Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cuba's telecom sector booms

Cuba's telecom sector booms 2013-06-22 10:14:26

HAVANA, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Thanks to policy support, the sector of
telecommunications services has been booming and diversified in recent
years in Cuba, industry leaders said.

Directors of state-run telecom Empresa de Telecomunicaciones S.A.
(ETECSA) said Thursday on TV show that the sector has seen an average
annual growth of 20 percent since 2008, spurred by a government policy
to modernize the island nation's aging economic model.

There are currently more than 2.9 million telephone lines in Cuba,
including both land-lines and mobile phones, according to the company.
The number is expected to reach 3 million by the end of 2013.

Tania Velazquez, ETECSA's marketing and commercial director, told the TV
show that 25.8 percent of Cuba's 11.2 million inhabitants have telephone

Velazquez said investment in the sector in recent years has focused on
building or renovating the infrastructure for the digitalization of the
system, which is already at 98 percent, expanding cell phone services
and upgrading technologies.

But the investment, she said, is complicated by the U.S.-led
decades-long economic embargo against Cuba, which has forced the country
to look for parts, equipment and accessories through intermediaries in
third countries. That raises prices and slows down the process.

Director of land-lines Luis Iglesias said his area has more than 1.221
million lines in both public and private sectors, and each year another
30,000 new lines are added.

Meanwhile, Cuba's mobile telephone service counts 1.750 million lines,
or 62 percent of the country's capacity, and is expected to reach 2
million by the end of the year.

As for the Internet, ETECSA's Jorge Legra said that 11,000 new users
have registered since around 118 state-run Internet spaces throughout
the country were opened on June 4.

Cuba operates more than 30,000 Internet access points with a total of
1.7 million users. ETECSA plans to include Wi-Fi service and Internet
access on mobile phone services.

Source: "Cuba's telecom sector booms - Xinhua |" -

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