Good news for calls to Cuba. The government has eased the restrictions on mobile phones in the country.
The Cuban newspaper Juventud Rebelde (may 2011) announced that the State owned telephone company ETECSA has lowered the prices for the activation cost ( availibility of the line) of a cellphone.
The cost of a new SIM card and activation is now lowered to 40 CUC in this price is included a 10 Cuc call credit.
The number of mobile phones has grown exponentially in the country from 75,797 in 2004 (source: United Nations Statistics) to over 1 million in 2010 (source : ONE - Cuban National Statistics Office). The cell phone is no longer a status symbol, but due to the State Monopoly the calls remain expensive.
The majority of the Cuban moviles use prepaid cards for their mobile phones, these cards can only be bought in the shops of the State telephone company ETECSA. The call card value is 10 or 20 Cuc, note that the average Cuban salary, equals 20 Cuc. Nevertheless there's always a queue in front of the phone shops. You can also recharge your cell phone account directly in the shops starting at 5,00 Cuc and up.
Network coverage is poor in Cuba, but around the tourist areas, Havana, Varadero, Guardalavaca, Santiago and other major cities there should be no problems. The service providers in Cuba will be Cubacel (www.cubacel.com) or C-Com (www.ccom.cu)A triband mobile is recommended.
Sure, you can buy a mobile phone in Havana, but don't expect to find the latest types of smartphones or iphone. Most of the mobile telephones available are of Korean or European make (Samsung, Nokia, LG, Alcatel) in general the prices are about the same or slightly more expensive.
There are several telephone shops in Havana, but a popular and well frequented shop is located at Obispo street between Habana and Compstela streets (righthand side) in the Old City. where you can also buy SIM cards and prepaid phone cards for your mobile or "moby" like the Cubans used to say.
Shops and Commercial Offices ETECSA in Havana
Telepunto de ETECSA Old Havana
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