In an unexcpected move, that has caught everyone off guard and by MEGA surprise, Digicel acquires Claro Jamaica.

What could this buyout/merger mean, as it stands now it raises more questions than answers for ICT industry.  What do we stand to gain or loose.

 

Will iPhone become available to the masses, is this the beginning of the end of Blackberry Country?

Will iPad 1 and iPad 2 become the new laptop?

Will Edge be upgraded to the 3G, and will Digicel expand the 3G network or move it to LTE (Mobile 4G)?

 

 

What do you think is going to happen after this merger is completed?

 

  • This recent move between Digicel and Claro only confirms out initial thoughts as to why Claro had setup a foot hold here in Jamaica and now the telecom giants have called a truce.

    The iPhone has a long way to go before it becomes as popular as the BlackBerry here in Jamaica, but not without hope. The iPhone being such a commerce driven device and Jamaica surely lacks that culture, First Caribbean’s introduction of the Visa debt card to Jamaica will make the iPhone a much more attractive gadget to have with its many apps.

    One thing that truely defines the BlackBerry in Jamaica is the notable BlackBerry Messenger and affordable data plans, not to say the iPhone has no chance of making an impact with its vast array of messaging apps.

    Much anticipation has been given to the launch of Apple’s iPad 2, however my opinion still remains that the iPad is 80% a consumption gadget, the other 20% is what you make it for a platform for production. Personally I do want one for quick monitoring and content generation, but I don’t see it replacing my Apple MacBook Pro anytime soon.

    Digicel still has a lot of cashing in to do on it’s “4G” before it moves to support other standards, after a misguided and over invested attempt at supporting the loosely standardized “4G” I think they took a financial hit which they are still trying to justify.

    After the dust settles, I see a brighter future for Digicel with a proper strategy they will open to door for all three leading mobile platforms in Jamaica, BlackBerry, iPhone and Android and I see better involvement with the growing mobile development community. I’ve been pretty amped about mobile apps especially after seeing what people with great ideas and the proper resources can do.

  • Akealio

    lol lol….who knows

  • Nice comment Dale-Kurt and great questions Khary.

    (1) Will iPhone become available to the masses, is this the beginning of the end of Blackberry Country?

    I hope this is the beginning of the end and hope that more Android and iOS devices get into Jamaica at affordable prices. The fact that more people will be able to get an iPhone without having to change their number or unlock the phone will definitely contribute to iPhone growth but it will be slow.

    (2) Will iPad 1 and iPad 2 become the new laptop?

    Seems like this should be for a different article since Claro wasn’t doing much to push the iPad in any way.

    If by “become the new laptop” you mean the new portable computing device of choice then yes. If you mean the new portable device that completely eliminates the need for a desktop then no. Apple has made it clear that the iPad is not intended to replace your computer, just provide more portable computing for the majority.

    (3) Will Edge be upgraded to the 3G, and will Digicel expand the 3G network or move it to LTE (Mobile 4G)?

    I hope Edge will be upgraded to 3G because Claro’s data is better than Digicel. As for LTE vs. expand the 3G network, I hope they move it to LTE.

  • @Dale-Kurt, I think you are pretty much bang on with the exception that the iPhone is a commerce driven product!! BlackBerry is also a commerce driven product but I believe one of the initial reasons why the BB took hold in Jamaican initially had to do with the fact that many of the iPhone, iPod and iPad APPS do not work in Jamaica. A second reason is the copy-cat nature of the populace – dancehall stars initially embraced the BB over iPhone so “if Kartel have a BB mi wan one too…” Second Jamaican love fi chat and they found the BB Messenger still allows them to get there fix without incurring the cost phone calls and text can generate.

    I live part-time in Canada and part-time in Jamaica and I can tell you the majority (and by majority, I don’t mean 51%, I mean 95%) of Jamaicans who own a BB do not utilize even 1% of it’s capability – they essentially use it as a glorified phone and it makes absolutely no sense why many have a Blackberry other than the “status” symbol. I am astounded at how many people simply use it as a phone and do not know about Email (original reason BB was so useful) BBM, Camera features, meeting invites, using Google Apps especially Maps as a GPS system ( I used Google Apps to get from Ochi to Harbour View even though I hadn’t been to HV in 30 years and didn’t want to into New Kingston and take the long route). If you’ve been keeping up with the Dudus – Manat Enquiry in Kingston this week we had a prefect illustration from the Justice Minister / Attorney General Dorothy Lightbourne admitted she doesn’t know how to send an email but she has a BB and she only knows how to press 1 button to check and read her messages because someone programmed it for her. For me that confirmed what I already knew from people I meet when I’m on the rock who have BBs and I’m taking about people in business here.

    All this to say iPhone, iPad, Android based, etc will become popular when in JA when prominent people in the culture endorse it by showing off there gadget.

    • Lorane

      wow!! Well said…

  • Pre Hack

    If Digicel supports 3g or upgrade to 4g.. I Phone and Android devices will sure take over because BB is a device that does not make it. Why. Its support for apps are limited.. Sooner or later.. BB users will realize that.. Correction on Above comment.. Apps have limited support for I Phone in Jamaica due to the fact that the operator does not support fast internet speed but with a wifi connection.. All apps works. Whether video chat or any other service for I have tested my self with Digicel at my Location. The Fact about BB is that it was made to generate a lot of income for mobile carries.. Everyone has a BB for one purpose.. BB messenger which to me is dum because you cannot use it via wifi, You can only talk to bb users, Its the same like any IM app but BB users are to blind to realize that. Its just another mobile like those from 19xx and you have to pay the mobile operator the same price you pay for broadband internet for pc just for BBM. That’s all because only around 4 BB apps make it and the rest make complete no sense. Unlike I Phone which has apps you always dream of.. Pretty much all PlayStatin/X Box/Nintendo/Wii Like/PC apps and HD games. Look at Need for speed Shift for example and Street Fighter. Also virtual DJ. It plays on I Phone Exactly like how you would play it on gaming systems/PC.. Just that with an extra fun to it like Wii.. About the paying part.. I will not say as to people with computer knowledge know what to do.. Fact is Word Wide except our little Caribbean.. Mobile operators don’t give a crap about BB.. The major features are just high end security and BBM.. People don’t even buy them much except for countries that have minimum computer knowledge. Also.. Android is also a powerful device that might take over I Phone. But.. I Phone already has Alot more apps but due to free sources in making apps for Android. Alot of software creates apps for Android first then I Phone.. Even Nokia.. But BB.. They create it to generate money for they to know that its not half as great the app for Android and I Phone.

  • Chris

    As said B4- Apple has a lot of catching up to do if they want to compete in the Jamaican arena. The reason why BB is so dominant in Jamaica is because of it’s messenger application. People want to be able to chat their relatives and friends in foreign countries for free and BB delivers that hands down. I own a BB just to be able to speak to my friends and family in JA from Boston MA, USA however, I soooooo want an Iphone. If apple ever decides to create a network like BB where you can chat on a dedicated BB like messenger service… that will be the end of Blackberry in JA and around the world.
    Apple thinks that there is no difference between BBM and other Messengers since u need a DATA plan to have BB service and you need a DATA plan to have MSN Messenger or Yahoo Messenger or Google IM but they are soo worng ..

    In Jamaica it is definately a status ting. Cell phones are more popular that home phones and computers. 80% of the people in JA are on a Prepaid type of service. Mins cost money texting cost money. Texting abroad cost even more $$ People want to communicate with other people without spending a wad of $$ to do it. Blackberry allows you to do for an affordable price while on the go with other BB devices or without by using a computer…

    The only way Iphone is to compete is if the carriers like Digicel and Lime are to improve their networks and start offering affordable data plans that they can use to showcase their apps for people to see that the IPHONE is the better product

    • Guest

      the iphone 4S now has iMessage so you can talk to any iphone user across the world now just like you would with bbb

  • Marlon Brando98

    brando              andriod is taking over BB better step up the pase these machines are  superb machines

  • Barbara Jones

    Reduce competition and lead to higher cell phone prices.

  • Maxxx105

    A lot of Jamaicans are ignorant about Technology. Digicel has been exceptionaly quiet on the issue of bringing high speed internet to Cell Phones. They keep misleading people with catch phrases and general statements like “expanding 4G services across the Island for mobile devices” which some people have incorrectly interpreted to mean 4G on Cell phones.  They are talking about dongles and mifi devices-NOT CELL PHONES!!!

    Whats worse is that i don’t hear the powers that be (Government, OUR, Corporate Ja etc) forcing Digicel and LIME to make data service more available to the average Jamaican.

    Who can afford a mifi device for $10000 plus $3500 for monthly service PLUS TAX!!! That’s crazy.

    BB is popular for two reasons:
    1. It has the cheapest data service.
    2. Messaging at low cost.

    If the two companies reduce their Data rates to affordable levels BB will die quickly because it is just a glorified messenger!!

    There are many alternative applications avaialable but there is one called Whatsapp that can totally destroy BB Messaging (as it is cross platform supporting Android Iphone, BB, Nokia and has more features) – therefore the user would have a wider cross section of contacts. Not to mention Skype with video and voice chat for FREE once you have a good data plan.

    All that money spent on WI Max should have been spent on LTE then we would have true 4g service on Cell phones and Tablets.

    Now lets put the devices in pespective:
    Iphones are way superior to Blackberries…no debate. 
    Android has gone past Iphone as it has lent itself to top class hardware companies such as HTC, Samsung Motorla, LG, ASUS etc. This means that there are many devices that are more affordable than Iphone, IPAD and blackberry which the average jamaican could afford if the Data plans and rates were more affordable.

    I pray that someone picks up on these sentiments do something about it as Jamaica stands to benefit greatly from technological advancements if the companies make the right moves and make data services more affordable.