The quality of the Bahamas phone service throughout the islands is perpetually improving, but communication in some areas - especially some of the Out Islands - may prove to be difficult.
Remember these basics to help you connect by phone:
Most hotels can handle your business communication needs, but other options are available if their services are inadequate. For example, the Centralised Telephone Office, located on East Street in Nassau, provides fax services for business travelers. Visitors may also rent a fax machine for the duration of their stay.
Internet services are also available for business travelers. Grand Bahama and Nassau have quite a few Internet cafes that are open every day of the week. In addition to offering Internet connections for laptops and computers, they also have copying, faxing, and scanning equipment. BATELNET (www.batelnet.bs) is the Bahamas' primary Internet service provider. Many hotels now offer wi-fi as well, as a part of their amenities.
If you need to find a local number while in the Bahamas, call directory assistance by dialing "916." To call a location on the same island, dial the seven-digit local number. To call between islands, dial "1-242" plus the local seven-digit phone number.
Cellular telephone service is available in the Bahamas. You must first register with BATELCO (Bahamas Telephone Company). If your current cellular service provider does not have an established agreement with BATELCO, you will need a SIM card from BATELCO to use your phone in the Bahamas. Alternately, you can rent a phone for your visit by contacting BATELCO at the information below or by visiting a branch in any of the major cities in the Bahamas:
Coin-operated pay phones are plentiful throughout the Bahamas. The cost for a local call is $0.25(USD). Recently, phones that only accept calling cards have replaced some of the old coin phones. These calling cards come in set amounts of $5(USD), $10(USD), $20(USD), and $50(USD), and are available for purchase at any of the BATELCO branches.
To reach the Bahamas by phone from Canada or the U.S., dial "1-242" plus the local number. Residents of the U.K. must dial "001-242" before the local number. To place a direct call from the Bahamas to Canada or the U.S., dial "1" before the area code and the local number. To call other countries, dial "011" prior to the country code, area code, and local number.
AT&T subscribers can make long-distance phone calls by calling 800-CALL-ATT (225-5288) or by using any Bahamas phone with AT&T or USA DIRECT denoted somewhere on the booth. These special phones connect directly to an AT&T operator as soon as the handset is lifted. Check for these phones near the ship ports. MCI can also be reached for long-distance calls by dialing 800-888-8000.
A trip to the Bahamas doesn't mean you have to disconnect from your life back home - unless you want it to. There are many options available, from pay phone that use calling cards, to Internet cafes. However you feel comfortable keeping in touch, you'll be able to do so in the Bahamas.
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