Cubans get connected
For the first time, average Cubans have become eligible to sign up for internet service for their mobile phones, a development long awaited on the communist-ruled island.
Users began receiving text messages yesterday from the state telephone monopoly informing them that they can buy an internet access packages for 3G service.
Previously, nearly all Cubans could use their mobile phones only to get their state-run email accounts unless they connected to the internet at a limited number of governmentsponsored Wi-Fi spots. Government officials and foreign businesspeople could use their mobiles anywhere to access the 3G network in recent years, though not always reliably.
The new service is being made available gradually through today depending on a user’s phone number, to avoid the congestion that struck Cuba’s mobile network during a series of heavily criticised tests this year.
“It’s excellent news,” said Gustavo Andujar, who works for the Catholic Church and was among the initial group of users to receive the announcement from the phone company, ETECSA. “It’s having the internet in your pocket!” Andujar said he will use the service to check email and check some information.