Keeping in Touch in Czech Republic
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Expats have a variety of options for keeping in touch in the Czech Republic thanks to its well-developed telecommunications infrastructure.
Internet, mobile, landline and postal services are widely available and affordable, making it easy for expats to communicate with friends and family back home. While there is a distinct lack of local English-language print publications, there are many online resources to keep expats in touch with both local and international news.
Internet in Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has a high rate of internet penetration, so connectivity shouldn't be a problem for expats. Wireless connections are more common than fixed lines in residential households and businesses alike, and in public places, expats will not struggle to find free WiFi connections around the big cities.
While there are many reliable Czech service providers to choose from, some of the most popular are UPC, O2, T-mobile and Vodafone. UPC, in particular, is quite popular amongst expats in Prague as it seems to have wide location coverage, reasonable prices, reliable staff and English-speaking customer service providers.
Mobile phones in Czech Republic
There is a variety of affordable packages available which can be tailored to suit individual needs.
The most prominent mobile operators in the Czech Republic are T-mobile, O2 and Vodafone. Payment plans can either be prepaid or postpaid and it is easy to navigate available packages for each of these on the English versions of their websites.
To get a postpaid phone, expats will need to sign up for a 24-month contract. To do this, proof of address and identity documents are required.
Expats wishing to bring their phone from home may find that their phone is blocked in the Czech Republic and therefore unusable. Fortunately, there are mobile companies that can unblock phones in these cases so that they can be used in the country.
Landline telephones in Czech Republic
Private landlines are not very popular in the Czech Republic, but can be obtained if required. Landlines seem to be most beneficial for people who want to call friends and family within the Czech Republic and the European Union, or those who require a landline to facilitate installation of ADSL. Many apartments don't come with a landline installed, though, and it can take months to get through the red tape required to install one.
Postal service in Czech Republic
The service provided by the Czech Postal System does not have the best reputation, although it does offer affordable prices. It is, however, recommended that important documents and packages should be sent via private couriers instead, despite the extra cost.
There are post offices located in several locations around the country (including a 24-hour branch in Prague) but expats should be aware that they still might encounter language difficulties, as the people working in post offices rarely speak English and the documents are still mostly in Czech. Ideally, bring someone to act as a translator, whether a professional or just a Czech-speaking friend.
English media and news in Czech Republic
Unfortunately, there are no printed English-language newspapers in the Czech Republic. While it is possible to read local news in English, this will have to be done online. The Prague Post, formerly a printed English-language newspaper, is one of the most popular online sources for Czech news in English, along with The Prague Daily Monitor. Radio Prague does broadcasts in several languages, including English, and publishes English-language news online.