Cuban state-owned telecom company ETECSA has again cut the activation fee for cell phones. Yesterday’s reduction means that the overall fee has now dropped 80 percent since cell phones were first allowed on the island in April 2008. The initial activation fee for pre-paid phone service has fallen to $43 from $120. The price reductions come less than two weeks after ETECSA announced reduced rates for existing service to start June 1, 2011, including reductions to the price per minute for off-peak calls.
With nearly 1 million cell phones currently in use in Cuba, ETECSA expects that the cut in price of activating a cell phone will increase their accessibility to Cubans and usage. ETECSA expects to exceed 1 million users by the end of this year and hopes to have 2.4 million users by 2015. However, ETECSA communications director Luis Manuel Naranjo told Juventud Rebelde that the slashing of fees “is not enough” noting the expense of servicing a cell phone bill continues to be “a costly challenge in terms of investment and resources” for many Cubans.