Weary Digicel says it is ready to make big investments; wants speedy passage of Telecoms Bill

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By Kurt Campbell

Chief Executive Officer of Digicel Guyana, Gregory Dean
Chief Executive Officer of Digicel Guyana, Gregory Dean

[wwwinewsguyana.com] –Chief Executive Officer of Digicel Guyana, Gregory Dean believes Guyanese need to be more aggressive in their calls for better communication services and lobby Parliamentarians to see a speeding passage of the long awaited Telecommunications (Amendment) Bill.

Speaking to iNews on Wednesday, October 01, Dean said it is no longer a fight for Digicel alone and called on all Guyanese to see the importance of having quality and affordable communication services.

He said it is no secret that “the Bigger Better Network” is ready to invest more and become a full service communication player.

“It’s a big issue for the country…It’s unfortunate that people characterize it as a Digicel issue but it’s a bigger issue for the entire country that needs to be resolved urgently,” Dean added.

According to the Digicel official, the company continues to fight through several mediums and lobby the Parliamentarians but reasoned that “Parliamentarians are there to serve the people and people need to inform parliamentarians that they need this.”

Dean told iNews that Digicel has long fought for liberalization of the sector so that it can improve its services.

“We are not only interested in expanding our current services and upgrading the network but also we want to do internet and landline business and have own fiber in Guyana.”digicel

In comparing Guyana to other Caribbean countries, Dean said “Guyana has one of the lowest accesses to broadband; the only thing we come out on top is with regards to the prices.”

Parliament went into recess on August 10 last but the Telecommunications Bill which was expected to be debated was not heard. The administration had promised Digicel liberalization by the end of July 2014, following over two years of consultations.

There has been mounting pressure for the passage of new telecoms legislation which could pave the way for new players to enter the market.

Dean says that once the Bill is passed, Digicel is prepared to launch a wide array of services including landlines and high-speed 4G services.

A recently released study of the Inter-American Development Bank placed Guyana at the bottom of the region in terms of internet speed, yet one of the most expensive.

Since its entry into the Guyana market in 2007, Digicel has sunk US$70M in network and data services.

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