– to concentrate on data, customer experience
The telecoms landscape is expected to see some major changes in the coming months. Not only are Digicel and the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) expected to use less staffers, but the focus will be heavily on
the customer experience.
One week after US-owned GTT announced that it will be sending home up to 120 staffers in another 12 months in a cost-cutting measure to tighten up on its operations, Digicel seems set along a similar path.
Yesterday, Digicel announced that its Digicel 2030 global transformation programme promises customers a completely new communications and entertainment experience made possible by a “more agile, customer-centric application of resources and investment”.
Digicel also announced that it has signed a global partnership agreement with ZTE – a leading global provider of integrated telecommunication solutions – for an ongoing multi-year network upgrade programme.
“These initiatives occur as telecoms providers across the globe move to benefit from significant technology advances and manage changing customer needs in terms of data usage and competitive threats from unregulated OTT operators.”
The announcements by Digicel would come as Guyana prepares to entertain other players in the telecoms field to compete in data, landline and mobile services.
GTT has been here for over two decades, with Digicel its main competitor. With Government now negotiating with GTT to break its monopoly on landline and international calls, Digicel has already signalled intentions to land its own internet fibre optic cable to compete in the data arena.
Digicel insisted yesterday it has become “one of the first communications and entertainment providers in the world to initiate a wide scale transformation agenda.
The core elements of the Digicel 2030 transformation see it undertaking a complete re-design of its organisational structure; putting customers in control and making a commitment to deliver a superior superfast network experience.”
Disclosing some of the plans, Digicel said its future organisational structure will comprise a small number of regional hubs (two for the Caribbean and Central America regions and two for the Pacific region) housing back office centralised functions and delivering shared services, allowing staff in Digicel’s 31 markets to focus on sales and enhanced service delivery – and ensuring that resources and investment are prioritised to drive competition and innovation.
This will mean some staffers will have to be sent home.
“This will result in an approximate 25% reduction of the global workforce over the next 18 months with the first step in the process being the offer of an Enhanced Voluntary Separation Programme opening on 1st March 2017,” Digicel said in its statement.
Up to 2008, the company had over 5,500 staffers.
Over the last three years, Digicel said it has invested over US$1.65 billion in upgrading its networks and platforms, and in rolling out fibre to the home and mobile broadband connectivity. “Of particular note is the success of its fibre to the home offering with Digicel racking up 120,000 customers to date – well ahead of its business plan. Coupled with a “digital first” approach, this means customers can enjoy an enhanced entertainment, content and business solutions experience with an array of advanced new products and services and a refreshed retail experience putting customers in the driving seat with Digicel delivering their total communications needs.”
Work is also currently ongoing to upgrade its internet services.
“With a hallmark of providing customers with the best network, Digicel is now taking things to the next level and initiating an ongoing data network upgrade programme. To this end, a global partnership agreement was signed on 9th February in Shenzhen, China, by Digicel Chairman, Denis O’Brien and Dr Zhao, Chairman and CEO of ZTE.”
Last year, amidst a wait for frequency, the Guyana Government allowed both GTT and Digicel to roll out their 4G services, allowing smart phone users to live stream videos and messenger calls while on the road, using the network’s internet.
With rollout commencing in the coming months, this is the largest network transformation ever undertaken by Digicel and customers will very soon start to see the benefits, the Jamaican-based Irish-owned company said.
Commenting on the programme, Digicel Group CEO, Colm Delves, explains: “We are building Digicel for 2030 and beyond. Our transformation programme sees us taking the bull by the horns and daring to be different by challenging the status quo and by innovation-led growth. That’s what we are known for and that’s what we will continue to be known for into the future.”
He continued: “Over the years, we have built a great company with a proud legacy of democratising communications and making an impactful contribution to countries and people across the globe. That’s something we all take great pride in. Now we’re on a mission to build Digicel for the future with our sights set on delivering a superior superfast network experience and putting our customers in control.”
Digicel Group is a leading global communications provider with operations in 31 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and South Pacific. After 15 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$5 billion worldwide.
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