Natcom launches in Haiti for fixed and mobile business
Full service operator Natcom has opened for business in Haiti after installing nearly 1,000 2G and 3G mobile base stations and 3,000km of fibre.
The company, a joint venture between Vietnamese operator Viettel and the Haitian government, claimed it already has over 250,000 subscribers to its mobile services, and that its arrival in the market has already driven down pricing of unwired services by 20%.
Its rivals in the mobile space are Digicel Haiti and Voila. Digicel, which claims to have 2.4 million Haitian customers for its mobile services, and Natcom have already struck an interconnection deal.
Natcom said its next goal is to build on its fibre investment and roll out wired connections to every corner of the country.
Speaking at the launch of Natcom’s services, Haitian president Michel Martelly said: “The 3,000km cable that Natcom has developed will contribute to a revolution in the telecommunications sector in this country.”
He also praised the humanitarian work already done by Natcom following the earthquake of January 2010 which ravaged much of the country’s infrastructure.
“We signed a contract on September 1 last year and a year after we are ready to officially begin the commercialization of products,” said Yves Armand, deputy director of Natcom. “After only one year, Natcom has become the largest [fixed] telecommunications network in Haiti.”
Telecoms Sans Frontieres, a relief organization backed by the United Nations, has been helping to keep communications links in the country afloat since the earthquake, sending telecom engineers and mobile equipment to the region in the aftermath of the disaster.