Communications in Colombia

Blackberry is the phone of choice for ColombiansWhen you arrive to Colombia you will, almost without fail, be inundated with you friends. Locals that want to know your story, that want to hang out and that want to welcome you to their country with open arms. This is great, but how do you keep in touch with them? First things first, you get a…

Mobile phone

A phone can easily be bought in Colombia for around $60,000. The major networks to choose from are Movistar and Claro (formerly Comcel). They’re both more or less the same deal, so just find out what phone company your friends are with and try and follow suit – you’ll get a lot of free phone calls to the same network.

If you want to splash out, many Colombians own Blackberrys or iPhones, which can be bought at prices beginning at $450,000, and working their way up to around $1,500,000. Plans (prepago) are not overly expensive, and a full internet and BBM plan will only cost around $80,000 per month.

The best place for buying a phone is in Unilago (kr 15 # 78), where there are a number of licensed sellers, and the going rate is cheap thanks to the sheer amount of shops selling everything from old school Nokias to the latest iPad.

If your phone isn’t prepago (ie, postpago), you’ll find you can top it up at most tiendas and shops. Simply look out for the word ‘recargas’. Alternatively you can head to your nearest Exito or Carulla and find yourself one there.

If you don’t have a phone, not to fear, you can still contact people by utilizing the ubiquitous ‘minutos’ sellers on the street. Just tell them the network you’re phoning and you’ll pay around $250 pesos for a minute.

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Internet

Next up you’ll want the luxuries of the internet in your new house. The major companies are ETB and TelMex. Unfortunately internet can be fairly complicated due to bad technical service. TelMex are particularly frustrating. ETB are cheaper and offer a more comprehensive service, so we recommend them.

Internet should cost around $100,000 a month, and a little more if you opt to install a landline telephone, too. It should be noted that in some areas, for example Cedritos, ETB is unavailable.

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Post

If you’ve got something to be sent, or sent back, the postal service here in Colombia is lamentably unreliable. Several people we know have lost packages.

Logo DeprisaOur recommendation is for you to use the private companies like Deprisa if you want to send something abroad. For something within Colombia, Servientrega will do the job just fine. If you’re determined to try the post office, be sure to pay any extra charges that will help ensure your package arrives on time and in a decent condition.

=> More information:

Deprisa: www.deprisa.com

List of post offices: http://adpostal.gov.co/secs/main_infantil.htm

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