When you reach Rio de Janeiro, you will find yourself in one of the most beautiful and spectacular cities that you have ever been to, and appreciate what the city have to offer. As you go up the Sugar Loaf Mountain, you will hold your breath looking at the 360-degree view of the Rio and Guanabara Bay, where the 8.7 miles long Rio-Niteroi bridge comes into view. You will fail to decide which one gives you the best view when you visit Cristo Redentor. You will see the natural harbor, surrounded by lush high mountains that flow into the sea, when you visit the world's famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. The joy of Brazil reflects on to that sapphire of the sky, contrasting with the white sands of Copacabana beach, with people dancing to samba and the Sugarloaf overlooks it all.
As you stroll down the beach, you will find little shacks, lined up along the beach, offering beer and coconuts and also selling very cheap food. You may like to stop at one of those shacks, have some snacks and enjoy the view of the beach. If you want to go eating in a restaurant, you will find bars and restaurants all over Rio. The food served at Rosa do Adro on Real Grandeza in Botafogo are deliciously piping hot and is ample in quantity. A bit of pepper sauce dribbled on top would give you the taste of the true Brazillian food. But you need to be careful, too much of it may not suit you.
When you visit the State of Abrolhos, which lies 45 miles off the mid-eastern coast of Brazil, you will go to the Abrolhos Archipelago, a Marine National Park, where you can find the greatest chains of coral reefs in the South Atlantic, spreading across 9 million square yards. There is no other place in this world where you can see the spectacular type of coral reef pinnacle as in Abrolhos waters.
Before you visit Salvador, you would like like to know about the city's background. Salvador, the capital of the State of Bahia and for two long centuries has been the major port and the capital of colonial Brazil. The city lies in the picturesque setting in between the green tropical hills and broad beaches along the bay of Todos os Santos. If you have a historical interest, Salvador has centuries old buildings, churches and museums where you can visit. There are history all around which has not yet receded into the past and reaches out to touch you when you visit them. If you are in a mood to relax, the beach is not far away from a few minutes walk. You can however, like to venture into the Baia de Todos os Santos the Bay of All Saints, taking a car ferry, and explore the sandy beaches on Itaparica Island.
You will need to communicate where-ever you are and you would like others to get in touch with you, while you are on your visit to Brazil. You need to be available to your business associates, your friends and importantly to your family back home. Therefore a mobile phone becomes a necessity. It is difficult to imagine being without a mobile phone in the present day and age. In the times when the technology was not available, your only means of getting in touch with the outside world was the telephone in your hotel room. You had to use it, because you wanted to get in touch with your associates, friends, both locally and abroad and talk to your family back home. It proved to be expensive. With the advent of mobile telephony, you had taken your phone along with you on such visits abroad, availing the roaming facility provided by your service provider. The bill that you received at the end of the month was way out of your budget. You had been paying a roaming charge fee while you were all the time visiting abroad and all your calls were levied with an extra charge and even you paid that charge for your incoming calls. The bill looks more expensive than the charges that you had paid when calling from your hotel room. This time, when you are visiting Brazil, you are wondering if there could be a cheaper solution.
Yes there is and surprisingly it is much cheaper a solution. Buying a pre-paid SIM card for Brazil saves you 80% of your communication expenses. Yes, it is unbelievable, but it is true. Here is how.
The pre-paid SIM card for Brazil gives you a local number and you pay for calls as the locals do. All your incoming calls are free and you do not pay any of those roaming charges. You do not have to sign any contracts and you do not get a bill at the end of the month. More-over, since your pre-paid SIM card for Brazil is pre-paid, you pay for your talk time credits in advance, knowing exactly how much you are spending for how much of talk time. This lets you budget your mobile airtime usage. When you buy the pre-paid SIM card for Brazil, you get a certain amount of talk time credit along with your SIM card and when-ever you wish to top up your credit, you can buy recharge coupons or vouchers from practically any shop in the Brazilian cities. These recharge coupons or vouchers come in different denominations, bearing proportional credits with respect to its value. You have the option to buy the nomination that you want, there-by keeping a tab on your call expenses. You know exactly how much you are spending.
SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module, which forms the brain behind making your mobile handset intelligent. It is of the size a little smaller than a postage stamp. It is a printed circuit board smart card, which has a microprocessor and memory. It goes into a slot at the back of your mobile handset which is right under the back cover of your phone. This smart card holds all your unique information, such as, the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI), your mobile SIM card identification, your calling plan, etc., and as you switch on your handset, the information is transmitted to the network, which checks for security and its authenticity before logging you in the network. Now you are ready to make your first call and activate the pre-paid SIM card for Brazil. The SIM card also holds your address book, which records the phone numbers and addresses of the persons who you call frequently. The SIM also logs your outgoing and incoming call phone numbers, along with their date and time of call. It also provides feature to lock your mobile phone as prevention against misuse. You can punch in your Personal Identification Number (PIN) on the handset keyboard for the SIM to register your password. You would be required to use this password to open your mobile phone for calling someone.
You will need a GSM phone to operate in Brazil. If you own a GSM phone, it is unlikely that it would work in Brazil. North America, Canada and a few other countries in the Americas use a different set of GSM frequency band than the rest of the world. These are 850MHz and 1900MHz frequency bands, which are mostly incompatible with that of other countries. Brazil mobile networks operate on 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands and are since incompatible with American mobile handsets. If you are a frequent traveler overseas, you could consider buying an appropriate handset for your visits in other countries and if you are an infrequent traveler, you could rent a GSM mobile phone, which is compatible with the frequency bands used in the country that you are visiting.
Mobile phones are available in three categories. The Quad-band phone would comply with all the GSM frequencies used in the countries all over the world, while the Tri-band would be compatible with 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands, which work in most part of the world. There is the Dual-band which operates only with 800MHz and 1900 MHz GSM frequency bands. Therefore, it is necessary that the phone you are taking is compatible with the frequency bands in Brazil.
Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) was first developed in Europe and is the first open architecture digital mobile communication technology, which replaced the old analog first generation (1G) system. GSM is called the second generation (2G) mobile communication system. The world over, GSM frequency bands are allocated differently, with some of them being used commonly. For example, Networks in Brazil and Belgium operate on the same frequency bands of 900MHz and 1800MHz. The exception being North America and Canada, where the network frequency bands do not match the major part of the world countries, which sets them apart from the rest. GSM is used in over 214 countries in the world and has 80% subscribers among the total mobile users in the world.
The mobile phone that you are taking with you to Brazil needs to be SIM unlocked as otherwise you will never be able to use your pre-paid SIM card for Brazil or any other SIM card for that matter. When you sign a contract with a service provider, one of those clauses in that contract may bind you to use the services of the provider for a stipulated period of time, which is usually one year. On signing such a contract, you receive a mobile phone, which is absolutely free of cost, and a SIM card. This phone that you have received will only work with the SIM card from the service provider and would not work with any other SIM card. This phone is SIM locked. At the end of the contractual period, the service provider helps you to unlock the phone, which becomes entirely yours. Therefore, wherever you take your phone, rent or buy one, you need to find out wherever the mobile phone is SIM unlocked and also, if the phone is compatible with the frequency bands used in Brazil.
Buying a pre-paid SIM card for Brazil is the best way to save your call expenses, with no roaming charges to pay, paying call charges as the locals do and all incoming calls being free. You do not need to sign a contract and you do not receive any bills, what-so-ever, at the end of the month. Since it is pre-paid, you pay for your talk time credits in advance, with which you are aware of the money that you are spending on your calls. You have a complete check on your budget. . For more information on pre-paid SIM card and rented compatible GSN mobile phones and its prices, visit http://www.planetomni.com/FAQ_gsm.shtml and http://www.planetomni.com/FAQ_sim.shtml