The number of pre-paid mobile telephony customers of state-owned telecoms monopoly Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA) has exceeded the two million mark, Cubasi reports. ETECSA’s central director of mobile services, Hilda Arias, is also cited as saying at a press conference that around 1,900 customers have used the island’s ‘Nauta.cu’ e-mail service in the seven days since it was launched over the mobile telephony network on 3 March 2014. The service costs CUC1 (USD1) per MB.
TeleGeography 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 enable balance transfers between pre-paid customers and eliminate the minimum top-up of CUC5.