Digicel came to Haiti and now everyone and anyone can have a phone.
Democracy in communication; the world has truly changed. Whether you're
popping into the country for a few days or whether you're a sugarcane
cutter in the provinces, you can have your own phone. Just a few years
ago you had to have serious connections in the government or you had to
be part of the social elite to have a phone (land line). Now, anyone
can have a phone. The cheaper phones are between $15 and $20.
At first, the cell phone service provided by the local companies was
completely over priced. People bought phones ($700) and then couldn't
afford to use them. You were overcharged for outgoing calls and also
charged for incoming calls. Then, out of Ireland, comes Digicel to the
rescue. No contracts, just buy phone cards. With Digicel you can
receive calls even if you have no credit on your phone and you can also
send a "call me" text message at no cost. Actually the two most
difficult things may be 1) charging your phone when you have no
electricity (this is a fairly common problem here, but there are
entrepreneurs that will charge your phone on a car battery for 50
cents) and 2) getting a call through during peak hours.
It's hard to think of a corporation as "savior" but Digicel has even
spent over a million dollars on the Haitian National soccer team. What
could be better: democracy, phones (send money!!) and soccer. I don't
know if these phones work when you're in a boat on your way to Florida
or the Bahamas (text: send help we're sinking!!) but soon...