On the eve of the first anniversary of Digicel’s entry into the Guyana cellular service market, Chief Executive Officer of the Company’s local operations, Mark Linehan has disclosed that more than US$60M has been spent so far in the establishment of its cellular network across the country.
And Linehan told members of the media who had gathered at Digicel’s Main Street office for an anniversary briefing and tour of its operations that the company was prepared to invest what was necessary to provide a modern and efficient cellular network across Guyana,
Since taking over the operations of the smaller cellular service, U-Mobile on November 1, 2006 Digicel has more than doubled the number of cellular sites operated by U-Mobile, increasing the network coverage from 67 per cent to 92 per cent of the population. Linehan told media representatives that the Digicel cellular network allows for “seamless service on the coastal corridor from Corentyne to Charity and the north-south corridor to provide seamless coverage to Bartica and Linden, from the coast. We also have coverage as far south as Lethem and as far north as Mabaruma.” The Digicel Chief Executive Officer estimates that the company now has around 150,000 GSM customers.
In his address to media representatives Linehan restated the company’s objective of becoming the leading cellular service provider in Guyana within the next six months, an objective articulated by Digicel founder and Chairman, Dennis O’Brien during a brief visit to Guyana two weeks ago. According to Linehan Digicel currently has between “35 and 40 per cent” of the market share.
Tuesday’s low-key anniversary media tour which included visits to the Digicel Switch and the company’s Earth Station at Mandela Avenue contrasted sharply with the glittering launch of the company’s cellular service in Guyana earlier this year.
Linehan said that as a result of the various investments and improvements undertaken by Digicel including partnering with Ericsson to build its network Digicel has now established a “bigger, better network” than its competitor.
According to Linehan Digicel owed its success, in large measure to its more than 200 Guyanese employees He said that the company had invested heavily in training for its employees and that some of its key local operatives had benefited from training in Brazil, Canada, the United States and Ireland.