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  1. #1
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    Default Cell phone service in the D.R.

    Hi All!

    Can anyone tell me what cell phone services are available in the D.R.?

    One article online said that "Cellular phone service is offered by Verizon, Centennial and Orange..."

    However, the customer service representative at Verizon said that cell service was NOT available in the D.R.

    Which is it? What is the state of cell phone service in the D.R.?


    John M.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBoyTheGreat View Post
    Hi All!

    Can anyone tell me what cell phone services are available in the D.R.?

    One article online said that "Cellular phone service is offered by Verizon, Centennial and Orange..."

    However, the customer service representative at Verizon said that cell service was NOT available in the D.R.

    Which is it? What is the state of cell phone service in the D.R.?


    John M.
    John, there are three main providers; Claro, Orange and Viva. I believe that Claro is a sub-division of Verizon but you won't find anyone out there that will confirm that from the US side.

    Your best bet is to purchase a phone while you are here, buy the minutes as needed and either save the phone for the future or give it away when you leave or bring an older phone and use it her with a new chip (MAKE SURE YOU GET THE UNLOCK CODES FROM MANUFACTURER BEFORE YOU LEAVE). You can get a cheap phone from any of the local providers for less than $RD 600 (about 15-16 US).

    YOU DO NOT WANT TO USE YOUR US CELL SERVICE AS ROAMING HERE - otherwise you'll find yourself with bills for $US 1-2 / minute roaming charges when you get back.

    Karlheinz

  3. #3
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    The online article you read was old information. Verizon used to be in the Dominican Republic but sold several years ago to a Mexican company, Claro.

    Karlheinz is correct. There are 3 providers here, with Claro and Orange being the largest. You can buy a phone for under US$20 and cards that give you minutes. Or you can bring an unlocked phone, register it with Orange or Claro to get a number and buy minutes as needed.

    Cell phone service is in good shape here. Most people have at least one cell phone. Lots more cell phones than land lines.

    You will be happy to know that hear you are charged only for the calls you make, not also for the calls you receive, like is done in the US.

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    Also calls to the US are billed the same as local calls over here with a cell phone. So get one here.

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  6. #5
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    Actually, there are 4 providers. Tricom uses CDMA phone, so your Veirzon or Sprint phone would work on tricom after reprogramming. Mind you, Tricom is the 4th player, both in size and influence. The first position, la primicia is being always disputed between Clar and Orange, both GSM networks. They all have roughly the same coverage, though many say Claro has better coverage. I find Orange customer more friendly, and they have cheaper corporate plans. But Claro has better and faster prepaid Blackberry service. They both offer 3G coverage, they both offer prepaid pay-as-you go, fixed prepaid, and postpaid plans. The third company is Viva, formerly Centennial, also a GSM network. No 3G on it. Viva is cheaper on prepaid pay-as-you go, but not that much now as they used to be in the past.

    Your best bet is to get a prepaid fixed plan, that way you get very reasonable per-minute rates and after your plan is up you can top up easily. If you bring phone from the USA make sure it is unlocked. An AT&T phone will work on Claro with no problems for 3G (though it will work for GSM calls and EDGE data on all 3 carriers). Most T-Mobile phone (though not all) will work for 3G in Orange (though it will work for GSM calls and EDGE data on all 3 carriers).

    You can use any GSM phone on Viva, because it's GSM voice and EDGE data only. No 3G on Viva.

    If your phone is CDMA (from Verizon or Sprint in the USA) your only place to activate it will be Tricom. Claro used to have CDMA network as well and they kept activating CDMA phones for some time, but I do not know whether they still activate CDMA phones (they obviously do not sell any now).

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    Wow! Very complex! That's okay, I just have to wade through the providers and figure this out.

    This site provided a lot of good information:

    http://maps.mobileworldlive.com/netw...can%20Republic

    We're looking at long-term cell service since we will be living in the D.R.

    In the opinion of those who have experienced the cell phone services in the D.R., which provider is the least expensive, and which has the best coverage, and which is best overall?

    I was considering an Android-based smartphone, and Orange seems to have the best roaming capabilities. However, Orange also seems to have a selection of just NINE smartphones in their lineup. Claro has about 25 smartphones and tablets available.

    (I'm not a fan of iPhones or Blackberry. iPhones are too expensive for less benefit and I detest Apple, and Blackberry is a fading technology.)

    It may be a waste of time to get a smartphone in the D.R., althought I had thought it might be handy for accessing the Internet and keeping a schedule.

    If I were to go with a simple cell phone, what might the best service and plan prices be in your opinions?


    John M.

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    You can bring an unlocked GMS phone and use it with Organge if you like. You don't have to take what they have.

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    You only need about $18 and to be alive to get a cell phone with phone cards here. If you go in one place and they ask for a Cedula just go next store. Should take you about a half hour to get one. For a contract it is different, as there is credit involved.

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    I went to the Claro store in Boca Chica with my US passport and bought a phone for around 700 pesos


    Gary...er Captboink

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBoyTheGreat View Post
    and Blackberry is a fading technology
    Not in the DR, the PIN rulez... you will find BB proliferation in the DR more than any other individual smartphone, Iphones included. Also, nothing beats the buttery keyboard of the Bold 9900 I have, I write long emails in a snap, while waiting at store checkout line or in a bank. Small screen not so great for browsing, but it suffices if I want to entertain myself, but for business use it is unbeatable. When i want a big screen for browsing, I have it in my office.

    If you will be in a tourist business and running all around, communicating with clients and suppliers, you will find BB to do the job best of all smartphones. But if you just want to sip a cold one on a balcony or patio and watch the latest episode of Two and a Half Men you just downloaded from a Divx server, than Iphone or Android phone is better, of course.

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