Sao Paulo - Post Report Question and Answers

Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

I use a local provider (VIVO). Cost is MUCH cheaper than US.-about $5US/week for calling/texting and 3g of data using a prepaid plan. - May 2021

I use a local provider because it is very cheap. We pay 60 reais for two cell phone lines and data. Many people have Google Fi for convenience but economically it makes sense to have a local provider. - Apr 2021

Bring an unlocked smart phone and get a local plan. A bit cheaper than in the US but with more data. - Aug 2019

Use an old phone when you are out and about due to frequent robberies. You will need to contract with a local carrier in Brazil (no home country plans seem to work there). Unless you open a Brazil bank account you will need to pay your mobile bills in person at the store or partner bank locations. - Nov 2017

Use a local provider. 4G is reliable and affordable. If you get a Brazilian bank account you can pay your bills online. Otherwise you have to pay at the bank at the Consulate. - Apr 2017

Like internet, quite difficult.You need a CPF. - Jan 2017

Lots of mobile phone carriers are available with in-country and international options.

WhatsApp is popular in Brazil... It is used to make local and international calls on the internet. I highly recommend it! - Jan 2017

Get an unlocked phone, and get a plan here. Most people choose Vivo or Net. - Aug 2015

Bring an unlocked phone and get a SIM card here. Plans are cheap, phones are expensive (triple the price in the States). - Aug 2013

I brought my quad-band unlocked phone from the US and used a local microchip. You can get a cell phone or SIM card through the consulate with a really cheap plan, but sometimes that can take a while (it took a month for me). So, you can always get a pay-as-you-go SIM if you prefer. You have to have a CPF number (like a social security number) in order to sign up for a prepaid or postpaid plan. I used my CPF to get a chip for my sister (under my name) when she visited. Smart phones are available, but much more expensive compared to US prices. Many Americans from the Consulate have a Blackberry or iPhone and use that here. I have heard you can get them unlocked here for $50 USD. - Dec 2012

There are many providers. - Jan 2012

Easy to figure out--can bring a universal type phone from US and buy the chip here - Jan 2012

Service is good, but expensive. Best to bring an unlocked phone, and use it as a pay-as-you-go phone. Chips can be purchased here for about $10. - Jan 2012

TIM seems to have the best coverage but Claro is cheaper. A word of warning--landlines here treat calls to cell phones like long-distance, so you might call your friend across the street at a local cell phone number and spend almost 50 cents a minute, where a call to the U.S. from your cell phone might just be 20 cents. It's ridiculous but true. - Oct 2008

You can bring your American cell and they'll unlock it for you. - Aug 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More