Phone & Internet In Cuba
The internet is currently very limited in Cuba. Don’t expect to rely on it for anything essential. Consider it a perk if you are able to get online and you'll be much happier.
However, in the event you need it, there are a few options:
Option 1: The first step is to visit an ETECSA office or a hotel to acquire a wifi card that you'll refill with money as needed. The rate is for internet access is $2/hr. Once you have your card and put some money on it, find one of the open wifi hotspots in Havana. For a map of hotspots and more info: havanamyway.com/wifi-hotspots-map-havana/
Option 2: Go to a major hotel and wait in line (an hour or more) to use a desktop computer with internet. It will be very slow. Don’t expect to visit more than 4-5 sites in 30 minutes, which will cost about $5. In Havana, the Nacional Hotel de Cuba has a decent internet connection.
Option 3: Find an internet cafe. Rates can range from $6-10 per hour.
There are two main phone carriers in Cuba, ETECSA (the national state-owned carrier) and Cubacel. You may rent a Cubacel SIM card from many of the major airports in Cuba or the nearest ETECSA office. You will need to show your passport and you will need to pay CUC 3 per day for this service. In order for your phone to be able to use the Cubacel SIM card, it will need to be unlocked and to operate on the 900 MHz frequency. Once you have teh SIM card, you will need to purchase pay-as-you-go Cuban phone cards, which generally retail at CUC 10 or CUC 20 per card.
Unfortunately, data plans are not available in Cuba at this time.
Note For Americans: Currently American Verizon and Sprint phones work, but it's considered roaming so will be very expensive. It will display on your phone as Cubacel service.