Friday, 09/09/2011 12:00 AM
Viettel officially commercial launch in Haiti
On September 7th, 2011, Natcom (a joint venture between Viettel and Central Bank of Haiti - BRH) officially launches services, after just a year of building infrastructure. Backed by significant investment from Viettel, Natcom currently owns the best telecom infrastructure in the island, making it ready to widen telecom services and especially broadband Internet which have never ever seen here.
Just in a year, Natcom has owned 1,000 stations of 2G and 3G, which is 30% higher than the amount built here by the biggest provider within 6 years. It is Natcom who is the sole owner of 3,000 km fiber optic network, equal to 20 times as high as total km fiber optic available in Haiti before September 2011.
At the ceremony, Viettel’s Vice President, Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung disclosed Natcom’s target of expanding its fiber network to cover communes to enlarge the coverage of basic telecom services including telephone and Internet to residential areas of Haiti.
Natcom is the only operator providing full telecom services including fixed phone, mobile, Internet, data transfer and leased lines. Natcom is also the sole operator providing 3G technology and owning the only International Gateway of Haiti which is connected to the world by the 10Gbps submarine fiber to Bahamas.
A large distribution channel, covering up to communes, has soon gained Natcom 200,000 mobile subscribers in just a month after the soft launch. Natcom’s presence has contributed to drive down telecom prices by 20%, offering opportunities for low income people to use basic telecom services at low price. Each of them has to pay only US$ 1 if making calls in total less than 60 minutes per month.
· Realizing commitment of universalizing telecom services.
· Haiti’s telecom industry completely changed: increasing the current fiber optic network by 20 times to reach 3,000 km; adding another 1,000 BTS with the introduction of 3G network; dramatically driving down telecom tariffs by 20%.
The ceremony also heard Viettel’s announcement of offering free Internet to schools, as the demonstration of keeping its words to the Haiti’s Governments since obtaining investment permit.
The announcement recalled the comment by Haiti’s President Michel Martelly that “among operators, only Natcom deploy cable to enable Internet reach at remote areas which I am not only the witness but also the user myself at the most remote areas of the country”
In all invested countries, Viettel is known for its strategy of “network first, business later” and 4 Any (telecom is in any place, at any time, any price and for anybody). This strategy has been internationally recognized by World Communications Awards 2009 as being effective business solutions for developing countries (Viettel was awarded as “the best operator in a Developing Market”, WCA 2009). Given being the last entry to Cambodia and Laos, Viettel’s brands in these markets, Metfone and Unitel respectively, own the biggest network infrastructure right at the launch and gain number one position in terms of market share in these markets only after 2 years from the launch.
Currently, Viettel is deploying its network in Peru and Mozambique.
Information about Haiti: Haiti is the third largest country in Caribbean, with 9.8 million populations in the area of 27,751 km2 which is characterized mainly by mountains and hills. IMF statistics shows that Haiti’s GDP per capital was as low as US$ 570 in 2008, 80% population live under the poverty lines and 54% population live below the extreme poverty.
Prior to Natcom’s presence, Haiti’s fixed penetration was 1.7% - the lowest rate among Latin America and Caribbean. Mobile penetration stood at 35% with around 3,250,000 subscribers shared mainly by two operators (Digicel: 2 million and the rest were owned by Comcel)
Information about Viettel: Viettel is the fastest growing Group in Vietnam with revenue doubled year –on- year during 4 consecutive years from 2005-2009. The year 2010 saw Viettel’s revenue reaching around US$ 5 billion, as a result from year - on - year growth of 52%, making Viettel the biggest profit maker in Vietnam.
After 10 years from its market entry, Viettel has been acknowledged to play vital role in ending the monopoly in Vietnam’s telecom industry.
Currently, Viettel is the owner of three biggest mobile network in Vietnam and 2 foreign markets of Cambodia and Laos.
Viettel targets to expand its global reach to cover around 400-500 million and 1 billion population by 2015 and 2020 respectively and become Top Ten telecom company in the world.