Tuesday, 22 January 2019
Latest news
Main » Cuba to begin full internet access for mobile phones

Cuba to begin full internet access for mobile phones

09 December 2018

Almost half of the Communist-run country's 11.2 million residents have cellphones although not all will be able to afford mobile internet.

Though citizens of this Communist-run island nation have enjoyed somewhat limited internet access over the last few years, Cuba announced its people can begin using full internet access on their phones starting Thursday. The cheapest package of 600MB costs $7 a month, but the average wage is $30 a month.

"We increase spending on infrastructure according to our financial abilities in the coming months and also start installing 4G technology, which is already used worldwide", said Jose Luis Perdomo, Cuba's minister of communications, who also spoke on the program.

"It was about time this became a possibility for Cubans too", Havana resident Joaquin Montiel, 58, said.

However, Cuba has blocked access to social websites from the USA which is anti-communist in nature and on those which call for changes in Cuba.

There are over 1,650 public internet access sites in Cuba, 725 of them Wi-Fi hotspots located in parks, plazas, hotels and other places, but many are with unstable and slow internet connections.

Cubans who can afford the net now have to leave home and head to public hotspots, braving insects and a lack of privacy.

In 2013, the Caribbean island's first Internet café opened, while in 2014 the government allowed mobile phone owners to access the state-owned Nauta email service. "We can connect to the internet with better comfort", they feel.

ETECSA vice president Tania Velázquez said the new service would come online in stages from Thursday through Saturday to avoid the congestion that struck the mobile network during a series of heavily criticized tests this year.

Everyone in Cuba who has phones with 3G facility can gain access to the internet via their mobile phones. After all, it was only 10 years ago that the Castro government lifted its ban that prohibited regular citizens from buying computers, and Internet access in private homes was rare before 2016. Still, many Cubans have their mobile accounts paid by relatives living overseas. He opened a twitter account in October to much fanfare, and many government officials have followed his lead.

Cuba to begin full internet access for mobile phones