Mobile Phone Update

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blackavar
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Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 10:19 pm

Mobile Phone Update

Post by blackavar » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:34 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for a brief update from anyone who can offer info on the Guatemalan mobile phone situation. I was in Xela for 6 months back in 2007 and had purchased a basic phone on the Tigo network where I could buy prepaid cards. I seem to remember Tigo, Claro and Moviestar were the companies of choice and Tigo had the best service. I am coming back for a few months starting in March for a volunteer project and had a few questions...

Has the cell phone system changed drastically, or in any way that I should be informed about? Is it still possible to purchase a mobile phone for relatively cheap? (I think my last one cost about $30, for a BASIC phone) Is Tigo still the best service? Can you still do prepaid cards? Finally, how is the service around Lago Atitlan, specifically if anyone can talk about Santiago Atitlan, that would be great.

Thanks!
Joe

xelawho?
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Re: Mobile Phone Update

Post by xelawho? » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:54 pm

nothing major to report. They released the iPhone, which caused a stampede of people down at the Elektra store, all wanting to sign their lives away on the installment plan.

My friend bought one, but she was too scared to take it out of the house in case somebody saw it and mugged her for it. Ha ha.

The prepaid deal is still pretty much the same, too. Prices may have gone down slightly, and most companies give you the equivalent in talk time as you will pay for a basic phone (which sounds way more complicated than it is - pay Q150 for your phone, get Q150 worth of credit thrown in). If you still have your old phone, it may be worth bringing it - you've probably lost your number by now, but you can buy a new chip for Q50 (with Q50 credit thrown in).

Tigo has the best remote area coverage (or did have for a long time - I haven't heard that this has changed). Movistar is surprisingly crappy around the lake. Dunno about Claro.
http://www.xelawho.com: Quetzaltenango's leading culture & nightlife magazine
featuring the most awesome map of Xela ever made

admin
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Re: Mobile Phone Update

Post by admin » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:20 pm

In my research I have found that Movistar has the cheapest rates for local and international calls. However, Movistar does not have the best coverage in smaller villages.

The plan is called Habla Mas. If you have a Movistar phone you sign up by sending a text message with the word HABLA to 700.

Rates: Q0.60/min - Local/USA/Canada

You can also sign up for Trio where you get 3 numbers that are only Q0.36/min.
You can have 2 Movistar #s and 1 in the USA or
You can have 1 Movistar 1 other carrier and 1 USA # in your list.
When you call these numbers the price is Q0.36/min
The plan also includes 25 text message to other Movistar phones.
To sign up send the word TRIO to 700 AFTER you sign up for Habla Mas.

The only requirement for this deal is that you put at least Q30 per month in your phone.

If anyone has done the calculations on Claro or Tigo please post it here!!

Tom
http://www.xelapages.com - Study Spanish in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala!

dbuzzingham
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Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:41 pm
Location: Burlington, Iowa

Re: Mobile Phone Update

Post by dbuzzingham » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:08 pm

Tom,

Last year when we were in Guatemala, we had service with Tigo. I was satisfied with their service, although I never could figure out what I was paying for calls. Oh well, I was a rich gringo...NOT!

I recently noticed what Tigo calls their Plan Gringo. Here's the URL: <http://www.tigo.com.gt/seccion/planes-prepago/1106>. I've tried to understand how it works, both by reading the description in Spanish and by using the translation function in Chrome. I have failed!

It seems to imply that if I buy Q100 under this plan, I'd get an additional Q50 to call back to the U.S. What happens with triple saldo? It also seems to imply that this is only good for a week! How do text messages fit into this? Do they even know how it works?

Last year, I bought cell time primarily when they offered triple saldo. I made most of my calls to the U.S. and had no idea what was happening with the minutes I purchased. That may be the way to go for me when we return to Guatemala next week.

Most of our calls back to the U.S. will be made using Skype. I discovered that for $2.99/month, I could make unlimited calls to any landline phone or cell phone in the U.S. or Canada. That seems like a bargain, as my mother-in-law usually likes to talk to my wife for no less than an hour and a half at a time.

Tom, why don't you write a book describing, in detail, how to successfully use a Guatemalan cell phone. Just explaining how purchased minutes and bonus minutes are used would probably win you a Pulitzer. You would win the eternal gratitude of every gringo cell phone user in the country. On the other hand, maybe ignorance is bliss!

Buzz

xelawho?
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Re: Mobile Phone Update

Post by xelawho? » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:16 pm

people with mothers-in-law in the States may be interested to know that Google Voice is extending their offer of free calls to the US throughout 2011.

so suck on that Skype, with your outrageous 2.99 per month fees.
http://www.xelawho.com: Quetzaltenango's leading culture & nightlife magazine
featuring the most awesome map of Xela ever made

dbuzzingham
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Re: Mobile Phone Update

Post by dbuzzingham » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:54 pm

Thanks for the information about Google Voice. I'll check it out.

dbuzzingham
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Re: Mobile Phone Update

Post by dbuzzingham » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:45 pm

Tried it out. It keeps saying that I'm using invalid numbers when using Google Voice. What might I be doing wrong?

dbuzzingham
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Re: Mobile Phone Update

Post by dbuzzingham » Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:24 pm

Figured it out. You have to use +1 before the area code and telephone number. If you do that, it works just fine.

dbuzzingham
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Re: Mobile Phone Update

Post by dbuzzingham » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:22 pm

I just wanted to report that we are using the "phone call" function of Gmail to call back to the states with great success, both with landlines and cell phones. All you have to do is append +1 to the normal US phone number (area code + seven digit phone number). Best of all, it's FREE as in the advice that Tom gives you at XelaPages. :0)

p.s. The free service to the U.S. and Canada lasts through the end of 2011, but they offered the same free service in 2010 and then extended it.

xelawho?
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Re: Mobile Phone Update

Post by xelawho? » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:23 pm

dbuzzingham wrote:Best of all, it's FREE as in the advice that Tom gives you at XelaPages.
yeah, thanks for the tip, Tom :evil: :x
http://www.xelawho.com: Quetzaltenango's leading culture & nightlife magazine
featuring the most awesome map of Xela ever made

rayanah
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Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:22 am

Re: Mobile Phone Update

Post by rayanah » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:35 am

Hi dbuzzingham , please confirm can we use this service for mexico?

adeela
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Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:49 am

Re: Mobile Phone Update

Post by adeela » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:28 am

facing many problem to buy online smartphone, because of same mobile phone like original mobile phone also available in market, I do not buy mobile phone by online shopping websites.

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