Earlier this August, Cuba’s National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI) released its annual report regarding Internet and telecommunication on the Island. Here are the key facts to remember.
The ONEI report covers ICT in Cuba over the last four years (2010-2014) and shows that the number of Internet users going on the web via a personal computer was over 3 million in 2014 compared to over 1.7 million in 2010. Even if this increase seems encouraging, one has to bear in mind that on the whole Island only a little more than 500,000 computers are connected to the web (in a population of 11.2 million people). This highlights a specific Cuban usage: computer sharing. On average if we look at this data there is in Cuba one computer for every 6 internet users.
Another striking fact is the huge increase of mobile subscribers within the same period (2010 to 2014). There were 1,003,000 subscribers in 2010 and there were 2,530,000 users in 2014. The mobile subscribers have increased by a factor of 2.5 in just 5 years. However, again, this number has to be compared with the number of inhabitants of the Caribbean Island: 11.2 million people. That’s a 22.3 % penetration rate. This means that Internet penetration is low despite the fact that the mobile coverage in Cuba was around 82.3% in 2010 and went up to 85.3 % in 2014.
The report is not very clear about mobile phone internet usage. What we know is that even if a 3G coverage is in place, the majority of the island is covered by 2G, which would explain why the mobile internet is not detailed in this report. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure, there’s no need to invest in 3G or heavy infrastructure to get Internet on more smartphones in Cuba. With Be-Bound, a working phone signal and an Android smartphone brings Internet services without the need for WiFi, 4G or 3G.