Lewes, DE -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/28/2014 -- Cuba still has the lowest mobile phone and internet penetration rates in the region, and is also among the lowest for fixed-line teledensity. Fixed-line and mobile services remain a monopoly of the government-controlled Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (Etecsa Cubacel).
In early 2014 ETECSA announced plans to introduce new mobile services including internet access and email by mid-year. The operator also planned to extend ADSL-based services to residential homes by the end of 2014. In preparation, the Ministry of Communications set the maximum tariff which ETECSA can charge per megabyte at CUC1.
There remains substantial state control over the right to own and use certain communications services, including the right to access the internet. Public internet access is limited, with dial-up the only realistic access for citizens. The high cost of access, has also the limitations of dial-up connectivity, meaning that the potential of the WWW, as recognised in most other countries, remains impossible in Cuba. A number of new access points made available from mid-2013 has extended the availability of internet access, though restrictions on content remain.
Whilst the Obama administration has recently relaxed some of the embargo rules pertaining to telecom services, differences between US and Cuban pricing rules effectively preclude US operators from operating in Cuba. Although Raul Castro has made it clear that he will be reducing the size of Cuban state expenditure in favour of private participation in the economy, the genuine liberalisation of Cuba’s telecom sector is expected to be hampered slowly over the coming years.
This has been keenly witnessed in the slow development of the submarine cable between Venezuela and Cuba, which in early 2013 was opened for traffic. The ALBA-1 submarine fibre-optic cable between Cuba and Venezuela has the potential to provide 640Gb/s bandwidth. In May 2013 the Jamaican branch of the cable was opened for traffic, following the route through to Venezuela in January 2013.
For more information see: http://www.marketresearchreports.com/paul-budde-communication-pty-ltd/cuba-telecoms-mobile-and-broadband-analyses-and-statistics
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