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Mobile Providers Seek Increased Access to Cuba

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WASHINGTON, August 31, 2010 - Nokia, AT&T and Verizon are petitioning the White House to loosen telecommunications export bans to Cuba, Bloomberg and other news outlets are reporting.

The Obama Administration eased some of the regulations in April 2009 and has spoken of increased engagement.

Nokia would like to sell handsets to the island, while AT&T and Verizon would like more freedom in connecting calls and setting up service.

The Federal Communications Commission allows calls to be connected to Cuba but only if they pay Cuba a fee of no more than 19 cents a call while the Cuban government requires a fee of 84 cents a call.

Finland-based Nokia produces its North American handsets in Miami and is limited by the U.S. embargo.

Cuba has a relatively low penetration level even after ruler Raul Castro lifted the ban in 2008.

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