At last we have Chilean SIM cards. This took a longer than expected. Here is everything we know about acquiring a Chilean SIM card.
- You can buy, from the moment you get here, prepaid SIM cards without having to have a RUT number (Chilean ID). These SIM’s DO have data, contrary to what many people may tell you. We were told a number of things, such as you needed your genuine RUT, not temporary RUT to get a SIM, that you can get prepaid calls only but no data without a RUT and that you can just walk into any store and pick up a prepaid SIM anytime you want. As far as we can tell, it’s the latter that’s true.
- To get a SIM on contract you need to have a Chilean bank account. This is so that you can pay the monthly fee online. They cannot set up a direct debit. This is apparently unsafe. You have to remember to log in to the website, get your bill and pay it every month.
- Movistar are the only mobile provider that gives short term contract lengths. Ours is for 6 months. They also have ‘special’ packages for Startup Chile members. However Movistar are not always the cheapest or most reliable network so many people have gone for other networks despite the longer contract lengths.
- Once you get your Chilean bank account, and you want to go with Movistar, you have to arrange a time to meet with the Movistar representative. The first name we got given was for a guy who was on holiday, and even when he returned he told us he was the wrong person. We then talked to the right person who gave us incorrect information as to when she would be at CMI to open the contracts. Eventually we coordinated the right person on the right day in the right place, and we got our SIM’s within half an hour. It’s easy when you know how.
- To get your SIM card contract you need the following items, a photocopy of your passport, a photocopy of your Chilean ID, a photocopy of a blank cheque from the chequebook for the account you are paying the subscription from and CLP$3990.00 cash.
- If you have an iPhone, after inserting your new SIM, you must reset all your settings before you can make & receive calls outside of the Movistar network.
- 1 week after receiving our SIM’s Ian still cannot receive texts of phonecalls from outside Chile, although he can make international calls/texts. No resolution in sight at this time.
- For both my mini-SIM and Ian’s SIM, we cannot get more than an edge connection on our Androids. At this time we are not sure why, but we think it has something to do with the frequency of the Movistar mobile signal being incompatible with our UK Android devices, i.e. 850Mhz. Again, no solution in sight at this time, but I shall update this post when/if we have an answer.