Caricel is sold to south african firm

Caricel first owner seen here in pic Lowell Lawrence.
Lowell Lawrence sold its LTE in 2018.
JAMAICAN LTE broadband network Caricel has announced the acquisition of its majority shares by a South African company, Involution Limited, under a sale agreement negotiated last October.
In a statement on the sale, director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lowell Lawrence said that Caricel has chosen Involution Limited “because it is a progressive and innovative investor who would be able to provide the best Internet experience at reasonable prices.

“We expect this to create a positive impact on our economy, in that it will allow entrepreneurs, students and families to grow their businesses and improve their quality of life. Caricel has always sought to provide quality service, with the added confidence that we understand the needs of our customers and we are willing to invest in meeting those needs,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence also assured Caricel customers that its doors will remain open to serve them, and that his company is confident that the imminent changes will work to the greater advantage of the customers.

Involution was founded in 2017 by South African tech entrepreneurs Brandon Leigh, Conrad Leigh, Phumlani Moholi, and Gustav Schoeman, who also operate Rain, a new LTE only operator in South Africa, with an ever-expanding network of sites and customers.

Involution’s parent company, InstituteX, was founded in 2010, with a view to “disrupt the mobile industry”.

Involution was founded as a subsidiary of InstituteX in 2017 to allow for the pursuit of international opportunities such as the acquisition of Caricel, with the intention that it will acquire and grow the building blocks to build new generation, data-focused, mobile network operation.

Caricel pledged in February, 2017, to continue offering services, despite an on-going legal battle in the Jamaican courts over its spectrum licence.

Caricel, part of Symbiote Investments Limited, had applied for an injunction to block the Government from revoking its spectrum licence in January, 2017. The Supreme Court ruled against Symbiote, refusing the operator’s application for an injunction and allowing the Government to carry out investigations into its services.

The court ruling meant Caricel faces losing the licence it was granted in May 2016 that allowed it to deploy 4G services across the Caribbean island. Caricel had invested around $50 million on deployment up to that time, with a further $50 million earmarked for expansion over the next three years.

Caricel told the Jamaica Observer then that the company would, however, continue to offer LTE services, despite the court’s decision.

Caricel says it has continued to offer top of the line LTE service to its customers, since.

Caricel company management sites conspiracy

Principals of embattled firm Caricel Jamaica have labelled the Government’s revocation of operations licences as tantamount to a conspiracy aimed at preventing the start-up company from providing direct competition to “incumbent foreign-owned telecommunications companies operating in Jamaica”.
The Court of Appeal refused Caricel’s application for interim relief aimed at protecting the company’s business pending the hearing of an appeal against the Supreme Court’s disallowance of a judicial review of former minister Dr Andrew Wheatley’s decision to annul several of Caricel’s telecommunications licences.
“We represent a direct and powerful competition to the incumbent foreign-owned companies. We offer technology that affords every Jamaican the same access to information and markets irrespective of geographic location and income level,” the firm’s secretary for legal and regulatory affairs, Minett Lawrence, said.
She outlined that Caricel had come under many “attacks”, hinting at a deep-seated plot to engineer its downfall. But Lawrence insisted that the firm would take the matter to the Privy Council. The company is being represented by Anthony, Lord Gifford.
But as the company began rolling out its services, some of Jamaica’s international partners – believed to be the United States, Canada, and Britain – were reportedly adamant that under its then ownership, the company was not fit and proper to operate in the telecommunications sector.
This led to a review of the conditions that led to the granting of the licence, which culminated with the OUR’s recommendation that it should be revoked.