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AT&T will offer direct-dial to Cuba

AT&T Corp. on Sunday will begin offering direct-dial phone service to Cuba, marking the first time an operator hasn't been needed to complete a call from the United States to Cuba.

The service is the result of an agreement AT&T signed this month with EmtelCuba, the Cuban national telephone company.

Calls during weekday periods will cost $1.49 per minute. Charges fall to 96 cents per minute under certain AT&T calling plans.

A direct call requires use of the 011 international access code, followed by 53, the country code for Cuba, a city code like 7 for Havana and the local number.

Several other long-distance companies also have announced plans to provide long-distance service to Cuba.