U.S. carriers continued to creep into Cuba this week, as Sprint announced it has signed a direct roaming agreement with the Telecommunications Company of Cuba (ETECSA).
According to Sprint, the deal includes both a direct roaming agreement and a direct long-distance interconnection agreement to facilitate an increase in the amount of telecommunications traffic in Cuba as its relationship with the United States warms. Sprint said more than 3 million people from across the globe are expected to visit Cuba this year, a figure that is expected to rise to 5 million within the next 10 years.
“As the commercial relationship between the U.S. and Cuba continues to progress, it is expected that the number of travelers to Cuba will increase exponentially,” Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said. “We want to make sure any Sprint customer traveling to Cuba can use their phone the same way as they do in the United States.”
Sprint said further details of the agreement, including its date of availability, will be announced soon.
The carrier’s move to open communications with Cuba follows a September announcement from Verizon that it will offer its customers roaming service in Cuba for $2.99 per minute for voice calls and $2.05 per megabyte of data on its International Travel feature. Prepaid carriers Cricket (AT&T), Boost (Sprint) and MetroPCS (T-Mobile) have also begun offering plans that allow calls to Cuba.