Feature: Cubans find new business opportunities with expansion of internet

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-12 18:35:10|Editor: xuxin
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HAVANA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- A year after the arrival of mobile data connections, Cubans have found in internet access an opportunity for the growth of small private businesses, born in the heat of the ongoing economic reforms on the island country.

Most of the population surfs the web to communicate with family, download videos or simply seek out new ideas. For others, such as 33-year-old Cuban engineer Eliecer Cabrera, it provides an opportunity to start a private business.

Since graduating from the University of Informatics Sciences in 2010, Cabrera and three other graduates have worked on developing an application for mobile and the web that allows customers to find quickly and easily any point of interest in Cuba's capital Havana.

In 2013 "Meet Havana" was born. It's an APP that offers users information about restaurants, concert halls, theaters, shops and places of accommodation in the capital city.

Later, the APP began to grow into what it is today -- "Get to know Cuba," a guide that continues to gain traction among Cubans.

"The growth of internet access has greatly eased our work," Cabrera said. He explained that they had to go to the government-managed internet rooms earlier in 2013 and started to use the public WiFi parks later.

Everything changed with the arrival of mobile data, especially 4G, something that Cabrera described as "a great step forward that has benefited a great deal of our work."

He is confident that the Cuban government will continue to expand the computerization of society, an issue in which the authorities have shown great commitment, understanding its necessity for all spheres of life in the contemporary world.

"The company is focused on setting up several radio bases at different sites in Havana to ease the access to 4G," said Alexis Soda, executive of the state-owned Cuban Telecommunication Company (ETECSA).

Soda said that about 200 sites with LTE technology have been set up this year in Havana, allowing mobile data to reach the entire city.

"Very important steps are taken and we think that soon there will be many more sites with access," said Soda.

Cuba has almost 6 million cell phone lines, over half of which have access to mobile data, according to ETECSA.