Service in Belize: Belize City and Placencia

petercanam

    Hi--has anyone travelled to Belize recently and used the Stateside International calling or Global feature with TMo?  How is service in: 1) Placencia; 2) Belize City?  What are the common carriers there?  I believe it is 20 cents per minute to make or receive calls.

    Thank you!!  Petercanam

      All replies

      • tmo_ryan

        Re: Service in Belize: Belize City and Placencia

        I haven't been to Belize yet myself but I have friends that have been down there and the service will be 2G types of speeds. If you have T-Mobile One or Simple Choice NA plans data then yep, calls are only 20 cents/minute since it is part of Simple Global.

         

        Looking at the coverage map, both cities appear to be covered and I haven't heard anything from my friends that would lead me to believe otherwise.

         

        Enjoy you trip! I've only ever heard amazing things about Belize!

        • drnewcomb2

          There are two carriers in Belieze. They run 2G, 3G and LTE on US-like frequencies. One of them seems to run LTE on one of the "700 MHz" bands but I'm not sure which band. I'm not sure which of the two T-Mobile roams.

            • petercanam

              Thank you drnewcomb2!  Hope that the areas we visit will be mostly LTE.  We land at Belize City and then travel by bus down to Placencia (it's about a 3-4 hour ride).

              Any additional experiences by others in Belize about coverage and data speeds are appreciated!!  Thank you .

                • drnewcomb2

                  When you enter "Belize" on T-Mobile's international roaming page.  The map shows just 2G. This could be either because the map is out of date or because 2G is the only roaming T-Mobile provides. This appears to be the map for Belize Telemedia (a.k.a. Digicell). The other network is Speednet (a.k.a. SMART) Neither seems to have coverage maps on their websites. T-Mobile may have roaming with one but not the other or might even roam one in some areas and the other in different areas. Essentially, you should get what T-Mobile's map shows. If you get more, you can be pleasantly surprised.

                  • drnewcomb2

                    When I look at the limited data available for Belize on CellMapper.net, it appears that Digicell is primarily 2G/3G with a small amount of LTE in Belize City and Belmopan. Placencia is 2G/3G. I don't see any data for the bus ride down to Placencia. Sensorly also has some data but in the case of Placencia it's 3 years old. If you are taking an Android phone you might want to load and run the CellMapper and/or Sensorly apps.

                     

                    If the place you stay has WiFi, you can use WiF Calling to make free calls to and from the USA.

                      • petercanam

                        Hi Drnewcomb2--this is most helpful, I did not know of CellMapper and Sensorly.

                        It looks like there are 3 towers close to Placencia--am I interpreting correctly that the signal is within the arc mapped out as shown with CellMapper?

                        3G is a huge improvement relative to Edge (2G), so my next question is--does the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge have this 3G-UMTS capability?  Is it part of the GSM system or separate that the Galaxy has the hardware/software to be able to detect? (I hope so!!)

                        As we will be primarily in Placencia for the week, the drive down will be without data it looks like.  Is the CellMapper just used for data, or will there be basic cell phone service on the drive down and back to the airport in Belize City?  Nice that there is at least LTE at the airport!!  Thanks for all your help .

                          • drnewcomb2

                            The thing you need to know about both Sensorly and CellMapper is that they are crowd-sourced. They only have data from places where their users visit and intentionally map by running the apps. It looks to me like the users who visited Placencia might have either flown down there or taken a boat.

                             

                            Your S7 Edge (Mod. G935F) is an excellent phone for international travel having all 4 GSM bands, 5 UMTS bands and 20 LTE bands. Considering that Belize uses the same bands as the USA, I'd say you've got it covered.

                             

                            Keep in mind that T-Mobile normally throttles your free international data to about 128 kbps, which is good enough for many uses (e.g. e-mail, Google Maps, Facebook, etc) but not for video streaming. Even if you buy high-speed data passes, you may not get very fast data. This can be due to limitations on the "data pipe" between the local carrier and T-Mobile. You might want to look up how to manually select an alternate carrier on your phone. This can sometimes help a slow data connection.

                             

                            If high speed data is "mission critical" for you, I'd suggest you get T-Mobile to unlock that S7 and investigate getting a local prepaid SIM. If you can get by with somewhat slower data, you should be able to get a solid 128 kpbs over a 3G connection. If you plan to post a lot of pictures to Facebook, I'd suggest you look into ways to reduce the size of the photos you upload. Most people have no idea just how much larger their photos are than what they need to be. Either that or wait until you get to a WiFi signal.