Verizon signs direct connection agreement with Cuba
HAVANA (Reuters) – A unit of telecoms multinational Verizon
Communications signed a direct interconnection agreement with the Cuban
state monopoly Etecsa, expanding on existing roaming services in the
Caribbean country, Etecsa said in a statement on Monday.
Verizon last September became the first U.S.-based wireless company to
offer roaming in Cuba, taking advantage of U.S. President Barack Obama’s
move to open relations with a former Cold War adversary of the United
Rival Sprint Corp in November signed the first direct roaming agreement
The U.S. trade embargo of Cuba remains in place, but the Obama
administration issued new regulations a year ago shortly after detente
that allow U.S. telecommunications companies to do business with the
Under the embargo, phone calls between the United States and Cuba have
mostly been completed through third-party countries, adding expense and
reducing quality. Text and data services only became available to
U.S.-based users with the Sprint and Verizon deals last year.
Etecsa said it reached a deal with Verizon Partner Solutions after an
undisclosed period of negotiations.
“The service agreement will initially allow the offering of voice
services through direct interconnection between the two countries and
will be operational once implementation and technical testing
requirements are completed by both companies,”Etecsa said.
While most of Obama’s commercial opening to Cuba has focused on the
small but growing private sector in the Communist-governed country, the
White House also allowed deals with the state-owned telecommunications
company, saying it would benefit ordinary Cubans.
The Cuban government responded quickly in signing deals with Verizon and
Sprint, while it has yet to allow its private sector to import farm
implements or construction materials, two other areas of trade that
Obama has permitted through regulation.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Bernard Orr)
Source: Verizon signs direct connection agreement with Cuba – Yahoo News