Cubans Can Now Have Three Mobile Phone Lines

With a scarcity of land lines, mobile phones, albiet a luxury for most Cubans, have become very popular on the island for those that can afford them. Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES — Cuban authorities announced they will allow citizens to hire up to three cell phone lines as part of their effort to open up telecommunications services, reported dpa news.

The new offer from the monopoly Cuban Telecommunications Company (ETECSA) shall take effect in 90 days, according to a resolution of the Ministry of Communications published in the Official Gazette.

The legislation aims to “relax the conditions of contracting and using of mobile telecommunications services,” states the text. The decision “will allow the purchase of up to three telephone lines per person.”

Since the government of Raul Castro authorized the use of cell phones to the ordinary citizen in 2008 as part of its market reforms, Cubans can only contract mobile service for one phone and in prepaid mode only.

Today, many people use phones purchased on behalf of another person or whose owners have left the country. The new rules now stress, “that the service can only be transferred through the company” and said users should put the phones in their own names.

According to official data, on the island of about 11 million inhabitants in 2013 there were nearly two million prepaid cell phone contracts.

As part of the gradual opening of the market in recent years, since March ETECSA offers an e-mail service on mobile phones, but only through a service provider Cuban ( The phones do not have Internet access. The service has suffered overload on many occasions.

Cuba is one of the countries with the lowest Internet connectivity in the world. Cubans are not allowed to hire an Internet service for private use at home.

8 thoughts on “Cubans Can Now Have Three Mobile Phone Lines

  • Smoke and mirrors. How does this help anyone or, even, put more money into Etecsa’s hands.

    3 lines are 3 lines, no matter who’s name they are in. I don’t see this generating more revenue unless you start a business and are offering cell phones to certain employees and want to manage them. Like there is a lot of that happening in Cuba…. Jeje

  • I can own as many phones and open as many accounts as I like, all with several different competing mobile phone service providers. The Canadian govt places no limits to how many phone accounts I can have.

    So what the heck are you talking about?

  • Two words…..Family Plan. My household has ONE account and FOUR phones. I know that this is also possible in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia. Which “Americas” are you referring to?

  • Of course elsewhere in the Americas we can ONLY have a phone in our own name. and that’s not a money grab? You seem to want it both ways.

  • The Cuban telecom company, ETECSA is a partnership formed between the Cuban government and a private firm named RAFIN SA. Can you guess who owned RAFIN SA? The name is a contraction of Raul & Fidel Investments.

    The decision to allow Cubans to own 3 mobile phones is nothing more than a cash-grab. If the Castro regime really wanted to improve telecommunications in Cuba, they would open up the market to competition. But that would mean a loss in profits to RAFIN SA.

  • Your opinion aside, on the facts, is there any part of my comment untrue? Whether it came from a picture in the clouds or otherwise, my comment is valid.

  • Come on, Moses…you can do better than that. You seem to looking for pictures in the clouds again to support your brand of anti-Castro propaganda.

  • Another fake Castro reform. Previously, anyone who wanted more than one line can easily get a second line in the name of someone else who didn’t have one. The Cuban propaganda machine will push this headline out to a gullible world as if it means anything to improving life in Cuba. If it does mean anything, it is that it is yet another Castro money grab.

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