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Stagnating infrastructure + poor penetration rates = Haiti fixed-line

Analyst and forecaster Companies and Markets has recently turned its attention to the less-publicised markets in the Caribbean. Its profile of Haiti’s fixed line system can hardly be described as optimistic.

Fixed-line services are provided by state-owned monopoly operator Telecommunications d’Haiti (Teleco), a branch of the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communications. Teleco is inefficient and poorly managed. There is a lack of accountability and questionable business practices.

Although in mid-2007 the government announced its decision to privatise Teleco, by late 2008 Teleco was still government-owned and with the economy still reeling from significant hurricane damage, it appeared unlikely for the privatisation to return to the national agenda during 2009.

Given the stagnating fixed-line infrastructure and poor fixed-line penetration rates, mobile is likely to remain the principal form of telecommunications for the short-to-medium term. In the longer term growth can also be expected to come from wireless broadband solutions such as WiMAX.

The new report contains overviews, analyses and statistics of the Haitian fixed-line, mobile and broadband markets. Key highlights are as follows:

  • in early 2008 Comcel, in partnership with Alcatel-Lucent, launched a WiMAX network under Comcel’s 3.5GHz licence;

  • Haiti’s mobile market continued to enjoy strong growth during 2008, reaching a penetration level of almost 40% by September, up from 18% in 2006;

  • Digicel’s subscriber growth in Haiti remained robust during 2008, with Digicel accounting for approximately 63% of the mobile market by September 2008;

  • in August and September 2008 Haiti experienced a series of devastating hurricanes, with economic damage and loss estimated to be over US$900 million, approximately 15% of GDP; and

  • following the crippling effect of the hurricanes on Haiti’s economy, the privatisation of Teleco appears to have slipped from the government’s agenda.

More info:

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