Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Cell Phones
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Costa Rica
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
canadakid22002



Joined: 21 Dec 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:54 am    Post subject: Cell Phones Reply with quote

I am moving down to Costa Rica with a friend in a month. I recently found out my cell phone will not work down there and I am trying to figure out the best (and cheapest) way to get a new one. I have heard a number of facts regarding cell phones. One is you have to be a citizen of Costa Rica to use a cell phone. I was told when I arrive I have to pay someone to use their "right" to use a cell phone. My service provider, Verizon, told me to purchase a prepaid phone once I get there. Any suggestions on what I can do about using a cell phone in Costa Rica?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jayciro



Joined: 23 Dec 2009
Posts: 14
Location: Oakland, Ca

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a great question!!! I am very interested in getting the same answer. My girlfriend and I are going to make the plunge down there in a month or so as well.

Where are you guys headed to? What are your plans, if any. LOL
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
justenanderson



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 38
Location: Herradura, Costa Rica

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check this out:

http://www.justlanded.com/english/Costa-Rica/Telephone-Internet

Good luck!

Justen
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
PuraVidas



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
Posts: 27
Location: Coronado, San Jose, Costa Rica

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buy any unlocked world GSM cell phone off Ebay. The iPhone works for me. It also has a Skype application you can use to call home from any wifi hotspot. When you get to the baggage claim in the airport go to the ICE kiosk and buy a prepaid chip for the phone. You can refill the chip at any major supermarket in the country and you'll get your own phone number. If you wait to get the chip after you leave the airport, you will need to have a CR citizen help you buy a new cell phone and line. This is the only way you can get a cell phone in Costa Rica for yourself and not have to depend on anyone else, as a non-resident. Good Luck!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
justenanderson



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 38
Location: Herradura, Costa Rica

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What does ICE stand for? What kind of chips are they? I bought an unlocked GSM phone off of Ebay a few months ago, but I don't think it has any type of changeable chip...though I might be wrong...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
PuraVidas



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
Posts: 27
Location: Coronado, San Jose, Costa Rica

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ICE is the government controlled cell phone monopoly in Costa Rica. All GSM phones use something called SIM chip technology. The chip normally snaps into place behind the battery in your cell phone. Here is a youtube video link that shows the process. Your phone could be a little different depending on the make and model, but all the chips are the same shape and size, regardless of the country or service provider.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdnEp0SuflI&feature=related
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jayciro



Joined: 23 Dec 2009
Posts: 14
Location: Oakland, Ca

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice! I was planning on taking my iphone out there and either using the international data plan only, around $60 for 60MB of data, which isnt much. Watching a 3 minute youtube video or viewing a HTML email uses about 2MB!!!! So I am really trying to avoid this situation.

Pvidas, are you currently in Costa Rica? And if you are using the ICE chip in your iPhone, how is the service around the country? Is it reliable? And what kind of costs are there associated with the chip to use data and minutes?

Thanks for all the great advice everyone!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
PuraVidas



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
Posts: 27
Location: Coronado, San Jose, Costa Rica

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am currently in Costa Rica and have lived here for over 3 years now. This Christmas was my first time visiting family in the states in over 2 years. I didn't believe others who talked about the ICE kiosk in the baggage claim from other forums, but seeing is believing.

I am currently using an ICE chip in my 1st generation iPhone and get better than average reception almost everywhere in the country unless I go deep in a rain forest. But even then, climbing a mountain will sometimes get you a couple of bars. I had the unlimited data GPRS plan for a while and it worked well for emails and occasional browsing. It only cost 3,000 colones additional per month. But I turned it off since I got high speed internet at home. I currently pay about 5,000 colones per month for my cell phone (a little under $10 USD). I really don't talk too much and mostly use it for text messaging and only call home using Skype.

One word of advice on having an iPhone here. Don't whip it out just anywhere. Especially on buses and places you are not familiar with, including bars and dance clubs. Believe it or not an iPhone sells for over $1000. Considering the average salary is only $600 per month, it's actually a status symbol to many who live here. Not to mention it will make you look a little snobby in front of your Tico friends who already think you have a money tree growing in your back yard.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jayciro



Joined: 23 Dec 2009
Posts: 14
Location: Oakland, Ca

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. Thanks for the quality information PV. Much appreciated.

I completely understand what you are saying about the iPhone in Costa Rica. I only want to bring mine so I can have access to the appz. Like Google Maps, Skype, a translator, a currency converter and maybe a few others. I really dont want to use it as a "phone" per se.

What kind of contract do you have to agree to with this ICE chip in Costa Rica airports? Any other information would be great. Thanks!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
PuraVidas



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
Posts: 27
Location: Coronado, San Jose, Costa Rica

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no contract. You just show them your passport and don't even need a photocopy made in advance.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jayciro



Joined: 23 Dec 2009
Posts: 14
Location: Oakland, Ca

PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PV - one more question... does the iPhone need to be jail broken? Or will it work if I just remove the At&T sim card and add the ICE sim card...?
Thanks, you have no idea how helpful you have been for me!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
PuraVidas



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
Posts: 27
Location: Coronado, San Jose, Costa Rica

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jailbreak and unlock the phone at the same time with an application called blackrain. Download the program to your computer and connect the iPhone. Press the button once and the iPhone will work with an ICE sim chip. Search for blackrain on www.YouTube.com for a detailed demonstration. It's a simple process.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jayciro



Joined: 23 Dec 2009
Posts: 14
Location: Oakland, Ca

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot PV!! You are an amazing help!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
justenanderson



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 38
Location: Herradura, Costa Rica

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep reading that the iPhone is a real status symbol in CR. I can use any unlocked GSM phone with a sim card right? Do you have another suggestion?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
cjm0162



Joined: 03 Feb 2010
Posts: 3
Location: Heredia, Costa Rica

PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow this is really awesome advice, thanks for the help puravidas! would have never figured this out on my own!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Costa Rica All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC