My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Digicel reports increases in Data Services, DL600 and DL700 sales in 2013 - LIME's all about the Benjamins from 4G LTE making Digicel Captain America The Winter Soldier

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Digicel reports increases in Data Services, DL600 and DL700 sales in 2013 - LIME's all about the Benjamins from 4G LTE making Digicel Captain America The Winter Soldier

“More and more customers are realising that when they purchase a data plan they manage their data spend better and their overall data experience”

Digicel CEO Barry O’Brien in Digicel's Press Release on Growth in Data over the last quarter ending December 2013 published March 3rd 2014

Telecom Provider Digicel is reporting a 40% increase in Data Penetration among their Digicel customers which are very encouraging numbers from the Telecom Provider as stated in “Digicel reports growth in data and 4G subscribers”, published Wednesday March 5, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

The Jamaica Gleaner’s report is a somewhat watered down versions of the Press Release on Digicel’s Website that’s a bit more detailed! Also it stands a bit in contradiction of the news by Ratings Agency Fitch that reported that Telecom Provider Digicel made a loss of US$198.491 during 2013 as stated in “Digicel Makes Net Loss Of US$198m In 2013”, Published Wednesday February 12, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Possibly this recently published Statement on Digicel’s website by the CEO is timed to counter this and rumours that Telecom Provider Digicel has plans to leave Jamaica. This as the issue became a talking point in Parliament when Opposition Spokesman on Science, Dr. Wheatley quizzed Minister Phillip Paulwell on rumours of Digicel Executives being relocated outside of  Jamaica as stated in “ Paulwell: No sign of Digicel moving headquarters overseas”, published Thursday, February 27, 2014 BY BALFORD HENRY Senior staff reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

Despite this and other troubles such as Vandalism of their Fiber Optic Cables which occurred on Wednesday January 8th 2014 as I’d reported in my blog article entitled “Vandals cut Armoured Fiber Optic Cable belonging to Digicel and Columbus Communications - 4G Broadband Outage possibly connected to Digicel Employee testifying in the Vybz Kartel Case”, Telecom Provider Digicel is much loved because of their giving ways, both by their business partners and the public in general.

Telecom Provider Digicel still managed to allow a Millennials (ages 8 to 28)  18-year-old Shaquille Sewell to win a 2013 Range Rover Evoque as part of their “DigicelBrighten Someone's Christmas” promotion, sure to win them praise from Millennials (ages 8 to 28) across Jamaica as stated in “Teenager Wins Digicel Range Rover”, Published Saturday January 18, 2014 by Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Interesting too they even twinned one of their most recent promotions to give away free DL600 and DL700 smartphones, Digicel's Supa DigiDealz with the YVA (Youth View Awards) as noted in my blog article entitled “Digicel's Supa DigiDealz gives you a DL600 or DL700 free on a Smart Postpaid Plan - YVA 2013 to feature Zendaya as Digicel are the Big Bad Wolves in the Smartphone Wars”.

They also supported the Shaggy and Friend Concert to raise money to assist the Bustamante Children’s Hospital via streaming the concert free to their 600,000 followers on Facebook ,yet another notch in their belt as far as Millennials (ages 18 to 28) are concerned as stated in “Digicel, Gleaner Team Up To Give Shaggy And Friends Online Boost”, published Thursday January 2, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Their Digicel Foundation 5K Run/Walk in October 2013 managed to raise some JA$7.4 million for the following beneficiaries as reported in the article “Digicel Foundation Hands Over Millions”, Published Monday February 10, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner:

1.      Early Stimulation Plus
2.      Genesis Academy
3.      Jamaica Association for the Blind
4.      Jamaica Association for the Deaf
5.      Jamaica Autism Support Association
6.      Liberty Academy
7.      Mustard Seed Communities
8.      NAZ Children's Centre
9.      The Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities
10.  The Jamaica Down's Syndrome Foundation
11.  The STEP Centre

Business Contractors love ‘em too, as they do pay pretty decent money for their work, to that end, Telecom Provider Digicel had also won the Avaya Partner of the Year award as betrothed to them by Avaya on Thursday January 23 2014 as stated in “Digicel Business wins Avaya Partner of the Year award”, published Friday, January 24, 2014, The Jamaica Observer.

Telecom Provider Digicel won the Caribbean Advertising Federation American Advertising Awards for Best of Show Overall Award and Best of TV Award for its ‘Be Extraordinary’ television ad as stated in “Digicel wins top prizes at Caribbean advertising awards”, published Saturday, February 22, 2014, The Jamaica Observer.

Truly, Telecom Provider Digicel is indeed Extraordinary!

Digicel sees increase in Demand for Data Subscriptions – DL600 and DL700 driving demand

The Stats are for the Fourth Quarter of 2014 and re-echo what’s now generally known if you’ve read my blog article entitled “Jamaicans fall in love with Digicel's DL600 and DL700 during Christmas 2013 - Sub-US$100 smartphones driving rapid smartphone adoption in Jamaica as Manufacturing is Possible”: Smartphones are hot:

1.      50% increase in Data subscriptions i.e. Data Plans
2.      28,000 DL600 and DL600 smartphones in November and December 2013
3.      60,000 Google Android smartphones sold in 2013
4.      200,000 new subscribers on their “4G” Mobile Broadband Network

The stats above reveal something even more interesting; the power of branding. According to Digicel CEO Barry O’Brien, their branded smartphones, the DL600 and the DL700, launched in October and December respectively as stated in my blog article entitled “Digicel officially launches DL600 smartphones on Friday October 18th 2013 and JA$100 2-Day Data Plans - Ours is the Fury as Digicel’s DL600 secures their Throne in this Game of Phones against LIME” and “Digicel has launched the DL700, an upgrade to the DL600 on Friday December 6th 2013 - The Alcatel One Touch Pop C3 is Digicel’s latest Unicorn that may be harder to catch” are outselling the more traditional Brand smartphones such as Samsung, Nokia and even Blackberry.

To quote Digicel CEO Barry O’Brien: “What we are seeing is that customers are moving towards Android based smartphones. To that end, last year we introduced the Digicel range of Android smartphones (DL600 and DL700) and these are currently doing far better than traditional smartphones like Samsung, Nokia and BlackBerry in terms of sales.”

It also indicates that Jamaicans are finally warming up to the idea of spending money on dedicate Data Plans on the Android smartphones, with Digicel facilitating this interest via the re-launch and rebranding of the Data Lite, Data Plus and Data Max Data Plans as noted in my blog article entitled “Digicel rebrands Data Plans as Data Lite, Data Plus and Data Max - Elain Stitch Shoot Me as Prepaid 2G, 3G and 4G Data Services for Blackberry, smartphones and Tablets made more complex”.

Positive Effects of the OUR’s MTR – LIME Dragging their feet on 4G LTE, FTTH and IPTV LIME TV

It’s now clear to all Telecom Providers that the reduction in Cross Termination Rates had increased Jamaicans appetite for Mobile Data Services.

Like Telecom Provider Digicel, Telecom Provider LIME is also reporting some encouraging numbers as noted in my blog article entitled “LIME experiences 25% increase in Profits due to MTR - 4G LTE and FTTH like Bahamas with IPTV Streaming LIME TV will give LIME 3 Days to Kill”. I’m a bit more skeptical about their intent to expand islandwide as I’m yet to hear any official word of expansion plans for FTTH (Fiber to the Home) and IPTV Streaming LIME TV.

True, Telecom Provider LIME has recently launched the largest deployment of 4G LTE in Bahamas as stated in my blog article entitled “Bahamas Telecommunications Company launched 4G LTE on Valentine's Day - Jamaicans need UNCHR Right to Broadband Access needed to empower Jamaicans before 4G LTE can go National”. But knowing Telecom Provider LIME after having worked there myself from 2001 to 2004 and Bahamas as I once knew a friend from that country, I know that this is commercial, not a bid to help Bahamas connect to the Internet.

They only went to Bahamas because that country is a Tourism Enclave that has a high per capita Income level and an affluent population and strong Tourism based Economy that can pay the prices that they want for 4G LTE. For them, LTE is not about helping Bahamas to connect to the internet for Development; it’s to facilitate the wealthy living their lifestyles by having expensive Wireless Broadband.

Knowing Telecom Provider LIME’s modus operandii, I’m willing to bet they’ll be announcing another 4G LTE deployment in Barbados or Trinidad and Tobago, as they are rich enough a population to afford paying for 4G LTE and the expensive smartphones and modems that support  such a Network.

Right now the next big thing is 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution), for which the way is being prepared by the Ministry of Science, Technology Energy and Mining via way of a Telecoms Regulator to regulate the rapidly expanding Telecom Sector as noted in my blog article entitled “New Telecom Regulator finally coming by July 2014 - New Telecom Provider looking for stability in the Jamaican Telecoms Market post-LNP and MNP by May 2014”.

Digicel’s Manifest Destiny – 4G for Everyone or Bust, Captain America The Winter Soldier Style

To this end Digicel CEO Barry O’Brien is trumpeting a Napoleon Bonaparte-esque Manifest Destiny-kinda slant to his usual rhetoric, quote: “We recognize that there is a growing appetite for access to the internet and access to data and we are happy to be facilitating this demand. As such, Digicel is in the process of rolling out an additional 170 4G mobile sites across the island which will see us increasing our 4G Network coverage from 80% to 92% population coverage. In the past year, we invested over $6 billion in our 4G Network, and this is in addition to an investment of J$7b over two years ago. We will continue to innovate while ensuring stability of our Network to deliver superior experiences for all our customers as we move Jamaica to being a smarter economy”.

Ok. Sounds different from the money-grubbing Telecom Provider LIME that STILL has no official word on 4G LTE, FTTH and IPTV LIME TV! It’s now March 2014. Let’s see what Telecom Provider Digicel does in the next few months as it relates to launching 4G LTE when the New Telecom Regulator comes online by July 2014!

Hopefully too they’ll do something about making their Telecom Facilities more secure from Vandals or disgruntled Contractors cutting their Fiber Optic Cables as I’d reported in my blog article entitled “Vandals cut Armoured Fiber Optic Cable belonging to Digicel and Columbus Communications - 4G Broadband Outage possibly connected to Digicel Employee testifying in the Vybz Kartel Case”. They still haven’t caught those people yet, who allegedly may be connected to embattled Dancehall Artiste Vybz Kartel.

Still, despite all of their current troubles, many Jamaicans see Telecom Provider Digicel as Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) coming to defend their right to Access Broadband via their Data Plans and Branded Shields aka the DL600 and the DL700.

DL800 in the works? Check back with my blog or just follow Digicel Jamaica’s website Digicel Jamaica YouTube Page, Digicel’s Facebook Page and Digicel’s Twitter Page for details on when the next promotion is coming to a store near you, which I’ll be sure to blog about!

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