4G SIM cards fly off the shelves in Cuba

4G SIM cards fly off the shelves in Cuba
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Internet-enabled mobile phone cards are selling out in Havana, according to 14ymedio, an independent Cuban news site.
 
Government-owned telecom operator Etecsa started offering 4G SIM cards this month to around 10,000 customers in Havana, after the island's new 3G network became quickly saturated, according to Mexican newspaper La Jornada.
 
Etecsa only announced its 3G services last December, marking a change in the way Cubans can access the internet.
 
14ymedio, a news site edited by independent journalist Yoani Sánchez, reported that telecoms stores in entire sections of Havana had run out of 4G cards Monday.
 
The cards, known locally as Universal Module for Subscriber Identification (USIM), cost about $3 each.
 
Phone plans range from around seven cents per megabit, to around $30 for a 4 gigabit monthly plan. 
 
4G cards offer better data speeds, as well as more storage space for contacts and more secure internet connections than 3G.
 
While 3G service was a sea change for Cubans used to wired and official WiFi connections, data speeds on the new network have reportedly been slow, particularly in peak hours.
 
The 4G cards were pre-launched for high data consumption individuals, but shortages left many heavy data users out of the loop.
 
"Sadly it's not something one can get on the black market, like a phone or a phone case, but you have to wait for Etecsa to have the USIMs to be able to buy them," Lucía, a 38-year-old lawyer, told 14ymedio.