The phone system in the Dominican Republic operates similar to that in the United States or Canada. American Mobil of Mexico (Claro Codetel) is the largest company. Competitors are Orange (France Telecom), Tricom and Viva. There are several Internet providers, such as OneMax, Wind, among others.
In cities and tourist areas Internet cafes or calling centers are usually available from 8 to 10pm.
Upon arrival to the Dominican Republic, it is a good practice to purchase a calling card from one of the two leading companies, Codetel and Tricom. The cards come in multiple denominations. These cards will make it easy for you to use a public phone (otherwise you need coins) for national or international calls or make international calls from most any phone in the Dominican Republic or the United Staes/Canada. The cards are especially handy if you will be visiting friends and want to make a phone call from a private phone.
Can a person make a toll free call from the DR to the United States dialing a 800 number?
No. You need to dial 880 and then the number number. You will be charged a fee
Renting a mobile phone
Codetel telecommunication centers at major airports and commercial offices enable you to rent a mobile phone upon arrival. For more information, call 809-549-0448 for the Codetel Telecommunications Center at Las Americas Airport. You should reserve your phone if you will be traveling in a peak season.
A major credit card will be required. Incoming calls are free of charge.
Using your own phone
If you have a cellular phone that is compatible with the systems in the United States and Canada, you can now use your phone when on vacation in the Dominican Republic. There are two companies offering services as follows:
You can activate your own mobile phone for outgoing and incoming calls if it
uses CDMA frequency. Orange offers the service of activating most open European cell phones.
You also have the option to activate the phone for use with prepaid cards. In
this case they will give you a code number so when you return to the US/Canada
you can activate back to your carrier. This option is a good one if you will be
making frequent trips to the DR.
Tricom and Centennial are other options to activate your mobile phone.
What are my options to staying connected?
Many hotels in cities and tourism destinations are now offering Internet service for their clients. If this is essential for you, check with your hotel prior to making reservations.
Internet service in the form of Internet Cafes are available at the commercial areas in the main tourist destinations and main cities.
One of the easiest ways to stay communicated is to sign up with a free internet email service (like google, yahoo or hotmail) that allows you to pick up your messages from external services as long as you are using a POP3 type account.
Just configure that in the preferences settings and then you can access your mail from any browser anywhere in the world. Test it out before you go, however.