Analyse this: Rectel sitting on frequency booty, Haiti’s Teleco sale could rest on its assets

30 Oct 2009

The 9 November deadline is looming for the submission of bids for a 60% stake in state-owned Telecommunications d’Haiti (Teleco), following an international tender announced in June. The Haitian monopoly fixed line operator is determined to attract an international strategic investor from the telecoms sector to inject capital and expertise to help upgrade and expand its networks and return the company to profitability. Applications from financial groups in consortium with telecoms operators are also being accepted. Teleco, which recently shed approximately two-thirds of its workforce in preparation for privatisation, hopes to conclude an ownership deal on 23 December. Key to attracting a suitable private sector partner could prove to be the incumbent’s wireless spectrum assets: it holds 900MHz and 1900MHz GSM mobile frequencies and has permission to launch 3G services, and substantial mobile numbering and other resources, currently held via dormant wireless unit Rectel, as well as nationwide WiMAX wireless broadband spectrum. Teleco also operates a fibre-optic network in the capital Port-au-Prince, and jointly controls an international fibre-optic submarine cable link to the US via the Bahamas Domestic Submarine Network. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the commercial arm of the World Bank, is acting as adviser for the public-private partnership (PPP) project, aided by several international consultancies. The Teleco PPP website is www.haititelecoppp.org. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database will feature a newly updated profile of Haiti on 2 November (see www.telegeography.com/products/global_comms/index.php).

Haiti, Rectel, Natcom (formerly Teleco),

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