Phones and Internet in Cuba

phone booth WPhone and Internet connection in Cuba is improving each day. While not completely up to world standards, connections can be made. A lot depends on where you are and the telecommunications vagaries of the day.

Internet

Many hotels offer slow Internet communications in their lobbies using PCs in various states. Connection is ‘dial-up’ speed or perhaps better. The computers are accessed using a scratch-off card purchased from the hotel desk.

In many Havana hotels, Wi-Fi is now available in the lobby. Speed is considerably faster. Again, access is through scratch off usage cards available from the desk. Your device will usually connect.

Tip: be sure to ‘log out’ or your card time allocation will erode.

 

Telephone

Telephone is available in your room including both local and long-distance access. Phone rates in Cuba can be expensive so check first. The desk will likely require a deposit before calling is enabled.

Your cell phone will probably work in Cuba but check roaming fees before you depart to avoid incurring large fees.   Our correspondent Carl Wallace writes (as of October 2014)

My TELUS (Canadian) Cuba Travel Plan worked surprisingly well. For a flat fee (I bought a larger plan for $Cdn65) I was entitled to a bank of voice minutes including calls both within Cuba and home, a bank of text messages anywhere plus a supply of data.

I was surprised at the consumption of data (80mb in a week!) and was therefore please I had purchased a larger plan. Perhaps most surprising was the clarity of the connection including the 611 line, which connected me to a Canada – based tech who answered my dialing and connecting questions with enthusiasm.)