Mobile in Rio
The city of Rio de Janeiro is set up with cell phone towers and cell phone providers
The city of Rio de Janeiro is set up with cell phone towers and cell phone providers. Calling cards are also very popular in the city. As it can be very expensive to make a phone call directly from the hotel room it is advisable to rent a cell phone, purchase a calling card or use a computer at one of the Internet Cafes.
Using the Phone
Most hotels rooms do have phones. While making international calls can be pricey it is good to know how to use the phones. To make an international call, dial 00 plus a telephone company code that can be 21,31,23,15 (and others) and then the country code followed by the area code and the phone number. While there are pay phones throughout the city they usually only carry calling cards and most of them are out of order.
Calling cards are popular with the local residents as well as visitors. What makes them so popular is the price. They are very affordable. Most cards do not carry any service or connection fees. Calling cards can be purchased just about anywhere including hotels, grocery stores, restaurants and kiosks. The only downside is you have to have a working phone to use the card.
Cell phone coverage in the city is excellent. Check with your Internet provider, as you may be able to use your own phone with the roaming services while in Rio de Janeiro. However, check roaming fees, as they may be very expensive. It might be cheaper to rent a cell phone once you reach Rio. Or, purchase a prepaid SIM card once in the city and put it in your cell phone. To rent a phone look for one of the many telecommunications kiosks throughout the city. There is probably one in your hotel lobby. These prepaid cell phones can be very inexpensive.
Internet services are offered throughout the city. Many Internet cafes and kiosks offer Skype to stay in touch with friends and family back home. Some hotels may offer free Internet access with Wi-Fi computers in the lobbies.
There are numerous mobile services in Rio so there should be no problem staying in touch with family back home. Cell phones, calling cards and Internet access are all available.