The Cuban authorities have set the maximum rate that state-owned telecoms monopoly Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA) can charge for mobile internet access at CUC1 (USD1) per megabyte of data, CafeFuerte reports. The rate, which excludes service set-up charges, was approved with the publication of Ministry of Communications Resolution No. 8/2014 in the Official Gazette last month. The resolution indicates that mobile internet access could be launched on the island in April, initially for post-paid customers only, but with a pre-paid offering set to follow from the third quarter of 2014.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the government has recently made a number of moves to increase the availability of telecoms services to Cubans; in early 2013 the calling-party-pays (CPP) system was introduced for mobile phone users, while in November the state enabled individuals to market ETECSA’s products and services from their own home, and since 21 January 2014 family and friends abroad have been able to pay for fixed telephony bills via the internet. Meanwhile, in a step towards broadening availability of the internet, in June last year the government began offering access to the World Wide Web at 118 outlets around the island. Until then, the internet was only available at select state institutions and to tourists at around 200 hotels. This year, ETECSA is also planning to introduce an email service, as well as enable balance transfers between pre-paid customers and eliminate the minimum top-up of CUC5.