Digicel Haiti, which launched in May last year and is part of the Digicel mobile group founded by Irish businessman Denis O’Brien, has announced that it ended 2006 with over a million GSM customers. Digicel says it has invested USD260 million in Haiti, which it claims is ‘the largest investment ever made in the country by an international company’. It has already raced ahead of its rivals, TDMA/GSM operator Comcel and CDMA provider Haitel, despite both companies responding to their new competitor by cutting prices and launching new networks. Comcel hurriedly rolled out a GSM network under the Voila brand in early 2006, whilst Haitel is aiming to sign up data users to its CDMA2000 1x services, launched in late August 2006 (source: TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database).
During 2006 Digicel Group launched services in additional Caribbean markets including Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands and Bonaire, and acquired El Salvadorian mobile operator Digicel Holdings Ltd, U Mobile in Guyana, and Bouygues Telecom Caraibe, which extended its mobile footprint to Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana. The group finished the year with over four million subscribers in 22 markets.