Chile has 4 network operators:
- WOM (previously Nextel)
Entel and Movistar are fighting for leadership. Both networks are on par with Claro as 3rd provider. 2G is on 1900, 3G on 850 and 1900 MHz. Though WOM/Nextel has a very limited GSM coverage in 3G only using AWS Band (1700/2100). 4G/LTE started on the big 3 on 2600 MHz (band 3), but is only open on Movistar for prepaid yet. In 2015 WOM started with its 4G/LTE on AWS (1700/2100 MHz, band 4) frequency, available for prepaid. In 2016 spectrum on the 700 MHz (band 28 like in Asia Pacific, not 13-17 like in the US) was added on the three major operators.
Since 2012 MVNOs operate in Chile, but haven't attracted a wide audience so far: Virgin Mobile and VTR Móvil are the biggest so far. Móvil Falabella was closed in 2018.
Easter Island is covered by Entel and Movistar (not every part of the island is covered, consult their maps). As a tourist you can't get a SIM card on the island. You must get it on the mainland of Chile before.
The networks are pretty much on par. According to OpenSignal's country report compiled in 2017, Movistar had the best overall performance and 4G coverage, while Claro had the best 4G speeds.
Since 2014 all stores of mobile providers in Chile deal exclusively with customers on contracts and don't sell prepaid cards anymore. You get their SIM cards in supermarkets, kiosks and other sales points, MVNO cards in their agencies and sales outlets. Top-ups can be made at many locations all over the country.
Prices given in $ here are in Chilean Pesos (CLP), not in US$ and include taxes.
At the stores you might be asked for your RUT number, that's a Chilean tax number. It should be no problem purchasing a SIM without it, if they insist on it (e.g. on an online form) just give 9 times 9 (e.g. 999999999).
IMEI registration Edit
Effective September 2017 Chilean regulator Subtel has ordered that mobile users are required to pre-register their IMEI no. of their devices before they can be activated. They imposed a very bureaucratic system to enlist the IMEI numbers of all phones of visitors wanting to use a local SIM card. This legislation was temporarily suspended in December 2017. Some embassies and foreign offices still mention the old regulation as a warning for travellers not to rely on local SIM cards. Effective December 2017 this warning is outdated.
In July 2018 finally a new regulation was introduced. You are now free to go to use a Chilean SIM card in a device from abroad for 30 days without registration. This applies to most tourists in the country. Only if you stay for longer you will need to enlist your device in an IMEI whitelist to avoid being blocked. This doesn't apply to roaming SIM cards in Chile.
Only mobile users that rely on local SIM cards for more than 30 days now are required to register the IMEI of their devices. Devices that have been sold in Chile get a stamp (sello) and are automatically registered, but all "imported devices" need to be registered, if used for longer. Once registered, the handset will be crosschecked against a blacklist of cloned IMEI numbers from stolen phones. The new regulations are intended to substantially reduce the 400,000 phones stolen every year. This whitelist approach can't be done at the operators, but only at certain approved certifying companies (list). This is free for one device per year and user, but you can change devices and when approved the device works with any local operator. Going to agencies, this registration takes 1 to 24 hours.
Alternatively there are online agencies like https://www.registratuimei.cl/ (can be switched to English) or http://www.telconsur.com/index-7.htm that do the registration online or by email. For the registration you need to enter or send:
- scan of passport or ID document
- indicate producer and model of your device
- a photograph of the 15-digit IMEI number of the device (phones show this number after entering *#06#)
- fill out this form: docx or pdf
This way of registration takes 24-48 hours.
Again, this IMEI registration doesn't apply to roaming SIM cards, WiFi or any use of local SIM cards for less than 30 days.
Entel, short for Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones, is the old state-owned provider for landlines and cellular services which was privatized some years ago. They were the first to bring GSM, UMTS and LTE to the country. Coverage and speed is good throughout the country Entel Coverage Map.
In 2016 4G/LTE was opened to prepaid too. It already covers 90% of population by the end of the year on 700 MHz (band 28) and 2600 MHz (Band 7) which is the widest footprint of any operator in the country. 1900 MHz (Band 2) is available in some places (like Metro).
Entel prepaid SIM cards called Super Chip are available at many supermarkets and sales points. Top- ups can be made in these supermarkets, pharmacies and other locations.
Their prepaid SIM is sold for $ 3,500-4,000 with $ 1,000 credit. In their stores they will activate it for you, otherwise call 301 for activation after having inserted the chip in your phone. They have Tarifas Anita and Carlos. These don't make a difference for data, as there is no data connection unless you buy a data add-on they call "bolsa de navegación".
To check balance dial *103# (free once per day, $100 for each more).
Data feature packages Edit
These bolsas prepago for data are offered:
|100 MB||3 days||$ 500|
|200 MB||7 days||$ 1,000|
|300 MB + 50 mins||3 days||$ 1,000|
|500 MB||15 days||$ 2,500|
|800 MB + 100 mins||7 days||$ 2,000|
|1 GB||30 days||$ 5,000|
|1.5 GB + 150 mins||7 days||$ 3,000|
|2 GB||2 days||$ 2,000|
|3 GB + 200 mins||15 days||$ 5,000|
|4.5 GB + 350 mins||30 days||$ 8,000|
You can subscribe a maximum of 15 packs per month. Activation is online on your Entel account or by typing *119#. Packages don't renew automatically and are valid for the whole country including Easter Island on 4G/LTE too.
For top-ups Entel gives out unlimited social media for a time:
- for $ 1,000 top-up: WhatsApp, Facebook, FB Messenger, Twitter for 3 days
- for $ 2,000 top-up: WhatsApp, Facebook, FB Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, for 7 days
- for $ 3,000 top-up: WhatsApp, Facebook, FB Messenger, Twitter, Instagram for 7 days
- for $ 5,000 top-up: WhatsApp, Facebook, FB Messenger, Twitter, Instagram for 15 days
- for $ 10,000 top-up: WhatsApp, Facebook, FB Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify for 30 days
Data-only SIM: BAM Prepago Edit
Entel has released a data-only SIM card aimed at tablets and routers. They can be recharged by these packages:
|150 MB||1 hour||$ 500|
|500 MB||3 hours||$ 990|
|1 GB||24 hours||$ 2,000|
|2.5 GB||7 days||$ 5,000|
|5 GB||15 days||$ 10,000|
Activation is online through your Mi Entel profile.
More info Edit
- APN: imovil.entelpcs.cl
- Username and Password: entelpcs
- Website in Spanish: http://www.entel.cl
Movistar, formerly CTC (Compañía de Teléfonos de Chile), now owned by Telefónica is on par with Entel. Unlike Entel, its 3G is not only on 1900 but on 850 MHz too. In 2015 Movistar opened as first operator its 4G/LTE for prepaid: 4G coverage map on 700 (Band 28) and 2600 MHz (B7).
The SIM card called chip or kit prepago is sold for $ 2,000 without credit. For 4G, you need a special LTE-enabled chip sold in stores (store list) and supermarkets. Sometimes they insist on a RUT number, so let them direct you to a sales outlet nearby.
Top-ups can be made all over the country. Check balance by *303# for a $70 fee
For activation you just insert the SIM card in your phone and dial 103. Wait for an confirmation by SMS which however can take up to 24 hours.
Data feature packs Edit
There are no data on these SIM cards by default. You have to add packs with data or data and domestic calls. There are two options:
- with auto-renewal (called "PrePlan"):
|1 GB||160 mins||7 days||$ 2,000|
|1.6 GB||200 mins||7 days||$ 3,000|
|3 GB||300 mins||15 days||$ 5,000|
|4 GB||400 mins||30 days||$ 7,000|
|6 GB||600 mins||30 days||$ 10,000|
- Non auto-renewal (called "Bolsas Prepago"):
|100 MB (*)||1 day||$ 500|
|200 MB||20 mins||1 day||$ 500|
|2 GB||60 mins||2 days||$ 2,000|
|100 MB||3 days||$ 1,000|
|200 MB||5 days||$ 2,000|
|300 MB||50 mins||3 days||$ 1,000|
|800 MB||7 days||$ 3,000|
|1.5 GB||180 mins||7 days||$ 3,000|
|1.5 GB||15 days||$ 5,000|
|3 GB||250 mins||15 days||$ 5,000|
|2 GB||30 days||$ 7,000|
|4 GB||350 mins||30 days||$ 7,000|
Packages must be subscribed online on your Movistar account or by typing *303#. Max. speed is 30 Mbps on 4G and 10 Mbps on 3G. All packages include unlimited use of social media/app (no VoIP calls) WhatsApp, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter and Instagram not debited from the data allowance except on the smallest (*) package.
In 2018 they've released three bolsas with real unlimited internet called Bolsas de Internet Ilimitadas as promotion:
- for 1 day (24 hours) : $ 1,000
- for 2 days (48 hours) : $ 2,000
- for 3 days (72 hours): $ 3,000
Activation is by *303#.
More info Edit
- APN: web.tmovil.cl
- Username and password: web
- Website in Spanish: http://www.movistar.cl
Claro, owned by Mexican América Móvil, formerly known as Smartcom and Chilesat PCS is the 3rd operator in Chile with a still good coverage. It was the first to bring LTE to Chile in 2013 that was opened to all prepaid customers in January 2016. Coverage Checker.
The starter pack called chip is sold at $ 1,000-2,500 in their shops and outlets Store Locator. The chip is often discounted or sold with credit in promotions. Top-ups can be found everywhere.
Data feature packs Edit
Data depend on which prepaid plan you get: $ 50 per MB (“Tarifa 50“), and $ 500 per 60 MB (“Multimedia 119+” and “Tarifa Duplica”)
The packages of data (called Bolsas Internet Móvil) are better options. There is an auto-renewal bundle called “Bloque Recurrente 50 MB", that cost $ 250 per 50 MB, valid for 1 day (until midnight). Activated only through your personal profile. When the quota or validity ends, the pack will be renewed automatically.
Other data options are (without auto-renewal):
|100 MB||24 hours||$ 500||IM500|
|200 MB (#)||3 days||$ 1,000||IM1000|
|400 MB (#)||3 days||$ 1,500||IM1500|
|700 MB (#)||7 days||$ 2,000||IM2000|
|1 GB (#)||15 days||$ 3,000||IM3000|
|2 GB (#)||15 days||$ 5,000||IM5000|
|3 GB (#)||30 days||$ 7,500||IM7500|
To activate the packages, send a free SMS with the code to 2020, call 103 or access your personal profile.
More info Edit
- APN: bam.clarochile.cl
- Username and password: clarochile
- Website in Spanish: http://www.clarochile.cl
WOM (previously Nextel) Edit
WOM was called Nextel until 2015 and is the smallest network operator in Chile. It has 3G and 4G AWS (1700 MHz, band 4) MHz for voice and data, but no 2G/GSM, check WOM coverage. It has the lowest prices and a market share of 8% gaining rapidly in 2017.
In 2017 they discontinued domestic roaming on Entel and moved to Claro and Movistar for roaming when you are outside an own WOM coverage area, or if your phone is not compatible with AWS bands. WOM has started 4G/LTE in Santiago and Viña del Mar in 2015 using its own AWS (1700/2100) MHz band (B4).
Voice and data SIM Edit
Their SIM cards are available at their shops WOM store locator and sometimes in markets like Falabella or in kiosks. They have three starter SIM card packages on offer. Their prepaid starter is for $ 2000 including 150 MB and 20 dom. minutes valid for 30 days and $ 2000 credit
Top-ups of any amount can be made in Cruz Verde pharmacies, whereas supermarkets and service stations like Petrobras or Shell often require a minimum charge. They give out heavy bonuses for top-ups:
- top-up $ 1,000-$2,999: you get free WhatsApp for 30 days and 500 MB social media for 5 days.
- top-up $ 3,000-$4,999: free WhatsApp for 30 days and 1 GB data for 10 days.
- top-up $ 5,000-$6,999: free WhatsApp for 30 days and 2 GB data for 15 days.
- top-up more than $ 7,000: free WhatsApp and 4 GB data for 30 days.
Data feature packages Edit
Default data is $ 5 per MB. These bolsas are offered:
|75 MB||1 day||$ 250|
|150 MB||3 days||$ 500|
|300 MB||7 days||$ 1,000|
|1 GB||15 days||$ 2,500|
|2 GB||30 days||$ 5,000|
|3 GB||30 days||$ 7,000|
Activation is through your personal profile or by calling *103#. For unlimited WhatsApp use for 1 year they offer a pack for $ 2,990. VoIP calls are included, but video calls are not.
In 2018 they have released unlimited bolsas for voice and data called Bolsas Ilimitadas:
- for 3 days: $ 2,990
- for 5 days: $ 4,490
- for 10 days: $ 7,990
Activation is by *103#.
Data-only SIM Edit
Futhermore, they offer a data-only SIM for tablets and modems called Internet Móvil Prepago. This SIM is only compatible with WOM's own AWS 1700 MHz (B4) coverage, and no roaming on Claro. It comes with a 4G Huawei E5573 WiFi hotspot for $ 39,990. These packages can be added through: http://portal.wom.cl/:
|250 MB||1 day||$ 500|
|1 GB||3 days||$ 2,000|
|2 GB||7 days||$ 4,000|
|5 GB||15 days||$ 7,000|
|10 GB||30 days||$ 10,000|
|15 GB||30 days||$ 13,000|
More info Edit
- APN: internet
- Website in Spanish: http://www.wom.cl
Virgin Mobile started 2012 as first MVNO in Chile. It uses the network of Movistar in 2G, 3G and 4G since 2015. For coverage see Movistar (or their site). It has very good 4G coverage and probably the best value/quality prepaid company with the biggest MVNO share of 1.5% in 2017.
SIM cards, so-called chips are sold at their sales points locator (or at most metro stations, but you will need some help to activate your SIM card).
Top-ups can be made there, online by credit card on webpay or PayPal or at a lot of stores like Lider, Jumbo or Full Carga. To check your balance, call 103 for free, type *151# for $ 30 or check your account online.
The starter chips are sold in different versions:
- Chip con saldo: basic SIM: for $ 2,000 with the same credit valid for 90 days
- Chip + Antiplan 4 GB for $ 7,000 with 4 GB, 200 min, 100 SMS included valid for 30 days
- Chip + Antiplan 10 GB for $ 10,000 with 7 GB, 300 min, 100 SMS included valid for 30 days
You must register at virginmobile.cl and associate your number with the account. After your registration and activation of the SIM card and have topped up your SIM, you have this choice for data use:
- to stay on the default rate and pay per MB, not recommeded. Default rate is $ 500 per 5 MB.
- to buy a combo package called Antiplan, if you need domestic mins, SMS and data
- to buy a data-only pack called Bolsa de datos, if you only need data
Their Planes sin contrato have to be subscribed online on your account, all with 30 days of validity:
|$ 5,000||2 GB||100 mins||Facebook, WhatsApp|
|$ 7,000||4 GB||200 mins||social networks and music*|
|$ 10,000||10 GB||300 mins||social networks and music*|
|$ 15,000||18 GB||400 mins||social networks and music*|
|$ 20,000||25 GB||unlimited||social networks and music*|
|$ 25,000||30 GB||unlimited||social networks and music*|
(*) = Bonus data for social networks include unlimited Facebook, WhatsApp (without VoIP), Twitter, Instagram (not included in 10 GB plan), Spotify and Apple Music. Unlimited mins are up to 300 different domestic phone numbers.
Data packs Edit
Their packs called Bolsas de datos have to be subscribed online on your account:
|30 MB||1 day||$ 250|
|150 MB||1 day||$ 1,000|
|400 MB||3 days||$ 2,000|
|1 GB||7 days||$ 3,000|
|1.5 GB||15 days||$ 4,000|
Facebook and WhatsApp are unlimited in all data packs.
More info Edit
- APN: virgin
- Website in Spanish: http://www.virginmobile.cl
VTR Móvil Edit
VTR Globalcom S.A. is a Chilean telecommunications company and the largest provider of cable TV and 2nd largest provider of fixed broadband Internet access and fixed telephone service. As a triple player, it has a small mobile fraction and offers services as MVNO on the Movistar network in 4G/LTE too.
Their starter pack for their prepaid SIM is sold in these outlets (list) like supermarkets and service stations. That's where you can top up too. All three sizes are available for $ 5,000 with the same credit on it valid for 60 days.
Data feature packs Edit
Default rate is $ 6.7 per MB on the Tarifa Inicio. These bolsas for data are sold for data:
|75 MB||3 days||$ 500|
|150 MB||7 days||$ 1,000|
|300 MB||30 days||$ 2,000|
|600 MB||30 days||$ 4,000|
To activate, type *103#, choose bolsas option 2 and then type 3.
More info Edit
- APN: movil.vtr.com
- Username and Password: vtrmovil
- Website in Spanish: http://www.vtr.com