(ESTIMATED PUB DATE) INTELLIGENCE BRIEF - CUBA PLANS NEW NATIONWIDE HIGH-CAPACI

Created: 1/1/1965

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CUBA PLANS NEW NATIONWIDE HIGH-CAPACITY MICROWAVE SYSTEM

The Cuban Minister of Communications has announced plansew. nationwide, high-capacity microwave radio relay system to be constructed. This new system will employ modern Hungarian equipment and willelephone channels into the relay of radio and television programs. If completed as scheduled, this new microwave system will meet Cuba's growing militaryivilian demand for long-distance communications service In the interim, however, long-distance service in Cuba will continue to suffer from inadequate system capacity.

1. Status of Long-Distance Communications Facilities

The principal long-distance communications facilities in Cuba consisttelephonc-channel military microwave network,by the Radio Corporation of Americahat spans the entireicrowave network, installed by the. that runs from Havana eastward to Santiago de Cuba and is used to relay television programs and eight telephone channels, and low-capacity open-wireline networks for telephone and telegraph service- Although these networks have been maintained at astate of operational effectiveness since Castro assumed powerheir capacity has not been expanded to meet the growing military, governmental, and public demand for long-distanceservice.

Plans for increasing the number of long-distance communications channels by adding carrier equipment to the telephone wirelinewere formulated with Hungary Unforeseen technical difficulties in addition to delays in the delivery of equipment, however, have repeatedly frustrated the Cuban authorities, and consequently the expansion plan already is years behind schedule. The problems encountered apparently have been serious enough to force Cuba in recent months to use its limited foreign exchange resources to procure critical items of equipment from the Free World, tnuban authoritiesontractelgian firm for more thanilometers of long-distance telephone cable, and in4 negotiations were undertaken with Marconi Wireless Telegraphof Italytelephone-channel carrier equipment.

z. Recent Plans

adio interview5 thc Cuban Minister of Communications. Major Jesus Montane Oropeza, announced that work would begin5ationwide microwave radio relay network that would be completed He disclosed that this new network would serve all six provinces, including the Isle of Pines, and wouldelephone channels in addition to the relay of television and radio programs.

The announcement of this project followed Montane's recent tour of the USSR and Hungary. The report that his visit to Hungary included discussions concerning thc acquisition of communications equipment, as well as Cuba's oast interest inigh-capacity microwave system from Hungary, indicates that equipment of theype, which operates in theegacycle range, will be used. This Hungarian microwave equipment is designed to supply up to six radio-frequency trunks, each of which can be used to carrytelephone conversations or one television program. Initial Cuban requirements can be met with three radiofrequency trunks one for television relay, one for the transmissionelephone channels, and One for standby- The remaining three radiofrequency trunks can be added as needed to meet future demands for expansion of the system.

3. Outlook

Cuba's planned microwave system might be available for the relay o: television and radio programs as early It is doubtful,that telephone service will be availableor Hungary, along with other Soviet Bloc countries, has not yet mastered production of the carrier equipment needed for the division of radiofrequency trunkselephone channels.

The impact that the new microwave system will have on existing microwave networks in Cuba is not clear. It is probable that the Philco television reiay nerwork will be replaced by the new system, but the miatary network may be retained in the interest of diversifying communications. In anyhe physical facilities of either the military or the Philco system might be used if they can be modified to accommodate theransmission equipment. If such ais possible, it would reduce substantially thc estimated cost of USrillion for constructing andetwork.

If the plains for ths installation of thcnd associated, carrier equipment are fully realizedhe new microwavewiii provide the necessary channel capacity to rneet Cuba's requirements for long-distance communications. Furthermore, through the addition of three radiofrequency trunks, the capacity of the system car. be expanded readily to meet future demands, in the interim period5owever, it is likely that the inadequacy of long-distance communications facilities willa pressing problem.

Sources:

Daily Report (Latin. hhhh3 -

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CiA/RR, Electronics Facilities in Cuba.

1 S.

CIA/RRlectronics Facilities in Cuba

O FOREIGN DISSEM.

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