Cuba Sees Tripling of Mobile Data Users Despite Lack of Capacity Increase by State Operator

Cuba Sees Tripling of Mobile Data Users Despite Lack of Capacity Increase by State Operator

Cuba Suffers from Constant Blackouts & ETECSA Executive President promises benefits from new submarine internet cable

According to Tania Velázquez, the executive president of Cuban state telecommunications monopoly ETECSA, in an interview broadcast this Wednesday by the official Cubadebate media, there was an increase in traffic of more than 60% in 2022. This situation has been reflected in both mobile and home internet. At the end of 2022, there were 274,000 connected homes, or a growth close 9%.

The slowness in navigation has become noticeable in recent months on the island, already used to a slow and unstable connection. Velázquez highlighted that this network becomes “congested” especially between 8-10pm when the number of connected mobile phone users increases. Despite that, Cuba is the Latin American country with the most expensive service in Latin America– more than three dollars per gigabyte– according to the specialized site Latinometrics.

To solve this problem, Velázquez said growth needs according investments in the access network but also forces them to do work in other layers of the network that allows the smooth transit of data required by customers. According to ETECSA, in Cuba, there are about 6.7 million mobile internet users and this represents around 60% of the population, leaving out the current exodus of citizens.

To further improve the network, ETECSA announced a new international submarine cable that will connect Cuba with the island of Martinique, a French overseas territory almost 2,000 kilometers away. This cable, hopefully ready by April, will help address the issue of congestion, as it joins ALBA-1, the current cable connecting Cuba to Venezuela since 2012.

The effects of the blackouts were also evident in everyday life of Cubans, including the increase people cooking with coal or charcoal and missing out on activities, such as birthdays and family dinners, due to power outages. People are hard at work trying to maximise their opportunities in the face of power disruptions, in the hope that the new submarine cable will bring relief.

Chelsea Waller

Chelsea Waller is a dedicated journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth. She has a wide range of experience covering news and current events and is known for her in-depth investigative reporting. She is committed to informing the public and holding those in power accountable.

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