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 (nauta.cu). 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.