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Cuba - Telecoms Mobile and Broadband - Analyses and Statistics

  • February 2015
  • -
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
  • -
  • 21 pages

Normalisation of relations with the US lifts restrictions in telecom equipment imports
BuddeComm's Cuba - Telecoms, Mobile, and Broadband report profiles the fixed-line, mobile and internet markets in the Caribbean's largest country. It includes state statistical market data for 2011 as well as developments to February 2014.

Cuba still has the lowest mobile phone and internet penetration rates in the region, and is also among the lowest for fixed-line teledensity. Fixed-line and mobile services remain a monopoly of the government-controlled Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETESCA Cubacel).

There remains substantial state control over the right to own and use certain communications services, including the right to access the internet. Whilst the Obama administration has recently relaxed some of the embargo rules pertaining to telecom services, differences between US and Cuban pricing rules effectively preclude US operators from operating in Cuba. Although Raul Castro has made it clear that he will be reducing the size of Cuban state expenditure in favour of private participation in the economy, the genuine liberalisation of Cuba's telecom sector is expected to be hampered slowly over the coming years. This has been keenly witnessed in the slow development of the submarine cable between Venezuela and Cuba, which in early 2013 was opened for traffic.

Market highlights:
Netflix launched services in Cuba in February 2015 following the lifting of trade restrictions from US companies, though the high price guarantees limited take-up.
DTTV reached about five million people by late 2014, with coverage extended to all provincial capital cities.
In mid-2014 the government allowed internet services to be extended to non-agricultural cooperatives, though these must comply with the same strict conditions which apply to other authorized outlets.
The ALBA-1 submarine fibre-optic cable between Cuba and Venezuela has the potential to provide 640Gb/s bandwidth. In May 2013 the Jamaican branch of the cable was opened for traffic, following the route through to Venezuela in January 2013.
In March 2014 ETECSA introduced a new mobile email service, @nauta.cu. The operator also planned to extend ADSL-based services to residential homes. In preparation, the Ministry of Communications set the maximum tariff which ETECSA can charge per megabyte at CUC1.
ETECSA in February 2015 allowed Cubans to have up to three mobile lines, lifting the restriction of a single line per subscriber imposed in March 2008.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Cuba's telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, and fixed-line sectors. Subjects include:

Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures and statistics;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Infrastructure;
Internet;
Mobile voice market.

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Cuba. It provides further information on:
Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
The impact of the global economic crisis;
The incumbent telecoms operator privatisation;
Mobile voice market developments;
Historical and current subscriber statistics.


Table Of Contents

Cuba - Telecoms Mobile and Broadband - Analyses and Statistics
1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Overview of Cuba's telecom market
5. Regulatory environment
6. Fixed network operator in Cuba
6.1 Empresa de Telecomunicaciones del Cuba SA (ETESCA)
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 National telecom network
7.2 International infrastructure
7.2.1 Submarine cable networks
7.2.2 Satellite networks
8. Internet market
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 Internet statistics
9. Digital TV
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Cuba's mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Major mobile operators
10.2.1 ETECSA
11. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Cuba 2014 (e)
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2014 (e)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2014
Table 4 Internet user statistics 2014 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2014 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 8 Internet users and penetration rate 1998 - 2014
Table 10 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2000 - 2014
Table 11 Mobile network international traffic 2007 - 2015
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2000 - 2014
Chart 2 Internet users and penetration rate 2000 - 2014
Chart 3 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2002 - 2014
Exhibit 1 Submarine cable network connects Cuba and Venezuela

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