cell phone costs/SIM card rental
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Nov 27, 2012 6:28 PM Last Post By: johnabbotsford
Oct 30, 2012 9:23 PM
cell phone costs/SIM card rentalHey gang,
We are taking our unlocked, global ready cell phone from the US and planning to get a SIM card when we arrive in Cuba. Anyone familiar with what the costs of renting a SIM card are and the costs of calling to/from US? How about text messages to/from US? Will we prepay for calls? Thanks!
Oct 30, 2012 10:16 PM
1Last time I rented a Sim Card ( Dec 2011) it cost 3 cuc per day. Calls to the USA/Canada were between 1 cuc to 3 cuc per minute depending on the time of call and if any deals were going on. No texts were possible to/from the USA directly from the cellphone, but I believe it can be done via certain websites from the USA. I got the sim card at Havana airport and it worked well,but not the cheapest. If youre looking to be texting to/from the USA it might not be your best option and perhaps you might consider email. Incoming/outgoing calls were fine though and incoming calls from USA were free to recieve.
Im pretty sure things are currently the same but perhaps someone who has recently rented a sim card can update if anything has changed from late last year.
Oct 30, 2012 10:42 PM
2Yes as per cyrrus - 3.00 CUC daily rental for SIM
Then you pre-pay for card 10, 20 CUC etc
SMS 0.09CUC for SMS within Cuba; 1CUC international
Calls - Sending - .40CUC/min (.10CUC/min b/n 2300 and 0600); Receiving .30CUC/min (.10CUC b/n 2300 and 0600).
Note receiving SMS /phone calls from overseas is free.
For up to date details check with ETECSA website
Oct 30, 2012 11:21 PM
Oct 30, 2012 11:38 PM
4Salty - I've just listed the prices etc direct from the last time i checked the website.
We certaiinly have recent experience of texting to and from Cuba to Oz using those Sim cards. We get those cards every time we go and currently we are texting and phoning our family there. Can't personally speak for texts re. US but if can make calls there why not texts?
But then WTF would I know!
Nov 1, 2012 12:53 AM
5The price for the rental is what has been posted, 3 CUC per day. Prepaid cost for calls and msgs are also in line. No TEXT possible to USA. To others countries 1 CUC per msg. Text to Cuban movil from USA depends on your carrier. I have T-Mobile. Text cost .50 cents per msg. Max msg 160 characters.
Nov 1, 2012 7:55 AM
6Even when I am using my UK line whilst in the US, texting to Cuba doesn't seem to work. I don't know why the difference between texting and phoning.
For texting to Cuba, and for texting out if you have internet access, you can use a website. I use www.ipipi.com - it costs 11 or 12 cents a message (minimum 50 messages, I think), and works fine most of the time.
The SIM card rental - is there a minimum period ?
Nov 12, 2012 12:56 PM
7Beardo- we fly to cuba Wednesday, I can give you an update when we get back. I hear that there is an advertised 45 day minimum, although I have heard others say it is not enforced and you can rent for as few days as you want. We shall see, I'll give it a try this week. Thanks for the ipipi tip. I got my crew in the US signed up.
Nov 12, 2012 1:54 PM
Nov 26, 2012 11:03 PM
I just got back from an amazing two weeks in Cuba. Can't wait to go back.
Just wanted to let you know how the phone worked out. I was worried about it because I wanted to be reachable since I was leaving little ones home with the grandparents. We arrived from Cancun after 6pm, we changed money quickly and headed to the Cubacel office just outside the baggage claim doors. They were open until 7 or 7:30, which we were happy to learn. We had brought a new Droid Max and it turns out that the SIM chip that is used in Cuba does not fit our phone. I have seen cards that were too big and could be cut, but this was an issue with the size of the actual chip within the card. Anyway, someone else will know better why that is. So, our phone didn't work. Not a huge problem, we bought a cheap phone for $27 CUC and we were on our way. (anyone want a sleek phone? its all ready for your next trip to Cuba!) We were able to receive SMS messages from the states (family sent them through ipipi.com-thanks beardo) We didn't send any back, but we did call home a few times.
Cost was $3CUC per day to rent SIM card and there was no issue over minimum time. We preloaded the phone at that time. $10, $20, $30 etc. It was $1.90 CUC to call states and free to receive messages. Local calls were as mentioned above in the thread.
Thanks for all your help and advice!
Nov 27, 2012 1:43 PM
Nov 27, 2012 6:28 PM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$289.00 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$399.00 per night
Las VegasBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$94.00 per night