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Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki

Colombia

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Basics Edit

There are 3 GSM operators in the country:

  • Claro (formely Comcel)
  • Movistar
  • Tigo (merged with UNE)

MVNOs like UFF móvil, Móvil Éxito and Virgin Mobile operating on these networks are giving Colombia the largest virtual operators market in Latin America

Claro is now the market leader with about 1/2 of all customers and the best network, followed by Movistar and Tigo as smallest net. 2G and 3G is on 850 MHz on Claro and Movistar and 1900 MHz on Tigo. 4G/LTE started 2013/4 on 2600 MHz on Claro and Tigo and 1700 MHz (AWS) on Movistar and Tigo and reaches already 50% of population in 2015. It's open for prepaid on all network providers, but not on most MVNOs.

Regulations Edit

There are conflicting reports on the internet, if you need to show your passport and give lots of personal details for purchasing a SIM card. It may depend very much on where you try to buy it: in the shops of the operators or local supermarkets. Some visitors have been rejected because, they couldn't provide a "cedula" (local ID). Normally it should go through though, possibly showing your passport and doing some paperwork. It might be easier to just buy the cards of the MVNOs in supermarkets and do the registration later. To some prices a 16% sales tax must be added.

Colombia's regulator CRC has announced in 2016 that all operators are now required to verify and identify all IMEI phone identity numbers via a central register with a view to blocking mobile phones reported stolen or lost. The new obligation brings to an end the first phase of the initiative, launched in 2015, with some 33 million phones already registered on the database and 4.6 million blocked.

Taxation Edit

Changes in VAT rules in Colombia took effect at the start of 2017 making mobile communications more expensive. In addition to an increase in the general VAT rate from 16% to 19%, the 4% sales tax on voice services will be extended to mobile internet and data services that cost more than COP 44,630 per month.

Claro (formerly Comcel)Edit

Claro-0

In 2013 Claro merged with Comcel, dropping the name Comcel. They are now the market leaders in Colombia. 4G/LTE is available for prepaid in about 200 towns and 28 capitals served by its network: 2G 3G 4G coverage map

Availability Edit

Their SIM card called Prepago fácil can be bought not only in their shops (shop locator), but also at lot of agencies bearing their logo. That's where you can buy top-up vouchers called tajetas amigo too.

A starter pack for BYOP (Bring your own phone) is called Welcome Package (Paquete de bienvenida). It is promoted at 1000 COP (tax incl.) but may vary. It comes with some start-up goodies like 200 MB for 30 days.

To activate you need to place a chargeable call. The free 200 MB will be activated 24 hours later.

Top-ups come with high bonuses. $1000 and $2000 will be awarded 50%, from $5000 your top-up will be doubled. You can check credit with *103#.

Data feature packs Edit

Default rate is 169 COP per MB. These data packages are available:

Validity Volume Price (tax incl.) Activation
1 day 10 MB 990 COP 900
1 day 30 MB 1 900 COP 1WF
7 days 450 MB 13 900 COP 7WF
15 days 1 GB 20 900 COP 15WF
30 days 2 GB 42 900 COP 30WF

You can subscribe to the packages by typing *611# and choose option 3 "paquetes de datos" or by texting the activation code from the table. If you text it to 464 it will be activated once, if you text it to 798, it will auto-renew at the end of the period. To stop it from doing so, text 'SALIR' to 798.

All data outside of packages is charged with 0.39 COP per KB. Packages are also on 4G/LTE, where available and up to 12 Mbps. The same packages can be used in tablets and modems too. Data of Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp are not debited form your allowances.

More info Edit

Movistar Edit

Movistar-0

Telefónica from Spain acquired the former state-owned Colombia Telecomunicaciones in 2006 and sells it under its brand name of Movistar. It is now the 2nd operator in the country giving good coverage and speed. 4G/LTE has started in 5 main cities – Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla and Bucaramanga – and 77 municipalities. 2G 3G 4G coverage map. In 2015 4G/LTE was opened for prepaid.

Availability Edit

The SIM card can be bought in their shops and agencies (locator of sales points). Their standard prepaid plan is called "Plan prepago por segundos" and doesn't have data included.

That's where you can buy their top-up vouchers too. Movistar often runs promotions in which they double or triple the face value of a recharge. This mostly applies to online top-ups on their website by credit card.

The starter pack called chip is sold for around 2000 COP (tax incl.) but can be discounted or awarded with bonuses in promotions. You can check credit with *611#

Data feature packs Edit

If you haven't added a data package, their daily rate will apply: 900 COP for 15 MB until midnight. If you use more data, another 900 COP will be charged. So better add one of these packages:

Validity Data Volume Price (tax incl.)
1 hour 50 MB 900 COP
1 day 200 MB 1 600 COP
2 days 300 MB 3 000 COP
3 days 400 MB 4 500 COP
1 week 800 MB 13 900 COP
1 month 2 GB 39 900 COP
1 month 3 GB 49 900 COP

To activate type *611#, go to option 2 "Internet prepago" and choose a bundle or through your online account. Speed is on 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE.

More info Edit

  • APN: internet.movistar.com.co
  • Username and password: movistar
  • Website: www.movistar.co

Tigo (merged with UNE)Edit

Tigo-0

In 2014 the merger of the two smallest networks in Colombia UNE and Tigo was finalized. The name UNE was dropped and the new joined network ist marketed under the name of Tigo. It is still the smallest network in the country with less coverage, but its 4G/LTE is available for prepaid: 2G 3G 4G coverage list according to municipalities

Availabililty Edit

The SIM card can be bought in their shops (sales points locator) and other agencies. That's where you can buy their top-up vouchers too. They have different prepaid plans, but none of them includes data. So it doesn't matter much for data, which one you buy.

The starter pack called chip is sold for around 15,000 COP (tax incl.) with some credit, but can be discounted in promotions. Their default plan is called 'Plan por Segundos'. They also sell preloaded chips with a precharged credit of 45 000 to 499 000 COP.

Another offer is their SIM card Tigo para navegar in two denominations:

  • 35 000 COP: 2 GB and 50 domestic mins for 30 days
  • 59 900 COP: 4 GB and 100 domestic mins for 60 days

You can check credit with *611# For more data you need to add packages.

Data feature packs Edit

They offer a huge variety of packages available:

Validity Volume Price (tax incl.) Activation Remarks
until

11.59pm

30 MB 1 900 COP 'DIA' to 409 auto-renew,

WA, FB

40 MB 999 COP 'HORA' to 201
200 MB 1 500 COP 'DIA' to 202 auto-renewal,

WA, FB

1 800 COP 'HOY' to 201
unlimited 3 200 COP 'BASICO' to 730
2 days 120 MB 2 500 COP 'DIA' to 204
3 days 200 MB 3 700 COP 'DIA' to 201
100 MB 3 900 COP '3 DIAS' to 409 WA, FB
7 days 450 MB 13 900 COP 'SEMANA' to 409 WA, FB
600 MB 13 000 COP 'SEMANA' to 204
1 GB 19 800 COP 'NAVEGA' to 818 auto-renewal
19 800 COP 'SEMANA' to 201
unlimited 11 000 COP 'BASICO7' to 730
15 days 1 GB 20 900 COP 'STOTAL15' to 409 auto-renewal
1 GB 24 900 COP 'TOTAL15' to 409
30 days 100 MB 15 900 COP through Tigo App WA
1.5 GB 34 900 COP 'MES' to 700
2 GB 45 000 COP 'MES' to 202 auto-renewal
39 000 COP# 'MES' to 204
3 GB 45 000 COP# 'MES' to 201 WA
unlimited 32 900 COP 'BASICO30' to 730

Activation by text to the respective number or by *111#. Only these packages indicated, auto-renew, if not cancelled. All days are counted until midnight. Outside of package use is 12 COP per KB. Packages are on 4G/LTE, where available up to 10 Mbit/s. Some bundles include unlimited Whatsapp (WA) and Facebook (FB) not debited on the data volume. The unlimited packages are throttled in speed.

More info Edit

Virgin Mobile Edit

Virgin mobile

The British Virgin Group started in 2013 as MVNO on the network of Movistar in 2G and 3G, but not 4G/LTE and has become the largest MVNO in the country with more than 2 million users.

Availability Edit

SIM card is available in their agencies: (list at "compra tu SIM"). Reloads at the places on the list called "recarga tu SIM". It is sold for 10,000 COP in all three sizes and has the same credit preloaded. The SIM needs to be activated online.

Data feature packs Edit

The have 7 data packages called "bolsa de datos":

  • 24 hours, 20 MB: 500 COP
  • 24 hours, 50 MB, 1,500 COP
  • 24 hours, 100 MB, 3,000 COP
  • 7 days, 450 MB: 10,000 COP
  • 15 days, 1 GB plus 50 MB Whatsapp: 19,000 COP
  • 30 days, 1.3 GB plus unlimitd. Whatsapp: 29,000 COP
  • 30 days, 2.5 GB plus unlimitd. Whatsapp and 15 domestic mins: 38,000 COP

Packages must be booked online on your customer account. Additionally, they sell bundles for Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram.

More info Edit

UFF Móvil Edit

Uff movil

UFF Móvil is the oldest MVNO in the country. It's on the network of Tigo in 2G, 3G and new on 4G/LTE.

Availablility Edit

The SIM card is available for free in the markets of Jumbo, Acuna, La 14, Èxito, Olimpica, Carulla, Alcosto and more. All you need to do is to make a first top-up here or at other agencies where you can make reloads for 2 000 to 50 000 COP. They give you 10 000 COP on top when you top up for at least 10 000 COP.

The SIM card needs to be activated by *222# or *444 and follow the steps in Spanish.

Data feature packs Edit

  • 24 hours, 150 MB: 2,500 COP
  • 7 days, 500 MB: 10,000 COP
  • 15 days, 1 GB: 18,000 COP
  • 30 days, 1.4 GB: 25,000 COP
  • 30 days, 2.5 GB: 36,000 COP

Packages can be activated by typing *222#

More info Edit

Móvil Éxito Edit

Exito

The retail group Exito started its MVNO in 2013 on the Tigo network in 2G and 3G and new on 4G/LTE.

Availability Edit

SIM card is available in all markets of the biggest retail group called Éxito, Carullo and Surtimax (sales points). It is sold for 5,000 COP and has a credit preloaded worth of 10,000 COP. Registration is made in the stores.

Recharges of 1,000-100,000 COP can be made there and at a lot of more shops too. They are valid for 60 days. Check credit by *3333#.

Data feature packs Edit

These packages are on 4G/LTE too where available:

  • 1 day, 10 MB: 500 COP - only sold in Éxito, Carullo and Surtimax
  • 24 hours, 150 MB: 2,500 COP - only sold in Éxito, Carullo and Surtimax
  • 7 days, 400 MB: 9,900 COP - only sold in Éxito, Carullo and Surtimax
  • 30 days, 1 GB: 19,900 COP
  • 30 days, 2 GB: 24,900 COP
  • 30 days, 3 GB: 37,900 COP

Activate by calling *999.

More info Edit

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