cell phones in Brazil
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Oct 3, 2013 11:27 AM Last Post By: amobr82
Mar 10, 2013 9:39 PM
cell phones in BrazilHi all --
What's the low down on cell phones in Brazil? I'll be there for 2 weeks end of March/early April, coming from the US. Verizon, my US carrier, wants $2/min down there, so that's pretty much out of the question.
Are there pay as you go phones down there like in the US? Are they expensive? Should I just forgo the cell phone thing altogether? Thoughts and advice solicited. It would be nice to have a cell with data service if it's reasonably priced... thanks
Mar 11, 2013 10:19 AM
1First think about what type of calls you NEED to make. Local to friends, or for info (all in Portuguese)? Calls home to the US? For such a short time, I wouldn't bother with buying a chip or phone (which are really expensive to refill with minutes, although you can do this on the street in many places). A phone is also still a temptation for thieves, and while a robbery is an uncommon happening, why call extra attention to yourself? I'd set up Skype for calls home (there are LAN houses--internet cafes-- on every corner, with cheap computer rental by the half-hour or hour), do any research there too, and use a phone card in the orelhao (street phone booth) found every few feet for local calls. But I feel quite comfortable being off the grid for a few days, away from the incessant intrusion of email, texts, social media sites, etc. and ON VACATION.
Mar 12, 2013 4:14 AM
2I too mainly choose to travel without a phone in most countries and agree that amobr's suggestions are fine if the question is you getting in contact with the people back home. These days I choose to travel mainly with my Ipad and use it to access the wifi where I am staying, thereby using SKYPE and sending emails back home. Like Amobr says, theft is an issue, so my Ipad doesn't go on the street with me if I can help it. However, I also recognise that for some, the people back home might be worried and want to be able to get in contact with you at any time in which case you need the phone with a working local SIM card.
There are pay as you go phones and SIM cards in Brazil- these are known as prépago- but there are some restrictions on how you can get one as in the past they have been used for criminal activity (kidnappings and the like). The last time I went to Brazil, I got myself a SIM card from the mobile phone store but it took me almost an hour or so, required good portuguese as well as some documents such as a Brazilian CPF (like a tax tax file number) and other ID. I honestly don't know what kind of documentation they might ask for from someone on a tourist visa. I hope someone who has been in your situation can answer more effectively than me.
Mar 12, 2013 6:12 AM
Mar 15, 2013 1:11 PM
Mar 19, 2013 2:27 PM
The easiest way is to get a local SIM-card (from one of the local providers TIM, CLARO or OI, avoid VIVO) and put it in al old cel you have.
That way people from the US can call you without you having to pay the roaming costs.
If they use a voip-program like skype or even cheaper voipbuster they can call you also for ridiculous prices
Have a nice trip in Brazil
Greetings from the tropIX of Salvador da Bahia
Mar 19, 2013 6:44 PM
Sep 2, 2013 3:35 AM
7i'd like to take ivan's suggestion - bring a cellphone from the u.s. and get a sim card - since i'll want to stay connected to my host when i'm on the street. but i'll also be in the u.s. for a month and planned to buy a pay-as-you-go phone, like the tracfone. question is, are there only certain phones like that in the states that would work or take a sim card in brasil?
i'd rather have just one cheap phone - one i can buy minutes for in the states and which i can also either buy minutes or get a sim card for when i'm in brasil. recommendations welcome!
Edited by: sambista1
Sep 3, 2013 5:53 AM
8You need an unlocked quad band phone if you want to put a chip in it in Brazil. There had been problems reported of needing a Brazilian ID (CPF) to activate the chip, which seem to have been resolved in some stores in Rio, but in Salvador?
If you "want to stay connected to my host when i'm on the street", simply buy a local phone card at any kiosk and use it at one of the many phone booths (orelhao) all over the city.
Are you a sambista (plays samba from Rio) or a sambador (plays samba from Salvador)? ;-)
Sep 3, 2013 4:18 PM
9honestly, i've never heard of the term sambador, but thanks for cluing me in. i play percussion with bahian roots and with rio roots (which is often bahian roots anyway). the music is what made me fall in love with brasil.
but back to the phones . . . i can't vouch for it yet, but i've read up on this product and might give it a try. apart from the endorsements, it sounds like a good solution for using it both in the states when i'm there and in brasil (or anywhere else).
i don't know if it's against the rules to post a link, so i'll just say onesimcardDOTcom. i'm not affiliated with this company, but it caught my eye. i even chatted online with a representative who answered all my questions. if it works as claimed, this is the close to the way global phones should be.
Edited by: sambista1
Sep 4, 2013 6:31 AM
10" the music is what made me fall in love with brasil."
Me too, long before I ever though of visiting. let alone living.
Choose a hat. ;-)
(Scroll down about halfway) http://www.salvadorcentral.com/Frequent.htm
About a phone....you're gonna be there for only 2 weeks. Make it as easy as possible for yourself (everything "burro-cratic" in Brazil takes 10 times longer and is 20 times more complicated than you'd expect) and don't waste your precious time to experience the city in some office/store, just for a few phone calls.
Oct 3, 2013 11:27 AM
11Which of those phone cards offered by that Allomama site have you personally used successfully from Brazil to the U.S.? (I have had experience with some phone cards that simply did not work from a public phone on the street (orelhao) or private home land line in Brazil, to call a U.S. number, which is like throwing away money, and annoying when you have to make a critical call.)
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