Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ring, ring ...

Despite all the hype, the decision by Raul Castro to allow his loyal subjects to buy mobile phones freely (but no toasters until 2010!) appears to have had little impact, according to the French international television news channel, France 24.

It seems that two months after the grand announcement, the State-owned telephone monopoly, Cubacel, still has just 10,000 or so mobile phone subscribers on its books.

The reason? Cost, of course.

As France 24 explains, the Castro regime pays Cubans salaries that average the equivalent of about USD20.00 a month, and yet, the State mobile phone company charges as much as USD5.00 for a short call abroad from a mobile phone. Nifty, no?

In any case, says the French television station, owning a mobile phone is far from being top-priority for the Cuban people, adding: "More freedom is what they want.”

And cheaper mobile rates.


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