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Local Sim Card - Cuba

Horsham, United...
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15 posts
105 reviews
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Local Sim Card - Cuba

Am I able to get a local sim card when I arrive a the airport in Havana? Are there different networks - and if so which is the best to get? I will be travelling with a cheap unlocked phone. I have read in some previous postings that sim cards are only available to residents - is this the case?

Many thanks

Newton Aycliffe...
Destination Expert
for Cuba, Rafael Freyre, Guardalavaca, Holguin
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1. Re: Local Sim Card - Cuba

Hi there:

Sim cards are only available to buy for Cuban residents, but as a tourist you are able to rent one at a cost of 3 CUC per day plus you have to pay a minimum of 10 CUC to put a credit balance on the card. There is some dispute over the length of the contract. The Etecsa web site says 45 calendar days but this a grey area as others say it is not necessary to rent for 45 days.

Here is a translation from the Etecsa website:

Tourists and foreign visitors

Mobile Phone > Tourists and foreign visitors

The visitor who arrives in the country has the option to activate a line of mobile phones with a contract for temporary prepaid users ( 45 calendar day period may be extended ) :

Rent: 3.00 CUC CUC daily + 6.00 daily rental of equipment ( optional). Once activated you have to do the initial balance recharge paying a minimum of 10.00 CUC . To learn how to access successive refills recharge balance .

You can bring your phone but to operate on our network , verify that you have 900MHz GSM technology and it is unlocked.

Hiring can be done in Terminal 3 , in the commercial office Cubacel found there .

Horsham, United...
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15 posts
105 reviews
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2. Re: Local Sim Card - Cuba

thank you for the information

Newton Aycliffe...
Destination Expert
for Cuba, Rafael Freyre, Guardalavaca, Holguin
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98,912 posts
57 reviews
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3. Re: Local Sim Card - Cuba

You are more than welcome. Only too pleased to have helped.

Toronto
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267 posts
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4. Re: Local Sim Card - Cuba

I was in Havana in December last year and went to the Etecsa office on Obispo Street and was able to rent a Sim card for 9 days.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Local Sim Card - Cuba

I've similarly arranged this for other tourists on numerous occasions for periods less than 45 days but Bellagio is referring to a few reports where people say that they have been refused.

Havana, Cuba
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6. Re: Local Sim Card - Cuba

I have several such reports too. Seems its completely hit and miss if they let tourists buy it for less than 45 days. The Etecsa rules seem pretty clear that 45 days is the minimum.

Mississauga, Canada
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7. Re: Local Sim Card - Cuba

I was told 45 days in Dec on Cayo Coco but will try again real soon , they at least have been consistent since the law changed .

LENNY

Melbourne, Australia
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4,690 posts
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8. Re: Local Sim Card - Cuba

BTW my most recent first hand experiences of achieving less than 45 day rentals were in September and October last year.

Newton Aycliffe...
Destination Expert
for Cuba, Rafael Freyre, Guardalavaca, Holguin
Level Contributor
98,912 posts
57 reviews
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9. Re: Local Sim Card - Cuba

I assume it depends on the person behind the desk as to whether or not he sticks to the rules, or will allow a shorter rental.

Edited: 7:38 am, February 18, 2014
10. Re: Local Sim Card - Cuba

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Removed on: 10:02 am, February 18, 2014