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T-Mobile pens deal with ETECSA to offer roaming in Cuba


T-Mobile announced via an official blog post this morning that it has inked a deal with ETECSA (Empresa De Telecomunicaciones De Cuba, S.A), a Cuban telecoms company, to offer cheaper calls to Cuba from the US, and offer roaming there for the first time.

T-Mo notes that more that 36.6% of Cuban-born US wireless consumers are with T-Mobile, so it couldn’t fail to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the re-opening of open trade between the US and Cuba. Understandably, Cuba is the most asked-for addition to T-Mo’s international roaming, and now the carrier is doing something about it.

“The historic opening of Cuba is a natural opportunity for us to take action, and we are.  That’s the Un-carrier way!” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile.  “We have more customers of Cuban descent than any other wireless provider – so connecting them with family and friends in Cuba is a message we heard loud and clear!”

What this means is that from later this summer, Simple Choice customers will be able to call Cuban landlines and wireless phones for $0.60 per minute, using the $15 Stateside International Talk add-on. Customers will also be able to use voice, text and data when traveling in Cuba, roaming on local networks.

T-Mobile isn’t the first carrier to offer roaming in Cuba. In fact, Sprint beat them to it around six months ago when it also signed a direct roaming agreement with ETECSA. But it is great news for US consumers with Cuban relatives, or those who plan on visiting the island in the future. They can keep in touch far more easily, and travel without fear of losing the ability to stay connected.

As we know, Google is also working on bringing more Cuban nationals online. In an interview with ABC News, President Obama recently stated that Google is going to be one of the first companies to help Cubans access the Internet. In fact, only 5% of Cuba’s population is able to get online currently.

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