Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Haiti: Political and economic turmoil have held back development of the telecommunications sector

[official wire] The Haiti - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband profiles the fixed-line, mobile and broadband markets in Haiti.

Haiti’s economic and social indicators are still far lower than the average for Latin America and the Caribbean. The political and economic turmoil of recent years has kept Haiti’s telecommunications sector as one of the least developed in the world. In early 2009, Haiti’s fixed line teledensity was amongst the lowest in the world, at less than 2%.

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.

This report contains overviews, analyses and statistics of the Haitian fixed-line, mobile and broadband markets.

Key highlights:
• 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 hurricane, with economic damage and loss estimated to be over $900 million, approximately 15% of GDP.
• Following the crippling effect of the hurricanes of Haiti’s economy, the privatisation of Teleco appeared to have slipped from the government’s agenda.

Haiti Telecommunications: Stagnating Fixed-line Infrastructure And Poor Fixed-line Penetration Rates
see also Haiti - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

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