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Cuba's Government to Slash Mobile Phone Call Costs

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Cuba's Ministry of Informatics and Communications (MIC) has announced substantial reductions in the cost of voice calls and SMS by the country's monopoly mobile network operator, Etecsa.

The proposals include a 44% reduction in the cost of text messages and a 25% reduction in voice call costs, provided the payments are made in the local currency, instead of US Dollars.

Finally, they will abolish the inbound cost for receiving calls and text messages.

The country has around 1.9 million mobile phone users,

The Communist country first relaxed mobile phone ownership in 2008, when the subscriber base stood at 330,000. By the end of 2009, the subscriber base had doubled to 621,000.

When the government lifted restrictions on mobile phone ownership in May 2008, and the sole mobile network operator, ETECSA reported that it signed up 7,400 customers within the first ten days of the new regime. A cell phone contract costs about US$120 to activate - which equates to around half a year's wages on the average state salary.

The US government also made it easier for Cubans to use mobile phones after it lifted an import embargo on the handsets and allowed relatives living in the USA to send phones back home to their families.

On the web: Prensa Latina

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Tags: etecsa  Cuba