Landlines and mobile phones in Belize

Using phones in Belize
Updated 2017-09-15 14:34

Belize has a national telecommunications company, Belize Telemedia, Limited, and several mobile phone companies providing fairly good coverage.

During your stay in Belize, you will certainly want to keep in touch with your friends and family abroad and at home in Belize. The country's telecommunications system is making progress toward being more developed. The national phone company provides pretty good coverage, even offering 4g services in certain areas. By no means is the whole country covered. There are still a number of places where there is no cell phone coverage, mostly in some of the remote, small villages, protected areas, and uninhabited areas.

If you are making a short stay in Belize, you can use your hotel's phone. If you plan to stay longer, you can buy or rent a mobile phone or get a land line. Which company you choose to go with depends on a number of factors, such as who has the best coverage in your area and what type of phone you want to use.

Land lines in Belize

Belize Telemedia, Ltd. has some 26,000 subscribers. Land lines are mainly used by residents of Belize and companies in the larger cities. You could also subscribe to a land line if you have a residence permit or are willing to put forth a substantial deposit. Visit any branch of the telephone company and produce your identification documents and proof of residence along with the deposit.

Good to know:

Telephone numbers in Belize consist of 7 digits. The area code for Belize is 501. The country code for calling to Belize is 011.

Using your mobile phone in Belize

When mobile phones came on the scene, there were still a lot of people that did not have land lines. You could go to the BTL office to make a phone call, and many of the smaller villages had only one phone. In fact many villages had very recently gotten connected to the utility grid. Under these circumstances, mobile phones really took off quickly and had a tremendous impact. The country has some 165,000 mobile phone users. However, your mobile phone may not be compatible with Belize's telecommunication system. You are advised to get it unlocked with your telephone service provider before traveling. Once in Belize, you can buy a sim card or purchase a number (depending on the company) for some BZ $45.

There are two major mobile companies. BTL uses GSM, and SMART uses CDMA. If you are unfamiliar, inquire with your current provider. These designations have more to do with what company you are using than with what type of phone you have. You can purchase 'credit' for prepaid service at most stores. With a deposit, you can also get postpaid service. Each provider has their own list of requirements for getting postpaid service. See the links below.

Good to know:

If you are planning to spend only a few days in Belize, you may activate international roaming on your mobile phone. However, international call prices can be very high.

Otherwise, you could also buy a new mobile phone or rent one at electronics stores or mobile phone companies. You also have the option of putting a SIM card from BTLor SMART in your phone for the duration of your visit. You can then buy prepaid cards or 'credit' in almost all shops and supermarkets.

Useful links:

Belize Telemedia Ltd
Digi Cell
Quicksilver Belize

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