Mobil phone and data services down across Cuba
HAVANA, Feb. 17th Mobile phone users in Cuba suffered on Thursday the lack of service availability for a few hours, after the New York rapperTekashi 6ix9ine caused crowds by throwing dollar bills at hundreds of gathered fans trying to watch him.
The alterations in the service began at approximately 7:00 p.m. (00:00 GMT on Friday), when users stopped having data on their cell phones and even telephone communication was suspended, AFP confirmed.
“We inform our clients that there is currently an affectation in mobile services. Work is being done to identify the failure for the soonest restoration,” said the monopoly company Etecsa.
Hours later, the company reported that service was being restored. “We inform users that the mobile network services are beginning to restore their operation,” Etecsa said in a Twitter message, but noted that some numbers were still having “difficulties in accessing the service.”
The affectation to the service coincided with a crowd of young people, in the afternoon, in front of a luxurious hotel in Havana, where the American rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine was, who especially attracted the attention of adolescents.
“It is not known if he is going to give a concert,” a 17-year-old young man who went to the venue with four friends told AFP and said he found out because the musician “uploaded videos on his Instagram account” of his arrival in Havana.
The unavailability of the service occurred shortly after the crowd became agitated at the sight of the rapper tossing bills into the air.
In videos that circulate through the networks, you can see how the crowd runs toward the entrance of the hotel where the musician was.
“The bills were one hundred”
“You could see how he was throwing the wads of money, they were saying that the bills were one hundred,” said another young man, who confessed that he had not been able to get some money.
The young people narrated that Tekashi 6ix9ine left in a car and that the police evacuated the avenue, which has a wide boulevard in the center.
“The police were there a while ago, but since the revolt had not been formed, they had not done anything, so when everyone got on top of the car, that’s when the police told people to leave,” commented one of the congregants.
At night, the AFP verified the strong presence of uniformed and plainclothes police officers at the scene.
“An hour without internet (although that is not uncommon), but without being able to make calls, -still not possible in Camagüey- and without text messages. Even the emergency numbers out of service, it is too catastrophic”, said a woman who identifies herself as Rosanna on her Twitter account, resident in the eastern province of Camagüey.
Internet speed on the island, both mobile and fixed, has decreased significantly in recent weeks.
The authorities have publicly said that, in one year, there was an increase of more than a million users without the island’s weak mobile phone infrastructure being able to support that demand.