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Nicaragua

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Basics Edit

Nicaragua has now three network operators:

  • Claro (formerly Enitel)
  • Movistar
  • CooTel

2G/GSM and 3G/HSPA+ is on 850 and 1900 MHz (except for CooTel see below), 4G/LTE has started on 1700 MHz with Claro and 1900 MHz with Movistar.

Network coverage and 2G/3G availability can vary according to region. Claro and Movistar each have about 50% market share. Both companies have started 4G/LTE in 2015 in Managua and a few other places on own frequencies. In 2016 CooTel started with 3G on the AWS (1700/2100 MHz) frequency only, but uses an own technology, for which you need a new device to use.

SIM cards are sold in many shops without showing your ID or any kind of registration so far. As of January 2017, SIM cards are available on both Little Corn Island and Big Corn Island. Claro seems to be best on Little Corn.

While Claro gives prices in C$ (Nicaraguan Cordoba), Movistar and CooTel give it in US$.

Claro Edit

Claro

Claro by América Móvil, formerly called Enitel, has a good coverage and speed in Nicaragua. 2G/GSM is on 1900 MHz, 3G up to HSPA+ on 850 MHz. Claro 2G/3G coverage list Claro 3G coverage list. 4G/LTE has been started in 2015 on the 1700 MHz (AWS) frequency in Managua, Esteli, Leon and Matagalpa: Claro 4G coverage map. To all prices add 15% sales tax.

Availability Edit

Prepaid SIM cards are sold for C$ 12 all over the country and in their shops (list of shops).

For top-ups look for the Claro logo. Shops sell recharge cards in C$ 10-300 and US$ 1-20 giving 4-45 days of validity. To check balance, type *812.

Data feature packages Edit

For data you have to add a package. These packages are offered:

Validity Data Price Activation
1 day 50 MB C$ 10 50
100 MB C$ 20 100
3 days 300 MB C$ 50 300
5 days 300 MB C$ 70 3005
7 days 500 MB C$ 100 500
1 GB C$ 130 1G7
15 days 1 GB C$ 200 1GB
30 days 3 GB C$ 600 online

For activation text code to 8833 or type *555# and choose option 1. All packages include Facebook and WhatsApp not debited from your data allowance.

For modems, routers and tablets they have special packages available:

Claro Nicaragua

Activation by texting code to 8833.

Roaming packages Edit

For roaming in the Claro networks of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama, these packages are offered:

  • 150 MB for 7 days : US$ 12
  • 300 MB for 15 days: US$ 20
  • 500 MB for 31 days: US$ 30

You need to activate these roaming packages online on your account. For Centralamerican roaming Movistar is the cheaper choice.

More info Edit

  • APN (for modems): internet.ideasclaro.ni - username and password: internet
  • APN (for smartphones): web.emovil - username and password: web.emovil
  • Website in Spanish: http://www.claro.com.ni

Movistar Edit

Movistar-0

Movistar is the 2nd operator in the country. It operates a hybrid non-GSM compatible CDMA network and 2G/GSM and 3G up to HSDPA on 850 and 1900 MHz. The coverage is a bit worse than Claro in rural areas, but rates for data are better and have taxes included.

4G/LTE has been started on 1900 MHz in Managua only in 2015 and has been extended to San Juan del Sur, Leon, Chinandega, Masaya and Granada in 2016.

Availability Edit

Their prepaid SIM card called prepago Ful or Libre can be bought in their stores (locator).

Top-ups of C$29, 49, 99, 149 or 199 are sold all over the country. To check saldo, dial *611 and options 2-1-2.

Data feature packages Edit

For data, you need to add one of their Smartpacks that include 4G/LTE::

Validity Data Price Extras Activation
1 day 50 MB C$ 10 WA NAV50
75 MB C$ 15 WA NAV75
100 MB C$ 20 WA NAV100
2 days 150 MB C$ 30 WA NAV150
4 days 300 MB C$ 50 WB, FB, SC NAV300
7 days 700 MB C$ 110 WB, FB, SC NAV700
15 days 1.5 GB C$ 250 WB, FB, SC GB
30 days 2.5 GB C$ 500 WB, FB, SC GB2

For activation text code to 7000. Extras include WhatsApp, Facebook and Snapchat. Taxes are included.

American roaming option Edit

In 2015 Movistar started its sin fronteras (without borders) option for regional roaming in Central America. You can roam on the Movistar networks in Venezuela, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama with these roaming packages:

  • 100 MB for 1 day: US$ 5
  • 300 MB for 3 days: US$ 10
  • 500 MB for 7 days: US$ 15

Activation is by code #163#

Data-only plan Edit

For modems and tablets they sell data-only SIMs called Internet Móvil that are time-based:

  • 100 MB for 30 mins: US$ 0.50
  • 200 MB for 2 hours: US$ 0.70
  • 500 MB for 12 hours: US$ 2
  • 1 GB for 24 hours: US$ 4
  • 3 GB for 72 hours: US$ 7

To activate, you need to text ACTIVAME to 2266. You can top-up these SIMs like usual prepaid card. To check your number, text ?NUM? to 2266. To these prices add 15% taxes.

More info Edit

CooTel Edit

CooTel

In 2016 CooTel started on the 3G frequency of 1700 MHz (AWS) only. There is no fall-back to 2G/GSM. It's backed by Chinese Xinwei that invested 200 million dollars in the country. It's on 3G in a limited area so far. Its coverage comprises Managua, Ciudad Sandino, Tipitapa and Masaya, later in León, Granada, Carazo y Rivas too. For 2017 more areas are projected: Coverage map.

Availability Edit

CooTel's devices don't use SIM cards. They need to be activated on their network. Phones ranging starting from US$ 10 to a MiFi for US$ 50 are offered. You can't bring your own device. You have to buy a new one at their stores (stores list).

Top-ups can be made there or in many other stores like Super Express or am:pm.

Data feature packages Edit

For data, they offer these packages at very low prices (taxes are included):

  • 512 MB for 7 days: US$ 1
  • 1 GB for 30 days: US$ 4
  • 2 GB for 30 days: US$ 6
  • 5 GB for 30 days: US$ 12
  • 8 GB for 30 days: US$ 15
  • 10 GB for 30 days: US$ 18
  • 15 GB for 30 days: US$ 21
  • unlimited for 30 days: US$ 23

More info Edit

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