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Cuba on Advances in the "Computerization of Society"

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A recent televised roundtable enumerated advances in the computerization of Cuban society, including:

• Telephone density is 58% with 6.5 million accounts, 5.2 million of which are cell phones.

• 1.5 million people access Nauta mail with cell phones.
Over 1.7 million have permanent accounts.

• There are 1,713 public-access spots: 709 WiFi locations, over 700 at ETECSA premises and the same number in third-party locations (but 709+1400 is 2109, not 1,713).

• There are over 37,000 Nauta Hogar accounts, 22,000 of which were installed this year, and they hope to install another 30,000 by the end of the year.

• Nauta Hogar is available in 136 municipalities and 22 percent of the Popular Councils.

• They have installed a lot of fiber.

• There are over 1,400 cellular base stations and over 520 of them are 3G compatible.

• There are 935 ATMs, serving all provinces, but only 69 municipalities.

• There are currently 11,500 point-of-sale terminals, mainly in retail stores.

• UCI is working on "RED Cuba" a search service for all national intranet content.

• UCI has a service for monitoring over 1,500 national intranet Web sites — presumably monitoring traffic, not content.

• Apklis, the online application center for Android devices, will serve as an alternative to the Google Play store for Cuban applications.

• An e-government application for the collection and management of fines has been installed in 198 offices.

A few tentative observations come to mind. They are continuing to stress the national Cuban intranet with applications like Apkis and RED Cuba. Nauta Hogar is attractive to a subset of people and small businesses who can afford it and are located in served areas, but it will not reach the mass population — for that, they are counting on 3G cellular and public-access spots.

Here is the roundtable video:

Written by Larry Press, Professor of Information Systems at California State University

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