Contributed by: Don WinnerKINGSTON, JAMAICA -- (Marketwire) -- 12/02/08 -- Digicel, the largest telecommunications operator in the Caribbean and recent entrant to the Central American market, today launched operations in Panama -- its third Central American market and 31st market world-wide -- with an investment of US$350 million.Digicel now offers seamless mobile telecommunication services across Central America, with operations to date in El Salvador, Honduras and Panama. According to the Panama Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Panamanian economy is expected to grow 7.5 percent by 2009. With a population of 3.4million, mobile penetration is currently at approximately 71 percent.Having built the most modern nationwide GSM network in the country, Digicelis well positioned to maximize growth by offering service for the first time to many communities in Panama not previously served by incumbent operators. (more)
The Digicel Panama network is underpinned by world-class 24/7 customer service, a nationwide network of more than 300 retail distributors and in excess of 15,000 recharge outlets nationwide. The company employs 300people directly in its Panamanian operations as well as creating the indirect employment of 1,000 people.
"Panama promises to be a very exciting market for us and we are proud to offer the best coverage, best service and best value to the people of Panama," said Digicel Chairman, Denis O'Brien. "Digicel is confident that it can stimulate growth in the mobile market in Panama by increasing mobile penetration within five years to 90 percent ensuring that more and more Panamanians have access to an affordable high-quality mobile network."
Digicel won a competitive bid process for a license to operate a GSM mobile network in Panama in May 2008. With 20 years experience in telecommunications, Digicel Panama is led by Raul Burgos, whose past accomplishments include senior management positions in SunCom Wireless,Nextel, Telecorp and AT&T Wireless.
With operations in 31 markets world-wide and more than 6.4 million customers, Digicel's investment in the Caribbean, Central America and South Pacific now exceeds US$3.4 billion. As the largest mobile operator in the Caribbean, Digicel is renowned for reshaping the competitive landscape through revolutionary offers and promotions. In El Salvador, Digicel trebled its customer base in its first year of operation to move from the fourth to the second mobile operator in the market.
Digicel Central America Holdings Limited is owned by Denis O'Brien, as is Digicel Group Limited and Digicel South Pacific Limited.
About Panama Location: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica Population: 3.4MTelecommunications: Mobile penetration at approximately 71 percent, two operators Movistar (Telefonica) and Cable & Wireless. America Móvil also holds a license.
ABOUT DIGICEL GROUP
Since its launch in 2001, Digicel has become the largest wireless telecommunications operator in the Caribbean with more than six million customers. After seven 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. 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-- the company is also a new entrant to the Central American market.
Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and now has operations in 31 markets world-wide. Its Caribbean and Central American markets comprise Anguilla,Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Curacao, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, El Salvador, French Guiana,Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Panama,St Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname,Trinidad & Tobago and Turks & Caicos. The Caribbean company also has coverage in St. Martin and St. Barths. Digicel Pacific comprises Fiji,Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.
Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean sports teams including the West Indies Cricket Team and Special Olympics teams and is title sponsor of the Digicel Caribbean Football Union Cup and the Copa De Naciones, the Caribbean and Central American qualifiers to the CONCACAF Gold Cup.