Do U.S. Cell Phones Work in Haiti?

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The question of whether your cellular phone purchased in the United States works in Haiti can be answered, in short, with "maybe." It depends on the type of phone and the type of service that you have.

Mobile Service Providers

  • Haiti currently has three mobile telecommunications providers. They are Communication Cellulaire d'Haiti "COMCEL" (a subsidiary of Trilogy International Partners LLC), Haiti Telecommunications International S.A. "HaiTel" and Digicel Haiti (an affiliate of the pan-Caribbean Digicel Group).

Cellular Modes

  • There are three different digital wireless telephony technologies used throughout the world. All three are available in Haiti, depending on the mobile communications company.

    TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) is the technology used by COMCEL.

    CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) is the technology used by HaiTel.

    GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) is the technology used by Digicel Haiti.

Cellular Bands

  • The digital wireless telephony technologies operate on the following cellular and personal communication services frequency :

    TDMA on 850 MHz (cellular) and 1.9 GHz (personal communications services)
    CDMA on 800 MHz (cellular) and 1.9 GHz (personal communications services)
    GSM on 900 MHz (cellular) and 1.8 GHz (personal communications services)

    The official cellular frequency spectrum used in Haiti is 850 MHz.

Multimode/Multiband Phone

  • To ensure that your U.S. cellular phone works in Haiti, make sure you follow the standard practice of most seasoned international travelers and acquire a multimode/multiband phone so that you can switch back and forth until you find the right mode and band that works for you.

    Also, Verizon and AT&T wireless services are available in Haiti. So, if your multimode/multiband phone uses one of these carriers, you have further increased your chances.

Rentals, SIMs and Phone Cards

  • If you do not have a U.S.-purchased cellular phone that operates in Haiti, you still have other options. Haiti has a thriving cellular telephone rental industry. However, if you would rather keep your own cellular phone, you will just need to buy a SIM card and a phone card upon arrival. After placing the SIM card into your cellular phone, you can use the phone card to pay for the calls you make.

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