Mobile phones in Costa Rica

To use an iPhone in Costa Rica, one must have an unlocked phone. When we travelled in February, my iPhone 4S was not yet unlocked so I took a jailbroken and  unlocked iPhone 3. When we arrived, I dropped in a prepaid Kolbi SIM, set the data APN to ‘kolbi3g‘ and was off and running. I found the APN on the flexispy list. I used the TetherMe app to share the 3G connection with my iPad.

During the two weeks trip, I had only one issue when my phone stopped working. I just needed to reboot the phone and unlock the SIM. Besides an iPhone 3 being slow, everything worked flawlessly for the rest of the trip.

Notes to self:

  • do bring along the bluetooth iPad keyboard
  • February is the right time to go. The change from soggy grey Seattle days is welcome, and the 9 Seatte residents we met in C.R. agreed.

2 Replies to “Mobile phones in Costa Rica”

  1. Hi, thanks for the advice! I am travelling to Costa Rica in December and plan to stay for 2 months, I’ve been looking for advice on this situation. I plan to buy the new ipad with 3g/4g unlocked and jailbroken. Do you know if I will be able to put a sim card straight into the ipad? I was looking on line an came across a company called ICE, I’m looking for the cheapest solution as I will be running my business on my ipad and will be using a lot of data. Kind Regards, Matt

  2. Hello Matt. The iPad comes factory unlocked, so no need to unlock or jailbreak it. ICE is the largest mobile provider, and you’ll have no problems dropping an ICE SIM into your iPad and using it. Just make sure to set your iPad’s APN correctly (see the link above). What you won’t be able to do is make phone calls via your iPad (except perhaps with VoIP/Skype). I find it much handier to have the phone be the connection as it gets left back at the farm/hotel/resort/tree house less often.

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