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Is Haiti Missing out on 5G Internet?

Like many countries, Haiti is yet to embrace what 5G mobile connections have to offer. In fact, in many cases, we’re still behind on even 4G integration. As an underdeveloped technology within our borders, there are misconceptions and confusion about what these components mean, and what they imply about Haiti’s greater mobile infrastructure. Is this a problem that users should be concerned about?

Looking at 4G and 5G

If you aren’t familiar with mobile networks, the different G’s can be intimidating, but they’re actually remarkably simple. These G’s refer to different technological generations, with each new G bringing about faster speeds and some additional features. It’s worth noting that not all of these developments are inherently upgrades, however, as 5G so aptly shows.


The Problem of 5G

In 5G, the latest generation, speeds have the potential to be far faster than anything that came before. The problem is that to reach these speeds, a sacrifice had to be made in terms of range and building penetration. 5G, unlike 4G or 3G, requires an enormous number of towers to operate effectively. 

Even then, if you’re in a building or a rural area, physical blockage of a signal is common. Because of this primary reason, we wouldn’t expect Haiti to leap-frog into 5G without first fully exploring 4G. Just note that being behind in this regard doesn’t necessarily imply poor service in most real-life use-cases. 

Working with 3G

In our current 3G system, maximum speeds are limited to around 4000kbps, which translates to a download rate of 0.5 megabytes per second. While extremely limited compared to newer generations, these speeds are still perfectly adequate for most standard users. 

For an example of common use, consider sports betting, a popular online pursuit. If we start with this list, we could find a range of websites designed for use with both desktop and mobile devices. For such services, everything from collecting bonuses to placing individual bets should see no problem with 3G connections, as data requirements are so low.

On the other hand, there are some types of media streaming that 3G is now struggling to keep pace with. YouTube videos are a popular choice here, where higher qualities operate slightly beyond the bounds of 3G bandwidth allowances. While 3G can run up to 4mbps, most 720p or 1080p videos require at least 5mpbs, meaning we’ll have to drop the quality to stream without waiting for buffering.


The Foreseeable Future

For the moment, it’s complete 4G coverage that Haiti is targeting the most. This adoption shouldn’t be too far off, with negotiations over licensing ongoing. At this point, 4G is likely to be brought about in a joint venture by the Haitian government and Vietnamese telecommunications giant Viettel.

Once in operation, it is anticipated that both 4G and 3G will operate in tandem, as it’s common practice for most nations. This way, more devices are covered, and backup is available if the failure of one network occurs. As for 5G, Haiti could be a decade away from adoption yet. However, given how fast and reliable advanced 4G has become, most users will in no way be missing out.

Haitian Times

Haitian Times

The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 as a weekly English language newspaper based in Brooklyn, NY.The newspaper is widely regarded as the most authoritative voice for Haitian Diaspora.
Haitian Times
Aug. 26, 2020

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