HAVANA TIMES — Yesterday Cubans woke up to a new message. Cubacel, the sole telephone company on the island, announced to its customers that the costs of certain phone services would be reduced. Starting Wednesday, the cost of cellphone-to-cellphone calls and ones received from landlines would be reduced from 0.45 to 0.35 CUC. (1 USD = 0.87 CUC).
It will now cost ten cents less for this type communication, the one that’s presently the most used on the entire planet. The infinite possibilities offered by this type of telephone service have made their employment increasingly demanded by the world’s population.
Access to these services has become more common in Cuba in recent years. However, the high price has been the biggest deterrent, especially if we keep in mind that the average monthly wage in the country is less than one CUC a day.
Around one year ago certain discounts began to be offered, though the cost of a cellphone line is still 30.00 CUC, though this remains as the balance in a customer’s account. In addition there are other promotional discounts offered from abroad, such as ones that offer additional calling time for the same price. Also reduced was the price of SMS text messaging.
Everyone is waiting for additional changes that might offer similar benefits, such as another discount in the price of a contract, or the extension of the time one can remain under contract (currently contracts are voided if one goes for more than two months without buying additional pre-paid talking time, even if they have a balance).
Small steps are continuing to be made in Cuba with regard to the use of new technologies and communications. Nevertheless people are satisfied since this slow progress is better than none at all. At least we’re not faced with completely ridiculous prices of a few years ago, when it cost 120.00 CUCs for a cellphone account.
As for Internet access, there continues to be little word about when this might change, but to dwell on this topic would be like beating a dead horse. In any case, more and more Cubans are using our invaluable cellphones.
As for me personally, I keep running into obsolete aspects in this service that are particular to this country and aren’t very beneficial for the customers. But like everybody else, I can’t stop feeling pleased with being able to talk on the phone with a little less stress since one minute will cost me ten cents less.