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Verizon Signs Interconnect Deal with Cuban Carrier

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Mar 15, 2016, 7:42 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Verizon has cut a direct interconnect agreement with Telecommunications Company of Cuba (Etecsa). Verizon is the second U.S. carrier to sign such an agreement (following Sprint), and it expands upon a roaming deal Verizon made with Etecsa last September. Verizon Wireless customers who travel to Cuba may already roam on Etecsa's network, though services are pricey. Through Verizon's Pay-As-You-Go International Travel option, voice calls made in Cuba are $2.99 per minute, and data is $2.05 per megabyte. Text message charges are assessed at standard international rates. Now, Verizon customers will also be able to call Cuban numbers directly from the U.S. Before this agreement, calls could only be completed through third countries, which increased calling rates. "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," said Etecsa. Verizon didn't immediately comment on the new agreement.

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