T-Mobile set to join Verizon and Sprint in Cuba

Posted: 23-May-16 12:30

Having recently struck a roaming deal with the state-owned Cuban carrier Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba SA (ETECSA), T-Mobile is preparing to let visitors to the island nation use voice, text and data services this summer. Once active, the company will become the third US carrier to allow roaming in Cuba, following in the footsteps of Verizon and Sprint.

T-Mobile set to join Verizon and Sprint in Cuba

Since the start of the Barack Obama administration, the loosening of trade and travel restrictions is making changes in Cuba daily live and Cuban tourism industry. It has now been announced that mobile roaming in the country will also become more US-friendly as T-Mobile prepare to offer their services to visitors.

Having recently come to an agreement with the state-owned Cuban carrier Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba SA (ETECSA), T-Mobile will offer voice, text and data services in the country this summer, with their customers also reportedly able to call landlines and wireless phones in Cuba from the US for just $0.60 per minute using the Stateside International Talk package.

Though not the first US carrier to attempt to offer roaming in Cuba – both Verizon and Sprint have been active in the country since last September – T-Mobile claims it has more customers of Cuban descent than any other wireless provider. Should these claims prove substantiated, the new deal should go a long way to connecting Cubans with one another and their extended families in the US.

T-Mobile CEO, John Legere, in a statement released soon after the new deal with ETECSA was announced, said:

“The historic opening of Cuba is a natural opportunity for us to take action, and we are. That’s the Un-carrier way!. We have more customers of Cuban descent than any other wireless provider, so connecting them with family and friends in Cuba is a message we heard loud and clear!”

Despite releasing details of its Stateside International Talk package (currently available for $15 a month) for families in the US wanting to call Cuban relatives, T-Mobile has yet to provide details of its roaming plan, and this could prove to be a sticking point. Data in Cuba can be expensive, with Verizon and Sprint customers currently paying around $2 per megabyte while roaming on the island.

Should these details be ironed out in the coming weeks, however, then the new T-Mobile deal will be just one more way in which new bridges are being built between American and Cuba. Beneficial to both tourists and natives alike, the service should provide an invaluable link between Cubans, Cuban-Americans and everyone in between, bringing the country into a new, more open mobile era.


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