Tag Archives | movistar

Free Tickets to See Interpol in Buenos Aires

Interpol is playing a free show at the Anfiteatro Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires. The concert is part of the Movistar Free Music series and over the coming weeks, Movistar will be running several ticket giveaways.

However, a limited number of tickets will be given away tomorrow, September 30, 2011 at the following locations:

  • La Trastienda: Balcarce 460, San Telmo – Starting at 11AM
  • Rock & Pop 95.9 fm radio: Freyre 932, Colegiales – Starting at 12PM
You must quote the password “LIGHTS” when picking up the tickets.
Unfortuately, I’m not back in town yet, so I’ll have to try and get tickets from Movistar.

iPhone 4 Released in Argentina

The iPhone 4 on Movistar was just released in Buenos Aires today!

Currently, it is only available from certain Carrefour locations and Falabella at Unicenter. In fact, both stores took out full page ads in today’s paper to publicize it’s release. It’s so new, even Movistar’s web site does not yet make any mention of its availability.

The cost at both stores is AR $2399 for the 16GB version and AR $3299 for the 32GB version, which also requires a new 12 month Movistar contract. The lowest iPhone plan from Movistar is AR $189 per month and includes 300 free minutes to Movistar and fixed lines, 300 minutes to other mobile numbers, 4 free Movistar numbers with up to 3000 minutes of calling, 200 SMS and unlimited Internet.

The Carrefour ad listed that they only had ten units total, while the Falabella ad listed that they had twenty 32GB iPhone 4s and seventy 16GB iPhone 4s.  Fearing I would already be too late to get one, we rushed over to the Carrefour on Libertador and General Paz around 2pm and were, surprisingly, the first people to buy one (this location had two 16GB and one 32GB model in stock). Laura thought I was a bit crazy and reminded me that this was not New York, but still I had expected some lines. (The release of the iPad in Argentina a couple of weeks ago generated a lot of attention and lines.)

Unfortunately, the iPhone 4 is only sold with a 12 month contract, so getting one is out for most expats as a DNI and permanent residency are required for these contracts.  As I only have temporary residency, I had to have Laura sign up for a plan in her name. It’s nice to finally be done with the costly pre-pago Movistar service and be on a regular monthly plan.

The other good news is that since older electronics tend to hold their value well here, we can now sell our jailbroken and unlocked iPhone 3GS. We should be able to get almost the same price as we paid for the new iPhone 4.

UPDATE (26.9.10) – It appears that Claro and Personal also have the iPhone 4 now and are advertising it on the home page of their web sites. Movistar has this page for the iPhone 4 which is not linked from their site yet.

UPDATE (27.9.10) FaceTime is not currently working with Movistar in Argentina either. This is really disappointing as this was one of the main reasons for getting the iPhone 4. If you go to Settings -> Phone and turn FaceTime on, you’ll get the message “Waiting for activation…”  This appears to be a problem with Movistar needing to issue a carrier update which apparently has not been done yet.

I sent a tweet to @movistararg and am waiting for a response. Send one too if you have this problem.


Saving Money With Movistar Prepago

I had previously posted instructions about how to add credit to your Movistar pre-paid mobile phone via credit card, but I thought now would be a good time to talk about how to save some money on using your pre-paid cell phone plan.  While I am covering Movistar in particular, these tips also apply to the other carriers here as well (Claro, Personal, etc.) albeit with slightly different instructions.

First, let me give you some background… Pre-paid (“prepago”) cell phone service is pretty much the only option for foreigners in Argentina. To get a regular monthly mobile plan, one needs to have a DNI and residency which most expats do not.  I have been told that the residency also needs to be permanent and not temporary, which further complicates things.

The problem with pre-paid service is that it is relatively expensive. With Movistar pre-paid, calls to Movistar numbers are $0,99 (US $0.25) per minute, calls to non-Movistar numbers are $1,98 (US $0.51) per minute and SMS messages are $0,43 (US $0.11) each. These charges add up quickly, but luckily there are some options to help you save some money.

The best option for saving some money are the weekly promotions from Movistar. These promotions are sent via text message to your cell phone and usually offer to double (and sometimes triple) any credit that you add to your phone that day only. While I initially thought these promotional texts were annoying (mostly because they are in Spanish and I could not understand them), I now add credit every time they come.  When there is a triple credit day, I always add the maximum credit that is allowed because the promotion is so good.

The next way to save some money is to know about the “crédito de regalo” (gift credit) that Movistar gives you for adding certain amounts.  These gift credits currently are $15 if you charge $30, $20 if you charge $40, $25 if you charge $50 and $50 if you charge $100 or more. Also, if you charge $30 or more, you get a 50% discount off the price of calling other Movistar numbers, bringing it to $0,50 (US $0.13) per minute.

Another way to save money is to look at the services you use and to pre-buy packages for those services.  To do this, you send a text message to a particular number.  The current packages are:

  • Send “SMS” to 2345 to receive 3000 text messages to use over 3 days – $10
  • Send “Minutos” to 2345 to receive 40 minutes of calling to other Movistar numbers for 3 days – $10
  • Send “Free” to 2345 to place calls for free to one other Movistar number to use over 5 days – $10
    (you must register the number after you buy this by sending a text to 5000 with “ALTA ##########” where the #’s are the number you want to call)
  • Send “Fijos” to 6789 to receive 40 minutes of calling to “land line” phones in the same long distance code as your mobile to use over 3 days – $10
  • Send “MMS” to 2345 to receive 20 MMS messages to use over 7 days – $9
  • Send “LDI” to 6789 to receive 10 minutes of international calling plus 10 international texts (Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Peru only) to use over 3 days – $10
  • Send “Datos” to 2345 to receive 1 GB of data to use over 2 days – $10

You can buy as many packages as you want and use them in combination. You can also buy the same package and they will extend automatically.  You can get more information on these packages by going to the Movistar web site, selecting: Planes -> Movistar Prepago -> Paquetes.

Hopefully these tips help you save some money.  Let me know if you have any other tips or tricks.

UPDATE (2/16/11): Movistar has increased some prices and reduced the number of minutes, which I updated below.


Buenos Aires Tips: How To Add Credit To Your Movistar Phone

Movistar Instructions in EnglishAfter being here a year, things become a lot easier (trust me), but I remember how difficult it was to figure out how to do so many simple things when I first got here.  One of those things was adding credit to my pre-paid Movistar phone. (As a foreigner, you cannot get a cell phone plan here, so you must use the “pre-pago” service.)  A big problem, of course, was my lack of being able to speak or understand Spanish.  So, hopefully this English guide to adding credit to your Movistar phone will help some of you out.

Let me start by saying, the easiest way for me personally to add credit has just been to charge it to my US credit card.  I know that it is possible to buy Movistar credits at the kioscos and charge it that way, but I like the convenience of being able to do it from wherever I am.  Hopefully we can get some people to comment on what works for them or how they do it with other mobile services.

Ok, so on to Movistar.  Here’s the steps:

  1. Dial *444 from your mobile phone. You will hear an automated voice announcing some promotions and then asking for input.
  2. Press 2 to begin the recharge process. (Press 1 to hear your current available credit.)
  3. Press 2 to charge to a credit card. (Press 1 to charge to a Movistar card.)
  4. Wait a second for it to connect and you’ll the be prompted to enter your credit card number followed by the # sign. Do that.
  5. They repeat the credit card number back to you.  Press 1 if correct, 2 if incorrect.
  6. You’re next asked for the security code (4 digit for American Express, 3 digit for Visa/MasterCard) followed by the # sign. Enter that.
  7. They repeat the security code back to you.  Press 1 if correct, 2 if incorrect.
  8. You’re then prompted to enter the 2-digit month and the 2-digit year for the credit card expiration. (No # sign at the end this time.) Enter it.
  9. They repeat the expiration date back to you.  Press 1 if correct, 2 if incorrect.
  10. You are now prompted to choose what you want to charge.  Press 2 to specify an amount to charge your credit card.
  11. Enter the amount to charge to your account followed by the number sign.
  12. They now repeat the amount, the credit card and expiration date information back to you.Press 1 if correct, 2 if incorrect.
  13. Wait a few seconds.  They will confirm the charge and disconnect the call. You should get a text message stating your new balance. Please note that this new balance may not include any double-credit promotions.  You may get that as an additional text.
  14. That’s it!  You did it.

Another thing to realize is that Movistar will send a number of promotions throughout the week to your mobile phone.  This is usually the best time to recharge, as they often give double credit when you recharge and occasionally triple credit.  After you recharge, they will send a number of texts with additional promotions too, such as free SMS for a day, free calling to another Movistar number for 7 days, etc.

So, anyone else have any tips or instructions for other carriers?

UPDATE: I’ve added a new post about how to save money using Movistar pre-pago.  You may find that useful as well.