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Phone calls & text messages in Cuba: budget, tips & recommendations

Deux Cubains à vélo téléphonant dans une cabine publique

Be warned, sending text messages and making phone calls in Cuba is no easy task! How to make a phone call in Cuba? What precautions should be taken? How much do phone calls cost in Cuba? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

Making a phone call in Cuba: precautions before leaving

Before leaving, check with your operator that the international option is activated on your phone plan. If this is not the case, you can request its activation online or call your operator’s customer service.

How to make a phone call in Cuba? How to send text messages from Cuba?

If you’re looking to call a British number from Cuba or send a text message, remember to add the prefix +44 to the number and delete the first zero in the number: +44 6 ** ** ** **.

To avoid any unpleasant surprises on your telephone bill, use your phone sparingly while in Cuba. The prices for phone calls and text messages are indeed quite high. Depending on your operator, you’ll have to pay £2.20 to £4 per minute to call home from Cuba. The prices of incoming calls from the UK vary between £1 and £2.

Sending a text message to the UK from Cuba will cost from £0.30 to £0.70, depending your who’s your operator. Receiving a text message from the UK is however free.

That being said, be warned: many of the text messages sent from Cuba never reach their destination.

Prepaid cards in Cuba

If phone booths are an endangered species in the UK, they are still very much in use in Cuba!

You can buy prepaid cards (10, 20 or 40 CUC) at Etecsa Telepunto offices, where you’ll also find internet cards.

The telephone booths are blue and easily recognisable. You will find them in all major cities and tourist areas.

What about censorship?

A few years ago, Reuters aand a Cuban (online) media revealed that text messages were subject to censorship in Cuba.

According to them, text messages featuring words such as “democracy”, “human rights” or “dictatorship” never reached their recipient. We therefore recommend avoiding messages that could be controversial!


Paul Keller

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