There are two major TV and Internet providers in Medellín that offer triple play TV, Internet and phone services: Claro and UNE. For TV services you also have the option of DirecTV (plus Internet with DirecTV available in some metros in Colombia).
To sign up for triple play Internet, TV and phone services from Claro or UNE requires a cédula in my experience. Claro, UNE and DirecTV all have stores or booths set up in many of the malls in Medellín, where you can sign up for service.
In my first apartment in Colombia I had triple play service from UNE and in my current apartment I have triple play service from Claro.
Claro’s Triple Play Service
Claro, which is the local Colombian business of Mexico-based telecom provider América Móvil, is the largest telco in Colombia. Claro provides a popular triple play service in Colombia with Internet, TV and fixed-line telephone services.
Claro has a promotion currently running for triple play service for 119,000 pesos ($57) per month including VAT, which is good until the end of November, which includes:
- 10 Mbps Internet
- 92 regular TV channels + 50 channels of HD
- Fixed line (fijo) telephone service with unlimited calls to fixed line phones throughout Colombia
Claro offers Internet services in seven different speeds, 1 Mbps, 3 Mbps, 5 Mbps, 10 Mbps, 20 Mbps, 50 Mbps and even 100 Mbps. 1 and 3 Mbps are only offered in Estrato 1 or 2 areas and Internet service is exempt from VAT in Estrata 1 and 2.
5 Mbps Internet speed by Claro is offered only in Estrato 1, 2, 3, 4. While 10 Mbps, 20 Mbps, 50 Mbps or 100 Mbps is offered in all estratos. Of course for higher speed Internet, the monthly cost is higher.
Claro also has additional TV channels available for additional costs:
- 4 channels in Minipack HBO
- 10 channels in Premium HBO
- 8 channels in Premium Moviecity
- 8 channels pay-per-view: 3 channels with movies and 5 adult channels
I currently have Claro’s basic Triple-Play Service with 10 Mbps Internet, TV and phone services and I am very happy with it. My Internet service with Claro has been more reliable than my Verizon FiOS service was in the United States and of course it is much less expensive.
I have only had one Claro outage in nearly three years. When I called Claro, they had an automated message saying that technicians were working to restore service in my area and that it would be restored by 7 p.m. (which it was).
Several TV channels available on Claro have news, programs and movies in English. I regularly watch several popular series from the United States in English including Blacklist, CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds and Law & Order Special Victims Unit.
UNE’s Triple Play Service
UNE is a Medellín-based telecom provider that recently merged with Millicom. UNE provides similar triple-play services to Claro, but with fewer Internet speed options (2 Mbps, 5 Mbps, 10 Mbps, 20 Mbps and 50 Mbps).
I am aware that UNE recently was running a promotion (until the end of September) where triple play service started at 99,000 pesos ($47) per month in estratos 1-4 or 115,000 pesos ($55) per month in Estratos 5 and 6, which included:
- 5 Mbps Internet
- Regular channels plus over 60 channels of HD
- Fixed line (fijo) telephone service with unlimited calls to local fixed line phones
UNE also has additional TV channels available for additional costs, including:
- 9 channels + 4 HD in FOX+ for 29,400 pesos per month
- 4 channels + 1 HD in HBO Pack for 22,040 pesos per month
- 10 channels + 7 HD in HBO Max for 29,400 pesos per month
- 3 adult channels + 1 HD in HOTPACK for 29,400 pesos per month
UNE frequently runs promotions for its additional TV channel packages.
DirecTV offers bundled services that include satellite TV programming and high-speed Internet. DirecTV uses third-party Internet service providers in addition to its DirecTV satellite programming.
Unfortunately per their website, DirecTV doesn’t look to offer Internet services in Medellín, Bogotá or Cartagena yet but Internet is offered in several cities including Cali, Barranquilla and Santa Marta.
DirecTV offers both prepago (pay in advance) and pospago plans in Colombia.
DirecTV prepago in Colombia offers two primary packages:
- Family – includes 102 channels for 39,000 pesos per month for 1 receiver or 49,000 pesos per month for two receivers.
- Bronze – includes 111 channels for 59,900 pesos per month with two receivers.
DirecTV pospago in Colombia has several packages available:
- Bronze – includes 111 channels with 3 HD and 2 or 4 Mbps Internet (where available)
- Silver Max – includes 126 channels with 17 HD and 2, 4 or 6 Mbps Internet (where available)
- Gold Max HD – includes 168 channels with 17 HD and 4 or 6 Mbps Internet (where available)
- Platinum – includes 188 channels with 19 HD and 6 Mbps Internet (where available)
DirecTV also has several add-on packages, including:
- NBA Pass with 2 channels for 85,000 pesos per month
- HBO Max with 10 channels for 29,400 pesos per month
- HBO Pack with 17 channels for 17,000 pesos per month
- FOX+ with 8 channels for 29,400 pesos per month
- De Pelicula FOX+ with 4 channels for 17,000 pesos per month
- TV Globo from Brazil with 1 channel for 29,000 pesos per month
- Zee TV from India with 1 channel for 29,000 pesos per month
- NHK from Japan with 1 channel for 32,000 pesos per month
- Several Adult packages for 24,000 to 35,000 pesos per month each
DirecTV additionally has several pay-per-view channels for movies and adult content.
The only drawback with DirecTV is the need to install a satellite dish that may not be possible in some locations.
The Bottom Line
With intense triple play competition between Claro and UNE in Medellín, both companies regularly have promotions for new customers, which help to keep prices for triple play services lower than in the States.
Both Claro and UNE service may not be available in all apartment buildings. In the first unfurnished apartment I rented only UNE was available. In my second and third apartments both Claro and UNE were available.
I don’t watch TV that much so Claro’s basic TV package is fine for me with several channels with English programs and the Spanish ones with subtitles in English help to me to learn Spanish. If you are looking for many channels, DirecTV looks to the have the widest selection of channels available.
More important for me is high-speed and reliable Internet and I have found that Claro is very reliable. I also use my fijo fixed-line telephone frequently to call for taxis and for home delivery (domicilio).
But some of these streaming options might require setting up a VPN to give you an IP address in the states to “tunnel” around censorship and blocked sites.