SOURCE: Digicel

June 22, 2005 10:08 ET

Digicel to Acquire Cingular Wireless' Caribbean Operations

Fastest Growing Mobile Telecommunications Provider in the Caribbean to Expand to Five New Countries

KINGSTON, JAMAICA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 22, 2005 -- Digicel Group, the fastest growing mobile telecommunications provider in the Caribbean, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Cingular's Caribbean operations in a multi-million dollar deal that significantly increases the size of Digicel's Pan-Caribbean network. Cingular Wireless is a joint venture between SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) and BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS). The parties have also entered into a roaming agreement that provides favorable roaming rates in each other's markets.

This purchase will expand Digicel's network to Bermuda, Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica in addition to its existing nine markets of operation which include the most recent addition of Haiti. The acquisition will also strengthen Digicel's market share in The Cayman Islands, Grenada, St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Vincent & the Grenadines, where Cingular's customer base will transition to Digicel.

This transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in four to six months.

"We are looking forward to welcoming the Cingular Caribbean operations staff and customers to the Digicel family," said Denis O'Brien, founder and chairman, Digicel Group. "Our industry leading service and unmatched customer care continue to put us in a position of strength as we roll-out a seamless pan-Caribbean telecommunications network."

Digicel's investments in the Caribbean have exceeded $US600 million. In 2004, Digicel grew its customer base by 33 percent and recently reached a milestone of 1,051 employees in its fourth year of operation. The Company anticipates a 30 percent increase in staff by the end of 2006, due to subscriber growth and market expansion. Currently, Digicel's staff is 92 percent Caribbean nationals, based throughout the company's nine countries of operation.

As the first in its markets to offer innovative network capabilities including per second billing, picture messaging, and pre-paid roaming, Digicel continues to differentiate itself by being passionate about providing the best mobile phone service and introducing new products and services to meet the evolving needs of its customers.

In addition to offering cutting edge technology, Digicel continues to support a broad range of social and cultural initiatives throughout the Caribbean. Additionally, Digicel is the proud sponsor of West Indies Cricket, the Digicel Caribbean Cup and Special Olympics teams in Jamaica, Aruba, St. Lucia, St. Vincent/Grenadines and Barbados.

ABOUT DIGICEL

Since its launch in 2001, Digicel has become the fastest growing mobile 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.

By offering innovative mobile services and community support, Digicel has become a leading brand in the Caribbean and has placed the region at the cutting edge of mobile communications.

Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and operates in nine countries including Aruba, Barbados, Curaçao, The Cayman Islands, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It is the largest GSM mobile operator in the region and plans to extend its footprint into other Caribbean countries.

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:
    Jill Wallis
    Cohn & Wolfe for Digicel
    +1 (212) 798-9837 (New York)

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