Digicel, Flow Hike Prices Across The Region

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

JAMAICA OBSERVER- CONSUMERS across the region are set to face price hikes for services purchased from telecommunications firms Digicel and Flow come June 1.

Digicel sent a notice to its customers earlier this week in Jamaica that some of its prepaid and postpaid plans would be increasing in a matter of weeks. In the notice, the company said its postpaid Prime – Intro plan which now costs $3,500 will be increased to $3,900 per month, and the plan is to be upgraded to Prime – Intro Plan 2. The cost to send a SMS (text message) to another local network would also be increased to $5.75 per text. The accumulated roll-over data would also be capped at 500GB.

Digicel customers in Trinidad & Tobago also received a notice this week of increasing service package costs with an average price increase of about five per cent on three fibre packages. An example is with the Modern Fibre 200+ rising from TT$390 to TT$410. However, there was also a reduction ranging from 32 to 40 per cent for four packages with the Fibre 500 dropping from TT$885 to TT$400.

“Due to increased content costs from our international suppliers and the growing expenses associated with off-island Internet traffic, primarily fuelled by the rising usage of Android TV boxes,Netflix, and other over-the-top (OTT) services, our network faces additional strain. Therefore, we’re compelled to implement adjustments accordingly,” Digicel told its Trinidadian customers.

Digicel’s prepaid Trinidadian customers benefited from price reductions on April 26 with its new D’ Freedom Plan’s cost dropping from TT$315 to TT$300, while users of the one-to-three day plans will benefit from lower renewal prices between TT$5 and TT$10.

Digicel also implemented a price increase on its Digicel+ customers in the British Virgin Islands on May 1.

Digicel Bermuda customers were hit with a BMD$5 increase on April 1 on their Prime Ultra Bronze plan.

When the Jamaica Observer reached out to Digicel Jamaica for comment on the price increase it said: “[E]ven with the recent average 8 per cent price adjustment to selected Prepaid plans, Digicel prepaid continues to be the value leader in the market, based on widest coverage, fastest speeds, unmatched reliability, and the best customer service.”

The telecoms firm also mentioned that it increased the price on some Jamaican postpaid plans by six per cent.

Digicel’s price increases come after its March 31 financial year end which saw Digicel founder and former Chairman Dennis O’Brien relinquish the role to Rajeev Suri, who leads a new board of directors. Digicel Group also appointed Marcelo Cataldo as its new chief executive officer on May 1 following the recent debt restructuring which saw its consolidated debt cut by US$1.7 billion and O’Brien’s equity interest significantly reduced.

“Since our launch here in Jamaica in 2001 we have been at the forefront in the evolution of mobile, working hard to deliver unmatched experiences and superior technologies to our customers, communities, and the country at-large. We recently invested the final tranche of our US$200 million ($31 billion) ‘Digital Jamaica’ spend — a massive commitment that furthered our focus on building Jamaica as a digital hub through LTE and fibre network expansions and state-of-the-art broadcast facilities,” Digicel added.

Its major regional competitor Cable & Wireless Communications Limited, which trades as Flow in the consumer market, announced price increases for its customers over the last three months. Flow’s Trinidadian customers are set to be hit with a minimum five per cent increase on its cable and Internet bundle packages such as Everything You Want from TT$555 to TT$583. The price increase takes effect on June 1, which will also affect the Link up Flow packages and numerous connected bundles.

Flow Jamaican business customers are also set to be hit with an increase on June 1 despite there being a mentioned 25 per cent upgrade in the speed of some broadband packages. Flow prepaid customers were faced with an increase of 12 per cent to 15 per cent on its Flow Lyf packages and 8 per cent to 15 per cent on its Anywhere Combo packages on February 7. The prepaid rate packages also had an increase on February 16.

“Flow Business remains committed to the continued expansion and improvement of our telecommunications network as we provide our customers with superior products and services. Therefore, we periodically review and redesign our product offerings to deliver even greater value to our customers. To this end, effective June 1, 2024, Flow Business will adjust the rates and allocations of some of its broadband, watch, and talk packages,” Flow stated to its Jamaican business customers.

Flow customers in St Vincent and the Grenadines had an average three per cent increase on April 1. Flow Turks & Caicos customers faced price increases of at least nine per cent on April 1, while there was a 14 per cent drop in Fibre extreme to US$300 with several packages having speed increases of at least 10 per cent.

While Digicel’s financials are private, Cable & Wireless Jamaica Limited (CWJ) saw a 10 per cent rise in its revenue in 2022 to $38.31 billion with operating profit climbing 66 per cent to $5.84 billion. However, the near doubling of its finance costs saw its net loss jump from $182 million to $531 million as per its annual report.

Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua! We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages.Contact us at [email protected]