Nicaragua's communications system rivals the best in Latin America, with the installation of new fiber-optic cables. There are several Internet service providers, cellular phone and pager service providers, as well as direct line service to the United States via Sprint, MCI, or ATT. The Internet providers use relatively new technology, allowing for 56K connections, but I wouldn't recommend logging onto the net for your weekly game of Quake 2 because the lag will make you the most unpopular gamer in history.
Cellular and pager coverage extends along the entire Pacific coast and into parts of the center. Expect to pay about 60 cents a minute for a cellular and 25 bucks a month for a really good pager. Public telephones aren't exactly common in Nicaragua, but they are popping up more and more often, especially in the capital. They accept coins as well as pre-paid cards which can be purchased in most kiosks. At present, 90% of the telephone capacity is digital and in 1996 all of the country's telephone numbers were unified under a seven-digit code system similar to that in the United States. There are currently about 3 phones per 100 people but the government has a program working to increase that number. The state phone company estimates that 40% of the demand in Managua, 30% in other urban areas, and 5% in rural has been filled.
As for the mail system, it's actually remarkably good with only a tiny fraction of the mail not reaching its destination. Like everything else in the country, it was recently restricted with automation, more delivery vehicles, and personnel training programs. And if that's not good enough for you, there's always DHL, Fed Ex, and a lot of international couriers.
Oh yes, for those of you who think that you can't live without your weekly dose of South Park, don't worry. There are several cable companies who provide up to 50 channels of US and international broadcasts including Request 24 hours a day at no extra cost.