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Communications

Belize - Communications


The international dialling code for Belize is 501. The country is filled with pay phones but it should be noted that they charge different rates. The blue and yellow pay phones which are located mainly in tourist areas are designed to charge high rates and they can often cost nearly BZ$80 for a long-distance call.

There are roaming agreements with mobile phone companies so many people will be able to use their existing mobile phone in Belize, but for expats who are planning to live in the county long term is makes financial sense to purchase a local mobile phone handset and sim card, as this will work out much cheaper in the long run. Coverage tends to be good in the more populated areas, tourist resorts and along the main routes of the country, though there may be some reception difficulties in more rural areas.

There are several companies that offer internet access, though speeds are relatively slow as the service is fairly basic. The tourist areas and some of the town centres will offer internet cafes which are usually open 7 days a week. Wireless services are available but at the moment are restricted to the larger towns.

Postal deliveries are reasonably good, with air mail to Europe taking just 5 days. The post offices are open Monday to Friday from around 8 am to 4.30 pm with an hour closing at lunchtimes. Offices in larger urban areas are occasionally open on a Saturday, though most do not. If you live in a rural area it is wise to get a post office box as deliveries can be sporadic.

Belize is unusual in that it does not have a daily newspaper. Newspapers are produced weekly and most have been financially supported by one or other of the political parties, so expect a biased view when you read them. Radio and TV stations are privately owned. There are several television channels available which broadcast a wide range of programmes. There are some made in Belize and some from neighbouring countries such as Mexico, although there is a great deal of programming brought in from the United States and the UK.

There are several commercial radio stations which play popular music and there is a privately run station which broadcasts solely in Spanish, which is very useful for those who are learning the language. There are also several stations which are affiliated to one or other of the political parties, so again listeners should expect a biased view.


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