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Cuba launches mobile internet service

Staff Writer |
Highly anticipated mobile internet service has been launched for the very first time in Cuba.

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State-owned telecommunications company Etecsa said anyone with a cellphone with 3G technology could now access the web anywhere in the country, and without the need for a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Navigation packages ranged from 600 megabits (Mb) for the equivalent of 8 U.S. dollars to 4 gigabits (Gb) for about 35 U.S. dollars.

Prices were considered high in a country where the average monthly wage is approximately 20 U.S. dollars.

Cuba has a total of 11.2 million inhabitants and 5.3 million mobile lines.

Up to now, average Cubans could only access the internet through 1,200 Wi-Fi hotspots set up in public places and 670 Etecsa-run navigation rooms.

Due to a lack of infrastructure, only some 60,000 Cubans have home internet access via their telephone land lines.

Doctors, journalists and government officials get priority internet access at home due to their jobs.

According to Cuban Minister of Communications Jorge Luis Perdomo, the government aims to boost internet access through wireless technologies, believing that "the internet is a very useful tool that must be made available to everyone."

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