AT&T launches roaming services in Cuba

By:
Jason McGee-Abe
Published on:

AT&T has launched roaming services in Cuba almost two months after signing agreements for roaming and direct interconnection with Cuban authorities

The US operator said its customers are now able to talk, text and use data services while in Cuba, following similar launches from rivals Sprint and Verizon.

In August, AT&T announced an agreement with Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA) for voice, texts and data, but the operator has now taken the service live, releasing the prices for roaming in the country.

AT&T said voice calls will be offered at a rate of $3 per minute, while SMS messages will be 50 cents, and MMS messages will be $1.30 per message. Data will be available for $2.05 per megabyte.

That is higher than the costs on offer from Sprint, which signed a deal with ETECSA in November 2015. Sprint offers voice calls when roaming in Cuba at a rate of $2.49 per minute, SMS messaging for 50 cents per sent message and data at $1.99 per megabyte.

Verizon also signed a deal in March to offer roaming in Cuba, which was previously off-limits due to a trade embargo imposed by the US government.  Verizon also offers Cuba roaming at a rate of $2.99 per minute for voice calls and $2.05 per megabyte for data.

Traditionally, calls and texts between the US and Cuba had to be routed through other countries due to trade embargoes imposed following 1959’s Cuban revolution. However, US President Barack Obama announced that diplomatic relations had been restored in December 2014.

The FCC then dropped its ban on US telcos providing services to Cuba in January.