Buying a Prepaid SIM Card in Seychelles Guide

When in Seychelles, you would be better of buying a local prepaid SIM card because international roaming has proven to be expensive in many cases, even on Seychelles.

Moreover, it is easy to get a SIM card in Seychelles. You could buy a SIM card from Airtel Seychelles or Cable & Wireless Seychelles at the international airport at no premium, or you can visit one of their stores in town to get yourself one.

The telecom situation is straightforward on Seychelles, but there are still some things you need to know about buying a local prepaid SIM card there.

In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Seychelles. Let's get started.

Buying a SIM Card in Seychelles Guide (Airtel and Cable & Wireless)

Telecom Operators, Networks, and Frequencies in Seychelles

Seychelles has two mobile telecom operators:

Both operators have 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks.

The following frequencies are used by the Seychelles operators:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20)

The Best Prepaid SIM Card in Seychelles

If you want to buy a SIM card in Seychelles, then both Airtel and Cable & Wireless are good options. Airtel has better coverage on the main islands in Seychelles, while Cable & Wireless charge slightly less for their packages and covers the smaller islands.

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SIM Card Registration Regulations in Seychelles

Just like all countries in East Africa, and Africa in general, you have to register your passport details to buy a SIM card in Seychelles.

Flag of Seychelles

The State of the Telecom Market in Seychelles

Seychelles is a multi-island nation. Island nations sometimes have to deal with extremely slow internet because of satellite use instead of submarine cables. Submarine cables provide much faster internet speeds than satellites, and about 99% of the global internet traffic goes through submarine Cables.

In the case of Seychelles, they are connected to two international submarine cables (PEACE & SEAS), meaning that internet speeds will be significantly faster compared to island nations that use satellite connections, like Ascension Island.

Normally, I look at the Speedtest Global IndexOpens in a new tab. to see how a country is doing with their mobile internet speeds. Unfortunately, not enough users in Seychelles do speed tests with the Speedtest app on their phones for a representative average. However, the average download speed for fixed broadband was 34 Mbps in June 2020, placing Seychelles on place 86Opens in a new tab. of the 174 countries indexed. That looks promising.

However, according to a study done by Cable.co.ukOpens in a new tab., the mean download speed in Seychelles is 2.93 Mbps, placing Seychelles on spot 146 of the 208 countries studied. This means that it would take almost 4 hours to download a 5 GB movie on mobile.

Moreover, (mobile) internet is on the more expensive side in Seychelles when compared to the rest of Africa. The Alliance 4 Affordable Internet (A4AI)Opens in a new tab. found that the average cost for 1 GB of data is 6.45 USD in Africa. In Seychelles, the average price of 1 GB of data is 11.43 USD. When looking at the mobile data costs at a regional level (Sub-Saharan Africa), Seychelles is still on the more expensive side. 1 GB of data costs 6.91 USD on average in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Cable & Wireless Seychelles is already boasting their 5G (NR) plans for the country, which should result in much faster (mobile) internet speeds for the island nation. Airtel will follow suit with their 5G (NR) development, so I expect much faster speeds in Seychelles in the coming few years.

When looking at coverage, it looks like both operators cover Seychelles well. But as mentioned in the Best Prepaid SIM Card in Seychelles section, Airtel Seychelles has the best coverage on the main islands, while Cable & Wireless Seychelles also covers some smaller islands (Silhouette Island & Ile du Nord)

Airtel Seychelles Coverage Map (Speedtest)
Airtel Seychelles Coverage Map according to the Speedtest Network CheckerOpens in a new tab.
Cable & Wireless Seychelles Coverage Map (Speedtest)
Cable & Wireless Seychelles Coverage Map according to the Speedtest Network CheckerOpens in a new tab.

Currency in Seychelles

Seychelles uses the Seychellois Rupee with the symbol SCR (which will be used throughout this article). Prices in Seychelles are listed in SCR or SR. For reference, below are some exchange rates between SCR and USD (US Dollars – Rounded):

  • 1 SCR = 0.06 USD
  • 10 SCR = 0.55 USD
  • 100 SCR = 5.70 USD
  • 1000 SCR = 56.80 USD
  • 10 000 SCR = 568.15 USD

For up-to-date SCR:USD exchange rates, search SCR to USD on Google, or replace USD with the currency you use.

If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Transferwise Borderless Account and Debit Card. Their fees are MUCH lower than banks, and credit card companies charge you (and Transferwise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks). I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Euros, my main currency, when using Transferwise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards. Open a Transferwise account FREE!

Transferwise Banner

Video Guide for Buying a SIM Card in Seychelles

Are you a visual learner? You can watch this Seychelles SIM Card Buying Guide! It is recommended to read the remainder of the review after watching this video (I refer to this article a few times throughout the video). Otherwise, you will be missing key elements related to Seychellois SIM cards. Also, be sure to subscribe to the channel after watching the video!

Seychelles Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through Airtel Seychelles and Cable & Wireless Seychelles and go through:

  • Background information about the operators
  • How to get a SIM card from each operator
  • How to recharge your SIM card
  • What type of data-featured packages are offered by the operators

What that being said, let's see what the Seychelles operators have to offer to us.

Airtel Seychelles

Airtel Logo

Airtel SeychellesOpens in a new tab., just Airtel, is the largest operator in Seychelles. They also have the best coverage throughout SeychellesOpens in a new tab., but they can be slower than Cable & Wireless Seychelles at times.

Airtel Seychelles Coverage Map (Speedtest)

Getting an Airtel Seychelles Prepaid SIM Card

You can buy an Airtel SIM card for 100 SCR in Airtel ShowroomsOpens in a new tab. and from many other types of stores throughout Seychelles, like grocery stores, kiosks, and convenience stores. Airtel also has a booth at Seychelles International Airport (Victoria-Seychelles Airport). The SIM card will come with 25 SCR in credit. During promotions, one can get an Airtel SIM card for 50 SCR.

How to See your Airtel Seychelles Phone Number

If you forget your Airtel phone number, you can retrieve it by dialing *121#, choosing option 1 (My account), and option 1 again (My telephone number).

Topping-Up Your Airtel Seychelles Prepaid SIM Card

Airtel top-up vouchers are sold at any store that has the Airtel logo on their storefront, which are grocery stores, convenience stores, and gas stations. Recharge vouchers are sold from 50 SCR to 1000 SCR. It is also possible to recharge onlineOpens in a new tab. with an international debit or credit card.

Airtel Seychelles Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers

Airtel Seychelles 4G

Airtel has only one type of data-featured plan, which is their data bundles. The following data bundles are available, which can be activated by dialing *121#:

PriceDataValidity
24 SCR50 MB7 days
49 SCR150 MB15 days
98 SCR300 MB30 days
149 SCR750 MB30 days
299 SCR1.5 GB30 days
499 SCR3 GB30 days
999 SCR7 GB *30 days
1999 SCR15 GB30 days

* Officially, the Airtel site states that you get 7158 MB, which is about 6.99 GB. I assume that is a typo and should have been 7168 MB, which is exactly 7 GB.

To check your Airtel data balance, dial *220*3#

Airtel Seychelles APN Settings

In most cases, your phone will retrieve the correct Airtel Seychelles APN setting automatically. If you need to enter the APN settings manually, then you need the following details (do not add anything else not mentioned down below):

  • Name: Airtel
  • APN: airtelgprs.com

RELATED GUIDES:

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Get regular phone-travel-related news, tips, and articles. I will also send you a FREE Excel sheet with the best operator(s) of 230+ destinations around the world, including why they are the best, SIM card prices, and more! 

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Cable & Wireless Seychelles

Cable & Wireless Logo

Cable & Wireless Seychelles, just Cable & Wireless, is the other operator in Seychelles. They used to have a monopoly in Seychelles until Airtel entered the market. Since then, they lost their monopoly status and also lost the top spot.

Cable & Wireless' coverage is slightly worse than the one of Airtel. However, one average, Cable & Wireless is marginally cheaper than Airtel. Moreover, Cable & Wireless offers a dedicated allowance for Facebook, which means Facebook use does not get deducted from your main data allowance.

Cable & Wireless Seychelles Coverage Map (Speedtest)

Getting a Cable & Wireless Seychelles Prepaid SIM Card

You can get a Cable & Wireless SIM card for 100 SCR in Cable & Wireless Stores throughout multiple islands and at their booth at Seychelles International Airport (Victoria-Seychelles Airport). The SIM card will come with 25 SCR in credit.

How to See your Cable & Wireless Seychelles Phone Number

You can retrieve your Cable & Wireless phone number by dialing #126#.

Topping-Up Your Cable & Wireless Prepaid SIM Card

You can recharge your Cable & Wireless SIM card with eTopUps, which are electronic top-up vouchers that can be purchased in Cable & Wireless stores and 300+ stores across Seychelles. eTopUps start from 50 SCR to 1000 SCR. It is also possible to top-up online with an international debit or credit card.

In the past, PayPal was an accepted payment method, but that has been discontinued recently.

To check your Cable & Wireless balance, dial #125#.

Cable & Wireless Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers

Cable & Wireless has one type of data-only bundles, which are their Data TopUps. They come with data, while some plans also come with a dedicated Facebook data allowance.

Cable & Wireless Seychelles Data TopUps

The following Data TopUps are available, which can be activated by dialing #155#:

PriceDataFacebook DataValidity
24 SCR50 MBN/A7 days
49 SCR150 MBN/A15 days
99 SCR300 MBN/A30 days
199 SCR1 GBN/A30 days
399 SCR2 GBN/A30 days
549 SCR3 GB300 MB30 days
749 SCR4 GB400 MB30 days
849 SCR5 GB500 MB30 days
1699 SCR10 GB1000 MB30 days

You can check your data balance by dialing #125#.

Cable & Wireless Seychelles APN Settings

In most cases, your phone will retrieve the correct Cable & Wireless APN settings automatically. You can also text all to 9633 to retrieve the APN settings. If that does not work and you need to add them manually, then you need the following details (do not add anything else not mentioned below):

  • Name: CW Seychelles
  • APN: internet

Other Ways to Get Online When Traveling in Seychelles

Getting a Seychelles SIM card is the cheapest way to stay connected when traveling in Seychelles.

Although the average data prices in Seychelles are on the more expensive end when looking at Africa in general, they are still affordable. However, getting an Airtel or Cable & Wireless SIM card is not the only way to get online when in Seychelles. You could also:

International SIM Cards for Seychelles

International SIM cards and travel SIM cards can be a convenient way to stay connected when traveling around multiple countries. Many countries require those buying local prepaid SIM cards to go through a registration procedure, like in Seychelles. This can be time-consuming and bothersome.

Moreover, you will have to deal with multiple numbers and SIM cards when traveling, which makes it hard for friends and family to stay in touch with you when not using messaging apps.

There is one international SIM card that I would recommend for Seychelles, and that is Surfroam.

Surfroam for Seychelles

Surfroam logo

Surfroam is an international SIM card that can be used in over 200 destinations around the world, including Seychelles.

I bring my Surfroam SIM card to every destination I go because I may not be able to buy a local SIM as quickly as I want, and I do want to be connected when I arrive as quickly as possible.

Surfroam data rates start from as little as €0.01/MB (or €10.24/GB) in over 200 destinations. However, you will pay €0.03/MB (or 30.72/GB) in Seychelles, which is on the expensive side.

When in Seychelles, I would not recommend watching YouTube videos or anything that uses a lot of data with your Surfroam SIM card, because you would be paying a lot for in Seychelles. In other destinations where you only pay €0.01/MB, I do not even pay attention to how much data I use.

Even if you will not use your Surfroam in Seychelles, you will always have a SIM card to rely on in case of emergencies.

Surfroam Banner

Roaming with Your Provider in Seychelles

We have already established that international roaming can be expensive in many cases. However, it is the most convenient way to stay connected when traveling because you do not have to swap SIM cards and your friends and family can reach you on the phone number they already have.

There is no particular operator that comes up in my mind that has an attractive roaming plan that covers Seychelles. However, I have written roaming guides of many operators around the world. You could look for yours and see if they have decent rates for Seychelles.

Free WIFI Hotspots in Seychelles

I do not think I have to explain this one a lot. Using free WIFI hotspots is the cheapest way to get online because you do not have to pay for anything. However, free WIFI hotspots can be unsecure and unreliable.

You will find many open hotspots throughout Seychelles, but they will be slow. Moreover, public WIFI hotspots are unsecure. They are a prime target for hackers to steal your data and use it for illicit purposes.

That is why I use, and would recommend you to start using, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if you connect to a public hotspot. What a VPN does is creating an encrypted tunnel between your device and the hotspot so that your data will stay private. I use NordVPN as my primary VPN.

The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Seychelles

Getting a SIM card from Airtel (best coverage) or Cable & Wireless (cheapest option) would do you well considering a Seychelles SIM card.

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Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other African Countries

Visiting other countries in Africa? Check out my Africa SIM card buying guide, covering other African countries, such as

Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.

Local Prepaid SIM Card in Other African Countries

Going to other countries in East Africa? Check out my East Africa SIM card buying guide, covering other East African nations, such as:

Be sure to check out this guide covering all African countries, such as these popular African travel destinations:

Otherwise, I have many guides covering countries all over the world. Get my SIM card recommendation sheet by signing up for my newsletter!

Next Steps to Enhance Your Travel Experiences

Looking for the next steps to enhance your phone travel experiences? Here is what to do:

Check Out My Resource Page

Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my travel resources page for the best companies to use when you travel! Save money with international SIM cards, on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises, and accommodation. Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!

Start Your Own Online Business – Make Money While Traveling

Do you want to learn how I started an online business that allows me to generate income while traveling? In my starting an online business guide, I tell you which tools, services, and products I have for this site and my YouTube channel. If I can start a business about something I am passionate about (phone travel), then you can do it too!

Learn About Your Phone Travel Options

You can buy local prepaid SIM cards, international SIM cards, mobile hotspots, or roam internationally. Each of these options has its pros and cons. Learn more about them, and find the best option for you.

Phone Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks

I have written many articles with tips and hacks to save money on mobile costs while abroad. You surely want to check them out!

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Ernest Adu

Ernest Adu, going by just Adu, is the founder and editor at Phone Travel Wiz. He has been a traveler for 6 years. Although from Europe, the Netherlands, Adu's favorite region is Asia. In particular, East and Southeast Asia. He currently lives in Tainan, Taiwan.

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