Digicel T&T not interested in Cable & Wireless stake; formulating LTE plan

19 Nov 2013

Digicel Trinidad & Tobago’s CEO John Delves said in an interview with the local Guardian newspaper that the pan-Caribbean group is not interested in acquiring Cable & Wireless Communications’ (CWC’s) 49% stake in rival Telecommunications Services of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT), because ‘we don’t operate in any business where we don’t have full management control [although] we do have local partners which are very important in several of our markets and give great advice.’ UK-based CWC is looking at the possibility of attracting a buyer for its minority stake in TSTT, as the government is unlikely to reduce its 51% share.

Elsewhere in the interview, Delves said that Digicel T&T is seeing a ‘huge surge’ in data demand: ‘In the twelve months ended 31 March 2013, data accounted for 23% of our revenue and that grew 20% year-on-year,’ adding that the data growth was driven by smartphone penetration.’ He added that Digicel T&T invested over TTD1.5 billion (USD230 million) in seven and a half years, while in the year starting 1 April 2013 it earmarked annual investment of over TTD100 million to improve its network, mainly for its 3.5G HSPA-based network which it markets as ‘4G’. However, the CEO said Digicel was also aiming to be the first to introduce 4G LTE to the local market and would be responding to a request for proposals (RFP) document which has been issued by the regulator, the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad & Tobago (TATT) with a deadline of 31 March 2014: ‘We are currently reviewing that document … We are going to make sure we are at the forefront of technology. Basically it’s what they call a beauty contest, you put in your best bid based on their criteria, which involves things like coverage and speed of roaming. LTE is the future. We’re the first operator in the Caribbean to bring LTE. We have knowledge and history in LTE and hopefully that should go in our favour.’

Delves also highlighted Digicel T&T’s recent launch of cloud computing, providing ‘security for data and mobility,’ adding that cloud services are being developed to suit small-to-very-large business customers’ needs – ‘we have had meetings with over 100 businesses at this stage and there is really a lot of interest. You can save 40% to 50% for businesses going forward.’