Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Americas > Cuba
Reload this Page >

Internet access in Cuba?

Internet access in Cuba?

Old Jan 26, 15, 7:29 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum
Posts: 1,631
Internet access in Cuba?

I think I can guess the answer to this, but here goes:

What's the Internet situation like in Cuba? Is it possible to pick up Wi-Fi signals at any hotels with a smartphone or tablet? I remember the days of a public computer with Internet access in hotel lobbies. Does that system exist?

Not that I'd need to be online that much, but I wouldn't want to be totally inaccessible either.
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Jan 27, 15, 12:26 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA UA Premier Plat , 1.24MM, AA EXP
Posts: 271
Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
I think I can guess the answer to this, but here goes:

What's the Internet situation like in Cuba? Is it possible to pick up Wi-Fi signals at any hotels with a smartphone or tablet? I remember the days of a public computer with Internet access in hotel lobbies. Does that system exist?

Not that I'd need to be online that much, but I wouldn't want to be totally inaccessible either.
Some select major hotels will offer wifi access for a fee (not sure what the cost is). One such hotel is the Melia Cohiba in Vedado neighborhood on the Malecon and Paseo.
Jimbo is offline  
Old Jan 27, 15, 4:13 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: YUL
Posts: 10
Yes, most major hotels (4.5 stars and higher) offer Wi-Fi. If not, there are Internet lobbies. A part from that, no Internet access. It is 8cuc per hour. Don't forget to manually disconnect from the browser every time.

Hotels I have been that have Wi-fi. Occidental Miramar, Parque Central and Melia Havana.
el_che is offline  
Old Jan 27, 15, 5:43 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum
Posts: 1,631
Okay. Thank you. That's very helpful.
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Jan 28, 15, 7:52 pm
  #5  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 62,303
The access is not speedy, and it's trammeled - you won't be able to access a number of sites. The pricing means it might be one hour costs about the equivalent to one quarter of a non-CUC earning Cuban's monthly earnings. My access was at the Meliá Habana (Miramar) and it was dodgy - and used American wireless routers, much like the Cuban immigration offices at HAV use Logitech cameras to photograph us.

We had free WiFi use in our hotel as part of a negotiated rate.

Last edited by JDiver; May 10, 15 at 8:27 am
JDiver is offline  
Old Jan 28, 15, 10:14 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum
Posts: 1,631
Thank you, JDiver. It would be an occasional check of E-mail, nothing more. I was expecting the answer to be "Nada!" This sounds doable.
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Jan 29, 15, 8:28 pm
  #7  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 62,303
Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
Thank you, JDiver. It would be an occasional check of E-mail, nothing more. I was expecting the answer to be "Nada!" This sounds doable.
No problem. I did that with no trouble at all.
JDiver is offline  
Old Jan 31, 15, 9:31 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: YYZ
Programs: A3&O6 Gold,IC AMB & HH Diamond
Posts: 13,422
Internet is very expensive and very slow. I had some Cuban friends use wireless from a downtown hotel for free and were sending me texts. But that was clamped down a few weeks ago.
djjaguar64 is offline  
Old May 5, 15, 6:16 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Programs: statusless these days
Posts: 19,736
FWIW, the cost is CUC 4.5 / hr at ETCESA (the Cuban telephone company). Have to use their computers (Cubans seem to love FB - more than 1/2 the 14 machines in Holguin were doing that). Some branches such as Santiago are said to make BYO device available (wifi). Didn't check earlier as I only went online to do OLCI not that the airline I flew (WS) offers that from Cuba.
YVR Cockroach is offline  
Old May 5, 15, 11:40 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Programs: AA EXP(.96MM), AMEX Platinum, United Premier Silver, Delta Gold, SPG Platinum 50, Hilton Gold VIP
Posts: 1,744
Internet is surprisingly fast in Havana and you can buy internet cards at 30 or 1 hour increments. The cost is 2.25 CUC for 1/2 hour and 4.5 CUC for 1 hour from the ETESCA store itself. For more information, check out Everything You Need To Know About Internet Access In Havana Cuba - http://first2board.com/pointssummary...n-havana-cuba/
jammanxc is offline  
Old May 7, 15, 10:53 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Middle Earth, and often worse
Programs: BAEC Silver, A3 Gold
Posts: 1,807
Over a week ago in Havana I checked into wifi availability and it cost 6.50 CUC/hour. You got a card issued by the Cuban Telecon E??? and accessed it in a wifi room in the hotel. The "Park" hotel had it and it was slow!. BUT for email and low-graphics sites it was good enough to make connections.
I doubt that the wifi was available everywhere in any hotel - only in designated areas.But there was a connection. NO Skype - too slow maybe?? Not sure of the "why"

Last edited by tmac100; May 14, 15 at 2:03 am Reason: typo
tmac100 is offline  
Old May 12, 15, 6:47 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Four Seasons Contributor BadgeMandarin Oriental Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Seat 1A, Juice pretty much everywhere, Mucci des Coins Exotiques
Posts: 31,822
Supposedly the new Pullman Cayo Coco which will open in November 2015 will be the first establishment on the island offering Wi-Fi in all its rooms. I believe as a Platinum elite it must be free according to Accor rules.
stimpy is online now  
Old Aug 29, 15, 8:38 am
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Canada
Programs: UA*1K, BA Silver, Accor Plat, Marriott Gold, Carlson Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 21,074
Just came back from 9 days in Cuba.
We stay away from resort areas, so I have no idea how it works there.

In general, wifi access costs 2 CUC/hour on the scratch cards bought directly from ETECSA. Hotels of course same the cards for much more (I heard someone paid 10 CUC in their hotel lol)

These cards are good for all the hotels in Old Havana and in any public area.
No idea about hotels further afield, but I would suspect since Nauta is the only operator, its the same login procedure.

Havana, the queue at ETECSA on the main drag is long, but there are other offices. We bought our cards in Trinidad, only waited about 15 minutes. You can buy as many cards as you like. As with anything in Cuba, there are some entrepreneurs selling cards for 3 CUC to people in line if you dont feel like waiting.

Santa Clara: There supposedly was public access around the ETECSA office
Trinidad: The entire square around ETECSA is fully wifi'ed. Lots of people with laptops, phones
Cienfuegos: Wifi in Marti square
Vinales: Wifi was down, but again, the entire area around ETECSA is wifi'ed
Havana: Hotels in old Havana provide a nice air conditioned refuge (we used Santa Isabel in P.d.Armas). Just BYO card, and plop down in the lobby with your device. There are public wifi'ed areas as well, including some parts of Central Park.

Speed was very decent, certainly faster than some US airports for example. Skype is blocked, but whatsapp, facebook, etc, work just fine.

I expect this to change rapidly as more hotspots open up.
rankourabu is offline  
Old Sep 14, 15, 8:50 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: NAP
Programs: LH, BA, TK
Posts: 2,389
Just got back as well from Cuba.
Everything's like rankourabu said.

The only issue I had with an Android device is the "unsafe connection" warning, which blocked me good half-hour every time.
Until one of the dozens refreshing of the browser (plus endless user and pin) let it through. iPad worked just fine connecting straight away.

In Havana the spot at the Avenida Italia and la Rampa are the most busy ones, with ETECSA cards sold for 3 CUC.
Outside Havana real shops and real price purchases are possible, with little to no queue, and surfing experience more laid-back.
Forrest Bump is offline  
Old Sep 14, 15, 12:22 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Canada
Programs: UA*1K, BA Silver, Accor Plat, Marriott Gold, Carlson Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 21,074
Originally Posted by Forrest Bump View Post
The only issue I had with an Android device is the "unsafe connection" warning, which blocked me good half-hour every time.
ahhh good mention!

I had to click "use network as is" on my phone to get it to stop thinking its unsafe.
rankourabu is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: