The Cuban government has approved 10 new private-sector occupations. The newly-approved area of private-sector enterprise will allow Cubans to sell phone services to their neighbors. The resolution released by Cuba’s Labor Ministry labels the newly legalized position as ‘telecommunications agent’. Telecommunications agents will be able to promote and sell telecoms products and services supplied by state-owned operator Etecsa.
Etecsa says agents will be able to promote fixed and mobile telephony, as well as internet access services provided by the state-owned operator, sell prepay cards and top up prepay accounts, charge phone bills. Agents with long-distance lines will also be able to contract with Etecsa to rent out their home phones by the minute. Pricing is to be the same as what Etecsa charges customers, with the company paying the private contractors a commission, AP reports.
According to government data, the number of mobile phone users increased to 1.3 million in 2011, up from 1 million in 2010. Cuba’s National Statistics Office data shows the number of internet users reached 2.6 million in 2012, although almost all were likely on the local intranet through government-run computer clubs, schools and offices. Cuba reports intranet use as internet use even though access to the internet is banned without government permission. Cuba also has around one million fixed telephone lines. The country has a total telephone penetration of just 22.3 percent of the population.
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