The Riu levies very high charges for use of its phones Coverage in Boa Vista is patchyA ship cut all international communications by hauling up the cable in PraiaDo not expect mobile calls in out islands
Cape Verde Telephones
Mobile Broadband, Internet Services
Cape Verde now officially has more mobile phones than inhabitants, There are over half a million mobile phones in the nine inhabited islands. DService was introduced only in 1998 and broad band not until 2004. Internet is now freely available in the main tourist hotels and complexes. There are plenty of internet cafes and bars in Santa Maria, the main tourist village on Sal the main tourist island, but few on other islands. Most business oriented hotels offer Internet access. This can be very slow, as it does not often incluide Broadband, The Belorizonte and Praiamar have Internet Wifi into the rooms.
Mobile phones are perhaps the favourite item for theft, Anybody unwise enough to walk around with one sticking out of a back pocket is almost certain to lose it sooner or later. The possession of a mobile along with jeans and a football tee-shirt are the prized possession of Cape Verdean youths.
Cape Verde telephone service is to Soviet Bloc standards. There is a woman at the CVTelecom office in Espargos whose favourite word is NIET - oops we meant Nao. It is possible to buy a Sim Card from CV Telecom in Esargos by queuing for 45 minutes or so, The card will expire in about 2 minutes of use, so this is not a good deal timewise. Any unused portion is cancelled without reimbursement.
A few networks offers roaming, which is also very costly for local calls as the calls return via the base country and come out again. O2, Orange, Vodafone and Hutchison have roaming contracts for GSM and 3G.
Getting a Land Line takes months. If your complex has a local switchboard the staff do not answer phones and they switch out your outgoing link. Between Murdera and CVTelecom it took over a year to install a line that would bypass the non-performing switchboard staff. Cable links pass through Praia harbour for Brazil, Portugal and Senegal. When a ship snares one in its anchor, Cape Verde can be cut off for days.
Despite relentless legal opposition from CVTelecom, the Cape Verde government allowed in an Angolan Telecom company T+ but always referrred to as Tee Mais to set up in 2007. To the embarrasment of Cape Verdeans who mostly feel very superior to Africans, it offers a far more efficient and courteous service. The best plan is to buy a SIM card from their shop at the airport and get the girl to fit it for you, if you have any trouble, This will save you a lot of money on local calls and can also cope with any unexpected emergency,
Calls from your room at hotels such as the RIU are at ransom prices. Best to avoid them altogether except in an emergency. H from Shropshire phoned from the Riu.
"One problem we encountered which I advise you pass onto anyone staying at the Riu was the phones, we decided to take our mobiles only to find we could get no reception, so we used the hotel phone. I made 4 phone calls back home which to my horror cost me 120 Euros. I didn't talk for long approx 3 mins a call but at over 9 Euros a minute it didn't take long to add up. We were not the only people who encountered this problem one couple from Portugal had such an expensive bill they had to get someone from back home to pay their bill with a credit card as they didn't have enough money with them."