Haiti’s president Jovenel Moise has set the price of 4G licences at US$300 million, in a bid to allay uncertainty.
Speaking to local news outlet Le Nouvelliste, Moise said: “When I arrived as the head of state, I heard that there was a licence to award. For this licence, I heard several figures: US$10 million, US$20 million, US$70 million dollars. I asked experts to do a study. Today, licences of this type cost nearly US$300 million.”
The dispute over pricing in Haiti dates back to November last year, when it was revealed that the country’s regulator Conatel (Conseil National des Telecommunications) had suggested charging vastly different prices for 4G concessions to the country’s two operators, Digicel and Natcom.
Under Conatel’s proposals, Digicel would have had to pay US$315 million for a 15-year licence, while Natcom – which is a joint venture between Viettel and the Haitian government – would have been charged just US$120 million.
Digicel has not yet begun operating a 4G network in the market, although in May this year its CEO Maarten Boute said that it was “on the cusp of a new and very important investment phase to equip the country with a modern 4G LTE network.”
Natcom launched a limited 4G offering in September 2016, although it is unknown whether this is still available. It also received 2×5MHz blocks of 1700MHz spectrum in August 2018.