Vanuatu Business Review » Australia’s biggest telecommunications company to acquire Digicel Pacific
Australia’s biggest telecommunications company to acquire Digicel Pacific
Telstra yesterday announced it would acquire Digicel Pacific for $US1.6 billion, subject to government and regulatory approvals, plus up to an additional US$250 million subject to business performance over the next three years.
Telstra, Australia’s leading telecommunications and technology company, will continue to invest in and operate the business under the Digicel brand name across its six South Pacific markets – Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.
Oliver Camplin-Warner, Telstra International CEO, said the deal would see Telstra build on Digicel Pacific’s leadership in the region and further boost mobile connectivity in Vanuatu.
“Denis O’Brien and the Digicel team have built a phenomenal business that’s centred on providing exceptional customer service, the best coverage and leading digital experiences,” Mr. Camplin-Warner said.
“Telstra will add to these strengths and the team’s local knowledge with our more than one hundred years’ experience connecting the vast expanses of Australia to continue delivering great experiences for Digicel’s customers across the Pacific.
“We have 19.5 million retail mobile customers in Australia and our 4G network is the largest and most reliable in country. It covers some of the remotest parts of Australia – from the coast, to the outback and the Torres Strait Islands, just off the coast of Papua New Guinea. And we’re in the process of building Australia’s largest 5G network that now stretches to more than 240 towns and 75 per cent of the population.”
There won’t be any local job losses as part of the acquisition and the current Digicel team will continue the day-to-day running of the business. Current Digicel owner Denis O’Brien will remain involved as a member of the Board.
“We will invest our know-how and capital to further expand coverage and improve the overall network experience in Vanuatu. But we’ll retain the same Digicel brand ni-Vanuatu know and love today with the same team and services they have come to rely on,” Mr. Camplin-Warner said.
He said the acquisition was aligned to Telstra International’s growth strategy that today includes operations in 20 countries outside Australia with thousands of customers that include business, government and some of the world’s biggest technology companies.
“Beyond Australia Telstra also has the most extensive subsea telecommunications cable network in the Asia Pacific. And we’re one of the biggest providers of voice and data services connecting the South Pacific to the rest of the world through our Southern Cross cable.”
“Network traffic is growing faster than any other period of time and digital technology is changing our world. We are at the centre of this and we are committed to delivering the best technology on the best network for Vanuatu,” Camplin-Warner said.
Shally Jannif, Regional CEO, Digicel Pacific Hub Markets, said Telstra’s experience rolling out a world-class 5G network and connecting diverse geographies will benefit the people and businesses of Vanuatu.
“Telstra’s network innovation has played a critical part in Australia being ranked first in the global Mobile Connectivity Index which assesses networks based on performance, affordability and availability. We look forward to working with Oliver and the Telstra team,” Ms Jannif said.
Mr. Camplin-Warner said the values of the two companies were also well-aligned.
“Digicel Pacific and Telstra are both committed to building a connected future so everyone can thrive and this includes supporting some of the most vulnerable in our communities,” he said.
“Digicel Pacific has taken community development to the next level with its investments in health, education, grass roots sports programs, disaster recovery and special needs. We look forward to continuing this work, just as Digicel Pacific does today.
“We will also bring a commitment to addressing climate change to help drive better environmental outcomes for the people of Vanuatu.”
While the acquisition is backed by the Australian Government, the business will be 100 per cent owned and operated by Telstra.