Photograph by Yamil Lage — AFP/Getty Images

Customers get cheaper prices for calling from U.S. to Cuba as well.

May 09, 2016

Correction (May 9, 1:15 p.m.): This story has been corrected to state that T-Mobile has not yet announced roaming rates for customers in Cuba.

T-Mobile customers will be able to use their mobile phones in Cuba starting this summer under a new agreement announced on Monday.

The interconnect and roaming deal with with state-owned telecommunications carrier Empresa De Telecomunicaciones De Cuba (ETECSA) also will lower rates for T-Mobile customers with an international calling plan dialing Cuba from the United States.

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T-Mobile’s deal follows similar announcements from Verizon Communications and Sprint last year. Verizon Communications vz announced it was the first U.S. carrier with a deal for Cuba roaming back in September, though with rates of $3 per minute for voice calls and $2 per megabyte for data. Sprint s unveiled its deal in November, with calls for $2.49 per minute and data at $2 per megabyte.

AT&T is still working on its deal. “As we’ve previously said, we are in discussions with ETECSA, the Cuban carrier, and expect that we will reach agreement on wireless roaming for our customers,” an AT&T spokesman said on Monday.

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All of the deals followed initiatives by President Obama to remove trade barriers with Cuba, including rules adopted in September to promote trade, investment, and travel. But the U.S. embargo, with more substantial restrictions on deeper investments and tourism, remains in place unless Congress acts.

None of the U.S. firms has permission to sell mobile service directly to the 11 million people living in Cuba yet, where fewer than one in four has mobile service. In the U.S., there are more mobile subscribers than people due to customers with multiple lines while nearby Mexico has 85% coverage.


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