New domestic competitor for Barbados telecoms
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS, Thursday June 14, 2012 – Legacy telecommunications provider Lime will soon be involved in a turf war as within the last two months two new entrants have come on to the scene to make a strong claim to usurp it as the main provider of domestic services in Barbados.
A month after Karib Cable launched its intention to take over in the internet and cable service arenas, Columbus International Inc. has announced that it will be taking over Lime’s biggest internet service rival on the island – TeleBarbados.
Columbus announced yesterday (June 13) that it had entered into a definitive agreement through one of its subsidiaries to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Antilles Crossing (Barbados) IBC Inc. and Antilles Crossing Holding Company (St. Lucia) Limited from Caribbean Fibre Holdings, LP. This transaction would make Columbus the new owner of TeleBarbados Inc., Tele-St. Lucia Inc. and Wamco Technology Group Limited.
TeleBarbados owns and operates a fibre rich telecommunications network in Barbados and provides advanced voice and data services to a diverse retail and corporate customer base on both a wireless and a hard-wired basis. It holds a broad range of licenses as issued under the Telecommunications Act of Barbados to provide domestic and international voice services, backhaul bandwidth capacity services, Internet exchange services, managed data network services, virtual private network services, public Internet access services, fixed wireless telecom services, domestic and international telecom services, and various wireless spectrum services. Tele-St. Lucia holds a series of licenses issued under the Telecommunications Act of St. Lucia to provide similar services throughout St. Lucia.
Columbus chief executive officer Brendan Paddick gave a two to three-year time frame in which they would put their stamp on the Barbados market.
"The acquisition of TeleBarbados marks a significant milestone in Columbus' entry into the Barbados telecom marketplace. Columbus plans to invest heavily in Barbados over the next 24 to 36 months to offer consumers the full triple play of broadband Internet, digital landline telephone and advanced Internet protocol based video services under the brand name FLOW. In addition, Columbus will be launching a series of corporate data, connectivity and IT services under the brand Columbus Business Solutions," he said.
Paddick added that the had the funds at their disposal to really make a competitive play in the market.
"With our recently announced US$225 million credit facility, Columbus is well positioned to make an immediate and significant direct investment in infrastructure in Barbados, resulting in the launch of a host of new advanced consumer and corporate services, the creation of hundreds of new high technology jobs and lower prices leading to a more competitive Barbados in the global economy. We welcome TeleBarbados' 60 talented professionals to the Columbus team and we look forward to serving its loyal customers for many years to come."
Established in 2004, Columbus is a privately held diversified telecommunications company based in Barbados. The Company operates in Trinidad, Jamaica, Grenada and Curacao and provides digital cable television, broadband Internet, digital landline telephony under the brand name, FLOW and corporate data services under the brand, Columbus Business Solutions. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Columbus Networks, the Company provides capacity and IP services, corporate data solutions and data centre hosting throughout 23 countries in the greater Caribbean, Central American and Andean region. Through its fully protected, ringed submarine fibre optic network spanning close to 18,000 km and its 21,000 km terrestrial fibre and coaxial network, Columbus' 1,900 plus employees provide advanced telecom services to a diverse residential and corporate client base of close to 500,000 customers.