Let us share with you how the country’s communication network operates, and what you’ll need to stay connected during your time here.
If you’ve just arrived in the Country of Tango, one of your first doubts will probably be what to do to stay in touch. Locals usually have fixed or prepaid contracts with one of the main phone companies: Movistar, Personal, Claro or Nextel.
For travelers that don’t want to remain disconnected during their trip, the first option – and also probably the most expensive – is to take out an international roaming package. However, many visitors prefer to buy a SIM card in the one of the phone shops mentioned earlier or in one of the many famous Argentinian “kiosks”, and top up credit with prepaid cards that can be bought in the same places. If you decide on this option, your cell phone needs to be unlocked.
Each phone network offers different plans with prices that vary according to their duration (generally, one week or a month) and the services that they include: amount of gigabytes of data and free minutes to make local and foreign calls, free WhatsApp, etc.
Given that this last messaging app is one of the principal means of communication for Argentinians, it’s a good idea for recent arrivals that still don’t have it to download it on their smartphone as soon as possible.
WiFi in Argentina
For some time, the government has been working to expand the network of free internet all over the country. Despite this, the level of access to this service still varies substantially depending on the province that you’re in.
In the case of Buenos Aires, the system is known as BA WiFi and it’s much more developed than in other parts of Argentina. There is currently cost free connection in public buildings (such as hospitals, theatres, museums, etc.), in parks and plazas, as well as in metro (subte) and metrobus stations. Anyone who wants to know more about this service can review the map of connectivity points.
What’s more, the majority of the country’s food establishments and hotels offer free WiFi which you can connect to by simply inputting a password.
Prefixes and Tips for Making Calls from Argentina
How to Make Calls Within Buenos Aires
To make local calls to a fixed telephone, all you have to do is dial the eight numbers without putting in any prefix. If you want to call a cell phone, you’ll need to add on the prefix “15”.
Long Distance Calls
In order to make a phone call from Buenos Aires to another of the country’s provinces, first you need to dial “0” and then put the local code in after. Again, if it’s a cell phone number that you’re calling, you’ll have to put “15” before the local number.
To call abroad, before inputting the country code and telephone number, it’s necessary to dial “00”.
What Are “Locutorios”?
In the busier neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, but also in the interior of the country, there are shops called “locutorios” that haves phones you can use for making calls and, some of them, also have computers with internet connection. The cost of calls in these places is calculated according to the destination and duration of the call; while the internet use is usually charged in periods of 15 minutes.