Fri | Sep 22, 2017

FLOW million milestone achieves five-year target, says Sinclair

Published:Wednesday | June 8, 2016 | 6:00 AMNeville Graham
Garfield Sinclair, managing director of Cable & Wireless Jamaica/FLOW Jamaica.

When Garfield Sinclair took office in 2010 as managing director of Cable & Wireless Jamaica then trading as LIME the company had just over 300,000 mobile subscribers. More than five years later, the telecom, which now trades as Flow Jamaica, has hit the one million subscriber.

"From the outset, the target was to get to one million subscribers in five years ... which we've largely done," said Sinclair.

"It started with the lobbying effort to get cost-based termination rates, which involved the entire staff lobbying their MPs, etc ... then promoting our flagship proposition, Talk EZ, on the ground, in the streets, in stores, etc," Sinclair said.

Still, the achievement still leaves FLOW Jamaica's mobile base at around half the level of rival Digicel Jamaica, which has long touted more than two million subscribers.

The movement in the subscriber base did not start immediately in 2010, but in 2012 when the company got the nod that allowed for lower termination rates.

"The strategy was simple once we could compete on price with reduced termination rates, we asked customers what they wanted to pay to talk. They told us, and we offered it to them," Sinclair said.

"We didn't manage to make a real dent in first year and a half until we got regulatory accommodation in June 2012, so we actually achieved this growth at average rate of more like about 187,500 per year," he said.

The expansion of the mobile customer base and the one-million milestone comes as the company reports a net profit for the first time in nine years. Cable & Wireless Jamaica made $1.165 billion at year end March 2016.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com