Question: Do they specifically ask and/or search people at Customs about the iPhone or a GPS phone? I will travel to Cuba and would like to be able to listen to my music. Is it forbidden due to its GPS capability?
Answer: In a telephone consultation (October 1st, 2010) with Cubacel, the business unit of the national phone company ETECSA and which offers mobile telephone services, if your iPhone has an international roving service that covers Cuba, it will work in Cuba. You will need to call the company of your particular iPhone to find out if such service exists.
That said, Cubacel also noted that some of the more sophisticated models of iPhones, even with international roving activated, encounter problems working in Cuba, as the Cuban technological platform is not yet able to accommodate these more complicated models.
If you bring your own iPhone and it’s not an iPhone that’s blocked for use in Cuba, one then rents a line in Cuba for the cost of CUC 40 (USD 50.). One can then take out credit (against use), which begins as low as CUC 5.
If you are in Havana, two of the many places where you can get your iPhone operational, rent a line and arrange for credit against use are Cubacel in Miramar (Calle 28 #510, Tel 05 880 2222 or 05 264 2266 for client attention) and the José Martí International Airport, where Cubacel has an office in Terminal #3 that offers full services.
To keep abreast of developments within Cubacel, consult their website (Spanish only) at www.cubacel.cu