Over one million Cubans hooked on mobile

8 Jul 2011

Cuba’s national bureau of statistics, Oficina Nacional de Estadisticas (ONE), says that the island’s mobile subscriber base exceeded the one million milestone in 2010 to end the year with a total of 1.003 million cellular users, Reuters reports. The number of subscribers grew by 61% year-on-year compared to 621,200 at 31 December 2009. According to ONE, mobile services covered 78% of the Cuban population at the end of 2010, up marginally from 77.5% twelve months earlier and 71% in 2005. Meanwhile, the number of fixed lines in service totalled 1.163 million at 31 December 2010 (compared to 1.119 million a year earlier), of which residential users accounted for 838,713. At the same date, 98.7% of lines had been digitised, up from 97.1% at the end of 2009 and 89.8% in 2005. The report said there were 64 computers and 159 internet users per 1,000 residents in 2010, though most had access only to a government controlled intranet through computer clubs and workplaces, since internet access requires government permission.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Cuba’s sole telecoms operator is Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA). The company is wholly owned by the Cuban government via six state-run entities: Telefonica Antillana (51%), Rafin (27%), Banco Financiero Internacional (6.2%), Universal Trade & Management Corporation (11.1%), Banco Internacional de Comercio (0.9%) and Negocios en Telecomunicaciones (3.8%). Local financial services company Rafin bought its stake in January 2011 from Telecom Italia (TI) for USD706 million.


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