Today’s tip is going to be a pretty quick one! I read a lot of posts from people coming to visit and live that want to know what to do when they land here about cell phones and sim cards!
My wonderful husband just so happened to take a picture of the kiosk at Tocumen airport the last time we were there (good work Todd). This machine is located just outside of baggage claim towards the car rental area. There is usually a very cute Panamanian girl working there that will help you purchase a sim card for your phone and get you going, at least temporarily. All you need is an unlocked phone that takes a sim card, pretty much that easy!
I think we paid about $30 for the card and a weeks worth of service when we first got here, then took it to the Movistar office and signed up for a monthly plan that gives me calling, texts (local), and about 3GB of data per month. I pay automatically by credit card and its just around $32 per month.
Since the roads here are poorly named and very difficult to navigate I would recommend having internet on your phone from the very moment you get here! Of course if you’re being driven and just want to get away from it all, then skip it and enjoy no Facebook alerts at 2 in the morning when you are sound asleep!! Lol!
Before moving to Panama I had never heard of the popular app WhatsApp. We did our homework and learned that almost everyone with a smart phone here uses it! So I figured I would share a little about it, and what has made it become so wildly popular that they now claim over 600 million users worldwide!
Here’s a short list of reasons that contributed to its increasing usage since 2009 and facts about WhatsApp
- All you need to sign up is your phone number
- WhatsApp tapped into your contact list to display friends already using the app.
- All you need for WhatsApp is an internet connection or WiFi
- Free for a year and $0.99 a year for unlimited messages
- MMS was rarely used due to its cost, WhatsApp made it affordable with its photo sharing feature
- Cross platform compatibility (still includes Symbian!!) saw users in emerging marketing jump on the bandwagon
WhatsApp got a lot things right in the beginning and its growth rate is reportedly faster than Facebook’s. With Mark Zuckerberg even saying “WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people.”
On February 20th, 2014 Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 Billion yes that’s a “B” billion dollars!
The thing is that it’s just insane the amount of money being tabled for a messaging app. And can Facebook recoup their investment in WhatsApp? The social media giant announced they will keep it independent, and with no advertisements scheduled to appear. Yet, the question of the day is: Where’s the money going to come from?
Continue reading So What’s Up with WhatsApp?