by 👨💻 Simon Baxendale
For many people, mobile data access has become something of an expected standard. How simple is it to boot up your smartphone or tablet and to connect to your 3G or 4G network? Most of our phones are doing it automatically, of course – but spare a thought for the citizens of Cuba, who up until now have had no access to 3G at all. That, it appears, is set to change – albeit at a considerable price.
Cuba is officially one of the very last nations to get access to mobile internet, according to The Seattle Times. Therefore, news offered by state telecoms president Mayra Arevich this week likely got plenty of people excited – particularly as residents have been able to get access to the internet purely through fixed home connections up until now. Cuba has also been operating internet cafés operated by the state since 2013, and has also been offering Wi-Fi hotspots dotted across cities for a few years now.
3G, however, will look to open things up completely for many Cubans across the island. However, it will come at a price. Citizens will expect to pay up to an equivalent of $30 for 4GB worth of mobile data – considering that most Cubans will earn up to this per month, it’s more than a pretty penny to pay for most people. Smaller packages will become available, too, but it seems many phone and tablet users could be without a more affordable tariff for some time.
Unlike some regimes across the world, Cubans will be able to access the vast majority of the web, sparing a few sites which either disagree with the current Cuban regime, or which are US-based and anti-communist. In comparison with services in China and North Korea, for example, it appears Cuba’s internet users may have a wider scope of what they can access.
Cuba Gives Citizens Full Mobile Internet Access [video]
Current Cuba President Miguel Diaz-Canel appears to have been opening the country more and more up to current tech in recent times, following his rise to power in April this year – meaning that citizens may well expect further advancements in time to come. For now, Wi-Fi hotspots across the nation remain the most feasible way for Cubans to connect to the internet outside of their homes – though worries over privacy may also drive some people away.
Cubans already hooked as country gets 3G [video]
Therefore – consider quite how lucky you are to have 3G and 4G already at your fingertips!