Lima - 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?

Embassy provides work phones for (most?) officers. I also kept my US plan and phone active. Google Fi and such should be investigated as an option. - Jul 2022

Several providers. Anyone with a Carnet Extranjeria (foreigner's card) can go to any provider's store and sign up for a pre-paid or subscription service. Most offer national and international calls at the same rates. Much easier and cheaper than in the US. Just bring an unlocked phone and it will be easy. US Embassy uses Movistar, so may be a good idea for the spouse to get Claro or a different company so you have greater network access when you travel outside of Lima. - Oct 2018

Our office provided the employee a Movistar phone, which had some connectivity issues at times. We purchased Claro SIM cards for the family which seemed to work much better in the La Molina area. Pay as you go cards could easily be refilled at most grocery stores. Getting a monthly phone plan was a huge pain due to identification issues. No one seemed to have a clue what a diplomatic ID was. It was easier to buy a car in Lima than to obtain a monthly cell phone plan. - Mar 2018

I have an embassy-provided Movistar phone which gets zero signal in my building, so I got a separate Claro SIM for personal use that works well. Once you get the SIM, its simple to reload and add minutes/data. - Apr 2017

At present, Entel seems to be the least bad of the bunch. Getting a SIM card while using the exceptionally useless diplomatic ID is more trouble than it is worth. Trying to do anything with the dip ID is next to impossible. - Jul 2016

Cheap and easy to just buy a sim card and load up with credit every month, the data plans are cheap and fast. - Sep 2015

There are three primary carriers in Lima; Claro, Movistar, and Entel. The three are comparable, though we have found that Movistar seems to have better coverage in the more remote areas of the country. You can either have a "post-pay" plan (a fixed monthly rate), or a "pre-pay" plan where you purchase minutes to re-charge as necessary. I've always opted for pre-pay and find it to be very cheap, only 30-40 soles (US$10-13)a month. - May 2015

Unlocked. - Sep 2014

Just buy one locally or bring an unlocked phone and buy a SIM card here. Prices are reasonable. - Apr 2014

Bring an unlocked phone and just purchase a cheap Claro or Movistar Sim card and a pay-as-you-go plan. Service is spotty, especially with all the concrete buildings. - Aug 2013

They all work fine, but they are expensive. Dealing with any company to give you a cellphone is a huge pain. Nobody wants to take your diplomatic card. They all want to see the extranjeria card, and it will be hard to get a contact that can give your EFM a hand with a cellphone. - Jun 2013

No personal experience - mine was provided by work - but some are pre-paid and require the regular purchase of cards. - Jan 2012

Buy a local cell phone and SIM card, very easy and cheap. - Jan 2012

If you are employeed with the US Embassy, you will be issued a phone. All others, I'd recommend starting out with minutes. It is hard to get a plan at first, you need to establish your identification, etc. which can take some time. - Aug 2011

The embassy give you one. If not, get a Claro prepaid phone. - Jul 2010

Telefonica is a lousy service will never get a bill but are expected to pay every month at the bank and assume the charges are accurate. Not many choices but you need a cell phone. - Jun 2010

Several providers, Claro seems to be the most reasonably priced, the old monopoly, Movistar (part of Telefonica generally has atrocious customer service and is more expensive) Pre-paid cards are a rip off -- the airport deals are even worse -- bring an unlocked GSM phone and get a Claro plan. - Jul 2008

You'll need them but the plans aren't great, nor is the hardware. - Apr 2008

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