Will Cell Phones Even Work in Cuba?

Don’t know if this has been asked yet.

With George Bush’s announcment that relatives can now send cell phones to other relatives in Cuba, I was wondering if these phones would even work?

Do they have existing cell sites in Cuba? If so, what type of network are they (CDMA, GSM)?

Would said cell sites have to come-up with roaming agreements with US carriers?

Would a cell phone in Cuba be able to reach an American cell site?

Just a few questions from a curious Canadian…


Cell Phones in Cuba.
As for your last two questions: 1) presumably, Cuban recipients of these phones would need to activate the phone with a local carrier, just like we have to do here. 2) No, not a chance. Cuba is 90 miles from the nearest US land.

Cuba uses GSM-900.

My carrier has roaming (scroll way down to the maps) with Cuba.

My current phone will work there no problem.

Presumably ETECSA would have to conclude roaming agreements with US carriers to US SIMS to roam in Cuba. They have many other roaming agreements.

Are US residents or citizens allowed to phone Cuba?

Yes, they are.

And are Cubans allowed to answer? It seems like a repressive government would get itchy if its citizens could talk freely to any outsider who happens to call.

As of April 15th, ordinary citizens are allowed to buy cell phones, as well as computers, DVD players, and a bunch of other formally restricted electronic stuff.

Does US embargo legislation allow US carriers to have roaming arrangements for Cuba? (as this involves doing business with the Cuban carrier)