of communications technology throughout the region."

The Haitian Diaspora community population in both the US and Canada is comprised of some two million people, according to Digicel sources. A recent report from Inter-American Development Bank also revealed that global remittance to Haiti topped US$1.65 billion in 2006.

"We are delighted to join with Digicel in this initiative as it allows us to offer more value and services to our customers. CAM brings to this alliance a quarter century of experience and reliable service, over one million loyal and satisfied customers and a common track record of first-to-market innovations," said CAM General Manager, Jean-Claude Saliba.

Digicel first began offering Diaspora services in Nov 2005 with the launch of CaribFlex, which allowed Jamaicans living in the US and UK to send credit to family and friends at home. This service was then extended to Haiti in 2006.

Since its launch in May 2006, Haiti has been a market of phenomenal growth for Digicel. Digicel Haiti recorded 1.4 million customers in just 12 months and to date has invested US$260 million -- the largest investment ever made in the country by an international company. Digicel Haiti employs 551 Haitian residents, has a staff of more than 700 people, and has created a total of 5,000 indirect jobs.

About CAM

Founded in 1984, Caribbean Air Mail, Inc. (CAM) has been, over the last 23 years, the uncontested leader in the money transfer industry to Haiti. CAM brings to its alliance with Digicel a quarter century of experience and reliable service, more than one million loyal and satisfied customers, and a long list of firsts as an innovator in the industry: first to offer next day home delivery, first to offer same day home delivery, first to provide home delivery in two hours, and first to market a diversified list of goods and services specifically tailored to the Haitian community. The two-hour home delivery has become the industry's gold standard, one that only CAM has consistently lived up to.

With a 40% global share of the money transfer market to Haiti and a 70%+ share of the country's home delivery market, CAM is a household name, by far the country's most recognized name brand. It maintains the largest and most sophisticated agents' network, with over 350 branches in the US & Canada, and significant presence in the Dominican Republic and the Turks & Caicos Islands. To further improve its money pickup service, CAM will soon increase its number of branches in Haiti with real time, online service to 200, and this number is expected to reach over 400 by the end of this year.

Through the years, CAM has been an integral part of Haitian society, both in and outside the country, and an active participant to all aspects of Haitian life. It has formed strategic partnerships with businesses, churches, support groups, artists and community organizers. CAM has sponsored every major event organized by the Haitian Diaspora in the US & Canada and is proud to have been the main sponsor of the two most important events so far this year: the Kompa Festival and the Gold Cup soccer tournament.

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, and 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 22 markets, including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Curacao, The Cayman Islands, Dominica, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago & Turks & Caicos. Digicel also has coverage in St. Martin and St. Barths and expects further significant 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 for more information on Digicel.

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