HAVANA, Oct. 10th Until now, users of the state company had to wait for a message notifying them of their ability to use the 4G network.
However, after the announcement on Wednesday, Cubans can request the service directly.
Since Wednesday, in theory, 4G is available to all Cubans. The Cuban Telecommunications Company (Etecsa) released the use to all its customers from prepaid service, after months of testing in several territories.
Until now, users had to wait for a message notifying them of their ability to use the 4G network. However, after today’s announcement – made on the company’s website and social networks -, Cubans can request the service directly by sending a free SMS to the number 2266 with the text LTE.
#ETECSA informs prepaid customers of # telefoníacelular that as of today, October 9, they can request the authorization for access to the 4G / LTE network.
If the mobile device meets the technical conditions for the use of the 4G network, they will then receive confirmation from Etecsa that the service has been enabled. The equipment must be compatible with the LTE standard for wireless communications for high-speed data transmission, at 1800 MHz.
In addition, they must have a USIM card that, if they do not have it, they can buy at the Commercial Offices of the company for a value of 3.00 CUC (convertible pesos, equivalent to the dollar).
However, Etecsa recalls that access to 4G / LTE “will only be possible if the client is under its coverage” and confirms that to date this technology is not yet present throughout the Island.
For now, the fourth-generation mobile networks are “in areas of the provinces Havana, Matanzas, Mayabeque, Artemisa, Camaguey, Ciego de Ávila, Holguin, Granma, Las Tunas, Guantanamo and Santiago de Cuba”, according to the state company , which ensures that “in the coming months the rest of the territories will be incorporated”.
Days ago, Carlos Blanco, an Etecsa specialist, said that the state entity “works for the development of 4G in the coming years” and said that the new technology “will be extended once the analog blackout is reached”, which will take place gradually and whose closure, initially scheduled for 2021, extended two more years. This is due, according to Blanco, because the necessary signal for 4G is now occupied by transmitters that are dependent on the analog signal.
“Once that signal goes out, frequencies would be released and, therefore, there would be a better broadband connection,” he explained.
After years without massive access to the Internet, the Cuban authorities promise greater connectivity on the Island as part of the government strategy of “computerization of society.” As part of it, Etecsa began offering the Nauta Hogar service, which allows access in private homes, and connection through mobile data using mainly 3G technology, which is used by thousands of Cubans despite their prices high and still suffering problems frequently.