Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. It covers the western part of the Hispanola island in the Caribbean. The country has been devastated by natural desasters multiple times in the past. That's why Haiti's telephone system often appears to be in a state of permanent revolution or repair. The national operator is constructing a new fibre-optic backbone network, but landlines are often down and mobile networks are not so reliable either.
In Haiti currently two mobile networks operate:
- Digicel Haiti
Digicel came to Haiti in 2006 and has won the most customers since. The other provider Natcom was created after the privatization of the national operator in 2010 with Vietnamese help. Other networks often saw suspensions too: Concel sold its cellular network branded as Voilá to Digicel in 2012. The CDMA mobile network of Haitel was shut down in 2013.
The mobile networks are unreliable and only cover some areas with 3G, often dubbed as "4G". 4G/LTE has started with Natcom. Many locals have two SIM cards, because of the situation as starter prices are minimal. WhatsApp is very popular to communicate.
There are still many power blackouts in Haiti. So you should use the time when power is on to load your batteries. For sensitive hardware better bring a surge protector. Note that both providers use European, not US frequencies.
You can top-up buying scratch cards from street vendors who are easily identifiable wearing company logos on their vests. They can also top-up your phone by sending credit directly to your number. In both cases they charge a fee for their service. So a 100 HTG face value top-up becomes more like a 90 HTG credit.
Digicel Haiti Edit
Digicel has become the market leader with almost 3/4 of all mobile users in the country since its launch in 2006. It has a reasonable coverage for voice, but only some areas are covered by 3G for faster data which are marketed as "4G". These areas are shaded in dark red on this coverage map. 3G coverage is verified in Cotes des Arcadins, Anse A Galets, Saint-Marc, Gonaives, Cap-Haitian, Port-de-Paix, Hinche, Mirebalais.
2G/GSM up to EDGE is on 900 MHz and 1800 MHz and 3G labeled "4G" up to HSPA+ on 2100 MHz. There is no 4G/LTE yet.
Digicel blocked all VoIP calls of apps like Skype in 2014, but was ordered by courts and the regulator to unblock VoIP soon afterwards. For now VoIP calls should work in their "4G" areas.
Their SIM cards are available for free in their stores (locator). Be prepared to show an ID or a copy of it at the place of purchase. Check balance by *120*9#. There is Digicel kiosk right after customs in Port-au-Prince airport.
Top-ups can be made online by credit card or PayPal or you can go to one of the many Digicel top-up vendors on the streets to 'recharge' who add a small fee. To top-up by scratch card enter *121*<voucher code>#. To check balance, type *120#.
Data feature packages Edit
Default rate outside of packages is 2.50 HTG per MB. These "4G" (up to 3G/HSPA+) packages are offered:
|20 MB||60 minutes||4 HTG||*134*10#|
|75 MB||100 MB||24 hours||9 HTG||*134*850#|
|160 MB||160 MB||3 days||18 HTG||*134*18#|
|500 MB||500 MB||3 days||45 HTG||*134*45#|
|900 MB||900 MB||3 days||75 HTG||*134*500#|
|3 GB||3 GB||7 days||250 HTG||*134*250#|
|5 GB||5 GB||7 days||350 HTG||*134*330#|
|6 GB||6 GB||30 days||500 HTG||*134*500#|
|14 GB||14 GB||30 days||1000 HTG||*134*70#|
|30 GB||30 GB||30 days||2000 HTG||*134*15#|
Packages activated by the given codes don't auto-renew. Social media included in bonus allowances are WhatsApp (no VoIP), Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To check validity and balance of a data pack dial *120*22#.
International roaming Edit
They sell their Roam Like You're Home plan allowing Digicel customers travelling to the USA or the Caribbean to use data at 10 HTG per MB. You will need to connect to AT&T or T-Mobile in the US or any Caribbean Digicel network.
- for 7 days: 350 HTG
- for 30 days: 1,100 HTG
To activate Roam like you are Home dial *186# and send.
More info Edit
- APN: web.digicelha.com
- Website: https://www.digicelgroup.com/ht/fr/mobile.html
Natcom was created in 2010 after the privatization of the state-owned national provider Teleco with Vietnamese assistance. It's a joint venture owned 60% by Viettel and the Vietnamese army and 40% by the Haitian state.
Natcom's 2G is on 900 MHz and its 3G on 2100 MHz. 4G/LTE is on 1700 MHz (AWS, band 4). They hold a temporary 4G/LTE concession covering six metropolitan areas of the capital Port-au-Prince: Delmas, Petionville, City Centre, Carrefour, Tabarre and Plaine du Cul-de-sac. In 2018 finally the Haitian regulator CONATEL granted them bandwidth for 4G/LTE on 1700 MHz (band 4).
Natcom has still less coverage than Digicel, but offers in certain areas faster speeds and generally lower rates thanks to many promotions.
Their regular prepaid SIM is called XChange SIM and sold in their stores or 'showrooms' (list) at 50 HTG for 3G and 75 HTG for 4G/LTE. It comes with 10 MB for 3 days, 25 HTG for 3 days and 8 HTG for 8 days. For their new 4G/LTE you need a special SIM card only sold in a few of their shops in Port-au-Prince.
Top-ups can be made by street vendors for a fee or online in US$ or HTG by credit card or PayPal. Top-ups from 1 to 1000 HTG give 1 to 100 days of validity depending on amount. Check by *101#.
Natcom gives high data bonuses to recharges. For all top-ups of 300 HTG / US$ 5 or more they give 5 GB for 5 days, for more than 600 HTG / US$ 10 they give 10 GB for 10 days. Check by *102#.
Data feature packages Edit
The default outside of bundles is 2.50 HTG per MB. You can return to this rate by *132*0#. These packages are offered:
|DL 9||60 MB||24 hours||9 HTG||*131*9#|
|DL 19||180 MB||24 hours||18 HTG||*105*17#|
|MU200||1.5 GB||30 days||200 HTG||*134*200#|
|MU400||3 GB||30 days||400 HTG||*134*400#|
|MU800||7 GB||30 days||800 HTG||*132*800#|
|MU1000||12 GB||30 days||1000 HTG||*132*1000#|
|MU2000||25 GB||30 days||2000 HTG||*132*2000#|
All packages auto-renew. You can add more data to the monthly packs:
- 400 MB: 100 HTG, activation: *181*3#
- 1 GB: 200 HTG, activation: *181*1#
- 3.5 GB: 400 HTG, activation: *181*2#
Check data balances by *103#.
Tourist SIM Edit
Their special tourist SIM is only available in their stores at Port-au-Prince airport (PAP) and Cap-Haïtien airport (CAP) in the north and a few selected hotels.
They are provided for free and contain 100 MB for 1 day. You can top-up any regular data package mentioned above. For a recharge they give extra data as bonus:
- top-up 200 HTG - 500 HTG: 500 MB for 1 day
- top-up 500 HTG - 1000 HTG: 1 GB for 3 days
- top-up 1000 HTG or more: 5 GB for 7 days
Check main account by *101# and promotional account by *102#.
More info Edit
- APN: natcom
- Website: http://www.natcom.com.ht/en