Digicel expands operations to Curacao

Digicel Group, the fastest growing mobile telecommunications operator in the Caribbean, announced Wednesday that it has acquired ownership of Curaçao Telecom N.V. (CT), the Curaçao-based telecommunications company.

The addition of Curaçao Telecom N.V into the expanding Digicel Group will provide significant investment over the next three years to upgrade and expand the existing network, the company said in a news release.

Founded in 1999, CT provides international telephone and internet services, as well as mobile telecommunications solutions. With a population of approximately 150,000 people, mobile penetration in Curaçao is estimated at 75 to 80 percent.

As the first to offer several wireless billing and messaging services in its current countries of operation, Digicel plans to introduce new products and services to meet the evolving needs of customers in Curaçao.

The Caribbean company has also made a commitment to maintain and support the management and employees of CT through extensive training and staff development programmes.

‘Digicel’s investment in Curaçao beckons a new era for telecommunications in our nation,’ said Antonio Ribeiro, founder and managing director of CT. ‘Digicel’s experience in the Antilles marketplace, its customer-first philosophy, and all the associated benefits of its presence in the community – including job creation, charitable initiatives and sponsorships – will have a positive impact on the residents of Curaçao.’

Digicel presently operates in seven countries including Aruba, Barbados, The Cayman Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and is the largest GSM mobile operator in the region with an average market share of 60 percent. Recognised for its ability to anticipate, innovate and develop mobile services that customers demand, Digicel’s customer base grew 33 percent in 2004. The company also was ranked number one in customer satisfaction in Jamaica according to an independent study.

Digicel also recently celebrated its first anniversary in the Cayman Islands, where the company has seen rapid expansion of its market-share. This success is due to offering a state-of-the-art network complimented by competitive rates and innovative products and services.

‘We are pleased to have Curaçao Telecom as part of the Digicel family, helping us create a seamless network of wireless coverage across the Caribbean,’ said Raoul Fontanez, Digicel Group CEO. ‘We look forward to providing the residents and visitors to Curaçao with affordable, cutting-edge telecommunications services. We are proud to support the local management’s mission to become the leading wireless telecommunications provider on the island.’