Major carriers with a presence in the U.S, market, such as AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, also battle it out in the island's competitive wireless market. Prices are low, and coverage is very good, even out at sea. Each carrier maintains a network and all are investing in network upgrades, with AT&T out front in the race for a 4-G network, and all are GSM networks.
Check with your carrier to see if Puerto Rico is included in national calling plans, which usually offer unlimited calling and roaming. Puerto Rico subscribers of all major carriers have the option of enrolling in a national calling plan that includes calls and free roaming to the United States mainland.
Calls can also be placed through Skype and other VoIP services via the Internet.
If your company screws you, cellular telephones can be purchased at RadioShack, Walgreens, and other stores listed throughout the guide. They come loaded with minutes and can be used on the spot and cost as little as $35. Refill cards are sold everywhere, from major grocery stores to gas stations.
Internet & E-Mail
Free Wi-Fi connections are widely available, from Old San Juan's Plaza de Armas, to Starbucks to local Burger King and McDonald's outlets throughout the island.
Many hotels and guesthouses also have public computers for use by guests, and there are Internet cafes throughout the city (such as the Cybernet Café, www.cybernetcafepr.com, with locations at Av. Isla Verde 5980, Isla Verde, and Av. Ashford 1128, Condado). Public libraries also have Internet areas.
If you have a laptop, free Wi-Fi spots abound at shopping centers, hotels, and restaurants.
Newspapers & Magazines
Caribbean Business (www.caribbeanbusinesspr.com) is a weekly business newspaper that has the most up-to-date news on Puerto Rico in English.
The San Juan Star, a daily English-language newspaper, closed abruptly in the summer of 2008, just over its 50th birthday. A worker's collective of former Star employees puts out the Puerto Rico Daily Sun (www.prdailysun.net).
USA Today sells a local edition of its newspaper, with two pages of local and tourism news. If you read Spanish, you might enjoy El Nuevo Día, the most popular local tabloid. There is also El Vocero and Primera Hora. Few significant magazines are published on Puerto Rico, but Time and Newsweek are available at most newsstands.
Many convenience, grocery, and retail postal service stores sell prepaid calling cards in denominations up to $50. Many public pay phones at airports now accept American Express, MasterCard, and Visa. Local calls made from most pay phones cost either 25¢ or 35¢. Most long-distance and international calls can be dialed directly from any phone. To make calls within the United States and to Canada, dial 1 followed by the area code and the seven-digit number. For other international calls, dial 011 followed by the country code, city code, and the number you are calling.
Calls to area codes 800, 888, 877, and 866 are toll-free. However, calls to area codes 700 and 900 (chat lines, bulletin boards, "dating" services, and so on) can be expensive -- charges of 95¢ to $3 or more per minute. Some numbers have minimum charges that can run $15 or more.
For reversed-charge or collect calls, and for person-to-person calls, dial the number 0 then the area code and number; an operator will come on the line, and you should specify whether you are calling collect, person-to-person, or both. If your operator-assisted call is international, ask for the overseas operator.
For directory assistance (Information), dial 411 for local numbers and national numbers in the U.S. and Canada. For dedicated long-distance information, dial 1, then the appropriate area code plus 555-1212.