Bermudan cellcos CellularOne and M3 to merge

5 May 2011

Bermuda Digital Communications (CellularOne), the mobile arm of Atlantic Tele-Network (ATN), has merged its operations with domestic rival M3 Wireless, owned by KeyTech, local press reports. No financial details of the merger have been revealed, although it has been confirmed that the deal has received the necessary regulatory approvals.

It is understood that the enlarged entity, which will command close to 50% of the Bermuda mobile market, will use the existing CellularOne brand name and be managed by Bermuda Digital Communications’ current management team headed by chief executive officer Kurt Eve and chief operating officer Frank Amaral. The new operator will be approximately 55%-owned by Bermudan shareholders, with ATN and KeyTech owning nearly 80% of the venture between them. Existing customers of the two cellcos will keep their phone numbers and the terms of their existing plans, the pair said. It is hoped the merger will not result in ‘significant job cuts’, they added.

The enlarged firm now faces a head-to-head battle with Digicel Bermuda. The Digicel Group is a privately held international company owned by Irish entrepreneur Dennis O’Brien and a dominant player in the Caribbean region. Asked for his opinion of the merger, Digicel Bermuda CEO Wayne Caines said: ‘Our commitment to customers is three-fold: best value, best service and best network. As always, we will continue to do all we can to ensure that our customers are the focus and benefactors of our efforts, which is the reason that more than 50% of residents, including most corporate customers, choose Digicel as their preferred cellular service provider.

Bermuda, M3 Wireless (formerly BTC Mobility), One Communications