Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Limited 3G mobile deployment -- hopefully an interim step

Cuba has begun rolling out 3G mobile access to users with 900 Mhz GSM phones.

Radio Rebelde reports that 3G is operating smoothly in Varadero and will soon be available in Jaguey Grande and the Zapata swamp area. My guess is that these locations were picked because of tourism and good backhaul to the Internet, but that's just a guess. The article mentions a speed of 3 Mbps, which would make it significantly faster than the WiFi hotspots.

Like the WiFi hotspots and recent home "broadband" offering, I hope this is a small interim step -- a stop-gap measure until Cuba is willing and able to afford a truly modern Internet and regulatory policy. (See several other possible interim measures here).

I hope I am right in assuming this is an interim step -- it would be sad to see Cuba making a major investment in 3G mobile less than a month after the International Telecommunication Union agreed on 5G wireless performance requirements.

Update 5/1/2017

ETECSA plans 3G access this year in the dark green areas shown on the following map:


(Since the beginning of the Internet, Cuba has tended to distribute infrastructure geographically rather than concentrate solely on the capital or major ciites as is often the case in developing nations).

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