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Ecuador - Communications

There are many more mobile phones in use than landline telephones. The rising cost of landline communications and the growing market for mobile communications means that having a mobile phone just works out much easier and cheaper than using a main landline. It is also more convenient.

There are several companies which provide fixed telephone lines for domestic properties and these are all owned and run by the state. Only 14 homes out of 100 have a landline phone although there are programmes being developed to encourage more users. However 85 out of 100 people in the country have a mobile phone and there are many companies providing mobile phone services.

There are international roaming agreements in place so it may be that when you arrive in Ecuador you will find that your mobile phone works perfectly well, but this can prove costly as you would pay much more for your calls. It is better to purchase an Ecuadorian mobile phone and sim card as this is a more cost effective alternative.

There are public telephone services in all the towns and cities and call charges are just 25 cents a minute. These are operated by phone cards which are widely available. If you are unable to find a public phone then most restaurants and shops will allow you to use their phone for a small fee.

There are several television channels available and users also have the option of having satellite or cable television installed. If you are in a rented property this would be at your own expense. Most television is in Spanish, although if you have a satellite or cable service you may be able to receive some English language channels, but there are a number of British and American programmes which are broadcast with subtitles so are still watchable.

The use of the internet is increasing year on year, and many homes now have access, either in dial up format or broadband. Most of the major towns and cities also have several internet cafes and there are some Wi-Fi hotspots, though these tend to be limited to places like hotels.

The postal service is fairly reliable in Ecuador, though sending post abroad can take 2-3 weeks, depending upon the destination. There are a number of courier services which provide a quicker service though they are more expensive to use. Those living in more remote areas may find it easier to have post office box, rather than wait for deliveries as these can be delayed if there are adverse weather conditions.

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