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phone service while on the island

Posted By: darrin fisher

phone service while on the island - 01/22/08 03:33 AM

hello ladies and gents.

i will be in town starting on jan 31st. i have a home on the island and had a cell phone but the house was broken into a few months back and i think the phone will be gone. do i have to buy a new phone or is there somewhere i can get a temp phone while on the island?

fish
Posted By: dabunk

Re: phone service while on the island - 01/22/08 03:50 AM

You can rent a cell phone at the BTL office at the international airport. About 5 US per day to rent plus calls.
Posted By: darrin fisher

Re: phone service while on the island - 01/22/08 04:39 AM

thanks, ill look into that.

is there a place to rent on the island? i think i want to get to the house and see if its there before i fork it over, lol. also, if i bring my phone, can i switch sim cards and have it work? i have an i phone, i wonder if that would work.

fish
Posted By: dabunk

Re: phone service while on the island - 01/22/08 01:49 PM

Our friends daughter brought her iPhone down from the States and she told me it works. Will get more information and get back to you if no one else knows on the Island.
Posted By: LJ

Re: phone service while on the island - 01/22/08 02:25 PM

When we were down a year ago,my ATT phone said BTL on it where it did say ATT.So I think it would have worked but I never tried it,scared of what the roaming charge would have been.
Posted By: tacogirl

Re: phone service while on the island - 01/22/08 02:31 PM

You might want to consider getting a phone before coming if you want a better price.

C's and Sea turtle on middle street sell phones.

I ordered a slightly used Samsung for $10 on ebay that did the trick for us.

LA has also brought 2 phones down which we gave to friends in need of one and they both worked out great.
Posted By: darrin fisher

Re: phone service while on the island - 01/22/08 02:54 PM

hey thanks for the info guys. dabunk, let me know if you find anything further on the i phone working in ac. i am bringing it irregardless as its my i pod too.

tacogirl, i think i have some old cell phones laying around my shop, im going to go see what i can find. if i do find a few how hard is it to get the chips put in them? i heard some prices here but i think its kind of high huh? if im bringing the phone.

also, i see you here a lot and since we are directly talking i thought youd be the one to ask. anything special going on during the first week of feb? we will be in ac in about 9 days. arrive on the 31st. what kind of activities are going on? looking to talk to some expats about taking the plunge. also am going to have a pair of teens with me, anyone have teens on the island. i want to try to get these guys having fun this time, we live a ways outside of town to the south and last time they got bored a bit.

fish
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: phone service while on the island - 01/22/08 05:35 PM

I think you'll find an iPhone won't work - they've put restrictive software into it to tie it to one provider. Most other phones should work fine with a BTL Digicell sim card. I'd recommend doing it that way as you'll then have a constant phone number whenever you visit.

Remember that BTL don't interpret money credits to a pre-paid phone the same way that most other companies do. Here a credit is valid for a specified period, typically three months for larger credits, and on the date any money you haven't used is confiscated, however much it might be. The more the better from their point of view.

In the UK and so far as I know the US that isn't the practice. There the balance of your credit is good for a specified time after your last use of the phone. "Use" means making a call, sending a message, or crediting more funds. In the UK you don't pay to receive a call (by law) and I'm not sure whether receiving a call counts as "use". I imagine that in the US, where you pay to receive calls as well as to make them (extraordinary business practice, a spam caller's charter) receiving a call would count as "use".

After a lengthy period of non-use, I believe substantially longer than the time referred to above, your number will lapse and you sim card will become a piece of useless plastic. I don't know how long that takes.
Posted By: JZB

Re: phone service while on the island - 01/22/08 06:02 PM

A cell phone needs to be Unlocked before a btl sim can work in it. Usually any phone that is tied to a carrier cannot be unlocked. So if your phone says Sprint, Verizon, etc on it, you will not be able to change out SIM cards.

It is very possible your i phone will work here without changing SIMs (depending on your service provider). The problem will be the charges.

Posted By: Islenutt

Re: phone service while on the island - 01/22/08 06:19 PM

With T-Mobile you can call customer service to have your phone unlocked. They email you the "unlock" code. It sometimes takes several days to receive, but in my recent experience it only took 24 hours.
Posted By: ron

Re: phone service while on the island - 01/22/08 11:57 PM

I just put international roaming on my AT&T cell phone so that the calls will only cost about $2 per minute. Yes, an AT&T will work inBelize even if you don't have international roaming. Costs are very high. If you have a house in SP get an unlocked phone on Ebay and have a local sim card put in. Text messages also work with my phone. The local carrier will be BTL.
Posted By: Leah-Ann

Re: phone service while on the island - 01/23/08 02:02 AM

IPhones are tied to ATT/Cingular. They do work in Bze. If you don't call and have international roaming added to your account, the bill from BZE use might cause you a bit of a shock - but it will work irrespective. Also, if you leave the phone turned on and get calls that go to voice mail, you will be charged a roaming fee - even if you don't answer the call. On the upside, there is no charge for text messages.
Posted By: darrin fisher

Re: phone service while on the island - 01/23/08 02:28 AM

oh wow! it will work huh? im going to call tommorrow and have the international roaming added to the account if they dont want an arm and a leg for it.

but that last point is a great thing, i can text and it doesnt cost anything extra? we have unlimited text so that is a great feature. cool. thanks for that info.

fish
Posted By: tacogirl

Re: phone service while on the island - 01/23/08 05:09 AM

Hi Fish

I do not remember exactly how much to get our phone running but I think it was around $100 bzd or less.

When I won the phone on ebay they said it was unlocked, but on this end they said it was not so they unlocked it for about $50 and then I bought number/sim card. We did all this at C's on middle street.
Posted By: Caye Connect

Re: phone service while on the island - 01/23/08 02:05 PM

Ebay Search --> gsm unlocked

http://search.ebay.com/search/searc...&satitle=gsm+unlocked&category0=

If you have the means to get a phone off ebay - get three - and bring them down to the poor souls who pay 5 times the price here.

Posted By: dabunk

Re: phone service while on the island - 01/23/08 02:17 PM

If you ask your friends in the States, many have phones sitting in their houses looking for a home after they change their plans etc. When we go back to the States we ask friends and family for their old phones, and bring them back to donate here.
Posted By: Nascargirl

Re: phone service while on the island - 03/18/08 01:53 AM

how old can the cell phones be? i have about 4 or 5 from the office that we dont use anymore. they are probably 3-4 yrs old.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: phone service while on the island - 03/18/08 01:57 AM

Age doesn't matter as long as they are GSM1800/1900.
Posted By: Nascargirl

Re: phone service while on the island - 03/18/08 01:59 AM

ok. this might be a dumb question, but how do i find out that info? is it on the phone under the battery area? thank you!
Posted By: SimonB

Re: phone service while on the island - 03/18/08 02:32 AM

Post the makes and models and I'll find out for you.
Posted By: Nascargirl

Re: phone service while on the island - 03/18/08 02:35 AM

Thank you Simon. i will get the information from the office in the morning. and reply to this thread tomorrow evening. then i can bring the phones with us when we come out in June.
Posted By: Bubba_in_ky

Re: phone service while on the island - 03/18/08 08:10 PM

Type the model number (listed behind the battery) into a Google search.

Then click on one of the review sites. (Or the site of the provider, ATT)

Look in the specs and look for "Band".

It will list the different bands (or channels) that the phone will work on.

There were dual band, then tr-band and now quad band phones.

Posted By: Leah-Ann

Re: phone service while on the island - 03/18/08 11:07 PM

Update: AT&T now charges for text messages sent from/received in a foreign country. I think .25 each, but don't recall for sure.
Posted By: ExOkie

Re: phone service while on the island - 03/24/08 03:54 AM

Where would one donate old cellphones on AC? I've got a couple lying around.
Posted By: gailtor

Re: phone service while on the island - 03/24/08 04:25 AM

Contact Tacogirl (either PM here or on her blog). I believe she is trying to coordinate something where donations will get distributed to the 'needy'. Gail cool
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