Pre-paid Mobile SIM Card for Brazil

7 Mins read

When you reach Rio de Janeiro, you will find yourself in one of the most beautiful and spectacular cities. Do Some Work that you have ever been to, and appreciate what the city has to offer. As you go up the Sugar Loaf Mountain, you will hold your breath, looking at the 360-degree view of the Rio and Guanabara Bay, where the 8.7 miles long Rio-Niteroi bridge comes into view. You will fail to decide which one gives you the best idea when you visit Cristo Redentor. You will see the natural harbor, surrounded by lush high mountains that flow into the sea when you visit the world’s famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. The joy of Brazil reflects on to that sapphire of the sky, contrasting with the white sands of Copacabana beach, with people dancing to samba, and the Sugarloaf overlooks it all.

prepaid sim

As you stroll down the beach, you will find little shacks lined up along the coast, offering beer and coconuts and selling very cheap food. You may like to stop at one of those shacks, have some snacks and enjoy the view of the beach. If you want to eat in a restaurant, you will find bars and restaurants all over Rio. The food served at Rosa do Adro on Real Grandeza in Botafogo is deliciously piping hot and ample. A bit of pepper sauce dribbled on top would give you the taste of the true Brazillian food. But it would help if you were careful, too much of it may not suit you.

When you visit the State of Abrolhos, which lies 45 miles off the mid-eastern coast of Brazil, you will go to the Abrolhos Archipelago, a Marine National Park, where you can find the most significant chains of coral reefs in the South Atlantic, spreading across 9 million square yards. There is no other place in this world where you can see the spectacular type of coral reef pinnacle as in Abrolhos waters.


Before you visit Salvador, you would perhaps like to know about the city’s background. Salvador, the State of Bahia’s capital and for two long centuries, has been the major port and the capital of colonial Brazil. The city lies in the picturesque setting between the green tropical hills and broad beaches along the bay of Todos os Santos. If you have a historical interest, Salvador has centuries-old buildings, churches, and museums where you can visit. There is history all around which has not yet receded into the past and reaches out to touch you when you see them. If you are in a mood to relax, the beach is not far away than a few minutes walk. However, you can like to venture into the Baia de Todos os Santos the Bay of All Saints, taking a car ferry, and exploring the sandy beaches on Itaparica Island.

brazil map

You will need to communicate wherever you are, and you would like others to get in touch with you while you are on your visit to Brazil. You need to be available to your business associates, your friends, and important to your family back home. Therefore a mobile phone becomes a necessity. It isn’t easy to imagine being without a mobile phone in the present day and age. When the technology was not available, your only means of getting in touch with the outside world was the telephone in your hotel room. You had to use it because you wanted to get in touch with your associates, friends, locally and abroad, and talk to your family back home.

It proved to be expensive. With the advent of mobile telephony, you had taken your phone along with you on such visits abroad, availing of the roaming facility provided by your service provider. The bill that you received at the end of the month was way out of your budget. You had been paying a roaming charge fee while you were all the time visiting abroad, and all your calls were levied with an extra charge, and even you paid that charge for your incoming calls. The bill looks more expensive than the costs that you had paid when calling from your hotel room. This time, when you are visiting Brazil, you are wondering if there could be a cheaper solution. Yes, there is, and surprisingly, it is a much cheaper solution. Buying a pre-paid SIM card for Brazil saves you 80% of your communication expenses. Yes, it is unbelievable, but it is true. Here is how.

The pre-paid SIM card for Brazil gives you a local number, and you pay for calls as the locals do. All your incoming calls are free, and you do not pay any of those roaming charges. You do not have to sign any contracts, and you do not get a bill at the end of the month. Moreover, since your pre-paid SIM card for Brazil is pre-paid, you pay for your talk time credits in advance, knowing exactly how much you are spending for how much of talk time. This lets you budget your mobile airtime usage. When you buy the pre-paid SIM card for Brazil, you get a certain amount of talk time credit along with your SIM card, and when-ever you wish to top up your credit, you can buy recharge coupons or vouchers from practically any shop in the Brazilian cities. These recharge coupons or vouchers come in different denominations, bearing proportional credits concerning its value. You have the option to buy the denomination that you want, there-by keeping a tab on your call expenses. You know exactly how much you are spending.

SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module, which forms the brain behind making your mobile handset intelligent. It is of the size a little smaller than a postage stamp. It is a printed circuit board smart card, which has a microprocessor and memory. It goes into a slot at the back of your mobile handset, which is right under the back cover of your phone. This smart card holds all your unique information, such as the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI), your mobile SIM card identification, your calling plan, etc… As you switch on your handset, the information is transmitted to the network, which checks for security and its validity before logging in to the network.

Now you are ready to make your first call and activate the pre-paid SIM card for Brazil. The SIM card also holds your address book, which records the phone numbers and addresses of the persons you call frequently. The SIM also logs your outgoing and incoming call phone numbers, along with their date and time of the call. It also provides the feature to lock your mobile phone as a prevention against misuse. You can punch in your Personal Identification Number (PIN) on the handset keyboard for the SIM to register your password. You would be required to use this password to open your mobile phone for calling someone.

You will need a GSM phone to operate in Brazil. If you own a GSM phone, it is unlikely that it would work in Brazil. North America, Canada, and a few other countries in the Americas use a different set of GSM frequency bands than the rest of the world. These are 850MHz and 1900MHz frequency bands, which are mostly incompatible with that of other countries. Brazil mobile networks operate on 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands and are hence incompatible with American mobile handsets. If you are a frequent traveler abroad, you could consider buying an appropriate handset for your visits to other countries. If you are an infrequent traveler, you could rent a GSM mobile phone compatible with the frequency bands used in the country you are visiting.

Mobile phones are available in three categories. The Quad-band phone would comply with all the GSM frequencies used in countries worldwide, while the Tri-band would be compatible with 800MHz, 900MHz, and 1800MHz frequency bands, which work in most of the world. There is the Dual-band, which operates only with 800MHz and 1900 MHz GSM frequency bands. Therefore, the phone you are taking must be compatible with Brazil’s frequency bands.


Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) was first developed in Europe and is the first open architecture digital mobile communication technology, which replaced the old analog first-generation (1G) system. GSM is called the second generation (2G) mobile communication system. The world over, GSM frequency bands are allocated differently, with some of them being used commonly. For example, Networks in Brazil and Belgium operate on the same frequency bands of 900MHz and 1800MHz. The exception is North America and Canada, where the network frequency bands do not match the major part of the world countries, which sets them apart. GSM is used in over 214 countries globally and has 80% subscribers amongst the total mobile users in the world.


The mobile phone that you are taking with you to Brazil needs to be SIM unlocked as otherwise, you shall never be able to use your pre-paid SIM card for Brazil or any other SIM card for that matter. When you sign a contract with a service provider, one of those clauses in that contract might bind you to use the provider’s services for a stipulated period of time, which is usually one year. On signing such a contract, you receive a mobile phone, which is entirely free of cost, and a SIM card. This phone you have received will only work with the SIM card from the service provider and would not work with any other SIM card. This phone is SIM locked. At the end of the contractual period, the service provider helps you unlock the phone, which becomes yours entirely. Therefore, whether you take your phone, rent, or buy one, you need to find out whether the mobile phone is SIM unlocked and if the phone is compatible with Brazil’s frequency bands.

Buying a pre-paid SIM card for Brazil is the best way to save your call expenses, with no roaming charges to pay, paying call charges as the locals do, and all incoming calls being free. You do not need to sign a contract, and you do not receive any bills, what-so-ever, at the end of the month. Since it is pre-paid, you pay for your talk time credits in advance, of which you are aware of the money you are spending on your calls. You have a complete check on your budget for more information on pre-paid SIM card and rented compatibility.

Cell phone use overseas. In 99% of the world, the local cellular service standard is called GSM. We use this in the states as well. When combined with a SIM CARD (which usually goes under the phone battery), the phone can communicate, and the SIM CARD also holds the telephone number and memory for pre-paid credit. Rates can be meager using this system. For example, in 99% of all SIM CARDS, incoming calls are free, and the states’ needs can cost a trifle. From the UK to the USA 7 cents/minute, from Israel 22 cents, from Australia 27 cents. Yes, USA Dollar cents! Today, even prepaid service providers in the USA offer 10 cents per minute to call anywhere in the US to any phone. No contracts, no credit card checks, no bills. Pre-paid always means no minimums, no contracts, no obligations. You only pay for the calls made. You’ll need an unlocked GSM tri-band or quadband UNLOCKED phone.

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