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ertertert (Offline)
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Default Best option from Cuba to UK - Europe? - 07-11-2008, 19:56

What's the current best option?

By best I mean a combination of reliability and easy recharge/management. Of course, we all understand that the cheapest rates don't necessarily represent the best.

I'll be around Havana for a period of two weeks, calling mostly landline UK and other european (EU) numbers.

So far I lean to ICQ SIM (practically United Mobile with a Liechtenstein number), but I'm not sure about the coverage. Anyone used them in Cuba?

Thanks!
   
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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 07-11-2008, 23:33

The Cuban GSM network was set up to do two things:
1. Service government and party officials and
2. Milk the roaming tourists for every dollar, Euro, peso, etc possible.
Roaming rates are very high. Some examples are Celtrek $1.89/min. UM $2.40/min 09 € 0.69/min (all incoming rates). I can't say for sure if the USSD-based SIMs will even make outgoing calls in CUBA.
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Motel75 (Offline)
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Default 08-11-2008, 22:19

All telephone rates in Cuba are robbery, so these are no exception. As a visitor, you will be expected to pay around $4 per minute to call Europe/North America from a pay phone, and it's not like there's a cheaper alternative (seeing how it's a communist dictatorship and all). You might keep your phone with you for emergency use, but unless money is no object, don't use it.


Current DE: Vodafone, Netzklub; PL: Klucz, Virgin; UK: Giffgaff; US: T-Mobile; IT: Vodafone; UA: Kyivstar; FR: Bouygues; GR: Vodafone
Former DE: Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2, Blauworld, 01051mobile, Solomo, Lycamobile, Simyo, Congstar, Fonic, Edeka Mobile, Lidl Mobile; PL: Heyah, Era, Virgin, Sami Swoi, Orange, POP, iPlus, Carrefour Mova, Telepin Mobi, Play, Lycamobile, T-Mobile; UK: Vodafone, T-Mobile, Virgin; US: T-Mobile, AT&T, Lycamobile; CZ: Vodafone, Oskar; ES: Lebara; GR: Vodafone, Wind; UA: Vodafone; IL: Orange; TR: Turkcell
   
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Stu (Offline)
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Default 10-11-2008, 02:43

What about VOIP?
   
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ertertert (Offline)
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Default 11-11-2008, 15:01

I saw that Skype has a mobile client (currently in beta) and Fring works with Skype. If the Cuban GSM telco allows GPRS roaming, that could be a solution. What's the current cost per Mb in Cuba, if they allow GPRS roaming? Anyone used it?

In the worst case scenario, should I go with ICQ SIM (UM) or there is a better alternative? Remember, I'm based in the UK.


Edit: Are foreigners (non-US) allowed to buy prepaid GSM cards there, with a local number?
   
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PhotoJim (Offline)
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Default 11-11-2008, 17:20

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu View Post
What about VOIP?
VoIP will be annoying. Currently Cuba's Internet backbone is a satellite connection from Montreal. The latency will be obnoxious.

1 devonport.photojim.prv (192.168.222.6) 0.719 ms 0.504 ms 0.507 ms
2 10.42.255.39 (10.42.255.39) 9.701 ms 10.910 ms 9.886 ms
3 * 24.72.99.33 (24.72.99.33) 9.822 ms *
4 h66-38-148-142.gtconnect.net (66.38.148.142) 22.323 ms 21.653 ms 19.187 m
s
5 GE4-1.WANB-CALGAB.IP.GROUPTELECOM.NET (216.18.32.5) 19.740 ms 18.409 ms 2
0.363 ms
6 POS9-0.WANB-VANCBC.IP.GROUPTELECOM.NET (66.59.190.19 33.713 ms 31.712 ms
33.790 ms
7 GE4-0.PEERA-VANCBC.IP.GROUPTELECOM.NET (66.59.190.1 31.852 ms 31.225 ms
31.857 ms
8 if-8-2.core1.VCW-Vancouver.as6453.net (216.6.58.9) 32.012 ms 31.719 ms 31
.702 ms
9 if-10-0.core2.VCW-Vancouver.as6453.net (64.86.115.29) 30.801 ms * 33.174 m
s
10 if-11-0.mcore3.TTT-Scarborough.as6453.net (216.6.98.29) 70.918 ms 79.148 m
s 72.634 ms
11 if-4-0.mcore4.MTT-Montreal.as6453.net (216.6.115.13) 79.168 ms 80.596 ms
81.201 ms
12 if-2-0.core1.LAU-Laurentides.as6453.net (216.6.115.6) 81.424 ms 85.235 ms
83.938 ms
13 if-5-0-0.bb1.LAU-Laurentides.as6453.net (64.86.81.104) 85.608 ms 84.514 ms
84.520 ms
14 ix-4-0-0.bb1.LAU-Laurentides.as6453.net (207.45.217.22) 615.657 ms 617.342
ms 615.305 ms
15 200.0.16.102 (200.0.16.102) 633.097 ms 653.355 ms 630.843 ms
16 200.0.16.113 (200.0.16.113) 635.111 ms 633.696 ms 633.984 ms
17 200.0.16.141 (200.0.16.141) 653.849 ms 634.324 ms 633.551 ms
18 * * *
19 * 3wonline-c21.etecsa.net (200.55.129.3) 639.883 ms 632.398 ms

You can see the jump to the satellite link at #14 above.

So you'll be looking at about 1260 ms latency (2 x 630-ish) on VoIP, when VoIP starts to get annoying at around 200.


CA: SaskTel, Wind postpaid; Rogers, Bell postpaid iPad flex plans; US: T-Mobile postpaid data, prepaid voice; PureTalk (AT&T MVNO) prepaid voice/data; AT&T prepaid iPad plan

Hardware: Too much but notably iPhone 5, iPad Mini Retina LTE, Moto G LTE (N.A. version), iPhone 4. All unlocked.
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davidtheprof (Offline)
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Default 03-09-2013, 02:50

Nearly 5 years since the last post I can find on Cuba! and I might be going to a conference there....
Truphone seems best bet of the sim cards I have, $1.71 out, about $1.20 incoming, and $8.50 for data.
any other suggestions?
   
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Stu (Offline)
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Default 05-09-2013, 02:18

This is a wild guess, but see what Mexican prepaids do over there. They were the first to have data roaming over there.
   
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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 05-09-2013, 16:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidtheprof View Post
any other suggestions?
Drop "off the grid", enjoy the music, drink plenty of rum punch and don't worry about it until you leave Cuba?
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andy (Offline)
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Default 19-09-2013, 01:23

When looking at this for people on another forum quite a while ago, I read that there were proposals for a submarine cable from Venezuela which would vastly improve Cuba's connection to the rest of the world.

A brief search shows that this was commissioned into use earlier this year, with a further connection to Jamaica, so internet speeds were improved from January.

Whether or how this affects mobile data use and prospects of VoIP I haven't yet looked

Apparently there is also a cable from Florida to Yucatan which passes only 50 km or so from Havana, but presumably the chances of something being arranged there are based on political rather than technical reasons
   
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