Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Internet on the road

Some of you techie people may wonder how we manage to spend so much time online. In Central American, wifi is pretty easy to find, even in small towns. Most of the cheaper hotels and hostels offer free wifi and if not, there is generally some restaurant or cafe that offers it if you buy a drink or food. Often, I can find an unsecured connection from our hotel room.

Here in Roatan, we really wanted internet at our apartment so we purchased this USB internet modem from Tigo, the biggest cell phone company in Central America. The stick itself was $70 US, I assume it was probably a bit more expensive here than on the mainland because the rule is that everything is more expensive on the island because everything has to be shipped over here. It runs of a SIM card just like a cell phone. For the most part, cell phones in Central America are prepaid. You have your phone and SIM card and then most little corner stores sell the saldo (or credits in English) to recharge it. The different phone companies will offer double, triple or even quadruple saldo days pretty frequently. For the USB modem, you load saldo onto the SIM by inserting the sim into a phone and entering in the code on the saldo card that you buy. For a month of internet, we paid about $45 US. When it runs out, we can buy more by the day, week or month. When we move to a new country, we will need new SIM cards for our phone and modem and then will load more saldo for that country.

Its a great system. For the cell phones, if you are smart and only buy saldo on promotional days, it is very affordable even for the poorest folks. That would explain why even though Honduras is the 2nd poorest country in the western hemisphere (or so I've heard), everyone can have a cell phone.

I wonder if we can buy saldo for the modem on promotional days.


Posted by Picasa

2 comments:

Broadband Connection at Home said...

This is great, I was wondering if the Tigo modem was possible in Honduras... I am happy to use in Guatemala.

Andy Graham of HoboTraveler.com

Jaz said...

Most hostels provide at least some common cooking items.

Pousada Ubatuba