Depending on how you relocate to Luanda (sponsored corporate or otherwise) you may or may not be provided with access to Satellite TV. If you do need to set yourself up – you have a choice between TV Cabo and DSTV. The choice of channels is very good, depending on the package that you choose – but be prepared to manage it well. Both options involve a monthly subscription, which you must top up, by going to their store in person and paying cash. There are no direct debit schemes using cards set up here yet!
If you are a real TV addict, another option is to upgrade your Internet WIFI subscription and stream Movies and TV shows over iTunes Store (bring HDMI Cable and Apple TV box). You could also consider signing up with one of the VPN companies and streaming programmes from your national internet links.
Of course there is also the less technical approach – make sure you include box sets and DVD’s in your packing!
Although some do, it’s unusual for homes to have landlines installed, and we all rely on mobile (cell) phones. Luanda has two mobile phone providers – Unitel and Movicel, typically both offer 3G/4G network reception.
Depending on your company situation, you will likely receive a phone and SIM card when you arrive with a limited credit allowance. It is extremely easy to buy top up cards for mobile phones, every second street seller is waving them at you. Cards cost around 1000kwz. It is also easy to buy a SIM from a store if you aren’t provided with one – and Movicel and Unitel stores can be found throughout Luanda.
Many expats communicate with each other and family back home using Skype (or FaceTime), WhatsApp, iMessage and Viber. These are great apps to familiarise your self with and have set up before you arrive!
There are several Internet providers available in Luanda including TV Cabo, ZAP, Unitel, and in most cases a box/cable for a particular company will already be wired into your house. Depending on your company package, you may be provided with pre-paid Wi-Fi each month.
If you are setting up your own Internet, we recommend Unitel who have stores everywhere. As yet there are no direct debit/online payment options, so you must go in person each month to their shop and buy data. Unitel have easy to follow packages for high-speed data suitable for downloading movies, face time and Skype.
A good internet connection is definitely worth investing in. Most families find that almost all of their communication is Internet based, with workers often dialling in from home and schoolwork – even at primary school age – being internet based. Voluntary work, expat groups and school communication all tend to be via subscription based blogs or newsletters so a decent communication system and enough devices to work with is really worth the investment.