Telephone and internet

Phone calls

Local calls: Cost about 30 pesos per minute from a fixed line, with significant savings at night or on weekends. Public telephones cost around 100 pesos per minute.

Long-distance calls: Prices have been falling for a long time, and are now almost as cheap as a local call. When calling from a home or office, you will need to dial a carrier number first, so ask the owner which one they are using. The area codes in Chile are:

Antofagasta     55 Curicó              75 Penco                41 San Bernardo    2
Arica                58 Iquique              5 Puerto Montt     65 Santiago            2
Calama            56 La Serena       51 Punta Arenas    61 Talca                71
Chiguayante    41 Linares            73 Puyuhuapi        68 Talcahuano      41
Chillán             42 Los Andes      34 Quillota             33 Temuco           45
Concepcion     41 Los Angeles   43 Rancagua         72 Valdivia           63
Copiapó          52 Osorno           64 Recreo             32 Valparaiso       32
Coyhaique       67 Ovalle             53 San Antonio     35 Viña Del Mar   32

International calls: Once again, if you are calling from a fixed line, you must first dial a carrier number. The sequence is carrier number + 0 + country code + area code + telephone number. For calls to Chile, the country code is +56.

Call centres: No, we are not talking about the place you ring up to make a complaint! In all cities in Chile you will find shops with a number of private telephone booths, called 'Centros de llamados'. You can also send and receive faxes!

Mobile phones: Like most countries, competition in the mobile phone market is cut-throat and call plans are constantly changing and often hard to understand. If you are a foreigner you can buy pre-paid telephones, although the rates are not as good as with a plan. For the pre-paid versions there are no major differences between the Movistar, Entel and Claro, although be on the lookout for offers with free minutes. If you are bringing your phone to Chile, check roaming rates and availability with your home company before travelling.

Internet

Free wi-fi: You can find free wi-fi at the following places (please let us know if you know of other places):

City Place
All Starbucks, McDonald's, Pronto restaurants at Copec service stations
Arica Universidad de Tarapaca, 18 de Septiembre street corner Edmundo Flores
Arica Cafe del Mar, Cafe Tortas y Tartas, Cafe Di Mango, all located in 21 de Mayo street corner Colon (with purchase)
La Serena Plaza de Armas
Viña del Mar Mall Marina Arauco, Libertad street with 14 Norte, in the food court
Valparaiso Historic centre
Valparaiso Port, near the Muelle Baron
Santiago Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda. Basement level 1, Art gallery, beneath Plaza de la Ciudadanía.
Santiago Metro stations: Baquedano, Universidad de Chile, Tobablaba
Concepción Plaza de Armas
Concepción Municipal library

Broadband: Chile has one of the best broadband ('banda ancha' in Spanish) services in South America, although it is somewhat more expensive and slower than parts of Europe or the USA. Mobile broadband services are variable, and no good for more demanding applications such as Skype.