Twitter looks to speed up entry into Cuba by offering tweets via mobile phone network

Posted: 19-Jun-15 12:23

The social network Twitter is looking to enter Cuba by offering its micro blogging service over the nation's mobile phone network. The network's Director of Global Public Policy met with Cuban officials in Washington recently to explain how Cubans can tweet via text message, rather than using the poor internet service that connects just five per cent of the country.

Twitter looks to speed up entry into Cuba by offering tweets via mobile phone network

Twitter, the global social network is looking to speed up the entry process into Cuba by offering to connect users via the country's mobile network and not its internet.

The social network is giving Cuba the chance to use the micro blogging service over the country's mobile phone network, allowing users to send tweets, and avoiding the poor internet service that only serves five per cent of the nation.

Twitter's Director of Global Public Policy, Colin Crowell, met with Cuban officials in Washington recently to discuss the service. Mr Crowell said:

"We've broached our desire with Cuban officials and they're open to it, but we haven't made a trip down there to effectuate that deal."

Since U.S President Obama announced last December that Cuba and the United States were to resume relation following a five-decades-long embargo, technology companies have been keen to enter the market. Senior representatives from Google have visited the capital Havana to look into expanding phone and internet access in Cuba, which is currently in a poor state.

Social networks are sensitive subject for the goverment in Cuba, and it is still unclear if the government will loosen its controls over the media, or whether it will operate similar systems like China which banned Google, Twitter and Facebook, and replaced them with easily policed indigenous to keep tighter control.

"Cubans do have access to social media - to Twitter and Facebook – but it is limited because of a lack of financing to wire the country, which could be a political decision in itself.

"But the Raul Castro government knows that to take advantage of its human capital it must become a wired society. But does that mean fully free?

"We'll have to see. We are present at the creation, as it were, but there is lot of popular public opinion in Cuba that open access becomes the name of the game."

Explained Julia Sweig, the director for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.


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