( dpa ) - Cubans will soon be able to purchase cellphones - currently very restricted on the communist island - in the framework of reforms since Fidel Castro stepped down last month and his brother Raul Castro took over as president.
"Based on the current investment process, (Cuban telephone company) ETECSA is in a position to offer to the population the service of cellphone communications," the Communist Party daily Granma reported Friday.
Until now, only a few Cubans had access to cellphones, mostly high officials or Cubans working for foreign firms which had obtained the phones in the company's name.
Granma confirmed that other Cubans had cellphones "indirectly," after obtaining them through a foreigner who would include the Cuban's name on the contract as a subsidiary user.
The Computing and Communications Ministry will "shortly" issue regulations on cellphones, Granma said, adding that the reform was made possible by the acquisition of "loans and technology from friendly countries."
Just earlier this week, restrictions were lifted on the retail sale to the general public of computers, television sets, video players and other electronic home appliances.
Raul Castro encouraged expectations of change in his inaugural speech on February 24, when he said he would move to end an "excess in prohibitions and rules" within the "coming weeks."
These reforms include the sale of some tools for farmers, which has already started in some provinces after only a passing mention on state radio.
Other changes being mooted in the official media include more flexible migration rules or lifting the ban on access to the island's luxury resorts by Cubans.