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Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Haiti
Haiti has 2 telecom providers: Digicel Haiti and NATCOM. As you probably know, Haiti has been hit with multiple natural disasters over the years. As a result, the internet connection, for both landline and mobile, has been unstable and whacky most of the time.
Best SIM Card in Haiti
If you want to buy a SIM card in Haiti, I would recommend going with NATCOM when staying in the populated areas. If not, go with Digicel Haiti. Digicel has better coverage than NATCOM but does not have a 4G/LTE network. NATCOM does have a 4G/LTE network, but their coverage is worse than Digicel. On the other hand, their speeds are faster than Digicel.
SIM Card Registration Haiti
Like most countries in the Caribbean, you have to show your passport when buying a SIM card in Haiti.
Digicel Haiti, just Digicel, is the clear favorite in Haiti. They have decent 2G and 3G networks throughout the country. Once again, Digicel advertises its 3G network as 4G, which they seem to be doing in many countries in the Americas (such as Suriname and Guyana). Do not be disappointed when you cannot get true 4G speeds with Digicel. Either way, 3G coverage can be found in several areas in the country.
Digicel SIM cards are given for free in Digicel stores after showing your passport. You can also get a SIM card at Port-au-Prince airport. Recharge cards are sold in various stores, but you can also top-up online with your credit card or PayPal, which is not something you often see in the Americas.
Various data packs can be added to your SIM card. You get the equivalent data allowance for social media (WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) as well. For example, when listing the 45 HTG ($0.50) plan that comes with 500 MB for 3 days, you get 500 MB for the mentioned social media apps as well.
The following Digicel data packs can be added:
- 9 HTG: 75 MB (and 100 MB for social media) for 24 hours
- 18 HTG: 160 MB for 3 days
- 45 HTG: 500 MB for 3 days
- 75 HTG: 900 MB for 3 days
- 250 HTG: 3 GB for 7 days
- 350 HTG: 5 GB for 7 days
- 500 HTG: 6 GB for 30 days
- 1000 HTG: 14 GB for 30 days
- 2000 HTG: 30 GB for 30 days
NATCOM is the predecessor of Teleco, which used to be Haiti’s state-owned mobile operator. In 2010, the Haitian state created a venture with Viettel to start NATCOM. Unlike Digicel, NATCOM has a true 4G/LTE network, which can be used in the metropolitan areas of the capital. Although NATCOM’s coverage is not as great as the one of Digicel, speeds with NATCOM are much higher for lower rates.
NATCOM sells its 3G SIM card for 50 HTG and 75 HTG for the 4G SIM card. The 4G SIM card can be bought in select shops in Port-au-Prince, but this situation may have changed.
Just like with Digicel, you can buy recharge vouchers at NATCOM stores, from vendors (for a surcharge), or online with a credit card or PayPal.
NATCOM also gives you bonuses for high top-up values. If you recharge more than 300 HTG, you will get 5 GB to be used within 5 days, and 10 GB for 10 days if you top-up more than 600 HTG. Top-up vouchers are sold from 1 HTG to 1000 HTG.
The following NATCOM data packs can be added:
- 9 HTG: 60 MB for 24 hours
- 18 HTG: 180 MB for 24 hours
- 200 HTG: 1.5 GB for 30 days
- 400 HTG: 3 GB for 30 days
- 800 HTG: 7 GB for 30 days
- 1000 HTG: 12 GB for 30 days
- 2000 HTG: 25 GB for 30 days
You can also get a NATCOM tourist SIM card for free at Port-au-Prince Airport and Cap-Haïtien airport. You get 100 MB for free to 1 day. You can add any of the regular packs mentioned above, but you will extra bonuses depending on how much you top up.
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Haiti
I would highly encourage anyone visiting Haiti to get themselves a Haitian SIM card – you will be saving a lot of money when you do so.
However, for some, getting a Haitian SIM card is not an option. For example, your device may be SIM-locked, meaning that you cannot use any SIM card other than the SIM card provided by your operator.
There are other ways to stay online while in Haiti, but they may not be cheap.
However, these methods may be more expensive than getting a SIM card from the two local operators.
International roaming is the most convenient way to stay connected when traveling in other countries because you do not have to buy a new SIM card, have to deal with SIM card registration regulations, nor have multiple phone numbers to deal with.
However, international roaming has proven to be expensive in many cases, especially compared to buying local SIM cards. That is why many travelers are not fond of international roaming.
International roaming has its pros and cons. However, it is important to know how it works. This in-depth guide explains it all.
Find out whether your mobile operator has attractive roaming rates for Haiti here.
Using an International SIM Card or Travel SIM Card
International SIM cards are SIM cards made for the traveler in mind. Using them is often cheaper than international roaming. However, they are almost always more expensive than using a local SIM card.
There are many other advantages and disadvantages of getting international SIM cards, which you can learn about here.
Mobile hotspots, or pocket WIFI, are small devices that connect to the local operators of the country you are visiting. Mobile hotspots are ideal for families or those traveling in a large group, as they allow you to connect multiple devices to one hotspot without the need of each traveler having to buy a SIM card.
Using Free WIFI Networks
Using free WIFI connections is the cheapest way to stay connected because they are free. The major downside of trying to use WIFI hotspots is that you will have to locate them, and they are not available on every corner in Haiti.
Make sure to protect your internet traffic with a VPN so that hackers cannot steal your personal data.
The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Haiti
Getting a SIM card from NETCOM would do you well when considering a Haitian SIM card.
Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other Caribbean Countries
Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
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