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Posted April 02, 2008 by publisher in Business In Cuba

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Cubans who learned last week that they will be allowed to own cell phones got a bonus Wednesday, with news that the mobile connections will allow them to reach overseas friends and relatives in the U.S. and beyond.

Havana announced last week that it was lifting a prohibition on ordinary Cubans owning mobile phones - one of several recent signs that daily life will be somewhat more relaxed under the regime of its new president, Raul Castro, who in February succeeded his brother, revolutionary icon Fidel Castro.

A list of phone rates released by state telecoms company Etecsa Wednesday indicated that Cuba’s new cell phone holders will be able to place calls to the U.S. for $2.91 per minute - the first direct phone connection from the island to the northern neighbor.

Calls to Mexico and Canada can be placed for $2.64 per minute. The rates will be $4.80 for calls to Latin America, while dialing anywhere else in the world will cost $6.31.

Mobile phones are fairly prevalent in Cuba, but until now have been a luxury mainly reserved for foreigners and government staff. Cubans had to acquire them through a third party and could not obtain a service contract in their own name.

For those who can afford it, the new cell phone access is a welcome breakthrough, since Cubans wishing to reach relatives overseas until now had to phone collect or had to phone from public phone booths.

But an average salary here of 408 Cuba pesos ($17) puts the new phones in the pockets and purses of only the most fortunate.

Meanwhile, some 30 telecoms offices across the island are bracing, despite the high rates, for a crush of new phone clients, when the service starts up on April 14.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on April 03, 2008 by nacho with 111 total posts

    Funny how Raul Castro sells cellphone while Fidel Castro writes against technology


  2. Follow up post #2 added on April 10, 2008 by topapito

    Of course, this lends a little weight to a previous comment I made where I said fidel is now irrelevant. As much as they use him to create a smoke screen, he is no longer relevant.

  3. Follow up post #3 added on April 10, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Interesting. Somewhere here I wrote an article on how Fidel’s death will be on page 3 of Granma and that’s how the Cuban government wants it.

    It seems like they will get their wish.

    Cuba consulting services

  4. Follow up post #4 added on July 17, 2008 by dominique valido

    Cuba’s is having an major crises with their technology which makes it for people like me to contact my longlost family in cuba. I ‘ve been trying to so buts its hard because of the conditions over their.

  5. Follow up post #5 added on July 17, 2008 by manfredz with 464 total posts

    of course it’ll take time to build up the infrastructure but give it time.  Sure it’d be easier if they’d let others take over but in my opinion they’d also be the big losers then. 
    The important part is that the political will is there to change; technology will follow.

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