According to CEO of Cable and Wireless, Phil Bentley, the telecommunication company has changed significantly in the last few years, adding that the company, which was known to be a global player, will now focus its attention on the Caribbean.
“We have entered a number of businesses outside of the region and we are committed and focused in the Caribbean. I joined the company on 1st Jan so I am new to the telecoms industry and to Cable and Wireless,” Bentley explained.
Bentley, who has had working experience with British Petroleum (BP) and the British Gas Company in the UK, noted that as CEO, he looked at the investment strategy in the Caribbean and it was evident to him that C&W was not investing enough.
“So essentially we have taken a new strategy to our investors with a 30% increase in capital investment with US$1B over the next year. This will be a big step-up in investment. A lot of that will aim at year one of the three year programme here in the Caribbean,” Bentley revealed.
The CEO further said that the investment will go to improving on areas such as mobile, advancing to becoming the best network in the Caribbean and Central America. “In truth, for instance St. Kitts, we have been slow to roll-out 4G and we will finish that, hopefully by October and that will be a US$4.5M investment.”
Another area of improvement, according to Bentley is Broadband, which he said has not been invested in enough. He added that C&W has already started installing Fiber Optic Cables in a number of islands to see more speed for Broadband users.
St. Kitts and Nevis will also see this change in the coming months but this will be another US$5 investment. “That will deliver an average speed of 30 mega-bits per seconds (mbps) for downloading.
He said that because only 30% of the region’s populations are smartphone users, as against others who use voice only devices; there is an opportunity for Lime to grow in terms of Smartphone penetration.
Business, another area of improvement according to Bentley, will also see a huge advancement. He added that Lime is currently ‘beefing up’ their sales and engineering capabilities to design systems and solutions to meet needs of businesses.
Bentley further revealed to media representatives that Lime will also be venturing in the Television spectrum in St. Kitts. “You have one cable operator. We have TV services in Barbados, St. Lucia, Bahamas and Panama, with super-fast HD quality.
The CEO asserted that from here on out, there is a new C&W, adding that the company has moved from its location in London to now Miami. He added that the decision to move to Miami is to have better access to their regional markets.
Bentley said that he will be meeting the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis today to discuss his plans of investment and growth in the Federation.
When asked about the staff reduction within the company for the past year, Bentley said, “As I would say to people, growth is what pays for jobs and you can’t have it the other way around… We’ve got the right number of people running the business today and we get growth and that is what pays for new jobs and new opportunities.
He added that C&W’s aim at present is to grow in order to create jobs for nationals.
In addressing the concern of many residents of St. Kitts and Nevis about the poor quality of service they have been receiving in the past couple months; the CEO explained that the investment will see better quality for their customers.
“In October we should have all our 4G networking complete and we are adding more base stations across the federation with towers which will allow better service. The more towers you have in an area will decrease congestion,” Bentley said.