the high prices for Internet packages for Cuban mobile phones It is the first thing that is commented on the arrival of 3G in Cuba. From 7 to 30 CUC, ETECSA offers to almost five million mobile users of the state company.
"They are similar to developed countries", some say with irony in social networks, while others try to believe in peace. And yes, I am, even if with the reserve that the average salary of the Cubans in 2017, according to official figures, it was $ 30.68, around 30 CUC. Coincidentally, it is the same as the largest 4 GB ETECSA package.
As seen in the infographic, in countries such as the United States, Spain or Italy, Internet rates do not represent more than 5% of the minimum monthly income for having an internet connection in the mobile phone.
A Cuban who has no "faith", as is popularly known family members abroad, would have to devote his entire salary to be able to access the 4 GB option of ETECSA.
Even the cheapest, 600 MB for 7 CUC, is almost a quarter of your monthly income for a Cuban.
In other countries, in addition to having more than one telephone company, there are almost no offers with limited but unlimited gigabytes. In addition, they offer calls and messages included, something that ETECSA charges to the Cubans separately.
In this comparison, the average Cuban salary will be considered an interprofessional minimum, as it is the only official figure available. Given that ETECSA rates are in CUC we will take into account 30 CUC which is equivalent to the 767 Cuban pesos given by UNI in 2017.
The minimum interprofessional wages of Mexico, United States, Spain and Italy are those collected from the database of the 2017 Expansión newspaper.
Regarding the tariffs of each country, we have selected only one company for each: TelMex of Mexico, Verizon of the United States, Movistar of Spain and TEM of Italy.
Only in Mexico, the Internet rates in mobile phones represent as much as in Cuba. A Mexican receives about 2,434.6 Mexican pesos a month from the minimum inter-professional salary, according to Expansión.
If for a Cuban the payment of the tax of 1 GB is 32.6% of his salary, about 10 CUC, for a Mexican the 249 pesos – for the same amount of data – are only 10.9% with the company TelMex .
Even the Mexicans spend a significant part of their income to have 3 GB, 349 pesos and 5 GB, 549 pesos. This represents 14.3% and 22.5%, respectively.
However, this percentage is much lower than 65.2% or 97.8% that similar ETECSA rates mean for a Cuban.
The minimum inter-professional salary in 2017 in the United States was $ 1,256.7, according to Expansión.
Rates similar to those of ETECSA, in Verizon cost $ 20 for 500 MB and in reality this amount is offered only for basic phones, with a minimal connection to the Internet.
A resident in the United States He would dedicate 1.5% of his income to pay a commission of 500 MB, while a Cuban with ETECSA dedicates exactly 22.9%.
Similarly, for 4 GB – already for smartphones with 4G, not 3G – Americans pay 50 dollars, 3.9% of their salary. For the Cubans, it's almost all the money of a whole month.
Both in Spain and in other countries there are commissions of over 8 GB. Residents in this country have charged about 825.7 euros of minimum inter-professional salary in 2017.
The Movistar company does not offer the Spanish rates of 500 MB, yes from 1.5 GB to 14 euros per month that we could compare with the ETECSA of 1 GB for 10 CUC and another of 4 GB for 22 euros, which it is the largest of the Cuban monopoly.
How much do these rates mean for Spaniards? For residents in Spain, the first rate is only 1.7% of their monthly income, while a Cuban for 1 GB must pay 32.6% of the 30.68 dollars charged.
In the case of the 4 GB tariff in the Spanish territory, it is only 2.7% and in Cuba it is close to 98%.
In Italy, the telecommunications company offers 2 GB for 5 euros a month, while a 5 GB commission costs 15 euros. If we compare residents in this country, who charge about € 2,570 a month, with the Cubans, the difference is noticeable.
For the Cubans, paying 2.5 GB to ETECSA costs 20 CUC, almost 65.2% of their salary.
On the other hand, for an Italian it is only 0.2% of his salary. A gap that increases by 4 GB, which in Italy is only 0.6% of monthly income.
Undoubtedly, Internet packages for Cubans on their mobile phones are extremely expensive compared to other countries in the world. And that we only took four countries to make the comparison.
ETECSA is late, slow and pressing for the Turks to those inside and outside the country. It is hoped that, as happened with the wifi points, the price is settled down and adjusted with wages. To ask otherwise would be to wait too long.