Cell phones in Ecuador work just like they do in other countries. However, while cell phone service plans are very affordable in Ecuador, the mobile phones themselves tend to be very expensive.
The most popular cell phone service providers in Ecuador are Claro, Movistar and Tuenti. Both Claro and Movistar offer plans starting around $20 per month, which includes voice, data, text messages and unlimited use of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Since most people in Ecuador use WhatsApp, you’ll rarely use voice or text messages. Tuenti only offers prepaid plans.
As of July 2021, only 4G is available in Ecuador. 5G is not available and we haven’t heard any plans to release it here.
You’ll find that the selection of mobile phones is lower and the cost is substantially higher in Ecuador. You can expect to pay an additional 50% or more compared to the U.S. for the same devices.
Therefore, it may be much cheaper to bring your phone with you and swap out the sim card with your Ecuadorian service provider. Just make sure you buy a phone that’s unlocked so it will work with any carrier.
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