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cell phones in Belize?

What kind of cell phone use would you recommend for a 6 month's stay in Belize? 

I make most calls from the office there, but need a cell phone to call office or a taxi or something like that.

Last year I was using my US cell phone (Verizon, but to avoid roaming charges I had it off unless I wanted to call, so when someone wanted to reach me outside office he/she was out of luck.

When in Europe I buy European cell phone with prepaid SIM card. Does it work the same way in Belize?

Basia, if you have time when you first arrive, go to a Hindu or Chinese store in Belize City and purchase a very cheap cell phone(like around $100 bze), and a SIM card (about $20 bze from Digicell).

Then all you have to do is top it up with minutes on an as needed basis for your local calls and text messages. No expensive plans.  It\'s about $1.00 bze per minute to call the States - not sure if you\'d be doing any intl dialing, but that gives you an idea.

Sharon

Thanks, Wealthships for the advice. Unfortunately I won't have time to go to any store in Belize City upon arrival, as I will be making a direct connection to fly to Punta Gorda, as I shall have my "Puertorican twins" with me (a pair of cats, small, used to tropics and the jungle) and would need to unload them as soon as possible. But I'll be going to Belmopan on business within a few days. Hope they have those cheap phones -and SIM cards - there, too. Maybe even in PG, who knows?

Robbinn, some cell phones (three band? I am not technical, I just use communications technology like I use meds or a car - basically without knowing what's inside... motor? alternator? carburetor? who cares as long as it does what I need it to do! LOL) work all over the world. They are a pretty expensive option unless you roam the globe constantly - and your employer pays your bills. I was usung an American cell phone in Belize ( it does work)... and a European in Europe - with a  prepaid SIM card, just as I plan to do in Belize, since the option is available.

Wealthships :

Basia, if you have time when you first arrive, go to a Hindu or Chinese store in Belize City and purchase a very cheap cell phone(like around $100 bze), and a SIM card (about $20 bze from Digicell).

Then all you have to do is top it up with minutes on an as needed basis for your local calls and text messages. No expensive plans.  It\'s about $1.00 bze per minute to call the States - not sure if you\'d be doing any intl dialing, but that gives you an idea.

Sharon

Thank you for sharing your expertise Sharon! I'd like to ask a few questions about using cell phones in Belize. 

1. Do you know if Belize would support an American phone (Verizon LG - :)) and then just purchase a Belize SIM card?
2. Are there any plans, in the future, to support 4G cell phones and iPads?
3. Is it a possibility that Belize will have more than just 2 cell phone providers to choose from, in the future?

That is all I can think of for now. Thank you for helping.
Regards,
LAN ;)

Basia - if you don't have time in Belize City, don't fret, you'll find a store in PG that will still be able to sell you a cheap cell phone/sim card (Belmopan for sure).

Answering both your question and Lan's, there are certain phones that you can bring here, and as long as they can be "unlocked," you can then buy a SIM card here and use right away.  Check with the cell phone manufacturer to find out if that is possible.

When I first arrived in Belize, even though I had told Verizon I was coming here, I could not get my phone to work. Furthermore, they wanted to charge me $2.81 usd per MINUTE!!! to call the States, Yikes!!  I just had a relocation client move here a month ago, and that rate has not changed.

As far as I know, not even 3G is supported here, so I'm sure 4G is not in the immediate future. 

In terms of more cell phone providers, frankly, I don't think another one is in the immediate future. BTL is government owned for one, and they probably don't want a lot more competition. And with such a small population, not sure the market share is there for another company to make the investment.

Only time will tell though - never say never.

Hope that's been helpful.

Sharon Hiebing

Love2Travel4Sure :

1. Do you know if Belize would support an American phone (Verizon LG - :)) and then just purchase a Belize SIM card?

Lori I was using that very phone last year in Belize. Worked fine after about 24 hours.

Best thing to do is purchase an unlocked GSM 1900Band cell phone in the US. MAny place to buy this online including Amazon. They cost anywhere from $5.00 and up. Then when you get off the plane buy a Digicel SIM card from a vendor and you are in business. At that price you can take a couple of phones just in case.

Thanks, Surendrak, sounds like an excellent idea!

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