Cuban Network – Telecommunication cables

Project Name: Cuban Network

Location: Cuba

Company/client: Empresa De Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA) S.A.


Tratos & Empresa De Telecomunicaciones de Cuba cooperation

In this project, Tratos has supplied more than 10 million euros of telecommunication cable to Telecommunications Company ETECSA, the Government owned telecommunications service provider for Cuba, for development of its communications network.

Cuba has the lowest level of internet connectivity in the western hemisphere and access remains prohibitively expensive for most of the population. There’s a massive network of undersea fibre optic cables in the ocean. Most countries with a maritime border are connected to several undersea cables. More cables means you’re able to transmit more traffic, too, which is essential if you’ve got a data-hungry populace.

Cuba is connected to just one cable. In 2013, the country activated a $70 million, 1,600 kilometer (994 mile) pipeline to Venezuela. Prior to that, it relied on excruciatingly expensive satellite connections, which cost a small fortune to operate, and offered limited bandwidth. This all but kept the Internet out of the hands of everyone, except a handful of elites.

To alleviate the issue, Cuba’s State Telecommunications company, ETECSA, recently began running a pilot program to install internet connections in 2,000 homes throughout the country, although it is believed that the service will remain too expensive for many.

Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A

Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. is a government owned and full telecommunications service provider for the Republic of Cuba. ETECSA is the only lawfully allowed enterprise in Cuba to offer Internet and mobile phone services, hence it is considered an emblematic instance of a coercive monopoly.

The Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba SA, has the mission to enable effective management increasingly provide telecommunications services that meet the needs of users and the population, and to support the requirements of the defense and socio-economic development with economic results that the company expects demand and the Cuban state.

Internet services in Cuba

Cuba’s domestic telecommunications infrastructure is limited in scope and was only appropriate for the early days of the internet. There is virtually no broadband internet access in Cuba. Cuba’s mobile network is limited in its coverage, and uses “second generation” technology, suited to voice conversations and text messaging, but not Internet applications. Owing to limited bandwidth, authorities give preference to use from locations where Internet access is used on a collective basis, such as in work places, schools, and research centres, where many people have access to the same computers or network.

A DSL service was launched in March 2017 in areas of Havana and has since been expanded though costs have been set too high for most Cubans able to access the service. Similarly, 3G services have been launched and were available to about two-thirds of the population by the end of 2018. However, costs are high and locals accept that the technology is dated. Although ETESCA has announced plans to trial LTE there is as yet no progress evident.

Tratos is a dedicated supporter of  UN Global Goals : GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being, GOAL 4: Quality Education, GOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

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