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Posted August 12, 2003 by publisher in Business In Cuba

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TelecomDirect.com

The socialist republic of Cuba, governed by Fidel Castro, is edging towards merging the three companies operating in the telecommunications industry. According to Reuters News, negotiations are under way to consolidate the operations of Telefonos Celulares de Cuba (Cubacel), in which Sherritt International Communications holds a 40% stake, Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (Etecsa), in which Telecom Italia holds a 29.9% stake, and state-owned Celulares del Caribe (C-Com).

Significance: With one of the most poorly developed industries in the Latin American region, Cuba has a teledensity of just 5.8%, according to the government in 2002, with the population having scarce access to cellphones. Any potential consolidation can be expected to favour the advance of wireless over fixed-line technologies because of its more cost-effective and rapid rollout.

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