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Old 01-10-2016, 12:45   #31
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Re: Verizon Phone Service in the Bahamas?

We are planning a Bahamas trip this winter. Miami to Lupoeron or Ponce, then leave the boat for the summer.

My Wife works on the phone, she talks to clients, about 10 hours per week. Not a high pay gig. This will go on for about a year more then stop. We have been cruising the Canadian maritimes and planning your trip around cell service is a PITA. It's VERY important to her that she doesn't miss these calls and that's our deal so it's important to me also.

I read through this thread. Here is our gear.
She - IPhone 4s
Me - iPhone 6
Works Pro
Cell phone repeater
Iridium with a bunch of minutes
Verizon large Canada/USA/Me I I plan. 1000 minutes 14gig/month

I just went through the Verizon INternational Planner which gave us something like 100 min/ day and 100mb/day for $40/month. Or so it would seem.

After all the discussion here that seems far too good to be true, yet I know that our Canada plan changed dramatically for the better in July.

I'm gonna post this and then recheck the Verizon plan particulars and try to post that.

UPDATE
100 minutes voice
100 sent text messages (incoming free unlimited)
100mb data

$40/month

What am I missing?
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Old 01-10-2016, 13:18   #32
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Re: Verizon Phone Service in the Bahamas?

We have an unlocked GSM Quad band smart phone which cost us $90.
Use BTC simm with prepaid data plan. Use hotspot feature for tablet and laptop. For calls back to NA we use Skype calling at 0.02/min.

T Mobile has ano international plan which has free data roaming in Bahamas. However, some have reported that data speeds are slower than using a BTC simm.
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Old 01-10-2016, 13:22   #33
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Re: Verizon Phone Service in the Bahamas?

I use Verizon in the US, but I replace the SIMM card with a Batelco one. Rates for pre-paid are reasonable and BTC has really improved their service across the Bahamas.
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Old 01-10-2016, 14:38   #34
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Re: Verizon Phone Service in the Bahamas?

First, the internet in the Bahamas is not like in the US. It's much better than it used to be but approach it with reasonable expectations. You will have times with no service.

It is still extremely expensive to use Verizon for data in the Bahamas. The Bahamas is also NOT included in the new Verizon Travelpass program that let's you use your US data for $10/day overseas.

And as already mentioned - wifi sucks.

We have a spare Verizon Iphone 5s. If you don't have an old phone, these are very cheap to buy on ebay. And all Verizon Iphones are unlocked. We want this as a spare if one of the other iphones has a problem or falls in the bottom of the dinghy - just swap in the sim. There's no easy place in the Bahamas to get an Iphone fixed except maybe Nassau.

When we clear customs, we go to the local Batelco store and buy a prepaid Batelco Sim to put in the old 5s for about $10 (warning - most Batelco offices close for lunch). The nice people in the store always cut the sim and install it for me. I then put about $120 of "top up" on the phone. 5GB of data costs about $50 (plus a couple of dollars of tax). So this let's me refill with another 5GB when the first runs out. You do this by sending SMS messages from the phone. You also get a Bahamas phone number which is very handy getting return calls from marinas, taxis and restaurants.

I then leave the old 5S plugged in on the chart table with hotspot turned on. Computers, ipads, and phones all connect to the hotspot and work like home. Speed isn't as good as the states but not bad - I have streamed TV of Red Sox games.

Most islands have a Batelco tower right there so signal strength is good. If not near a tower, I put the 5s into a plastic bag and raise it 10ft up a flag halyard. High enough for better reception but not too high for the hotspot range. I bring it down at bedtime to recharge.

For really tough spots far from a tower, I have a Wilson 4G amplifier that supports four bands including 3G and LTE. It comes with a directional antenna. I haven't bothered to permanently installed it since it's needed rarely. I just plug it in, run the coax out a hatch and hang the antenna on a lifeline pointing towards the cell tower. Obviously this only works at anchor.

Carl
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Old 01-10-2016, 14:45   #35
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Re: Verizon Phone Service in the Bahamas?

Does anyone know if the new US Verizon wifi calling ("VZW wifi") will work if the wifi source is a hotspot from another phone with a Batelco Sim?

If so, this would mean free calls in the Bahamas to and from the US (except for the small cost of the Batelco data).

I sorta doubt this will work but I was in France two weeks ago and it worked on the hotel wifi. I couldn't believe it.
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Old 01-10-2016, 15:05   #36
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Re: Verizon Phone Service in the Bahamas?

We spent two months earlier this year, working down thru Bimini, Berry Islands, and the Exumas. Signed up for Sprint Global Roaming prior to the trip. In addition to our regular US plan costs, we made voice calls for $0.20 per minute, and had free unlimited texting, and free 3G data service. We had good reception everywhere except in the Land and Sea Park - where there are no Batelco towers (so no one else gets reception their either). Regardless of the horror stories people had, we were charged nothing else. We had Sprint unlock our phones prior to departure just in case of problems with the Global Roaming Plan, then we could get the Batelco sim cards. Never bothered with sim cards.

We were shocked at how much connectivity we had, and how cheap. It was most times better reception than I get at my house in Port Aransas. 3G is not fast, and you won't be watching videos with it, but so what. It was free. Texting was as fast as it is in the states, including sending pictures.

I have no ties to Sprint. But was very happy with them on this trip. Why screw with trying to find a Batelco sim card (our friends went that route, and had to do some shopping around to find who had in stock), and paying $0.99 per minute for Batelco. OTOH, if for some reason you need 4G service, not sure if Sprint could deliver that. But who goes to Bahamas to play on the internet!
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Old 01-10-2016, 17:05   #37
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Re: Verizon Phone Service in the Bahamas?

That Sprint story,nalong with the Verizion quote I got, makes me wonder if this is not a dynamic situation. I believe and trust all the past posts. Just wondering if the times they are a changing?

For example with Verizon we went from 4 gig in the US only to 14gig in US/Canada/Mexico in one day when they announced a new plan.
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:05   #38
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Re: Verizon Phone Service in the Bahamas?

Dynamic situation indeed. After this week much may change for a while.
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:55   #39
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Re: Verizon Phone Service in the Bahamas?

Answering my own question here....

The way we read the Verizon quote was that the usage was per DAY. ITS NOT, it's per MONTH.

Obviously a big difference. They did make a important change for Canada and Me Ivo users in early July. Not helpful here.

Clarifying link.
https://www.verizonwireless.com/solu...tional-travel/
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Old 02-10-2016, 16:04   #40
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Re: Verizon Phone Service in the Bahamas?

I think Global Roaming with Sprint is a relatively new plan. We used from April 1 thru end of June, all in Bahamas. Very happy with it.
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:38   #41
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Re: Verizon Phone Service in the Bahamas?

We have Verizion for our 2 phones. Our plan gives us the USA/Mexico/Canada same as home. We spend a lot of time in Canada. They just started that plan in July and it is a HUGE cost saving over previous plans.

So I just went to Verizion for our Bahamas trip as we will need about 30 hours of sporadic work voice calls to the USA/month for 4 months. They have a trip planner function which directed us to their Travel Pass feature. For $10/day, ONLY ON THE DAYS YOU USE IT, you keep your base USA plan and rates. For us that's 24gigs/month plus I I don't know how much voice, unlimited? Lots anyway.

They also have a coverage map that seems to match the BTC map. So I'm guessing they have struck some deal with BTC to use their sites?

I called a service rep and she confirmed all the above.

It remains to be tested and verified but if true it's a boon for Verizon folks who need a lot of service.

If it's not true we may be back in the USA pretty quick.
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:07   #42
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Re: Verizon Phone Service in the Bahamas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
We have Verizion for our 2 phones. Our plan gives us the USA/Mexico/Canada same as home. We spend a lot of time in Canada. They just started that plan in July and it is a HUGE cost saving over previous plans.

So I just went to Verizion for our Bahamas trip as we will need about 30 hours of sporadic work voice calls to the USA/month for 4 months. They have a trip planner function which directed us to their Travel Pass feature. For $10/day, ONLY ON THE DAYS YOU USE IT, you keep your base USA plan and rates. For us that's 24gigs/month plus I I don't know how much voice, unlimited? Lots anyway.

They also have a coverage map that seems to match the BTC map. So I'm guessing they have struck some deal with BTC to use their sites?

I called a service rep and she confirmed all the above.
It remains to be tested and verified but if true it's a boon for Verizon folks who need a lot of service.

If it's not true we may be back in the USA pretty quick.
How will you access data: phone as hotspot or Verizon jetpack hotspot? We have a Wiriepro that accepts gsm sim cards, but not cdma cards. We're Verizon customers, but still trying to figure out which works best for the Bahamas; verizon or btc primarily for data, not much voice.
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:51   #43
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Re: Verizon Phone Service in the Bahamas?

Rob,
Not sure. Needing as much voice as we do is our driver. We have never been to the Bahamas before and are just feeling our way through the process. I may have better info in a month or two. Stuck in Lake Worth waiting for a weather window, straight Easterlys predicted for at least a week!

We too have a Wirie Pro but I don't know if we can skype via a BTC connection. I tried talking to BTC Customer support. They have a Talk It Up plan that seems to do international voice at some reduced rate. The Customer Service Rep didn't know any details and was to call me back. Tick-tock-tick.
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Old 09-01-2017, 10:03   #44
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Re: Verizon Phone Service in the Bahamas?

I have T-Mobil, GSM android, Skype works like a champ, I call London at least once or twice a week...

I think the whole Caribbean is GSM, while verizon is CDMA.



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Old 09-01-2017, 11:08   #45
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Re: Verizon Phone Service in the Bahamas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by meatservo View Post
I have T-Mobil, GSM android, Skype works like a champ, I call London at least once or twice a week...

I think the whole Caribbean is GSM, while verizon is CDMA.



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Depends upon the phone you have we have a 5s and a 6 plus iPhones. They are GSM capable. So we can tie to BTC towers. From there it's a matter of business agreements between. TC and Verizon.
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