February 17, 2019
Latest News
Entertainment

Cuba takes another step toward Internet opening with mobile data service

Havana, Dec 6 (efe-epa).- Cuba, one of the world's most isolated countries in terms of Internet connectivity, on Thursday took another step toward greater openness with the activation of mobile data services using 3G technology, a move much anticipated by Cubans despite the relatively high price for the service compared to their meager state-established salaries.

Early Thursday morning, the state-run Etecsa telecommunications monopoly began sending text messages announcing the start of the new offering to customers who participated in the three free trials held by the company earlier this year.

The majority of the more than 5.3 million Cuban mobile device users will be able to connect to the Internet from their cellphones according to a staggered schedule over the next three days if they pay the consumption charge of 10 CUC cents - a CUC is equivalent to $1 - per megabyte or buy one of the four data packages, which run from 600 megabytes for 7 CUC to 4 gigabytes for 30 CUC.

"It's great for those of us who have family (abroad). Up to now, the speed is working well. I've made a video call and it was fabulous, and I'm in a rural area," Yunet told EFE.

The less fortunate Daniel, however, said he has spent "the whole morning trying" and so far on his mobile phone he can only see the notice that "We're processing your request."

"For me, it's very helpful because I don't have a landline or access to the Internet at home, so it's a change that I think is really great. It's a little expensive, but you've got to make sacrifices," said Henry, a computer tech who left his job in the state sector, where the average salary does not exceed $30 per month.

For the past three years, the Cuban government has been implementing an "informationization policy" to correct the country's historic backwardness vis-a-vis the rest of the world regarding online connectivity and technologies, and as part of that policy this year it also authorized the ability to access the Internet from people's homes, something that before had only been allowed for certain professionals.

The 3G activation only covers about two-thirds of Cuban territory, and extending it to the rest of the island is a big challenge for the government, which had promised that before yearend all Cubans would have Internet access from their mobile phones.

Free, rapid and cheap connectivity to the Internet is still pending for all of Cuba's 11.1 million citizens and 5.9 million Internet users.

Also, broadband availability is still very bad on the island, where it was reported recently that negotiations were under way with foreign tech companies, including Google, although no concrete results or confirmation of progress have been announced as yet by Havana.

News history
Agencia EFE honored with China-Spain Prize for Excellence

Madrid, Feb 16 (efe-epa).- Agencia EFE, Spain's international news agency, was honored this Saturday in the Communications category of the 6th China-Spain...

China's Wang, Yong garner top acting prizes at Berlinale

Berlin, Feb 16 (efe-epa).- China's Wang Jingchun and Yong Mei won the best actor and best actress Silver Bears, respectively, on Saturday at the Berlin Film...

Chile, the perfect window on 2019's total eclipse of the sun

By Alberto Valdes Gomez

Veteran hit-maker Claudia Brant celebrates Grammy recognition

Buenos Aires, Feb 16 (efe-epa).- After a quarter-century as a behind-the-scenes hit-maker for superstar recording artists like Luis Fonsi and Ricky Martin,...

Santiago celebrates multiculturalism with Womad festival

Santiago, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- The Chilean capital on Friday began its annual date with music, dance and art from all over the world with the latest edition...

Cuban youth spearhead recovery from tornado

Havana, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- Leonel, 91, and his wife Pirita, 74, sip coffee amid what's left of their home neighborhood after the first tornado to hit the...

'The NASA Archives. 60 Years in Space' book presentation in Madrid

Madrid, Feb (efe-epa).- A book portraying the history of the United States National Aeronautical Space Administration, better known by its initials NASA,...

Woody Allen, Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band set to perform in Spain

Madrid, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- American filmmaker and clarinetist Woody Allen will perform on three different dates in Spain over the summer as a guest musician...

Asian, French films favorites in Germany's unpredictable Berlinale festival

Berlin, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- Two films from the Asian continent – one a personal portrait of the effects of China's Cultural Revolution, the other a...

Indigenous names make comeback in Peru amid push to recover culture, identity

Lima, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- Indigenous names that were all but forgotten have been making a comeback in Peru thanks to a new initiative to gather them together...

Theft of precious bonsai worries cultivators in Japan

Tokyo, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- Japanese cultivators are despairing over the future of stolen bonsai plants, several of them hundreds of years old, from nurseries...

Narcissus: latest fresco unearthed at luxurious in villa at Italy's Pompeii

Rome Feb 14, (efe-epa).- A magnificent fresco in a nearly pristine state of conservation depicting the Narcissus myth is the latest find in an excavation of...

UK prosecutor not to press charges against queen's husband over car crash

London, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom’s prosecution service said it has decided not to press charges against Prince Philip, the 97-year-old husband...

Enduring trauma of China's Cultural Revolution rounds off Berlinale contest

Berlin, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- Germany's prestigious Berlinale film festival on Thursday saw its final line-up of in-competition contenders vying for the...

Rhino poaching deaths in South Africa down 25 percent in 2018

Johannesburg, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- The World Wildlife Fund warned that although South Africa had managed to bring down rhino deaths due to poaching by 25...

Afro-Brazilian artists carry on slain activist Marielle Franco's struggle

Sao Paulo, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- A cement staircase in a trendy district of this Brazilian metropolis serves as a memorial to a slain Rio de Janeiro city...

Actress Geraldine Chaplin: old age is horrible, it drives me crazy

Berlin, Feb 14, (efe-epa).- Actress Geraldine Chaplin has declared a state of war against old age, a state that has been driving her crazy, she revealed in...

Popularity of Valentine's Day chocolate tradition dips in Japan

Tokyo, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- Chocolate is synonymous with Valentine's Day all over the world, but in Japan, where the sector generates around 20 percent of its...

Nintendo announces 'Super Mario Maker 2', return of 'Link's Awakening'

Washington DC, Feb 13 (efe-epa).- Japanese electronics giant Nintendo on Wednesday announced the launch of "Super Mario Maker 2" for its Switch console as...

Band leader wins three Grammys with help from 53 Dreamers

Miami, Feb 13 (efe-epa).- Trumpeter John Daversa, who recently won three Grammy Awards for an album he recorded with 53 young undocumented immigrants, told...

Mexico's stuffed-animal capital gears up for Valentine's Day

Xonacatlan, Mexico, Feb 13 (epa-efe).- This small city in central Mexico is a hive of activity ahead of Valentine's Day, the time of the year when dozens of...

Pussy Riot members forced to travel by bus after airliner drunken incident

Barcelona (Spain), Feb 13 (efe-epa).- A leading member of a Russian feminist punk band who was expelled from an aircraft for alleged drunkenness moments...

Florals, feminine patterns dominate penultimate day of NYFW 2019

New York, Feb 12 (efe-epa).- Feminine and floral designs dominated the 2019 Fall collection of Oscar de la Renta's fashion house Tuesday at the Cunard...

Staff at fire-ravaged Brazilian museum upbeat about recovery

Rio de Janeiro, Feb 12 (epa-efe).- About five months ago a major fire destroyed almost all of Rio de Janeiro's National Museum, but the team recovering what...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.