Digicel cuts rates in Jamaica

(Jamaica Gleaner) Cellular service provider Digicel has announced it is cutting its prepaid cross-network rates by roughly 35 per cent to J$8.99, but customers must log in a code to enact the savings.

The rate slash occurs today, a day after cell customers lost the option of a third cell provider, Claro, following its acquisition and closure by Digicel.

Digicel denied government coercion as the reason for the rate cut.

“No. This rate is something that Digicel decided to do as we are constantly trying to be innovative and create value for our customers,” stated Mark Linehan, CEO of Digicel Jamaica, who avoided discussing the impact of the rate slash on its revenues.

“Digicel is a privately owned and operated company and, therefore, does not disclose our financials.” Locked in disputes

For years, Digicel, rival LIME, and their regulator, the Office of Utilities Regulation, remained locked in a series of separate legal and verbal disputes over rates.

Telecommunications Minister Phillip Paulwell commended Digicel for cutting its rates. He reasoned that the drop came within the context of last month’s negotiations between the telecoms players and himself, but added that this rate drop was Digicel’s own initiative.

He added: “It indicates that competition is back up again.” Paulwell then noted that a third telecoms player would eventually enter the market to increase consumer choice, but stressed that he could not yet give a timeline.

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