HAVANA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Smartphone users in Cuba will soon have access to a 3G network, state-run telecom firm ETECSA announced on Tuesday.
"After three tests of our broadband infrastructure, mobile internet connections will be available gradually to all Cuban cellphone clients starting on Dec. 6," said Mayra Arevich, the ETECSA executive president, on a Cuban State TV program.
Arevich said the service will be active in two or three days from Thursday according to the digits of the clients' cellphone number.
The ETECSA said it will offer packages of data ranging from 600 MB for 7 Cuban pesos (7 U.S. dollars) to 4 GB for 30 Cuban pesos, saying it would try to decrease prices next year.
"We increase spending on infrastructure according to our financial abilities in the coming months and also start installing 4G technology, which is already used worldwide," said Jose Luis Perdomo, Cuba's minister of communications, who also spoke on the program.
Perdomo said the new service is part of Cuba's policy to expand internet coverage, which has widely developed in the country since 2013.
"It's the political will of the country's leadership that our citizens use the internet as a tool for personal development and knowledge," said the minister.
There are over 1,650 public internet access sites in Cuba, 725 of them Wi-Fi hotspots located in parks, plazas, hotels and other places, but many are with unstable and slow internet connections.
Due to limited infrastructure, most Cubans have no internet access at home, a service so far provided exclusively to a small segment of professionals and government officials.
Over 5.9 million Cubans out of a population of 11.2 million had access to internet last year, said Perdomo.