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Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
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2degrees' owner counts human cost after Haiti quake


Above: a switching centre owned by Haitian mobile phone company Voila is miraculously unscathed after the January 13 quake.
Trilogy International Partners chairman John Stanton said today that five of 575 employees of his company's Haitian mobile phone

Chris Keall
Thu, 21 Jan 2010

Above: a switching centre owned by Haitian mobile phone company Voila is miraculously unscathed after the January 13 quake.

Trilogy International Partners chairman John Stanton said today that five of 575 employees of his company’s Haitian mobile phone company, Voila, are confirmed dead after the January 13 earthquake.

A further 51 are missing.

Mr Stanton relayed news of the tragedy at a breakfast event in Auckland this morning, hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce. Trilogy numbers a majority holding in 2degrees among its other international investments.

In December, the Trilogy chairman accepted a US State Department award from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, recognising the company’s work in Haiti.

Ms Clinton recognised Trilogy for providing indirect employment to more than 15,000 Haitians through a micro-enterprise venture whereby local entrepreneurs sell time on a customised cell phone.

The company has also helped fund scholarships for 5000 Haitian primary students in partnership with a foundation founded by musician Wyclef Jean - who has now become a leading figure in efforts to raise earthquake relief funds.

Mr Stanton also showed the Auckland audience several pictures of the devastation. Miraculously, much of Voila’s network was unscathed, and it remained live during the quake (though was taken down for several hours for maintenance in its aftermath).

Ironically, Haiti's poor infrastructure, which saw daily power cuts at the best of times, meant each Voila cellsite had its own power generator - helping them to stay functional during the quake.

2degrees' new chairman, Stewart Sherriff, was among those manning a Trilogy crisis command centre in Florida that coordinated Haiti efforts in the wake of the quake.

Voila has around 1 million customers in Haiti.

More:
2degrees’ investor: rivals block retail channels
Only one barrier to Trilogy tightening grip on 2degrees

Chris Keall
Thu, 21 Jan 2010
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2degrees' owner counts human cost after Haiti quake
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