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Digicel future in business market

Shawn Cumberbatch

Digicel future in business market

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Digicel has announced the completion a major Caribbean acquisition its management expects to help it transform from “a pure mobile provider” to “a global complete communications provider”.

And after giving its 4G network a $25 million boost up to the end of April, the company is preparing to spend another $10 million on its fibre network and further 4G enhancements.

Digicel Barbados chief executive officer Mark Linehan detailed the plans in an interview with BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY and said much of the company’s future growth would come from the business sector.

Linehan said by last week Wednesday Digicel had received all of the necessary approvals from Government and regulatory authorities allowing it to complete the purchase of a Caribbean submarine fibre network from the Guadeloupe-based Loret Group and Caribbean Fibre Holdings.

“In total, Digicel has secured access to a robust network comprising 15 submarine segments with a reach of some 3 100 kilometres across the Caribbean region. Digicel will also have extensive onwards capacity connecting to all of the United States, Europe and Asia,” Linehan said.

In addition to Barbados, the acquired network covers 13 other Caribbean islands and the CEO said the purchase would help satisfy the growing “appetite for data from businesses”.

“They can’t have enough connectivity, and while you can deliver so much bandwidth on wireless, by having a fibre network not just on island but also submarine you can chart your own destiny,” he said. In the past we would have been reliant on other submarine carriers to deliver that capacity to us but now that we have invested in this it really sets it up nicely for us to sell bigger and better solutions for our customers.”

In terms of what was happening onshore, Linehan said Digicel would continue to feed the “huge data appetite here in Barbados, not just from consumers but also from businesses” with its additional $10 million investment.

“We deliver on the needs of our customer and based on their requirements we design our strategy around that. Hence as soon as you turn on a 4G site or as you put on additional carriers they fill up so therefore we have got to invest and we are going to further invest,” he said.

“So we are investing an additional $10 million in a fibre network and also enhancements to our 4G network where we see capacity needs and requirements from our customers.”

The first phase of Digicel’s fibre installation is complete and based on the customer demand the company has started to map out the second phase.