Friday, December 7, 2012

Cell Phone Decisions

Phones—ya can’t live with ‘em and ya can’t live without ‘em

First of all, we didn’t see many phones throughout Mexico, but arriving in Belize—they’re everywhere!

There are 2 different types of phones available in Belize: SIM card driven thru BTL, or CDMA 800 or 850 MHz technology thru SMART phone stores. Once you decide which way you want to go most of the plans revolve around the purchase of minutes (much like the US plans when cell phones first started) there are several sub-programs, from pre-paid to post-paid, with and without wifi, touch pad, roaming, international, blah, blah, blah…pretty much equivalent to the states in the ways they can spend your money. 

We decided to have our existing AT&T phone, with SIM card, unlocked and go with a pre-paid phone plan. Unlocking the phone is done by “someone” not within the BTL Phone Company. We were directed across the street to see Stephen, in a non-descript storefront shared with a tailor. Stephen advised us that it would take him overnight to get the code to unlock our phone. When we returned the next day, he had not been able to get the code, but promised by “tomorrow”—no problem, we’ve lived without it for this long, what’s another day?

Stephen's storefront - immediately across the street from BTL

BTL Corozal office
So today (Friday), we were told he had been given the wrong code and would have to resubmit a request this afternoon. He directed us to purchase the SIM card and he would find us a loaner phone until he could get ours unlocked. We crossed the street to BTL, purchased the card, and returned to Stephen. He was ready with the loaner and promised to call us when our phone was unlocked---maybe Monday.

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