Telecommunications and Internet
Internet and telecommunication connectivity in Haiti has been expanding significantly with considerable private investment. In 2010 the national telecoms provider, Telecommunications d’Haiti S.A.M. (Teleco) was privatized (and renamed Natcom), with the Vietnamese company Viettel acquiring a 60% share of the company from the Haitian government.
Haiti has rapidly expanded its mobile phone penetration rate over the past decade to roughly 70 percent of the population in 2014. The predominant mobile provider is Digicel, which is also Natcom’s main competitor in the provision of both phone and internet services.
Two undersea fiber optic cables extend to Haiti. E1 connectivity is provided at competitive rates. As of the end of 2014, Haiti has an estimated 2.6 million internet users which covers 25 percent of the population. In the mobile broadband space, Haiti has over 1.5 million subscribers or about 15 percent of the population as of the end of 2014. There are five internet service providers serving the country (Digicel, Multilink, Hainet, Natcom, and Access Haiti).
The country code for Haiti is 509, and the first digit of the telephone number indicates whether it is a cellular (3, 4) or landline (2). Investors can obtain cell phones for short stays. The two largest companies are Natcom and Digicel.
Most hotels offer free wi-fi. Internet access is also available in a number of restaurants, coffee shops and bars.
It is recommended to use Haitian Gourdes rather than U.S. dollars to obtain the best exchange rate. ATMs are located in various locations in Port-au-Prince and Petion- Ville. Sogebank has ATMs in some hotels, supermarkets and gas stations. The ATMs accept Visa and Mastercard for debit cards. American Express is also widely accepted.
Haiti offers a range of international school options in both English and French. Examples include: Union School, Quisqueya Christian School, Morning Star Christian Academy, The New American School, The New Victorian School, The Haitian Academy, and Lycée Alexandre-Dumas.