Verizon offers roaming in Cuba

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Verizon has become the first U.S. wireless company to let its customers make calls, send texts and use data while in Cuba.

Though Verizon doesn't own or operate any cell towers in Cuba, it has set up roaming agreements with local Cuban telecom companies. That means Verizon customers can use their cell phones while visiting the island.

The service isn't cheap: Voice calls will cost a pricey $2.99 a minute, data will set you back $2.05 per megabyte and texts will be charged at hefty international rates.

Verizon also said customers traveling to Cuba first have to subscribe to the Pay-As-You-Go International Travel Option, and they must have a phone designated as a "world device" that is capable of receiving signals in Cuba.

That's because Verizon and Sprint (S) use a wireless technology that is different than the one used in Cuba and most other places in the world.

AT&T (T) and T-Mobil (TMUS)e don't currently have roaming agreements. But those companies' customers should be able to simply get a SIM card with a Cuban cell phone company and place it inside their phones (as long as the phones are not locked to their network).

Verizon (VZ) is among the first U.S. companies to begin doing business in Cuba after a U.S. diplomatic sanctions on Cuba eased in late 2014.

Netflix began offering service in Cuba in February, Airbnb is offering rental deals on the island, and Carnival said it is considering sending cruises to Cuba starting next year. Americans can also now use their American Express and MasterCard credit cards in Cuba.

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