Making phone calls in Colombia


When settling in Colombia, one of the priorities is to be able to make phone calls.

How to proceed to get a landline installed in Colombia?

What are the mobile operators?

What is your average monthly budget?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience,


Getting a landline in Colombia is not an easy process for expats because it requires to have a Cédula de extranjeria, a bank account, and a credit record.
It is also useless in my opinion.

Regarding cell phone, pretty easy. There are 4 major players, plus MVNO's (Mobile Virtual Network Operators).
Major players: Claro, Tigo, Movistar, ETB.
Major MVNOs: Uff, Virgin Movil.

The easiest way to get a mobile number is to buy a prepaid sim card.  Operators require identification of the line owner.  They usually accept a foreign passport as a proof of identity. Local branches of operators enforce the rule more strictly than the small shops.
Sim card costs around 3000 pesos (1 USD).

From there, it is very easy to buy credit in virtually any store, and then affect this credit to voice, sms, data, or voice/data bundles.

Getting a post paid plan (paying voice and data consumption end of month) is as difficult as getting a land line: Cédula de extranjeria, bank account, and credit record.

Budget varies with usage. Data plans are still pretty expensive.  For instance, with Claro, a 1 month or 2 Gb data plan costs 41,000 pesos (around USD 15).  I am a heavy data user, and 2gb usually last two weeks only.  So would represent USD 30 per month for me.

I agree with previous post, you don't need a landline here and too much hassles to get it.
As far as the mobile operators go, Virgin mobile is by far the cheapest. I pay 35000 pesos a month for 150 voice minutes to any number in Colombia and the USA or Canada. It also comes with 750mb of data, free whatsapp and 50 sms's.
I make all my international calls with skype credit. If you buy a bundle the rates are really really cheap, including even for phonecalls inside Colombia.

Agree on the lack of need for a landline and, besides, I believe you have to be seeking some form of residency to obtain your cedula, which is required for the contract (I'm married to a Colombian and I'm required to get one, but it makes every transaction easier).  I have Tigo, pay $80,000 COP per month, 400 minutes includes calls to the U.S., 2 GB data (which I never use up), only 10 messages, but I use WhatsApp for that, so no problem.  I hear from friends and family that different carriers have different qualities of clarity and connectivity when you travel the country, but Tigo is fine for me here (San Andres Isla).

Magic jack.  Unlimited calls to U.S.

The cheapest is to use Skype. 1 hour to u.k cost about £1.00!

Oovoo which in my experience is better than Skype, costs nothing - all you need is an internet connection (a sufficiently fast one, though) and a supported device (computer/tablet/smartphone).  We use it several times a week to do video calls with family in Cali, from the US.  It also works just fine to make video calls in-country (either country).

Of some use to us also is Ooma - we can bring the Telo device with us to Colombia along with a landline-type phone connected to it, and it's just the same as if we are in the US with it, as it is a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) device.  So we can make and receive calls while we are in Cali to/from any US numbers at no cost, just as if we were still physically in the US, using the internet connection.  Ooma costs us about $4/month just for US phone taxes. … aQodOBAFXA

Feb 2020 I think i was charged $10. I mostly used WhatsApp

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