Cell Phones

Use Canadian Cell In Cuba

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Oct 19, 2008
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Use Canadian Cell In Cuba

Anyone been to Cuba lately and used their phone? Is it better to pay Bell (my carrier) $80 travel package for 40 minutes or is there a cheaper alternative? I have an unlocked S3, maybe there is a Cuban sim/pay as you go plan available there?

Wife has Wind and my daughter Koodo...would prefer a plan we could text and call from whatever phone we bring.
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Mar 23, 2008
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Buy a sim in cuba with data and use fongo, slidecar, vonage, or any other of those voip apps that allow you to call back home free of charge. Hotels also have wifi so you can also connect there.

When I wad in hk I did exactly what I mentioned and used fongo and whatsapp to communicate back home for free.
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NEMESIS_2008 wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2012 12:09 am
Buy a sim in cuba with data and use fongo, slidecar, vonage, or any other of those voip apps that allow you to call back home free of charge. Hotels also have wifi so you can also connect there.

When I wad in hk I did exactly what I mentioned and used fongo and whatsapp to communicate back home for free.
You've never been to Cuba, right? Cuba is not Hong Kong...

There are very few hotels that Cuba that offer wifi to guests. There are maybe 20, mostly in Havana. And if you so happen to be staying at one, you'll find that the internet is very slow and highly restricted. While some are free, others charge upwards of 6 CUC to access it.

As for data on your cell, Cuba's only carrier operates a GSM network with no data. You can rent a SIM card for 3 CUC per day if your phone is unlocked and has access to the GSM 900 MHz band, but you'll have no data access. Calls to Canada/US are 1.60 CUC per minute and 0.45 CUC per minute locally. SMS are 1 CUC each.

If you'll have very low usage (< 15 mins & 15 SMS), Cubacel is the cheapest option but a pain in the rear to get started. Going with the package from Bell is your safest bet. Don't even bother with data.
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Some hotels offer wifi in the lobby. I got 64kb/s ISDN equivalent speed 3 years ago...
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[OP]
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Thanks guys, I looked into Wifi and our resort doesn't have it...only one hotel nearby does and its password protected-not open.

Getting a Cuban sim card does look like a PITA, my S3 would need a micro sim so I might even have to add cutting a sim to startup.
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Dec 23, 2008
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Zamboni wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2012 8:37 am
Thanks guys, I looked into Wifi and our resort doesn't have it...only one hotel nearby does and its password protected-not open.

Getting a Cuban sim card does look like a PITA, my S3 would need a micro sim so I might even have to add cutting a sim to startup.
me either ,may be 5 stars hotel have wifi.
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psyko514 wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2012 1:49 am

As for data on your cell, Cuba's only carrier operates a GSM network with no data.

According to Bell's website, they charge 16$/MB for data in Cuba, so they do have data if you wanna pay arm and a leg
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Zamboni wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2012 8:37 am
Thanks guys, I looked into Wifi and our resort doesn't have it...only one hotel nearby does and its password protected-not open.

Getting a Cuban sim card does look like a PITA, my S3 would need a micro sim so I might even have to add cutting a sim to startup.
They definitely won't have micro-SIMs. And since you're only renting the SIM, you can't cut it.
sonyHdr12 wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2012 9:01 am
me either ,may be 5 stars hotel have wifi.
I wasn't kidding. There are less than 20 hotels in the entire country that offer wifi access. And believe it or not, that number is shrinking, not growing.
EPcjay wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2012 9:06 am
According to Bell's website, they charge 16$/MB for data in Cuba, so they do have data if you wanna pay arm and a leg
While Cubacel doesn't offer data to their users, those roaming on other carriers can use data. It's GPRS, meaning less than 56K speeds (dial up speeds). At $16/MB or $100 for 10 MB, that's why I said don't bother.
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Do any of the hotels offer wired Internet? Could bring a laptop or a cheap router and share it out from that.
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NEMESIS_2008 wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2012 12:09 am
Buy a sim in cuba with data and use fongo, slidecar, vonage, or any other of those voip apps that allow you to call back home free of charge. Hotels also have wifi so you can also connect there.

When I wad in hk I did exactly what I mentioned and used fongo and whatsapp to communicate back home for free.
Umm, I assume you never been to Cuba.

$3 for 30 minutes of slow ***** dial up on a Pentium III computer. No Wifi, no 3g ... only Rum and Coconuts.

OP your best bet buy a pre paid package from Koodo. Mobilit and Wind does sims do not work in Cuba. They cannot roam on Cubacel.
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ceredon wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2012 12:11 pm
Do any of the hotels offer wired Internet? Could bring a laptop or a cheap router and share it out from that.
I was in Cuba a couple of years ago... The hotel I was at did have wired internet
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Aug 30, 2011
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We've been to Cuba many times. You can find wired internet fairly easily; most hotels have it ... although it's sometimes unreliable. Our last trip was to Havana, and the hotel's internet was not available for the 2nd week we were there, with no explanation given as to why or when it would be back. We just went to another hotel and paid to use theirs.
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why don't you just relax and cut the cord while you are on vacation?

Facebook/twitter/instagram/RFD can wait, and will still be there when you get home.
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cliff wrote:
Dec 27th, 2012 10:43 am
why don't you just relax and cut the cord while you are on vacation?

Facebook/twitter/instagram/RFD can wait, and will still be there when you get home.
This is exactly what I was thinking.
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cliff wrote:
Dec 27th, 2012 10:43 am
why don't you just relax and cut the cord while you are on vacation?

Facebook/twitter/instagram/RFD can wait, and will still be there when you get home.
+1, Its not really worth the effort to try and set up phones to call/txt while you're there. you'll waste half your day and just be frustrated in the process.

Enjoy the Beach, read a book. and DRINK!

ps - dont take american. Canadian is perfectly fine.
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