Digicel invests US$100mn in the country, denies sale rumors

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Irish-owned company Digicel has invested US$100mn in HSPA+ technology to expand its voice and data network in Panama, the company's new CEO for its local unit, Mario Méndez Miller, said.

The figure is in addition to more than US$400mn that the company has invested since its launch in the Central American country in 2008. Digicel Panama announced the launch of the new HSPA+ technology for the last quarter of 2011.

By implementing HSPA+ technology, the company will be able to offer speeds five times higher than traditional 3G, bringing its offer closer to LTE, a key step to launching mobile internet, Digicel said in a statement.

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Digicel will also leverage number portability, considered an opportunity to increase market share in the country, the executive said. The company already holds more than 25% of the local market.

Regarding rumors about its possible sale to mobile operator Claro, the company said that Digicel Panama is not, and will not be, included in the existing agreement with Claro.

Earlier this year, Jamaica's Digicel Group announced an agreement with Mexican mobile telephony giant América Móvil (NYSE: AMX) under which it would acquire AMX's Claro business in Jamaica, while at the same time selling its businesses in Honduras and El Salvador to América Móvil.