Verizon signs direct roaming agreement with Cuban incumbent

16 March 2016 | Jason McGee-Abe


The Telecommunications Company of Cuba (ETECSA) has announced it has signed a direct interconnection agreement with Verizon for the exchange of voice traffic between Cuba and the US.

The recent ETECSA-Verizon interconnection agreement pertains to wireline voice services between the two countries.

"The service agreement will initially allow the offering of voice services through direct interconnection between the two countries and will be operational once implementation and technical testing requirements are completed by both companies," ETECSA said in a statement.

ETECSA said it reached a deal with Verizon after an undisclosed period of negotiations. Though the direct agreement is now in place, ETECSA said a series of technical tests must be conducted before the service becomes available.

"Verizon and Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba, S.A. (“ETECSA”), the incumbent telecommunications carrier in Cuba, signed an International Telecommunications Service Agreement on February 29, 2016. This direct interconnection agreement provides for the mutual exchange of switched wireline voice traffic directly between the U.S. and Cuba, as well as call termination services for traffic from Cuba that transits the US for termination elsewhere in the world," a Verizon statement read. 

"This agreement between Verizon and ETECSA helps to enhance options for US consumers and businesses to communicate between the US and Cuba."

The news comes after several developments, including Verizon becoming the first US-based wireless carrier to offer roaming in the country in September 2015. The Wall Street Journal also reported that AT&T was looking to attain a roaming deal in Cuba, whilst Sprint signed a direct roaming agreement with ETECSA in November 2015.