Vietnam ’s military-run telecom group Viettel and Haiti ’s Telecom Company on Sept. 8 conducted an official launch of the telecom network of their joint venture Natcom.

Haitian President Michel Martelly and Viettel’s Deputy General Director Nguyen Manh Hung pressed the button to inaugurate the network at the ceremony.

Speaking at the function, the Haitian President said that during its first year of operation, Natcom had set up the largest comprehensive telecom network in Haiti and created a competitive environment, benefiting the Haitian people while contributing to boosting the telecom sector in the Caribbean country.

He also recognised Natcom’s contributions in social and charitable activities such as supporting victims of the earthquake in January, 2010, offering free-of-charge internet services in schools and preferential mobile prices for students, police and the poor.

For his part, Hung said in the next three years, Netcom is expected to help Haiti ’s telecom sector keep pace with that of advanced nations, contributing to rebuilding and developing the country after the devastating earthquake in 2010.

Natcom has laid 3,000 km of optical fiber cable, established nearly 800 base transmission stations in most districts nationwide and some 2,000 sales points in supermarkets, trading shops and agencies.

Since its trial run began in July 20, 2011, Natcom has attracted about 140,000 mobile subscribers and thousands of 3G internet subscribers, said Tran Sy Tien, Natcom Deputy Director, adding that these figures are expected to increase to 500,000 and 20,000 by the end of 2011.

The company is striving to raise the number of mobile subscribers to 2 million by the end of 2012, he said.

Natcom is Viettel’s third telecom project in foreign countries, following two others in Cambodia and Laos . The group is scheduled to expand its operation into Mozambique in 2012./.