May 29, 2006
The War is on
From the Dominica Times:
"Days before the major launching of Digicel mobile services here, the Chief Executive of Cable and Wireless Dominica is warning potential customers to stay away from what he describes as the "masters of deception."
"They will try to deceive the public in trying to fool them to believe that Digicel has some magic offering, but when you look around the Caribbean, C&W offers the best value."
"They try to project themselves as the white knights as it were. Kevin White has said that because of Digicel, prices have been falling in the Caribbean. He failed to realize what is going on in the global markets. What has happened around the world? Rates have been falling everywhere."
Tough words from C&W - let's see if they can back it up!
Digicel Appoints CEO for French West Indies
Eric Viel to Lead Integration of Newly Acquired Bouygues Telecom Caraibe Into Largest Pan Caribbean Network
FORT DE FRANCE, MARTINIQUE -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 05/23/2006 -- Digicel, the fastest growing mobile operator in the Caribbean, has announced today the appointment of Eric Viel as CEO for Digicel French West Indies, who will be responsible for ensuring that Digicel's entry into the French West Indies will bring more value to customers by leveraging the company's seamless pan Caribbean GSM network.
Digicel's expansion into the French West Indies' markets of Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana follows the recent completion of the Caribbean company's acquisition of Bouygues Telecome Caraibe, formerly owned by French mobile operator, Bouygues Telecom.
As CEO of Digicel French West Indies, Viel will focus on delivering a smooth transition for Bouygues Telecom Caraibe's 160,000 plus customers who will maintain all of their existing benefits, in addition to receiving an innovative product range and the region's best performing network with the widest coverage in the Caribbean.
"Eric's customer centric focus and excellent record of leadership in the telecommunications industry position him to deliver on the existing momentum for Digicel's entry into the French West Indies," said Digicel Group CEO Mr. Colm Delves. "We look forward to joining forces with the current team in providing the residents and visitors of the French West Indian territories with our industry leading service and unmatched customer care."
With eight years of experience in the Caribbean mobile telecommunications market, Viel worked as Vice President of Customer Care and Billing with Orange in the Dominican Republic before joining Digicel in 2005 as Group Customer Facing Director. A French national, Viel's experience also includes eight years of consultancy work with Cap Gemini Telecom in Paris where he supported the rollout of GSM networks across the globe from French Polynesia, India, Romania and the French West Indies. Viel is a graduate from the Institute of Technology of Lannion, France.
The acquisition of Bouygues Telecom Caraibe has provided Digicel with a large established pre-paid and post-paid customer base and an advanced GSM network in markets that are populated by more than one million people. The three territories have economies centered on the Euro as their functional currency and serve as a destination for international tourists. Digicel French West Indies coverage area includes St. Barths and French St. Martin.
Digicel has completed three acquisitions in the past 14 months including Cingular Wireless' Caribbean and Bermuda operations. With recent launches in Trinidad & Tobago and Haiti, the pan Caribbean operator now has operations in 20 Caribbean markets covering a total population of over 15 million people.
May 8, 2006
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) -- 05/03/2006 -- 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.
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
Corporate Communications Manager, Digicel
+1 (876) 361 2852 (Jamaica)
Cohn & Wolfe for Digicel
+1 (212) 798 9833 (New York)
The CBC is reporting:
"A Miami based company is seeking a license that will allow it to terminate long distance calls in Barbados at reduced rates.
Caribtel Network says it plans to initially invest about US$10 thousand to setup a voice over IP network to compete with Cable and Wireless in the international market.
Managing Director, Nigel Austin says at present long distance calls into the region from North America range between twenty and sixty US cents per minute.
Austin expects that with the license, Caribtel will drastically cut those prices.
Austin says Caribtel hopes to attract a number of international operations in Barbados because of the reduced rates.
He is hoping the costs of licenses will not be prohibitive to keep small players out of the telecoms market."
Global Crossing to Extend Core Network to Costa Rica
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, May 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- At a signing
ceremony today hosted by Costa Rica's Instituto Costarricense de
Electricidad (ICE), the state-run entity responsible for the nation's
telecommunications, and the national Internet Service Provider Radiografica
Costarricense S.A. (RACSA), Global Crossing announced plans to extend its
core network to Costa Rica. Through the extension of Global Crossing's Pan
American Crossing (PAC) system, which runs along the west coast of Central
America from Panama to Los Angeles, at the Unqui cable landing point in
Esterillos, Costa Rica will gain direct access to the world's premier
global IP network, which delivers services in more than 600 cities in 60
countries. The project requires additional governmental approval, and
construction is expected to be complete as early as fourth quarter 2007.
As part of the cable landing agreement, Global Crossing also announced
that it will donate an STM1 to the Costa Rican academic sector, the largest
donation of its kind in the history of the country. Following a signing
ceremony for the landing agreement, ICE and its Internet arm, RACSA,
immediately announced that they will purchase 24 STM-1 Private Lines, the
equivalent of 3.732 Gbps of bandwidth, from Global Crossing. One STM-1 is
equivalent to 155.52 Mbps of bandwidth.
"Latin America continues to be an integral part of our global strategy,
and we're building on our successes in this region by extending our core
network to Costa Rica," commented John Legere, CEO of Global Crossing.
"This agreement provides ICE/RACSA with a robust solution for worldwide
connectivity from the Pacific coast, and enables the delivery of seamless,
premier IP solutions to Costa Rican based businesses and end users taking
advantage of all the benefits of world-class Global Crossing network."
Industry analyst firm Yankee Group's 2005 Latin American Carrier
Scorecard noted that roughly 30 percent of enterprise survey respondents in
the U.S. and Canada plan to increase network capacity to Central or South
America and that carriers striving for global positioning must
strategically address this region. In the same report, the Yankee Group
gave Global Crossing excellent scores for customer focus as well as a
positive grade for its services portfolio in the region.
"Through its localized presence and global reach capabilities, Global
Crossing is uniquely positioned to serve both 'multi-latinas' and
multinationals requiring converged IP services on a pan-regional scale,"
commented Erica Fox, Yankee Group's director of global telecom and wireless
services. "Thirty-two percent of Latin American MNCs are planning to
implement or increase their network capabilities in the next 12 months, and
the vast majority of them will look for IP solutions."
The analyst firm's assessment aligns with the explosive demand growth
for converged IP services that Global Crossing is seeing around the globe
as well as in Latin America. In 2005, the number of Global Crossing's
converged IP customers tripled, while IP VPN traffic grew more than 300
percent. The number of Global Crossing's IP customers in Latin America grew
by 80 percent in 2005.
Global Crossing has significant presence in Latin America and the
Caribbean with offices and operational facilities in 12 of the region's
major cities. Through its sub-sea and terrestrial cable systems, Global
Crossing seamlessly connects South America, Mexico, Central America and the
Caribbean to the rest of its global network, delivering services to
customers around the world. Costa Rica will be connected to the PAC system,
which currently lands in Balboa, Panama, and Mazatlan and Tijuana, Mexico.
With its regional network officially completed in 2001, Global Crossing now
serves virtually all of Latin America's major carriers as well as many
prestigious Latin American companies, research and educational networks,
and global companies operating in the region. Such customers include Latin
America's largest construction and engineering firm Odebrecht, Mexicana
Airlines and Banco Santander International.
Also in direct response to rapid growth of customer demand, Global
Crossing recently announced it will be making upgrades to its Mid-Atlantic
Crossing (MAC) system, which connects North America to Latin America
through the Caribbean.
"We are committed to providing quality telecommunications and IP
services that will give Costa Rica's residents and business community the
competitive edge we need in the world economy. As our strategic partner,
Global Crossing will provide that edge via its state-of-the-art global
network and advanced product portfolio," commented Pablo Cob, president of
ICE. "We expect the direct national connection of Global Crossing's global
network to enhance Costa Rica's position as a premier location for
manufacturing facilities and contact centers of multinational
Today's announcement was celebrated not only by the ceremony's hosts,
ICE and RACSA, but also by the business community, including several global
corporations which have manufacturing plants, contact centers and other
operations in the country and are demanding first rate, IP broadband
connections. The improved Internet structure is expected to bring increased
direct investment to Costa Rica within a year of implementation.
"This agreement is the culmination of an ongoing, cooperative effort
between ICE, RACSA and Global Crossing, and is a tremendous accomplishment
for all involved," concluded Jose Antonio Rios, Global Crossing's CAO and
international president, who attended the signing ceremony. "We look
forward to playing a key role in advancing Costa Rica's economic goal of
becoming an ideal business partner."
ABOUT GLOBAL CROSSING
Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GLBC) provides telecommunications solutions
over the world's first integrated global IP-based network. Its core network
connects more than 300 major cities and 30 countries worldwide, and
delivers services to more than 600 cities, 60 countries and 6 continents
around the globe. The company's global sales and support model matches the
network footprint and, like the network, delivers a consistent customer
Global Crossing IP services are global in scale, linking the world's
enterprises, governments and carriers with customers, employees and
partners worldwide in a secure environment that is ideally suited for
IP-based business applications, allowing e-commerce to thrive. The company
offers a full range of managed data and voice products including Global
Crossing IP VPN Service, Global Crossing Managed Services and Global
Crossing VoIP services, to 36 percent of the Fortune 500, as well as 700
carriers, mobile operators and ISPs.
Please visit http://www.globalcrossing.com for more information about Global
Statements in this press release about expected future events and
financial results are forward-looking and subject to risks and
uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially,
including risks referenced from time to time in the company's filings with
the Securities and Exchange Commission. Global Crossing undertakes no duty
to update information contained in this press release or in other public
disclosures at any time.
CONTACT GLOBAL CROSSING:
+ 1 305 808 5912
+ 1 305 808 5919
+ 55 11 2123 4712
+ 1 800 836 0342
Digicel Bets on Haiti Cellular
Red Herring is reporting:
"The Caribbean wireless operator Digicel said it launched services in Haiti on Wednesday after spending more than $130 million on the effort, in a bid to secure a piece of the Caribbean’s rapidly growing wireless market. Bermuda-based Digicel called its investment in Haiti “the largest corporate investment in the country from an international company.” Given Haiti’s reputation as the poorest state in the Western Hemisphere, its significant political unrest in recent years, and natural conditions that bring about massive flooding every few years, Digicel’s investment could be seen as a surprise to industry watchers."
May 4, 2006
Digicel sets Haiti, FWI milestones, obtains Bonaire license
Caribbean mobile operator Digicel has received regulatory approval to acquire France's Bouygues Telecom Caraibe, a wireless operator in the French West Indies, for 155mn euros (US$196mn), the company said in a statement.
Digicel announced its intention to acquire Bouygues Telecom Caraibe, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bouygues Telecom, on March 8.
Bouygues Caraibe has GSM networks in Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana, over 160,000 subscribers and saw 2005 revenues of 117mn euros (US$148mn).
The addition of the three new territories will bring Digicel's total number of operations to 20 markets.
In the past 14 months, Digicel has completed four acquisitions including Cingular Wireless' Caribbean and Bermuda operations.
The three French West Indies territories have economies centered on the Euro and serve as a destination for international tourists including coverage areas in St. Barths and French St. Martin.
LAUNCH IN HAITI
Digicel also announced it launched operations in Haiti this week with an investment of US$130mn. Digicel won a GSM license to operate in Haiti in June 2005. Swedish equipment vendor Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY) supplied the GSM infrastructure.
"Haiti represents Digicel's largest launch to date, and we anticipate significant demand for our service," Digicel founder and chairman Denis O'Brien said.
Haiti has a population of 8.5 million residents.
Finally, Digicel confirmed it had acquired a majority shareholding in Antilliano Por N.V., which holds a license to operate in the island of Bonaire.
This new license increases Digicel's coverage across the Netherlands Antilles as well as making Digicel the first mobile operator to connect all three ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaao) under one GSM network.
Digicel first entered the Netherlands Antilles with its launch in Aruba in 2002 and expanded further into the region in March 2005 through the acquisition of Curaao Telecom.
Bonaire is located off the coast of Venezuela and has a population of 13,000.