The country of Bolivia has three network providers, no MVNOs yet:
- Entel (state-owned)
- Tigo (by Millicom)
- Viva (by Nuevatel)
2G and 3G is on 850 and 1900 MHz with variable coverage. 4G/LTE started in 2013/4/5 on all three providers: Entel uses 700 MHz (B13), Tigo 700 (B17) and 1700 MHz (AWS, B4) and Viva 1700 (AWS, B4) MHz only. 4G/LTE is now given out by all providers to prepaid customers without surcharges.
Coverage and speeds can be very different according to location. Generally, they are a bit lower than in neighboring countries, but operators invest heavily to catch up.
You are required to register your SIM card in Bolivia. Therefore it's recommended doing the initial purchase and registration of the SIM card in a store of the operator, not forgetting to take along your passport.
Dialing rules Edit
Even Bolivians struggle with their own telephone network and its complicated dialing rules. Here’s a quick kit to get you dialing. Landlines have 7 digits preceded by area codes 2, 3 or 4; mobile numbers have 8 digits beginning with 6 or 7.
Cell to cell calls are simple, just dial the 8 digit number. It won't matter if you're calling to a cellphone from another city.
For mobile to landline calls within the same city, you must dial the single digit area code, and then the 7 digit number.
For cellular to landline calls to another region, you must dial a 0 plus the 2-digit carrier code, followed by the single-digit area code, and then the 7-digit number. For example, if dialing Sucre from La Paz, first dial 0 then 10 (for Entel operator) then 4 (Sucre’s area code) then the 7 digit local landline number.
Entel for Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones S.A. is the state-owned incumbent provider in Bolivia. It's still the market leader with a share of 44% of national customers in 2015. It provides the best coverage even in remote areas. It started with 4G/LTE on 700 MHz (B13) in 2014 in the cities of La Paz, El Alto, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. Their 4G footprint is expanded gradually to other departmental capital cities and larger cities: 4G coverage map
Their prepaid SIM card is available for Bs.10 in their shops called Multicentro Entel or other outlets (list of Multicentros). Purchase in a Multicentro is recommended. At other points you need to call *90 and give your personal data before you can top-up and make other calls.
The price of SIM cards has tripled in 2016 due to a shortage in the market and has risen to Bs. 30. According to dealers, the increase reflects the scarcity and the problem is nationwide.
You can also try to activate the card online by logging in and selecting the last link in the menu called "Registro". For login select "TELÉFONO", use your new SIM card number and PIN. PIN can be obtained by calling *122# and selecting first option.
You can top-up at every Pago Express outlet from Bs.5 or using top-up cards for Bs.10, 20, 30, 50 or 100 by typing *109*<14-digit PIN code>#. To check balance, type *105#.
Data feature packages Edit
Default and overuse rate is Bs. 0.20 per MB. These packages are offered in up to 4G:
|until midnight on the
day of purchase
|60 MB||Bs. 2|
|120 MB||Bs. 4|
|460 MB||Bs. 15|
|30 days||90 MB||Bs. 9|
|250 MB||Bs. 20|
|500 MB||Bs. 40|
|1 GB||Bs. 50|
|3 GB||Bs. 140|
|5 GB||Bs. 198|
|7 GB||Bs. 230|
|10 GB||Bs. 288|
Activation is online through your personal account or by typing *10# <call>.Unused data will roll over to the next month for a max. of 2 months, if you buy the same package again or a more expensive one.
More info Edit
- APN: 4g.entel
- Carrier code: 10
- Website: http://www.entel.bo
Tigo run by internatl. Millicom Group is the 2nd provider in Bolivia with a share of 29%. It was the first to employ 4G/LTE in 2013 which has spread to at least one city covered in each of Bolivia’s eleven departments: list of 3.5G and 4G coverage. 2G and 3G are on 850 MHz. 4G is on bands 4 and 17.
Not having registered your prepaid SIM card in a shop you have to do so within 5 days after activation to avoid suspension. To register, dial *108# and follow instructions in Spanish or go online.
Top-up vouchers are sold almost everywhere at Bs.10, 30, 50 or 100 and have a validity of at least 60 days. Check balance by *123#.
Data feature packages Edit
These bundles are sold for prepaid in up to 4G speed:
|1 hour||520 MB||Bs. 7|
|55 MB||Bs. 2|
|110 MB||Bs. 4|
|220 MB||Bs. 5|
|300 MB||Bs. 7|
|500 MB||Bs. 10|
|24 hours||1050 MB||Bs. 20|
|7 days||5 GB||Bs. 100|
|30 days||75 MB||Bs. 25|
|250 MB||Bs. 50|
|550 MB||Bs. 75|
|1 GB||Bs. 100|
|2 GB||Bs. 150|
|4 GB||Bs. 200|
|6 GB||Bs. 250|
|10 GB||Bs. 300|
|20 GB||Bs. 350|
For activation go online and choose package. If you buy the same bundle again or a more expensive package, unused data will roll over to the next month for a max. of 2 months.
Default rate and overuse rate is charged at Bs. 0.15 per MB. Check data consumption by texting 'SALDO' to 174.
More info Edit
- APN: internet.tigo.bo
- Carrier code: 17
- Website in Spanish: http://www.tigo.com.bo/
Viva run by Nuevatel PCS is the smallest of the three providers with a 27% share, but the only one who gained customers by its very low rates. Where it has coverage, it sells data at the lowest prices. It was the last to start 4G/LTE in summer 2015 in the La Paz area: 4G coverage area. 2G is on 1900, 3G is on 850 MHz, 4G is on band 4.
Their prepaid SIM card is sold for Bs. 10-15 with Bs. 10 credit included in their shops and outlets: list of shops list of outlets. It needs to be activated by calling 100. Better let them do it in the shop.
You can top-up with vouchers of Bs. 10, 20, 50 or 80 sold in many shops. To add credit, type *109*<Voucher PIN code>#. Check balance by typing *105#.
Data feature packages Edit
Default rate is Bs. 0.50 per MB. So better buy one of these packages open to 4G/LTE:
|1 hour||450 MB||Bs. 6||HORA 450MBx6Bs|
|11 MB||Bs. 1.5||DIARIA 11MBx1.5Bs|
|55 MB||Bs. 2||DIARIA 55MBx2Bs|
|230 MB||Bs. 5||DIARIA 230MBx5Bs|
|525 MB||Bs. 10||DIARIA 525MBx10Bs|
|1.1 GB||Bs. 20||DIARIA 1100MBx20Bs|
|7 days||300 MB||Bs. 15||SEMANAL 300MBx15Bs|
|1 GB||Bs. 30||SEMANAL 1000MBx30Bs|
|30 days||60 MB||Bs. 9||MENSUAL 60MBx9Bs|
|200 MB||Bs. 25||MENSUAL 200MBx25Bs|
|750 MB||Bs. 50||MENSUAL 750MBx50Bs|
|2.5 GB||Bs. 100||MENSUAL 2500MBx100Bs|
|8.1 GB||Bs. 200||MENSUAL 8100MBx200Bs|
|18 GB||Bs. 300||MENSUAL 18000MBx300Bs|
|Nighttime||600 MB||Bs. 3||NOCTURNA 600MBx3Bs|
To purchase a package, text code to 9101 or type #511. All packages auto-renew, if there is enough credit on your account. To stop auto-renewal text 'SALIR <activation code>' to 511. Unused data rolls over to the next month for a max. of 2 months, if you buy the same bundle again or a more expensive one.
- APN: internet.nuevatel.com
- Carrier code: 14
- Website in Spanish: http://www.viva.com.bo