Venezuela and Cuba

Venezuela, Cuba to cooperate in space science

Bnamericas Published: Monday, December 10, 2018
Venezuela, Cuba to cooperate in space science

Venezuela's space agency Abae has signed an agreement with Cuban state telco Etecsa to cooperate in space science, technology and innovation, according to Venezuelan telecoms regulator Conatel.

The agreement was signed by Etecsa president Mayra Arevich and Abae head Camilo Torres during science and technology fair Fictec in Caracas, Abae tweeted.

Venezuela has three satellites in orbit developed and launched with help from China and President Nicolás Maduro announced in September plans to launch a fourth, named Guaicaipuro, providing telecommunications services.

The satellites are used for telephony, television, security, telemedicine, remote education, and territorial information for urban, agricultural and industrial planning.

Cuba's main international connectivity comes from the Alba-1 submarine cable, which runs from Venezuela to Cuba and Jamaica and was built by Venezuela-Cuba joint venture Telecomunicaciones Gran Caribe (TGC) and activated by Telefónica in 2013.

However, in February this year, satellite company SES announced it would provide service to the island giving Cuba much-needed communications redundancy.

Cuba took a major step last week when it launched 3G services nationwide and communications minister Jorge Luis Perdomo said the challenge for the island in 2019 is to deploy 4G technology.

In November, Spain's Telefónica offered to connect Cuba to its international cable network.

Recent talks between the Cuban government and US technology giant Google are aimed at improving the positioning of Cuban content on the internet but are not related to building communications infrastructure in the country as reported by some media, the government said earlier this year.

Former communications minister Maimir Mesa Ramos said in June there were 4.5mn Cubans accessing the internet, or 39% of the population, and the aim is to reach 50% internet in homes and 60% mobile penetration by 2020.

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