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 Venezuela

Some quick tips to staying connected while on the go:
By phone Venezuela has international country telephone code 58 and three-digit area codes (plus an initial ‘0’), and phone numbers are seven digits long. Area codes beginning with ’04’ – e.g. 0412, 0414, 0416 – are mobile phones, while area codes beginning ’02’ – e.g. 0212 (Caracas), 0261 (Maracaibo) are land lines. A single emergency number 171 is used in most of the country for police, ambulance and firefighters. The international phone number format for Venezuela is +58-(area code without ‘0’)-(phone number) To dial to another area code: (area code starting with ‘0’)-(phone number)

mobile phones photo

Photo by mattk1979

 

To dial to another country: 00-(country code)-(area code)-(phone number) Directory enquiries/information (in spanish): 113 Emergency service for mobile phones: (in spanish): 911 (Movistar), 112 (Digitel), *1 (Movilnet) Public payphones use prepaid cards which cannot be recharged but are easily available in shopping centers, gas stations, kiosks, etc. Phone boxes are common in the cities and do not accept coins. The vast majority are operated by the former state monopoly, CANTV, although some boxes operated by Digitel or Movistar do exist, particularly in remote areas. CANTV prepaid cards can be used only in their booths.

More popular today are the ubiquitous ‘communication centers’ or clusters of phone booths located inside metro stations, malls, or like a normal store in the street. Most of these comunication centers are operated either by CANTV or Movistar, and offer generally cheap phone calls from a normal phone in comfortable booths equipped with a seat. A log is made of all your calls and you pay when exiting the store. Many street vendors or buhoneros also offer phone calls from portable (antenna-based) land lines set up at improvised stalls.

Callers are charged by the minute. Mobile phones Mobiles operated by Movilnet, a division of CANTV, start with the 0416/0426 code and use the CDMA 800 MHz system and GSM/HSDPA 850 MHz. Rival Telefonica Movistar, formerly Telcel, start with 0414/0424 and use both CDMA & GSM/HSDPA (GSM/HSDPA 850 MHz). Digitel is another operator with a GSM/HSDPA (GSM/HSDPA 900 Mhz) network and its numbers start with 0412. It is possible to buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card for Digitel’s GSM phones, but make sure your phone is unlocked. A pay-as-you-go Digitel card is working straightaway when bought from any official retailer.

 

The cost of the card is around 20 VEF (new bolivares). Top up vouchers from 10 VEF. The cost of a text message abroad is 0.3 VEF. Please note that from Movilnet phone you are not able to send a text message almost to any European network. A Digitel phone allows to send a text message to almost any European network (tested) and Movistar may let you send a text message to any european network but is not reliable as Digitel for this purpose. You may use your phone with a foreign SIM card in roaming. Check: www.gsmworld.com or call to your operator for roaming information to Venezuela. Movilnet and Movistar will require quad-band phones for European users, Digitel will work with any European phone. Tourists from other than European countries should check their phones if the phone will work with the above bands.

Other tips on staying connected while in Venezuela? Please add your comments and tips.