Orange Dominican RepublicOne of the key players in the market for Telephone and internet services in the Dominican Republic has reached an agreement to sell it’s interests in the DR. Orange (based in France)made a deal with Altice (based in Luxembourg) for $1.4 billion.

The Dominican Republic is considered a non-core market for the French based company that has been struggling over the last couple years.

How will the Sale of Orange affect Dominican Subscribers

Over the last couple years Orange has continued to improve its cell-phone and internet services. While still being known for its dropped calls and patchy cell network these issue have been improving with new equipment being added in the outlining areas.

Orange Internet services have continued to improve with some areas reaching much higher download speeds than the comparable Claro internet services at a considerably lower price. About 6 months ago I switched from Claro to Orange and was able to double my bandwidth that I was receiving from Claro (10gig to 20gig) at about 2/3 the price I was paying at Claro. With this same move my download speed went from 1.0meg to a max of 2.5meg with the Claro Internet service to 3.0meg to over 5meg with the cheaper Orange service.

Upload speeds have also increased from about .5meg with Claro to about 1.5meg with Orange. This greatly affects internet services like Skype and Magicjack which benefits from the higher upload speed for images and constant voice transfer.

Altice Caribbean

Orange isn’t the only acquisition that Altice Caribbean is making this year. On October 31, 2013 Altice VII in particular its subsidiary Altice Caribbean S.à made an agreement to acquire (more…)

Huawei E355 Modem from Dominican

Huawei E355 Modem from Dominican Orange

Got the chance to try out a different internet provider over the last month or so. The Dominican internet provider Orange has wireless internet plans at less than half the price of Claro although then have a reputation of having a much more limited coverage. Equipped with the Huawei E355 modem that is offered by Orange I decided to give it a try.

Dominican Orange Upload and Download Speed

When he service is working well (as in low traffic times), there is a much higher cap with Dominican Orange than there is with Claro. My Claro plan said that I should get up to 3.5 meg downloads, during the 4 years I have used Claro I never got more than 2.5 meg. Whoever during my tests with Dominican Orange I very frequently get 5 to even 6 meg downloads with a consistent upload of over 2 meg instead of the .5meg cap that I have always received from Claro.

Remember though, the actual Upload and download speed that you get will vary depending on how close you are to the internet service tower and how many people are trying to access the internet in your area at the same time. If possible it is always a good idea to find someone with the service and try it out in the area that you plan on using it the most before you lock yourself into a 1.5 year plan.

MagicJack on Dominican Orange Internet

One thing that is definitely nicer about using the Dominican Orange internet service over the Claro service is the way MagicJack reacts. Claro caps your upload at a much lower rate, usually about .5 meg while I often get as high as 2.0 meg upload with Dominican Orange. Magicjack seems to like (more…)

Energy Cell La Vega Dominican RepublicOne of the necessities of living in the Dominican Republic is a cell phone. Few homes have the good old hardwired phone that we grew up with in the States so pretty much everyone, including kids, has a cell phone here. You have a choice of either using your phone from the States of buying a new one here. Either way you are probably going to visit a cell phone shop. One of shops I’ve worked with quite a bit is Energy Cell in La Vega, Republica Dominicana.

There is quite a variety of quality of phones available here. Cell phones can be picked up for a little as a quiniento or about $15 USD with the usual low end price being about 1500 pesos and the high end going over 16 mill (16 thousand pesos) for a blackberry or iPhone (at the Claro Store). The phones come prepared to be used here in the D.R so all you need to do is buy a provider chip, buy some minutes and you are ready to go.

If you want to pick up a little higher quality phone (which really helps with all the text messaging you will be doing here) and yet not get stuck on an 18 month long contract your best bet is to pick one up used. You can often find relatively recent iPhones and Blackberries a small percentage of the new price at phone shops. (more…)

Magicjack continues to explode in popularity. The ease and cost effectiveness of using Magicjack to make long distance phone calls into the United States has turned this into a must have product for people living (or traveling) abroad and wanting to call friends and relatives in the states cheaply. Unfortunately some only hear about Magicjack once they get to the Dominican Republic. That can be a bit of a problem when buying and mailing items is a little problematic in the DR.

A while back Magicjack was emailing looking for distributers in the DR. While it doesn’t seem that too many Dominican companies decided to start selling them (I would have thought La Sirena would have been a good choice). One of Magic Jacks first distributers does have them available here. You can find Magic Jacks at the Santo Domingo Radio Shack. (more…)

Magic Jack is one of the cheapest ways to make calls from the Dominican Republic to the United States. Well, at least if you don’t count the need to have a computer and a relatively good internet connection. There are a few details that are worth considering. These are the top questions that our readers have asked us here at DR-DominicanRepubilic.com about using Magic Jack in the Dominican Republic.

MagicJack FAQ

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Once you are here in the DR you will likely want to at times, call home. You have several ways to accomplish this.

  1. Your Cell Phone. If you keep your plan from the US or another country and try to call back home, just connecting into the DR cell phone network is going to cost you (a lot!). Unless you have money to burn this is not really a good option. You can however, switch out the chip in your phone to a Claro or Orange chip and buy minutes here. This also lets you call the US and the rates are pretty good. You then switch chips again when you head home.

    The one possible problem with this is that many phones are locked out from being used in other countries. That means you have to find a place to “Unlock” your phone. Not difficult but a little more of a hassle. They will not do that in the phone company offices. You also have to be sure that your phone can take the same chip. An alternative is to just buy a cheap phone here in the DR ($15 – $20) and put some minutes on it.

  2. The second option involves your computer. (more…)

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