As ties between the United States and Cuba continue to thaw, businesses continue to jump at the opportunity to finally enter the country. You can now count T-Mobile as the latest company to do so, as the U.S.-based Un-carrier recently inked a deal with Empresa De Telecommunicaciones De Cuba, S.A. (ETECSA) to allow roaming in Cuba.
T-Mobile is not the first U.S. carrier to make its presence known in the Caribbean nation, as both Sprint and Verizon have already signed similar deals with the government-owned Cuban telecommunications company last fall. With Cuba as the No. 1 requested addition to T-Mobile’s international roaming service, it’s a surprise the company took this long to have a deal in place. It’s better late than never, however, with T-Mobile hoping to upstage both Sprint and Verizon with relatively affordable options.
According to T-Mobile, making landline and wireless phone calls to Cuba from the U.S. will cost Simple Choice customers $0.60 per minute through its Stateside International Talk feature. As for actually making calls, texting friends, and using data in Cuba, T-Mobile says you can do so beginning sometime this summer.
As alluded to earlier, T-Mobile is far from the first American business to push into the Cuban market. Apart from fellow U.S. carriers Sprint and Verizon, the likes of MasterCard, Netflix, and Airbnb have already made their marks in the Caribbean nation. This is all thanks to the improved diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, even though the former’s trade embargo against the latter is still in effect. Besides new business, the improved relations have also had other effects, such as Cuba hosting an exhibition baseball game involving an MLB club in March for the first time in 17 years and the country announcing plans to introduce 35 additional Wi-Fi hotspots last June.