May 18, 2010
Getting cell phones into Cuban hands
On an island with little internet, more Cubans are turning to cell phones — using them not to talk but to text and page. GlobalPost reports.
... The Cuban government is not clamping down its network, but opening it up. Since Raul Castro lifted a ban on Cubans owning cell phones in 2008, the number of wireless accounts in the country has soared by 600,000 to more than 838,000 today, according to Cuban telecom officials.
Activation fees have been slashed from $150 two years ago to roughly $25. International calling rates are also being cut, and the number of wireless users in the country (pop. 11 million) is expected to grow to 2.4 million by 2015. The island’s GSM network already covers 70 percent of Cuba’s territory and further expansions are planned.
“We’re going to keep working to provide the benefits of telecommunications to a greater number of Cubans,” said Cuban telecom official Maximo Lafuente at a recent press conference in Havana. “There’s no doubt that cell phones are an important foundation to the country’s development.”
Read full report .
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