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CUBA

  • "Reglamento para el Empleo de Sistemas de Acceso Inalámbrico de Alta Velocidad en la Banda de Frecuencias de 2,4 GHz" (Regulations for employing systems of high-speed access in the 2.4 GHz frequency band), published in La Gaceta Oficial de la República de Cuba, 24 January 2005, in Spanish. Summary:

    2400-2483.5 MHz is designated for the development of high-speed wireless access networks using OFDM spread spectrum techniques, primarily for end-users. These networks must share spectrum without interference protection, not even from the ISM devices also allowed to use this band. Power output is limited to 100mW, but between 2456 and 2483.5 MHz, higher powers are allowed when "justified to benefit national interest objectives" and when the Ministry of Computer Science and Communications' Agency of Control and Supervision approves the output level and location of each higher-power station.

    The possibility of establishing wireless access networks is limited to the operators of licensed public telecom networks; to organizations authorized to offer email and Internet access using wired networks; and to legally-established organizations, companies and "organismos" for their own use. The establishment of wireless access networks "will only be possible with authorization sent in advance" by the Agency of Control and Supervision. "Organizations interested in establishing wireless networks according to the present regulation will direct to their request to the Agency, identifying their organization, the names and position of the person making the request, a general description of the network that it wants to install, as well as the type of activity that the network will support, types of equipment, the stations of these, the provider and the registration number of the provider's network, or a formal request for a new registration under the rules for registering Private Networks." Such networks are not to be used to interconnect directly with similar networks owned by other organizations.

    The import and "commercialization" (sale?) of type-accepted wireless network access equipment is limited to those who obtain a Permit for the use of radio spectrum for this purpose. Organizations wanting such a Permit must apply to the Agency, stating their details and "indicating the Social Objective that shows it is legally authorized to perform this activity, in addition it must present its commitment in writing to fulfill all the requirements set down by the present Regulation, and pay the sum of eight thousand pesos..." The Permit lasts 4 years and organizations obtaining the Permit must pay "an annual fee corresponding to 4 percent of the income obtained by the sale or leasing of the equipment and devices at issue in this period." To acquire the equipment from the organization possessing the import Permit, the client "must present the document granted by the Agency certifying its approval of the proposed network." Laptops, "palmtops," used PDAs and other similar wireless devices are not included in the equipment that can be import with these Permits.

    "The Agency will grant a specific radio License for each network that is definitively approved, after examining the results of the verification process," and upon payment of the appropriate fee: 1000 pesos for temporary permission lasting less than one month; for Licenses for permanent networks, 800 pesos plus 2000 pesos for each outdoor antenna. Each modification of the Licenses costs 400 pesos plus 2000 pesos for any new outdoor antenna. The operators of public telecom networks do not need such Licenses for providing wireless services to the public.

    The rules just summarised replace "Resolutión 5" (12 January 2000) which established rules for 2.4 GHz RLANs.

  • "Internet: la apuesta de Cuba (2 notas)," (The Internet: Cuba's bet [2 notes]), Solidaridadconcuba email list, 31 May 2006 in Spanish. Translated excerpt: Another type of wireless technology that our Company [Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba, ETECSA S.A.] introduced last year was WIFI (Wireless Fidelity)... which enables connectivity in some places, like a Cybercafé...
  • "Resolución 137, 2003: Frecuencias de 5 Ghz para RLAN Privadas."
  • "Resolución 15 (1 febrero 2005: Reglamento de la Banda Ciudadana" (Regulations for the Citizens Band, 1 February 2005). This updates Resolutión 118 (25 August 1997) and covers both voice and radiocontrol devices:

    "In order to operate stations of the Citizens Radiocommunication Service it will be necessary first to obtain a permit authorized by the Agency of Control and Supervision of the Ministry of Computer Science and Communications... no more than three stations can be authorized for one applicant if he is a natural person... [Voice] communications between 2 or more stations will limit their conversation to a maximum of 5 continuous minutes, as of which time they will suspend all transmission for a minimum of 1 minute. Before initiating a transmission, the chosen frequency must be listened to, to make sure it is not being used by another user... Stations authorized to transmit voice signals will be forced to identify themself at the beginning and end of each transmission, this identification will be assigned by the pertinent authorities of the Agency when sending the authorization to him; in addition, when calling to another station to initiate a communication it is obligatory to use the official assigned identification..."

    It is against regulations to connect a CB radio to a wire network; to use the radio as a repeater; to transmit music, whistles or other sounds for the purpose of entertainment or to get attention; to communicate internationally; to transmit false, deceptive or coded messages; to use obscene words in the communication; etc. The authorised user "commits himself to limit his communications to the minimum practicable time" and must not accept "any direct or indirect repayment for the use of the station."

  • "Resolución 72, 2005: Reglamento Uso Telefonos Inalambricos" (Regulations for Wireless Telephones): "The use of an outdoor antenna is prohibited. or any other type different from the one originally possessed by the equipment, and users will not modify the equipment in any way." Frequency bands authorized are 43.710-49.980 MHz, 2400-2483.5 MHz and 5725-5875 MHz.
  • "Resolución 186, 2001: Modificaciones a la resolución 7/2001 relativa a los sistemas de micrófonos inalámbricos" (Modifications of Resolution 7 relative to wireless microphone systems).
  • "Decreto No. 135-86: Del Uso de las Frecuencias Radioelectricas": all radio transmitters and transceivers must be licensed and inventoried by the government; being inventoried does not eliminate the need to obtain a license ("El inventario del equipo radioeléctrico no implicará que éste pueda ponerse en funcionamiento sin la obtención de la licencia correspondiente..."). Capitulo VI and VII say that the location of all ISM equipment must be registered and the characteristics tested before operation can be authorized.
  • "Cuba Bans PC Sales to Public," by Julia Scheeres, Wired News, 25 March 2002, cites Ministry of Internal Commerce Resolution No. 383/2001 as stating that "The sale of computers, offset printer equipment, mimeographs, photocopiers, and any other mass printing medium, as well as their parts, pieces and accessories, is prohibited to associations, foundations, civic and nonprofit societies, and natural born citizens" unless there is a compelling reason.
  • "Cubans wonder where their Web access went," by Michael Martinez, Chicago Tribune, 14 September 2007: "At a government-run Internet cafe inside a Havana post office, the 1,942 Cubans signed up to use the computers were left with a question this summer: Why had the government abruptly cut their Internet access, leaving them only with e-mail on a state account? At this and three other public centers in Havana no longer on the Web, managers and clientele could only speculate why..."

Latin America & Caribbean - Regional Overview