It’s said that the biggest fear one has it that of public peaking. For me, my biggest fear is not having cellular service, and not being able to connect while on the go.
So, how does one connect while in Brazil
Some quick tips to staying connected while on the go:
By phone Brazil has international telephone code 55 and two-digit area codes, and phone numbers are eight digits long. Some areas used seven digits until 2006, meaning you might still find some old phone numbers which won’t work unless you add another digit. (Mostly, try adding 2 or 3 at the beginning). Eight-digit numbers beginning with digits 2 to 5 are land lines, while eight-digit numbers beginning with digits 6 to 9 are mobile phones. All cities use the following emergency numbers: 190 – Police 192 – Ambulance 193 – Firefighters However, if you dial 911 while in Brazil, you will be redirected to the police.
To dial to another area code or to another country, you must chose a carrier using a two-digit carrier code. Which carriers are available depends on the area you are dialing from and on the area you are dialing to. Carriers 21 (Embratel) and 23 (Intelig) are available in all areas. The international phone number format for calls from other countries to Brazil is +55-(area code)-(phone number) In Brazil: To dial to another area code: 0-(carrier code)-(area code)-(phone number) To dial to another country: 00-(carrier code)-(country code)-(area code)-(phone number) Local collect call: 90-90-(phone number) Collect call to another area code: 90-(carrier code)-(area code)-(phone number) International Collect Call: 000111 or through Embratel at 0800-703-2111 Public payphones use disposable prepaid cards, which come with 20, 40, 60 or 75 crs.
The discount for buying cards with larger denominations is marginal. Phone booths are nearly everywhere, and all cards can be used in all booths, regardless of the owner phone company. Cards can be bought from many small shops, and almost all news agents sell them. The Farmácia Pague Menos sells them at official (phone company) price, somewhat cheaper. Calls to cell phones (even local) will use up your crs very quickly (nearly as expensive as international calls). Calling the USA costs about one real per minute. It’s possible to find all international and Brazilian phone codes on DDI and DDD phone codes.
By mobile phone When traveling to Brazil, even though it may seem best to carry your cell phone along, you should not dismiss the benefits of the calling cards to call the ones back home. Get yourself a Brazil calling card when packing for your trip. Brazil phone cards Brazil has 4 national mobile operators: Vivo, Claro, OI and TIM, all of them running GSM and HSDPA/HSPA+ networks (Vivo still runs a legacy CDMA 1xRTT network, which is being phased out). There are also smaller operators, like Nextel (iDEN Push-To-Talk and HSPA+), CTBC-ALGAR (GSM and HSDPA in Triangulo Mineiro Region (Minas Gerais)), and Sercomtel (GSM and HSDPA in Paraná).
OpenSignal provide independent Brazil cell coverage maps allowing comparison of the quality of the networks. Pay-as-you-go (pré-pago) SIM cards for GSM phones are widely available in places like newsstands, drugstores, supermarkets, retail shops, etc. Vivo uses 850 MHz and 1900 MHz frequencies, while other operators uses 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequencies. 3G/HSDPA coverage is available mostly on big cities on the southeast states and capitals. Some states use 850 MHz but others use 2100 MHz for 3G/HSDPA. If you need to unlock a phone from a specific operator, this can be done for a charge in any phone shop. All major carriers (Vivo, Claro, TIM and Oi) can send and receive text messages (SMS) as well as phone calls to/from abroad.
Other tips on staying connected while in Brazil? Please add your comments and tips.