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Digicel in joint venture with Xavier Niel's telecoms firm

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Joint venture: The island of Martinique is one of the territories where Digicell and Iliad will collaborate

Joint venture: The island of Martinique is one of the territories where Digicell and Iliad will collaborate

Denis O'Brien

Denis O'Brien

Xavier Niel

Xavier Niel

Bloomberg

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Joint venture: The island of Martinique is one of the territories where Digicell and Iliad will collaborate

Denis O'Brien-owned Digicel has announced a joint venture agreement with Eir owner Xavier Niel's Iliad, which will see the French telecoms provider launch a mobile service in the West Indies.

Under the network-sharing joint venture Digicel will allow the French operator to access Digicel's Radio Access Network capabilities in the French West Indies.

It allows Digicel to monetise its significant network assets across five territories in the French West Indies region - Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, St Martin and St Barth - while Iliad will be able to launch mobile services, Digicel said.

The two companies will share future operational investments.

Digicel Group CEO Jean-Yves Charlier said the joint venture is a first for the Irish-owned company.

"We are delighted to be partnering with a world-class telecom operator in Iliad and to be sharing a common vision of jointly building one of the most extensive networks across the French West Indies," he said.

"As we continue our journey towards becoming a digital operator, we recognise sharing infrastructure in a multi-operator marketplace provides the foundation to offer better network services to our customers, while reducing the cost structure.

"A joint venture of this nature is a first for Digicel and allows us to accelerate our digital ambitions," he added.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.

Irish Independent