NTT DoCoMo’s purchase of Guamcell Communications and HafaTel is nearing the end of the Federal Communication Commission’s approval process which began early April. Mark W. Chamberlin president of Guamcell Communications; told the Journal “That process will be completed in November and we expect to have a successful conclusion.”
Once the purchase is complete Guamcell and HafaTel would merge. Chamberlin said that Guamcell has about 112 employees and that number is expected to rise to more than 200 employees. “We don’t know exactly how many [employees] HafaTel has. Until we actually complete the transaction we’re not sharing information with each other as we’re still competitors.
“Future plans are just unknown. It’ll just be a function of identifying where people are needed — if people are needed. Long term of course we expect to continue to grow and always get larger. We don’t have any numbers at this point.”
After the merger Guamcell will obtain HafaTel’s global system for mobile communication network — which utilizes SIM cards — in addition to the code division multiple access network it utilizes now. “We’ll certainly be looking for synergies like cell sites that we can share; infrastructure — buildings generators towers those types of things.” When the merger is complete Guamcell will have two distinct networks — GSM and CDMA.
Once DoCoMo receives approval from the FCC it plans to make improvements to the current technology and services. DoCoMo plans to improve the GSM coverage of HafaTel’s network. “That would give us a suite of GSM services. Over time we will be starting a wide-band code division multiple access network which is a third [generation] technology.” Chamberlin said the WCDMA network would be consistent with the technology that DoCoMo deployed in Japan Korea and Hong Kong.
He said “As market demand presents itself we’ll have access to some of the new technologies that Japan has and we’ll roll out the ones that make sense in this market place ” Chamberlin said that Guam is progressive in introducing new products and services. Because Japan has been successful with launching new technology that isn’t available in the U.S. Chamberlin said that the sale would create an opportunity for Guamcell to bring new technology before it is released in the U.S. mainland.
Some of those services include being able to access bank accounts making payments and even setting your home security alarm.
When the sale is approved by the FCC Chamberlin said that in December there would be “a consummation of the deal pending.” On March DoCoMo and Guamcell signed a business agreement with all of the details worked out pending regulatory approval. MBJ