Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 – Kingston, Jamaica: Good progress is being made on restoring the Digicel network with over 80 per cent of cell sites now back on air, enabling customers to make and receive calls, text messages, email and BlackBerry Messenger messages.
* As the biggest and best network in Haiti, the Digicel network has remained operational throughout and Digicel now has more cell sites on air than any other provider. Coverage in the provinces continues to be good and in Port au Prince it is improving rapidly with Haitians taking advantage of the free credit of US$5 each (totaling US$10 million) that Digicel has given them. International traffic on Monday showed a 250 per cent increase on normal daily levels.
* Digicel is continuing to bring key technical people and equipment in to Haiti to ensure that the network is returned to full strength as soon as possible. In the last two days alone, six planes carrying Digicel network equipment have landed in the capital.
* As of yesterday (Monday 18th January), Digicel stores in provincial areas mainly in the northern and southern parts of the country have started to open – and, importantly, Digicel stores in the metropolitan area of Port au Prince will start to re-open today (Tuesday 19th January).
* In an effort to ensure that as many customers as possible can purchase credit, handsets and accessories like alternative energy mobile phone chargers, one of Digicel’s mobile stores will be open for business from 9am until 4pm each day from tomorrow. The mobile store will be located in the airport area of Port au Prince.
* Supplementary charging stations will be placed in the Digicel stores to ensure that customers can charge up their phone batteries and be able to avail themselves of the US$5 free credit to stay connected with friends and family.
* And for people across the Diaspora wishing to send credit to friends and family in Haiti, Digicel is giving Double Bubble to customers meaning that they will receive double the value of the credit that they purchase for no additional cost.
Colm Delves, Group CEO of Digicel, comments; “We are making good progress on returning our network to full strength with more and more cell sites coming back online and voice calls, text messaging, email and Blackberry Messenger available all across the country. Some customers may experience difficulties making and receiving calls at certain times largely due to the high volume of customers taking advantage of the US$10 million we have given them in free credit.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure our customers can stay connected with friends and family.”
As the single largest investor in Haiti with a total investment of U$300 million since its launch in 2006, Digicel has over two million customers in Haiti and has announced a US$5 million donation to the Haiti relief efforts. This donation will go to NGOs like Concern and Medecins sans Frontieres.