Enter Digicel -- offers `exciting first’ By Mark Ramotar
Guyana Chronicle
February 14, 2007

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DIGICEL, the fastest-growing telecommunications operator in the Caribbean, yesterday announced its much-anticipated launch into the Guyanese market in spectacular fashion, bringing a new era of choice and competition for mobile customers here.

Digicel’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Tim Bahrani, said the giant telecommunications company has committed up to US$60M (some G$12B) in building a new state-of-the-art network across Guyana that offers “world class customer care, genuine choice, crystal clear reception, best value and a service that is unparalleled.”

This network, he said, offers an “exciting first” in terms of high quality and unbeatable market services for customers, as well as establishing the largest mobile ‘Customer Care’ centre in the country “which promises to offer 24/7 superior care, and delivering the best value and best quality services to the Guyanese people”.

Bahrani also announced that from today, 50 Digicel stores will be opening their doors across Guyana and this will see a wide range of brand new handsets (mobile phones), including the Motorola F3, Nokia 110 and Konka E100, being offered for sale with prices starting as low as $2,900.

To celebrate this launch, customers will receive a free gift and $500 credit with every handset purchased, according to Mr. Richard Gill, the Marketing Director for Digicel Guyana.

The colourful and much-hyped-up launch by Digicel was announced by Bahrani, Gill and other top officials at a packed news conference in the Savannah Suite at Le Meridien Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown.

The Savannah Suite, the walls of which were immaculately plastered with the Digicel colours and logo, was exquisitely redecorated for a red carpet welcome for media representatives, officials and special invitees, in addition to the ‘eye catching’ presence of a bevy of attractive models, all contributing to a much-hyped-up and successful launch of Digicel in Guyana.

“With Digicel you can expect more and you will definitely get more,” Bahrani promised.

Bahrani said Guyanese can enjoy and expect from Digicel:

** A state-of-the-art network – where the signal is crystal clear, there is reliable coverage, which raises the standard of the customers’ mobile experience

** Superior Customer Care – 24/7 customer care with friendly Guyanese staff and high-tech centres which ensure calls are resolved in a fast and efficient manner.

** Best Value - which includes ‘true per second billing’ (from the first second a call is made), free voicemail, free activation and free credit with every pre-paid phone purchase, roll over minutes, brand new handsets, and competitive rates, and

** Innovation and choice

Stating that Digicel’s mission is to provide customers with affordable and innovative mobile communications that foster personal and professional connections between nations and people, Bahrani assured that this mission will continue in Guyana.

“Digicel is delighted to be opening its doors to the Guyanese public by offering them a truly competitive mobile service that meets their daily communications needs. Our network offers first class coverage, from Springlands to Charity and south to Linden and Bartica. We are committed to expanding to more and more communities and becoming the mobile operator of choice in Guyana.”

“The welcome we have received by the people of Guyana has been fantastic and we are looking forward to becoming an active participant in local communities,” he added.

Some of Digicel’s planned sites for the next two months in Guyana are Lethem, Mabaruma, Silver Hill, Salem, Soesdyke, Canal Numbers 1 and 2, Tuschen, and Camp Alpha.

Bahrani, however, told reporters that Guyana’s topography, and the setting up of cell sites in especially the remote hinterland areas, has posed a challenge for the company.

“Guyana’s topography has definitely been a challenge for us…”

Bahrani also said that Digicel looks forward to penetrating the market in Guyana, which has “tremendous potential” to be expanded.

According to him, the penetration is currently around 22% and Digicel will be looking and working assiduously to catapult this figure in the not too distant future.

Excitement about Digicel’s launch in Guyana has been building in recent weeks, with the much anticipated ‘Experience concert’ billed to take place tonight at the National Park in Georgetown.

Thousands are expected to attend tonight’s mega concert to celebrate Digicel’s launch with a number of local artistes due to perform, as well as Grammy-nominated R&B and Hip Hop star, Akon, who was slated to arrive in Guyana late last night.

Digicel operates in 22 markets and has made a total investment in the Caribbean, Central and South American region of more than US$1.5B. The company has four million customers and recorded subscriber growth in excess of 100% in 2006.

Since its launch in 2001, Digicel has become the fastest-growing wireless telecommunications operator in the Caribbean, as well as the largest GSM operator in the region.

Digicel says it is renowned for competitive rates, unbeatable coverage, superior customer care, a wide variety of products and services, and state-of-the-art handsets.

Incorporated in Bermuda, Digicel has operations in twenty-two markets, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Curacao, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos and El Salvador. Digicel also has a licence in Guatemala and coverage in St. Martin and St. Barths.

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 more than 30 Caribbean countries and is an important qualifier towards the CONCACAF Gold Cup.