Cuba announced Saturday a new service that will allow access to a local e-mail account on mobile devices, a novelty on the island due to existing restrictions on Internet connections for cell phones and home computers.
“For now the only e-mail that can be read on a mobile phone must arrive on a nauta.cu account, which is obtained by signing up for an e-mail account on the Nauta service,” the daily Juventud Rebelde said.
“It is still not possible for a mobile to access other services like free webmail or e-mail on the Internet, so it is recommended that messages received on them be redirected to the Nauta account,” the newspaper said.
According to the published rates, Cubans will pay 1 convertible peso (CUC, the equivalent of $1.00) for each megabyte of e-mail received or sent, a high price for most inhabitants of the island, where the average monthly wage is around $20.
In Cuba, the government grants the “social” use of Internet in public centers.
Last June, 100 new state cyber-centers were opened where, through the national portal Nauta, permanent and temporary accounts are offered for navigating the Internet, among other services.
The appearance of these centers initiated a series of small steps by the government in recent months to improve Internet access in a country where the percentage of people with connections is around 15 percent, and where the great majority of inhabitants are not allowed access to the Web at home.
Up to now, that possibility is only permitted for certain professionals like doctors, journalists, academics, intellectuals and artists.