- SIM cards are available tourists in Cuba, though frankly speaking Cuban cell service is expensive. When making international calls from Cuba you'll have to pay $1 per minute but you can receive international calls for free
Important Information to Know About SIM cards and the Internet In Cuba
- Cell service is expensive in Cuba, SIM cards are not readily available in kiosks and mostly purchased at ETECSA offices ( ETECSA is the state-owned telecommunication network). You can also easily get Cuban SIM cards on Amazon.
- Regular SIM cards take up to 72 hours to be activated, so in the meantime have an alternative way of accessing the internet for those 3 days.
- 4G internet is now available in Cuba since
- Your phone has to be unlocked and have a 900Mhz capacity for you to be able to use a Cuban SIM card.
- There are 3 ways of accessing the internet in Cuba. I'll breakdown the merits and demerits of each way.
- Get a tourist SIM card
- Buy a regular Cuban SIM card
- Roam using your home network.
Cuban Tourist SIM cards (Cubacel Tur)
- I will highly recommend this option for anyone who is staying in Cuba for a period of fewer than 30 days. The SIM card is activated immediately unlike regular SIM cards which can take up to 3 days to be activated.
- You can order the Cubacel Tur sim card online via Suena Cuba. You can pick up the SIM card at the Cubacel Tur counter on terminal 3 of Jose Matri International airport in Havana.
- Data packages: Once you pick up your SIM card you can purchase either 600 MB for 7 CUC or 4 GB for 30 CUC.
- Remember: 1CUC=$1
Disadvantages of Cubacel Tur SIM cards.
- They expire after 30 days.
- These SIM cards are outrageously expensive. The SIM card costs $25 and you're not eligible for any airtime offers.
Regular Cuban SIM cards
- There are 2 telecom providers in Cuba: Cubacel and Digicel. I would root for a Digicel sim card since they have lower rates compared to cubacel.
- ETECSA internet cards are the cheapest way to roam the internet while in Cuba. Since getting a SIM card is an unnecessary expense, keep your home SIM card. Internet cards cost 7, 10, 20 and 30 CUC for 600mb, 1gb, 2.5gb and 4gb respectively.
- At ETECSA offices you can use Wifi for 1CUC per hour though you'll have to queue to purchase the hourly Wifi cards.
- Watch out: Some people usually resell internet cards in parks. This is illegal, plus they'll up charging you double for these cards.