Digicel, which provides wireless networks throughout the Caribbean, Central America and the South Pacific, is dropping its Cuba roaming service for U.S. customers on April 9.
The Jamaica-based company was one of several that saw potential in the Cuban market after the United States and Cuba reestablished diplomatic relations on July 20, 2015, and the Obama administration made it easier for Americans to travel to Cuba. Travel by Americans to Cuba has slowed somewhat since the Trump administration issued more restrictive Cuba travel regulations in November.
In a news release, Digicel did not give a reason why it was discontinuing its roaming service, and the company did not return Herald calls.
Under exceptions to the embargo, U.S. companies are allowed to sell personal communications equipment and telecom services in Cuba and to enter into agreements to improve Cuba's Internet and telecom infrastructure. Several U.S. companies, including Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T, continue to provide roaming service on the island for U.S. customers.
Digicel stopped selling its Cuba Roaming SIM cards in the United States on Feb. 15, although existing customers are still able to top up their accounts and will be able to use the service until midnight on April 9.
Prepaid or postpaid Digicel customers in the Caribbean, Central America and the South Pacific will still be able to roam during visits to Cuba. Only those who bought SIM roaming cards in the United States will be affected.
Customers with unused SIMs can visit www.digicelcubaroaming.com to apply for full refunds by April 9, and Digicel also has put in place procedures for customer returns to online and in-store resellers.
Follow Mimi Whitefield on Twitter: @HeraldMimi