Stricken Jamaican 4G start-up Symbiote Investments, which trades as Caricel, has informed local media outlets that it has now signed up more than 15,000 customers, despite the significant legal challenges being faced by the company. An official statement printed by the Jamaica Observer reads: ‘In defiance of what many would deem insurmountable challenges, Caricel has continued to thrive as a result of one factor in particular — the superior quality of the services it offers … This has been enough to continue attracting customers, as well as international investors such as South African tech firm, Involution Ltd, which acquired a majority stake in the company last year.’
TeleGeography notes that Symbiote agreed to sell its small-scale Jamaican 4G business to South Africa-based Involution for an undisclosed price in October 2017. The sale was made public in February 2018, only for the regulatory authorities to protest that Symbiote had not sought government approval for the transaction. The following month, Andrew Wheatley, the Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, initiated the process to revoke the licence altogether. The Jamaican Supreme Court cleared the way for the government to revoke the telecoms licence granted to Symbiote in December 2018, only for the Court of Appeal to intervene a matter of days later. The two parties are due to reconvene in court this week.