You are currently viewing The 3 Phone Companies of Bolivia, Every Detail & Fact to Know
Phone companies of Bolivia general facts services and every detail 1

The 3 Phone Companies of Bolivia, Every Detail & Fact to Know

Reading Time: 16 minutes

In Bolivia, some of the largest companies that currently operate are telecommunication corporations. So, this is a huge sector of the economy that has only 3 major actors, one of them being a statal company and the other 2 ones being privately owned by both Bolivian and foreign capitals. The 3 companies offer phone and mobile services without limitations to foreigners.

There are only 3 phone companies currently operating in Bolivia: Entel, Tigo, and Viva. Entel is the leader with 49% of the market share, 2nd is Tigo (38%), and finally Viva (12%). These 3 companies offer prepaid and postpaid mobile plans that range from $1.5 to $50 in price.

We’re citizens and business experts from Bolivia, who have been clients of these 3 phone companies for many years and have seen how they’ve evolved. Here we’ll talk about every aspect of these companies, including their services for foreigners, history, and phone plans, among other details.

In Bolivia, there are only 3 phone companies available

Bolivia doesn’t have too many phone companies to choose from. Currently, only 3 companies are allowed to operate within the country:

  1. Entel S.A.
  2. Tigo 
  3. Viva

1) Entel S.A.

Entel S.A. is the largest telecommunications and phone company in Bolivia, it belongs to the government and is managed by it. The Bolivian state considers this huge company a strategic asset for the financial stability of the country. Entel is also one of the 10th largest companies in Bolivia according to its annual revenue.

Entel headquarters in the downtown area of La Paz Bolivia
Entel headquarters, in the downtown area of La Paz, Bolivia.

Entel currently has a very important presence in the phone and internet market of Bolivia, owning about 49.43% of the market share. It offers different kinds of services, like mobile phone connectivity, home, and mobile internet, satellite TV, etcetera, across the country, including very far away rural areas.

Entel could easily be just a monopoly in the phone and internet markets of Bolivia, but by law, this is not allowed, and to promote fair competition other 2 companies, Tigo and Viva, are also active in these markets.

Brief history

Entel was founded as a public company by the Bolivian government more than 60 years ago. It had one goal, which was expanding the connectivity and communications across the territory and its population. In the 90s, Entel was partially sold (50% of it) to an Italian company (Telecom) as part of the privatization and capitalization efforts of the liberalist government at that time.

After this event, important socio-economic troubles happened in Bolivia, people wanted to nationalize all the major enterprises that at that moment belonged to foreign capitals, among these was Entel. Finally, the socialist government of Evo Morales, the MAS political party, assumed the government. 

One of the things that this government did was nationalize strategic companies for the country, which included Entel, so it became again fully owned by Bolivia and the Bolivian government in 2008. From that time to the present, it has grown a lot and now is the most important telecommunications and phone company in Bolivia, despite it being managed by the Bolivian government.

Services for foreigners

Entel offers its full spectrum of services to both natives and foreigners or expats without any kind of limitation. This is because no law, regulation, or norm forbids cellphones on telecommunication companies to serve foreigners the same as natives.

So for example, if you want to activate your phone for calls and internet use in Bolivia, you can do it very easily in Entel offices just by presenting your passport or Visa. If you, as a foreigner, are in a rented apartment or home in Bolivia, you also can get any kind of internet or satellite TV service, just by asking for the services without any kind of limitation.

A) Activating foreigners’ cell phones

Activating your phone with a Bolivian number and using it in Bolivia is very easy if it meets the technical requirements in bandwidth (750 MHz, 850 MHz, 1,700 MHz, etcetera). Just go to an Entel agency, with your Visa or passport, and pay ~$30 for the activation and that’s all. But you also need to know some technical details about this process.

We have a detailed guide about the steps and requirements to activate phone services for your cell phone with Entel S.A. for Bolivia, the following direction: Will my phone work in Bolivia? All the details and steps.

B) Calling and mobile plans

The following are the mobile and calling plans that Entel has currently available (source):

  • Mobile prepaid plans: recharge cards from $1.5 (1GB or 9 minutes) to $30 (25GB or 190 minutes)
  • Mobile postpaid plans: 40-150 minutes, 7-30 GB, priced at $14-$46
  • International calling ($5-$7/minute)
  • LTG (4g) technology (5g will be available in Bolivia in 2024)

If you want to use 4K video in Bolivia it’ll be difficult to do, as the 4g mobile network here is still not capable of handling these download speeds, but everything less demanding will go very smoothly almost everywhere, except for distant rural areas.

So in general, you’ll be just fine by just buying a prepaid recharge card of about $30 or Bs.200, or a postpaid plan of $40. This will be enough for a whole month in the majority of cases.

C) Other services

If you are in a rental apartment or in a place where you have the rights to add some utilities and basic services in Bolivia, then you can easily install other Entel services, like:

  • Optical fiber internet 
  • Satellite TV

To get the services in your house or apartment in Bolivia just go to an Entel agency with your visa or passport, the address of your residence and ask for the service, no matter if you are a foreigner or just a tourist.

Working days and agencies

Almost all Entel agencies work on a 9-5 schedule on weekdays. Many agencies also work from 9 to 5 on Saturdays, and a few of them will work in the mornings on Sundays. But just go to the agencies at normal working times on weekdays or Saturdays, the odds are they will be open at that time.

But more accurately, some agencies of this company can differ a lot in their opening schedules, you can know the exact attending time for each agency in the country in the following link (Spanish):

Contact details

Entel has several hundreds of agencies spread across the country. Many of them are in the downtown areas of major cities but also some are located in rural areas and in very far towns that exist in the country. Entel has a huge presence throughout Bolivia.

If you want to know where each Entel office is located, on the same page where you can find the opening schedules for any agency can also get the location of each one of these agencies:

You can also contact Entel in the following ways:

  1. Client and support phone numbers (all of them will respond in Spanish):
    1. 800-10-10-10
    2. 800-19-36-38
    3. 800-10-44-88
    4. 800-10-50-00
  2. Entel headquarters attention phone, in La Paz city (will respond in Spanish):
    1. +591 (2) 2141010
  3. Entel headquarters address:
    1. No. 1771 Federico Zuazo Av., La Paz, Bolivia.
  4. Entel websites:
    1. (general website)
    2. (corporative website)
  5. Entel social pages:
  6. Entel phone app:
    1. Play Store: 
    2. App Store:

2) Tigo

Tigo Bolivia is the second-largest phone company in the country. This company is part of a network of enterprises around South America also called Tigo, which is owned by a parent company in Luxembourg called Millicom. This company offers several services that go beyond just phone connectivity or the Internet.

Tigo main agency for La Paz Bolivia very close to the San Francisco church
Tigo main agency for La Paz, Bolivia, very close to the San Francisco church.

Tigo is well positioned in the Bolivian market, and it has managed to stay relevant for more than 2 decades and be able to compete with the government-backed company Entel, which is the leader in this field. Tigo is also one of the biggest firms in Bolivia.

Brief history

Tigo was first started in 1990 as a Bolivian telecommunications company and was first branded Telecel S.A. It started to have problems being competent in the Bolivian market and a decade later it was acquired by Millicom, a company with its main offices in Luxembourg, which has ownership of the Tigo brand that has a big presence across many countries in South America. 

Tigo expanded its operations to serve in many different ways to Bolivians, to the point that it became the 2nd most important company in the phone and internet markets of Bolivia, getting in 2021 a 37.65% of the market share, leaving far behind its most important competitor, Viva, with only 12.9%.

Nowadays this company is very well positioned in the minds of consumers and is not expected to leave the market or have serious troubles in the short or even medium term, unlike Viva, which is having a hard time surviving the Bolivian phone market.

Services for foreigners

A) Activating foreigners’ cell phones

The same as with Entel, you won’t have any kind of restriction or limitation, beyond the technical requirements your cell phone needs to meet, to activate your phone in Bolivia with Tigo. To do this just go to any agency from this company. They will ask you to provide your passport and Visa to register the phone under your name and you’ll need to buy a mobile plan for around $30 and that’s all.

We have an in-depth guide on the steps and requirements to activate your phone for Bolivia with Tigo, in the following direction: Will my phone work in Bolivia? All the details and steps.

B) Calling and internet plans

The following are the mobile and calling plans that Tigo has currently available (source):

  • Mobile prepaid plans: recharge cards from $1.5 (0.5 GB or 7 minutes) to $30 (20 GB or 150 minutes)
  • Mobile postpaid plans: 60-150 minutes, 10-unlimited GB, priced at $20-$50
  • International calling ($5-$7/minute)
  • LTG (4g) technology (5g will be available in Bolivia in 2024)

As you can see, Tigo has more costly prices for mobile plans for both megabytes and calling minutes than Entel.

C) Other services

Tigo as a company has interesting services that go much further than providing mobile and internet services within the country. For example, it also offers:

  1. A phone wallet system called Tigo Money, which enables users to send and receive money from goods and services with just their mobile phones, and also use this account to store their money. This service is not available for tourists, you need to be at least a temporary resident of Bolivia to use Tigo Money.
  2. A roaming service called Tigo Roaming, which enables a Bolivian phone line to be used across 145 countries with preferential fees in many of them.
  3. A sports streaming service called Tigo Sports, in which users can follow Bolivia’s popular sports like the soccer league, which by the way is extremely popular here, among other ones.
  4. Cable and satellite TV before called Tigo Star, but has been discontinued, despite this, it’s still available as a service. Viva provides these TV services to Bolivian homes and can be ordered by expats or tourists who stay in the country without any limitation.

Working days and agencies

Generally, Tigo agencies will attend clients on weekdays in a 9-5 schedule, but the principal agencies of each city or the agencies that are in very commercial areas will be open until 7:00 pm or 8:00 pm. On weekends, most agencies will also be open from 9 to 5. And some of them will even attend in the morning on Sundays.

Opening schedules for any particular Tigo agency are listed on the following page, some of these schedules may differ a lot:

Contact details

If you want to know where each agency of Tigo is located, together with its contact phone numbers, opening the schedules, etcetera, visit this same direction:

You can also contact Tigo in the following ways:

  1. Client and support phone numbers (will respond in Spanish):
    1. 800-17-50-00
  2. Tigo WhatsApp attention number (will respond in Spanish):
    1. +591 77390000
  3. Tigo main agencies’ addresses for principal cities:
    1. La Paz: 1st floor, HANSA high-rise, Mariscal Santa Cruz Av. (El Prado)
    2. Cochabamba: No. 548 Ballivián Av. (El Prado)
    3. Santa Cruz: El Trompillo Av., Second ring (Cine Center)
  4. Tigo websites:
    1. (general website)
    2. (support webpage)
  5. Tigo social pages:
  6. Tigo phone app:
    1. Play Store: 
    2. App Store: 

3) Viva

Viva is currently the 3rd and last most important telecommunications company in Bolivia. It’s currently having troubles as its market presence is getting smaller year by year, nowadays having a market share of only 12.9%. The situation is so bad for this company that it’s just recently been acquired by the US company Balesia Technologies.

With this acquisition, Viva is planned to be turned into a more specialized company that will serve its clients in more advanced and more personalized ways, with cutting-edge technologies that will bring new digital experiences. So it’ll soon leave its position as a traditional phone company to become kind more of a specialized services provider.

Brief history

Viva was founded in 1999, with founding capitals from the Bolivian phone association Comteco (28.5%), which provides home phone services to the city of Cochabamba, but also with capital coming from the US company Western Wireless (71.5%) and after a while Alltel (71.5%) through Trilogy International Partners (71.5%).

This company had an important presence during the 2000 decade with about 25% of the total market share, it was almost the same until 2017 when it started to lose traction at a fast rate, getting less and less market share and presence in the minds of Bolivian consumers, to the point that now in 2022 it has less than 13% of presence in the phone on internet markets of the country.

We, as Bolivians, do feel this company is not present anymore in an important way in our environment. It used to advertise a lot of internet and mobile plans, sponsor different kinds of events, and launch new technologies and services, but now for a while, it’s silent and only Entel and Tigo are still competing very loudly in the market.

Services for foreigners

A) Activating foreigners’ cell phones

You won’t have any kind of problem when getting your cell phone active in Bolivia, with a Bolivian number, also with Viva. Just go to an agency of this company anywhere in the country, carrying with you your passport and visa, pay around $30 and the employee there will activate your cell phone for you and register it under your name in the country.

Remember that your phone needs to meet the technical requirements to be connected to the Bolivian phone wire Network and mobile network with certain bandwidths, you can know more about this in the guide we have on the topic.

We have a complete guide about the steps and requirements to activate your cell phone in Viva for Bolivia, the following direction: Will my phone work in Bolivia? All the details and steps.

B) Calling and internet plans

The following are the mobile and calling plans that Viva has currently available (source):

  • Mobile prepaid plans: recharge cards from $1.5 (0.5gb or 8 minutes) to $30 (25gb or 120 minutes)
  • Mobile postpaid plans: 40-110 minutes 12-20 GB $16-$35
  • International calling ($5-$7/minute)
  • LTG (4g) technology (5g will be available in Bolivia in 2024)

You can see here that Viva also has a little bit more expensive prices in both megabytes and calling minutes than Entel.

C) Other services

Beyond mobile and internet plans and connectivity Viva offers also a complete home connectivity service that includes satellite TV, Wi-Fi, and Mobile plans. It also offers apps called HypeGames and HypeMusic, which allow you to play popular games and listen to any kind of music without limitations or a small fee of about $5/month.

Viva also used to offer a phone wallet system, but it didn’t succeed against Tigo Money and nowadays it doesn’t accept new users while it’s still serving the current ones.

Working days and agencies

The several Viva agencies across the country generally attend from 9:00 to 5:00 on weekdays and also Saturdays and in the mornings on Sundays. Some agencies that are located in very commercial downtown areas of the main cities of Bolivia are open from 9:00 to 7:00 and from Monday to Sunday.

You can know everything about each Viva agency’s schedule, also where this is located in the following direction:

Contact details

Everything from phone numbers to email social networks, etcetera, including the locations of each agency of this company can be found in this same direction:

You can also contact Viva in the following ways:

  1. General support phone number (will respond in Spanish):
    1. 800-14-14-14
  2. Viva WhatsApp attention number (will respond in Spanish):
    1. +591 79999977
  3. Viva main agencies’ addresses for principal cities:
    1. La Paz: Belisario Salinas St., Sopocachi (Avaroa square)
    2. Cochabamba: No. 1344 Freddy Maldonado high-rise, Santa Cruz Av.
    3. Santa Cruz: San Martin Av., 4th ring (Ventura Mall)
  4. Viva websites:
    1. (general website)
    2. Translated (client support page )
  5. Viva social pages:
  6. Viva phone app:
    1. Play store: 
    2. App store: 

Which is the best phone company in Bolivia?

These are the only 3 companies that have been in the phone and internet markets of Bolivia, Entel, Tigo, and Viva. Since the 2000 decade, they’ve been involved in a constant bloody battle to gain the minds of the clients and become the leader of the industry. 

However, only one company has managed to become the leader in the market, and this since many years ago. This company is Entel and there is a reason for Bolivians to choose it, with almost 50% of the market share.

We recommend you use Entel S.A.

Most of us have been using Entel for decades now and it didn’t present really bad troubles throughout all this time. A good internet service overall, with no important interruptions, fast connectivity, cheaper prices, more places around the country well covered, providing mobile plans with more megabytes to use, also generally is the first to implement new technologies.

Entel also has the cheapest prices for both megabytes and calling minutes. Furthermore, it allows you to buy monthly mobile prepaid plans, which are not available in either Tigo or Viva, as these 2 ones only offer daily or prepaid weekly plans.

Tigo and Viva are known for doing a lot of advertising. Despite this, their users are constantly complaining about bad connectivity with too many interruptions, too many plans, some hidden fees, etcetera.

As there is no limitation for people from other countries when using their phones with this company, you’ll have the same advantages when relying on Entel over the other two companies. So just go with this company, you won’t have any major trouble with them.


In this guide about the phone companies of Bolivia, you have seen that only three phone operators are currently active in Bolivia. The first one is Entel, which has around 50% of the market and is the leading company in the telecommunication and mobile sector here. Next, we have Tigo, which is a big company in South America and also present in Bolivia, with around 40% of the market. Finally, Viva, which is struggling with surviving in the market, only with 10% of the clients.

Later, you saw that you don’t have any kind of limitation when getting services from these companies in regards to your cell phone, or even other services like internet, satellite TV roaming services, except for Tigo Money, which is only available for, at least, temporary residents in Bolivia. You also have seen that mobile plans from these 3 companies start from $1.5 to $50 and that with a $30 plan, you’ll be just fine in the country for a month.

Finally, you received our advice of just going with Entel to get mobile services and turn your phone on in the country, as this company has the best network across Bolivia, with more areas covered, cheaper prices, and it’s also the phone services provider that most Bolivians use and this has been the case since many years ago.

We hope this information has helped you, and if you want to know how to let your cell phone work in Bolivia with a Bolivian number, with all the details, including the technical requirements in the bandwidth, among other information, visit our dedicated guide on this topic: Will my phone work in Bolivia? All the requirements and steps., information about how to live, work, invest, and travel in Bolivia.

Leave a Reply