Before everyone gets all slap happy and starts pulling out their Red and Green shirts lets get one thing clear. Digicel did not buy Claro. It was a swap with Digicel acquiring Claro Jamaica and America Movil (the parent company of Claro) acquiring Digicel’s holdings in El Slavador and Honduras. In other words this bit of telecommunications barter will put an end to the ongoing war between Digicel and Claro that ensued when Digicel decided to nuff up itself and venture into South American waters. That bit of nuffness saw Carlos Slim Helu (aka the richest man in the world sayonara Bill Gates) literally pissing money into the Jamaican market in an effort to cripple Digicel.
Blackberry phones were falling like manna from the sky, everybody had one on higher purchase.
Every type of possible free calling known to man was introduced
Claro formerly known as Miphone formerly known as Centennial formerly known as Oceanic digital branched out…like a man with many arrest warrants with a brand new facial transplant, suddenly Claro could pass flat bridge and head on over to St. Thomas, it was islandwide
LIME which has floundered for years suddenly had an ally, and like the dorky friend who hangs out with the jocks, basked in the reflected glow of CLARO’s awesomeness
and why might you ask? Because Digicel Jamaica is the cash cow of the Caribbean. Our money tall to the ceiling because there’s nothing we like to do quite like chatting. So if someone steps on your toes, hit ’em where it hurts, in the pocket
And so it came to pass that every radio station was able to purchase a Range Rover for its CEO based on Digicel and Claro advertising
Every patch of Jamaican soil that could hold a billboard, held one. Ms Dorothy now lived under the spot light and the doting smile of Tifa and Ding Dong as her backyard was rented post haste
Not to mention the casting call replacing Ms Jamaica as the new it place for pretty brown Jamaicans, with 7 campaigns per year(CLARO free nights free calls today’s a double day <–it’s the children of the corn i swear) there was always room for a new star, especially if you had pretty curly hair
but most of all, finally, Digicel had some competition, at least on the surface. Whether CLARO’s market share doubled or stayed the same, at least there was another player in the market place with the balls and bank to put up a fight to Digicel’s near monopoly. I have never seen so many promo offers from Digicel. Free calls, free texts, million dollar giveaways. It was like Christmas all year
and now…it’s over.
Some people, and i wish I could slap you all, may be rejoicing because they think of Digicel as a homegrown company, and Claro as an international imposter seeking to take us away from our true red home. But while you laugh and rejoice at Digicel’s ability to purchase anything they please, remember this:
Digicel is as Jamaican as Spaghetti and meat balls. It may have gotten here first and done a better job of cementing themselves into the Jamaican psyche, but at the end of the day they’re just another branch of an international company, and their bottom line is money.
Much as we suffered when Cable and Wireless had the monopoly of the market, so will we suffer when Digicel stands uncontested. Competition is good for the consumer, and any company, given enough power, will be tempted to use it
Digicel didn’t buy anything, yes they may be receiving the cash payment, and Lord knows the media has run with the most sensational version of the headline “Digicel buys CLARO” <—which points to their bias in the whole matter…but it’s a trade. Plain and simple. Big money talk. If anything its proof that if you fling enough money at any situation eventually you will get your way. So America Movil goes back to controlling central America (Carlos Slim-1: Anybody who tries to oppose him-0) and we move one step closer to ‘Digicel presents Jamaica’ being the official country name. So may people think the national colours are red green and gold already we may as well add them now.
Questions I ask:
*which I’m sure some PR team will soon answer*
what happens to all the CLARO blackberries?
what happens to the union between CLARO and LIME
who will rent the billboards that sprung up as fodder for this fight
and how will radio DJs ever learn to spin for 15 uninterrupted minutes now that the advertising volume will significantly decrease?
I’m not a fan of this move, I never have been, Digicel, like FLOW, seems to use bully tactics to corner the market, but then again, LIME is a weak opponent. Having been slighted before by monopolies and still living in the clutches of JPS it is with sadness that I watch any worthy opponent leave.
But that’s business I suppose.
Digicel presents Jamaica. Wonder how it’ll look on a passport