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LIME, Digicel in dispute over cross-network calls

Published:Friday | September 26, 2014 | 9:00 AM

Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

There were indications late yesterday that Digicel Jamaica was rushing to stave off another battle over cross-network calling that has left LIME, its perennial competitor, hopping mad.

With LIME's CEO Garry Sinclair admitting that he is fuming because his company's clientele is being obstructed from communicating freely, Gillian Power, Digicel's group public relations manager, told The Gleaner late yesterday her company was moving to resolve the matter.

Later, an emailed response from Digicel admitted: "There was an issue between the providers based on a miscommunication."

The company stated there had been further dialogue between the parties as recently as yesterday and that the issue had been resolved.

"As such, there is nothing to comment on, as the parties are agreed and there is no issue for the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) to intervene in," Digicel stated.

But there has been signal from LIME that another verbal war could be looming, as LIME complained that Digicel is obstructing its clientele from communicating freely.

"We are not asking for anything special," asserted Sinclair. "We, once again, implore Digicel to live up to its obligations and provide LIME customers with unfettered access to its network."

Sinclair argued that at the end of the day, both networks should simply have the best interest of Jamaican consumers at heart and ensure that their customers have the network performance they deserve, no matter which network they are on.

COMPLAINED TO OUR

LIME disclosed yesterday that it had asked the OUR to instruct Digicel to provide immediate additional circuits to LIME to facilitate improved cross-network calling.

LIME said it has complained to the utilities regulator that customers have been experiencing severe congestion whenever they make a call from LIME to Digicel.

"The effect of this congestion on our customers is [the] difficulty in completing calls to the Digicel network," stated Lime in its correspondence to the OUR.

LIME said increased complaints from its customers that they are unable to receive calls from Digicel customers have caused an increase in the number of redials.

The company stated it is incensed that Digicel has not provided the additional circuits, despite persistent efforts to work with Digicel to rectify the situation.

gary.spaulding@gleanerjm.com