Last July the French telecommunications company Orange, chaired by Stéphane Richard, signed a confidential agreement with the Cuban state telecommunications company ETECSA to develop communications in Cuba, according to the French weekly L’Express.
According to the information this newspaper had access to, the contract stipulated that Orange would offer its services, products, and rates (telephones and equipment) to Cuba’s only local operator, and share its knowledge. The French company also committed to create an institute in Cuba dedicated to training in technologies and services for Latin America and the Caribbean.
L’Express explains that the new measures announced by Barack Obama and the easing of the embargo put the agreement with the French Telephone Company at risk. The weekly notes that Cuba continues to be a backward country with regards to access to the Internet and services are offered at prices prohibitive for the population, which makes it an El Dorado for those who want to develop this industry on the island.
Thus, L’Express comments, the agreement signed with Orange adds to the interest shown by the United States in the technological advancement of Cuba, initiated last June by Google, whose executives visited the island to promote free Internet.