Nearshore Americas

Cuba Reportedly Planning to Launch 4G Networks

High speed 4G/LTE networks are expected to soon spring up in Cuba, allowing people to access the web without the need for Wi-Fi hotspots.

LTE networks should be operating on the island later this year or early next year, according to news portal Ciber Cuba, which cited an unnamed source in Etecsa, the island’s telecom monopoly owned by the government.

The operator has not officially confirmed plans yet, but Ciber Cuba says that preparations are already underway for high-speed networks.

This is good news for Cuban cell phone users, who number about 4 million, according to government statistics. The communist island is the only Latin American country where 4G networks are not yet operational.

While faster mobile internet connectivity will improve the experience, Cubans may have to purchase new cell phones that support LTE.

So far, internet services are expensive on the island. Even the cellular market is monopolized by Cubacel, a subsidiary of Etecsa, whose immediate goal is to set up 200 more public Wi-Fi hotspots and provide internet connections to about 38,000 homes on the island.

Google was the first to enable Cubans to experience high-speed internet. Its online technology center in Havana offers a free internet service at speeds nearly 70 times faster than public Wi-Fi hotspots.

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Meanwhile, Deep Blue Cable, the St. Lucia-based subsea cable operator, is reportedly hoping to talk with the Cuban government about connecting the island to high-speed fiber-optic cables.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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