This year, President Barack Obama became the first sitting President to visit Cuba and reopened relations with the country. Since then, airlines have started daily flights to the island, with JetBlue being the first to fly out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Havana, Cuba. Last week, Obama lifted the ban on Cuban cigars and rum. And now, the US wireless carriers are getting their roaming partners in place for those visiting Cuba. AT&T announced this week that they had begun allowing customers to roam in Cuba. Now T-Mobile has followed suite and is doing the same thing.
In a press release posted today, T-Mobile announced that their customers now have the ability to roam in Cuba. But that doesn't mean you are getting free roaming. It simply means you can roam, but you're going to be paying higher prices. Which is unfortunate, to say the least. But it is a step in the right direction. Customers will be able to call for $2/minute, SMS and MMS will be $0.50 per message but you can receive messages for free, and data will be $2 per megabyte. T-Mobile did note that you can call back to the US for free, thanks to WiFi calling. T-Mobile's CEO, John Legere said in a prepared statement that the "opening of Cuba has been historic - and we're excited to do our part to help people connect." He continued by saying that they have "more customers of Cuban descent than any other wireless company, we're incredibly happy to light up Cuba today for all of our T-Mobile customers."
It's unfortunate that Cuba isn't part of the global roaming that T-Mobile already offers in over 120 countries. But that will likely come with time. But this is better than what was available for T-Mobile customers. Where they were unable to even use their phones in Cuba without getting a local SIM card. While that is still likely a better choice than running up your bill with these roaming charges, it is another option for those traveling to Cuba. There's nothing to add to your account, roaming in Cuba is automatically available to all T-Mobile customers.