Lime-aid is here to cool a scorching summer!

An episode in the battle between Jamaican telecommunications companies, Lime and Digicel

Customers purchase LIME handsets at the phone company’s Half Way Tree Road headquarters yesterday. (Photo: Bryan Cummings in Jamaica Observer)

This is a rare moment for Jamaican consumers. We might actually be sitting pretty while our two telecommunications giants slug it out. Lime, formerly Cable and Wireless, has just taken the fight to Irish-owned but thoroughly creolized Digicel, by slashing its mobile telephony rates by up to 80%. From J$8/min rates have now fallen to J$1.99 and even though Lime only has a small percentage of the mobile market everyone is rejoicing at the prospect of  Goliath Digicel’s comeback for the company can hardly allow itself to be felled, or even significantly wounded, by David and his slingshot.

Meanwhile Digicel stores were full of empty space…

Mind you the actual share of the mobile market claimed by Lime is contested by Digicel which claims Lime is underreporting its subscriber base to gain public sympathy. Still this move has precipitated a rush on Lime by eager customers who want to cash in on the pricefall. Meanwhile i congratulate myself on having invested in a Lime handset months ago.

Digicel’s climb to behemoth status has been an interesting one with the company astutely participating in Jamaica’s rambunctious popular culture by creating popular TV reality shows and sponsoring live music events among other things. But this it seems can only take you so far, mobile customers have consistently complained about the unreasonably high rates of making calls from Digicel to other Digicel clients (intranet) as well as inter-network rates. Looks like Goliath may have to bow this time…

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