Digicel boss Denis O'Brien is on course to lock horns with his old rival, Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim, in the wholesale telecoms market as his company Deep Blue Cable, is investing more than US$350 million laying an undersea fibre-optic cable in the Caribbean, is to extend its planned network to Panama and Colombia.
The Irish Times newspaper, says the extension, especially into Colombia, will put O'Brien's Deep Blue Cable into direct competition with Slim's America Movil company, which for years was a major rival of O'Brien's Digicel business.
The original plan was for O'Brien's cable to thread a large number of island nations in the region over the next 2 and a half years with fibre capable of delivering high-speed broadband.
The roll out will make landfall in Jamaica as well as other markets such as the Cayman Islands, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago.
Meanwhile, the Irish Times says Digicel has been weighing a second phase of its undersea cable rollout, which could include bringing services to Cuba
Deep Blue confirmed the extension of the phase-one rollout to include Panama and Colombia will push back the completion date for the project until near the middle of 2020.
O'Brien had previously mooted an extension of the project, which he said would push up the investment to US$450 million.
Deep Blue Cable also said that following the destruction wrought in the Caribbean by Hurricane Irma, it might redesign parts of its network to make it less susceptible to weather events.
- Countries: Caribbean