Digicel getting Cingular

Digicel will provide improved service to Cayman after the acquisition of Cingular’s Caribbean operations.

Digicel has agreed to acquire Cingular 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 reached a roaming agreement providing favourable rates in each other’s markets, according to a company press release yesterday.

The acquisition will expand Digicel’s network to Bermuda, Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica, adding to its existing nine markets, which include the recent addition of Haiti.

The move will also strengthen Digicel’s market share in Cayman, Grenada, St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Vincent & the Grenadines, where Cingular’s customer base will move to Digicel.

The transaction, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in four months 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,’ he said.

Digicel investments in the Caribbean top $US600 million.

In 2004, Digicel’s customer base grew 33 per cent, recently reaching a milestone of 1,051 employees in its fourth year of operation.

The company anticipates a 30 per cent increase in staff by the end of 2006 due to subscriber growth and market expansion.

Digicel staff is 92 per cent Caribbean nationals, based throughout the company’s nine markets.

As the first in many markets to offer such services as per-second billing, rollover minutes and pre-paid roaming, Digicel continues to differentiate itself by introducing new features to meet evolving customer needs.

In addition to offering cutting-edge technology, Digicel supports a broad range of social and cultural initiatives throughout the Caribbean.

Additionally, Digicel proudly sponsors West Indies Cricket, the Digicel Caribbean Cup and Special Olympics teams in Jamaica, Aruba, St. Lucia, St. Vincent/Grenadines and Barbados.

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