Cuba’s state-owned telecoms monopoly Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA) is planning to introduce a number of new services for mobile telephony users in Havana in the second half of the year, including internet access and email. Agencia Cubana de Noticias reports that the telecoms company also intends to enable balance transfers between pre-paid customers and to eliminate the minimum top-up of CUC5 (USD5). 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.
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