The smallest of the Dominican internet providers Tricom, has concluded a deal with China based Huawei to upgrade their services to the new 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution). LTE is a trademark of ETSI

This announcement follows the announcement on June 6th that Telecom is planning to invest more than $125 million USD in upgrades tho ther fiber optic coverage with about $40 million USD to be invested in the next year. This would move the network up to a bandwith capacity of 1GH (Gigahertz).

So far the major emphisis is in the usual larger markets of the National District, Santo Domingo East and West, San Pedro de Macoris and La Romana. Future services upgrades are planned for Santiago, La Vega, Bonao and the San Francisco area.

The upgrades are part of the new product push called “Internet Max” that takes advantage of internet speed up to 100MB using an infrastructure of hybrid fiber optic network (HFC)

Here is a look at the Current Tricom plans as per (more…)

Wind Telecom is one of the newer providers of telecommunication services in the Dominican Republic. Wind provides some of the fastest high speed internet in the DR at some of the lowest prices. Wind telecom started in Santo Domingo and is at this time limited to only a few of the largest cities, although they are expanding rapidly to cover more area. I have several friends that are fortunate enough to have Wind in their area. Wind provides much faster high speed internet than Claro at a considerably lower price.

Wind 4G coverage is currently available in Santiago, Moca, La Romana, San Cristo, San Francisco de Macoris and in several barrios in Santo Domingo Hato Nuevo, Bayona, Cuidad Agraria, and Los Alcarrizos. Wind is working on moving into La Vega. (more…)

Just an interesting note. Quite often when you make a call to a help desk for your computer or other forms of electronics you are connected with someone who obviously has English as a second, third… language. Many of the larger companies are now off-shoring their customer service. Cheap labor can be found in man of the developing countries including the DR.

I read one report on the subject where it was stated that call center agents make $460-$640 US Dollars per month in Santiago and about $750 per month in Santo Domingo. While this isn’t considered a great wage by US standards compared to the $10 per day most workers in the compos and fields get or about $200 per month textile workers get in the cities, (more…)

Warehouse shopping at its best! If you find yourself missing wandering through the isles checking out bulk items while you are here in the DR, you should be happy to know there is a little taste of warehouse comfort in Santiago, the Dominican version of Costco, PriceSmart.

As you walk in the feeling is almost exactly the same. The food court is near the entrance which offers much of the same food like (more…)

The 2010 national census for the Dominican Republic showed some interesting figures. One thing that probably is no real surprise to anyone who has lived here for a while is the large number of people that are moving to the larger cites like Santo Domingo, and Santiago.

Over the last few years I have seen large numbers of teenagers moving to the tourist areas like Punta Cana, and Puerto Plato in search of work at the resorts. It seems to be the dream of most of the younger ones I meet in the compos (rural and farming areas) to move to the larger cities, quite often due to the need to be able to find ways to support their aging relatives. (more…)

Boxing fans might be interested to know that former heavy weight champ George Foreman is rumored to have plans to be at a scheduled boxing event in Santiago October 19, 2012. Foreman is training his son George Foreman Jr. who will be fighting in the event.

The bout is scheduled to be held at the Gran Arena del Cibao Oscar Gobaira and will include several bouts. The event is also set to be broadcast by ESPN Desportes. (more…)

More flooding and mudslides are expected throughout the Dominican Republic as another storm passes over. Nearly all regions of the DR are expected to be affected by the storm that will be hitting the island later this afternoon. It is expected that the storm will hit harder in the Northwest, North and Northeast mountains.

April 25 Warnings

A Flash Flood warning was issued yesterday for Puerto Plata, Santiago, and Maria Tinidad Sanchez and alerts were issued for areas near Samana. (more…)

Seems that people moving to the DR like to take their favorite comfort foods and favorite restaurants with them. Head down the streets of any of the larger cities and you are sure to find McDonald’s, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken and even some of the “Gourmet” Burger joints like TGI Fridays. One of the latest additions is the Krispy Kreme store that was opened in Santo Domingo. One store that you seem to hear a lot of requests for is Starbucks (personally I like Dominican Coffee). If you are looking for more restaurants in Santo Domingo check our Santo Domingo Restaurants page.

A year or so back it appeared that Starbucks might be opening a store in the new Agora Mall in Santo Domingo. Unfortunately from the latest bulletin from Agora Mall (Dec 2011), it looks like they are still far from completion and no word of this can be found on Starbucks website.

So what do you think? Are you going to be one of the first sipping on a Caramel Macchiato or Strawberry Smoothie if they do open a store in the Agora Mall?

On another interesting note about Starbucks, apparently in the past they have been using a red die that is made from crushed insects (cochineal). This buggy food coloring gave those lovely strawberry drinks (and other food items) that inciting color. Over the last few days it has been released that they will be phasing out this particular food coloring to be replaced by a more “vegan” friendly food coloring. So I suppose one advantage of the delay from Starbucks reaching the DR is we missed the great bug scandal.

Guess while we’re waiting we have to be satisfied with blending our own coffee and fruit smoothies using the locally grown Cafe Santo Domingo and fresh island fruit instead of Starbucks famous blends

Apple iPhone 4S

Apple iPhone 4S available in the DR

Good and bad news for Dominican Republic iPhone users! The Good News? Apple has announced that it will be making the new iPhone 4S available in the Dominican Republic as an “unlocked” version. Bad News? As expected not all features will be available in the DR. While both Orange and Claro will have the unlocked version available to their customers they will both have different features available.

According to Apple, for Claro the 4S iPhone will be locked to the carrier, have access to MMS and Claro hotspots in the Dominican Republic but will not offer authorized unlocking or visual voicemail. Orange includes the feature of having authorized unlocking but likewise will not offer the “Visual Voicemail” service.

Some of the more interesting features of the new iPhone 4S includes: (more…)

Image complements of AA

One of the major airlines flying into the Dominican Republic announced that it will be filing for bankruptcy.

AMR American Airlines and American Eagle

AMR is the parent company for both American Airlines (AA) and American Eagle so problems affecting one of the airlines will be affecting both. AMR has stated that it has $4.1 Billion dollars in cash to pay to keep services going for the two airlines so at this time it would appear your tickets for American Airlines of American Eagle to and from the Dominican Republic will remain valid. That includes if you have frequent flyer miles under the AAdvantage program of American Airlines and OneWorld Alliance.

In the press release issued by American Airlines today it was stated that they and American Eagle “EXPECT TO CONTINUE” normal services, and flight schedules as well as make reservations, exchanges and offer refunds under its normal rules.

Thomas W. Horton, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of AMR and American Airlines, said, (more…)

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