KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Digicel Group, the fastest growing mobile telecommunications operator in the Caribbean, today announced that it has acquired ownership of Curacao Telecom N.V. (CT), the Curacao-based telecommunications company. The addition of Curacao Telecom N.V. into the expanding Digicel Group will provide significant investment over the next three years to upgrade and expand the existing network. 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 Curacao 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 Curacao. The Caribbean company has also made a commitment to maintain and support the management and employees of CT through extensive training and staff development programs. "Digicel's investment in Curacao 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 Curacao." 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. Recognized 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. "We are pleased to have Curacao 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 Curacao 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." About Digicel Since its launch in 2001, Digicel has become the fastest growing mobile telecommunications operator in the Caribbean. In four years, Digicel has become 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 mobile services and community support, Digicel has become a leading brand in the Caribbean and has placed the region at the cutting edge of mobile communications. Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and operates in seven countries including Aruba, Barbados, The Cayman Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It is the largest GSM mobile operator in the region and plans to extend its footprint into other Caribbean countries. 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 over 30 Caribbean countries and is an important qualifier towards the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Visit http://www.digicelgroup.com for more information on Digicel. About Curacao Telecom N.V. Founded in 1999, Curacao Telecom NV (CT) changed the face of local telecommunications by providing the mobile consumer with an offering, which was far superior to that of the competitors. CT was the first to the market to offer the consumer a pre-paid billing system, competitive rates, superior coverage, new products such as MMS and GPRS high-speed mobile data run on the finest high-tech platforms. With the customers needs always as the basis of their business philosophy, CT reached out to the Curacao customer by creating a vast network of vendors and CT dealers. In May 2001, CT began providing International Telephony (long distance) service which has allowed customers in Curacao the comfort to reach out to family in Holland at competitive rates. The company most recently launched CT- internet.net, the preferred internet service provider in Curacao. For more information on Curacao Telecom NV please visit http://www.curacaotelecom.com.
SOURCE Digicel Group