T-Mobile today announced that it has inked a roaming agreement with Cuban telco Empresa De Telecomunicaciones De Cuba, S.A. that will give T-Mobile customers traveling to the tiny Caribbean island access to data, voice, and text through roaming.
The deal also establishes "more affordable" voice call plans for U.S. customers calling friends and family in Cuba, according to the wireless carrier.
Going forward, calls to both landlines and wireless phones in Cuba from the U.S. will cost $0.60 per minute with the $15 per month Stateside International Talk add-on. All told, that is a 65 percent reduction from the current rate.
"The historic opening of Cuba is a natural opportunity for us to take action, and we are," T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a statement. "That's the Un-carrier way! We have more customers of Cuban descent than any other wireless provider -- so connecting them with family and friends in Cuba is a message we heard loud and clear!"
U.S. networks were first given the green light to operate in Cuba back in 2014, after the Obama administration set out to normalize relations between the two countries. This is the official statement from the White House regarding wireless carriers and telcos:
The commercial export of certain items that will contribute to the ability of the Cuban people to communicate with people in the United States and the rest of the world will be authorized. This will include the commercial sale of certain consumer communications devices, related software, applications, hardware, and services, and items for the establishment and update of communications-related systems.
Verizon became the first U.S. wireless company to provide roaming services in Cuba, with Sprint following suit shortly after. AT&T is now the only major carrier without a specific Cuba plan.
With Verizon, voice calls are $2.99 per minute and data is $2.05 per megabyte. With Sprint, roaming voice calls from Cuba are $2.49 per minute and data is $1.99 per megabyte. There's no word yet on what the exact roaming rates will be for T-Mobile customers traveling in Cuba.
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