Why? Because international roaming is costly.
How much do SIM cards costs in Antigua and Barbuda?
You can get a local SIM card for as little as 20 XCD (7.40 USD). For the same price, you can get a combo plan with 2 GB of data.
Unlike most Caribbean nations, you have three operators in Antigua and Barbuda, giving you more choice.
In this guide, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Antigua and Barbuda. Let's get started.
Original publication: 10th of March 2020. Last updated: 24th of October 2021
Table of Contents
Can You Buy a SIM Card in Antigua and Barbuda?
Everyone living or visiting Antigua and Barbuda can buy a SIM card in the country.
You do have to comply with the SIM card registration regulations. Also, your phone needs to support the frequencies used in Antigua and Barbuda. Finally, you need to have an unlocked phone (SIM-lock free) to use an Antiguan and Barbudan SIM card.
Can You Use Your Phone in Antigua and Barbuda?
GSM technology is used for mobile communications in Antigua and Barbuda. The 4G/LTE frequencies used in Antigua and Barbuda are used mainly in the Americas (North-, Central-, and South America + the Caribbean – ITU Region 2).
However, these frequencies are not used in other regions in the world (Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania – ITU Regions 1 & 3).
If you bought your phone in the Americas (ITU region 2) or have a high-end phone, then you can generally use your cellphone in Antigua and Barbuda.
Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda have three mobile network operators:
- Flow Antigua
- Digicel Antigua
- APUA INET
The official names of Flow and Digicel indeed leave out Barbuda for unknown reasons.
The following frequencies are used in Antigua and Barbuda:
- 2G: 850 MHz
- 3G: 850 MHz
- 4G/LTE: 1700 MHz (Band 4 & Band 17)
Again, make sure your phone is unlocked. Otherwise, you will not be able to use any SIM card except the one from your home operator (meaning you have to roam internationally or buy another unlocked phone that does support the frequencies listed above).
If you want to learn how international roaming works, this guide explains it in-depth. If you wonder why it is often so expensive to roam, this article explains the hidden reason they do not want you to know.
Best SIM Card in Antigua and Barbuda
If you want to buy a SIM card in Antigua and Barbuda, I would recommend going with either Flow or Digicel. Both operators have great coverage in Antigua and Barbuda. Speeds are identical with both operators.
SIM Card Registration in Antigua and Barbuda
SIM card registration with your passport information is required in Antigua and Barbuda. It will be done at the point of purchase.
Antigua and Barbuda Speeds, Internet Prices & Insights
Many island nations have slower than average internet speeds. This applies to Caribbean countries too – to some extent.
Some countries in the Caribbean have slow speeds, while others have decent or fast speeds. At least, compared to the world average.
For reference, the world average is 36 Mbps download, and 11 Mbps download.
What about SIM cards? Are those expensive? Not for Caribbean standards.
The SIM card prices in Antigua and Barbuda are average when compared to other Caribbean nations. Compared to other places in the world, they could be considered expensive.
So what about mobile data? Is it affordable in Antigua and Barbuda?
The average price for 1 GB of data in Antigua and Barbuda is 5.92 USD, which is about the same as the Caribbean average of 7.19 USD. The world average is 5.03 USD.
That is all according to Cable.co.uk.
While SIM card prices and mobile data rates are average in Antigua and Barbuda when looking at them from a regional perspective, mobile internet speeds and nationwide coverage are better than the average.
Therefore, you can expect a seamless mobile experience when in Antigua and Barbuda.
Currency in Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda use the East Caribbean Dollar with the symbol XCD (which will be used throughout this guide). However, prices are often listed as ECD, EC$ or $. For example, 25 ECD is ECD/EC$/$ 25.
XCD is pegged 2.70:1 to the Us Dollar (USD), meaning that 2.70 XCD is 1 USD. 27.10 XCD would be 10 USD. 270 is 100 USD, etc. 1 XCD is 0.37 USD, 10 XCD is 3.70 USD – you know the drill.
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!
Antigua and Barbuda Prepaid SIM Cards
- Background information
- Mobile coverage
- SIM card types, prices, and availability
- Recharge/top-up information
- Combo plans, data plans, and special packs (such as social media packs)
With that being said, let’s see what Antigua and Barbuda have to offer to us.
Flow Antigua and Barbuda
It is unknown whether Flow has a larger market share than Digicel Antigua and Barbuda.
Flow Antigua and Barbuda Coverage
Flow has excellent coverage in Antigua and Barbuda.
The operator claims they cover 100% of Antigua and Barbuda.
On its own, this may seem like a bold claim. However, the the country is not that large, so it could be true. Moreover, that is a general coverage claim, 4G/LTE.
Flow has maps showing its 4G and 4G/LTE coverage on both Antigua and Barbuda.
Do not let “4G” fool you, as that is 3.75G (HSPA+), whereas 4G/LTE is the real 4G you are thinking of (unless you come from another country where Flow or Digicel operate).
Below is a coverage map that gives you a better overview of Flow's coverage.
Getting a Flow Antigua and Barbuda SIM Card & Price
You can purchase a Flow SIM card for 20 XCD in Flow stores. The starter pack includes the 3 Day Always On Plan (1 GB, 200 minutes, and 200 SMS for 3 days).
If you have forgotten your Flow number, you can retrieve it by dialing *555#.
Topping-Up Your Flow Antigua and Barbuda
Flow recharge cards are sold in values of 5 XCD to 200 XCD in Flow stores and at Top Up Vendors in Antigua and Barbuda, including supermarkets, electronic shops, and gas stations. Online recharge with (international) debit and credit cards is an option too.
To redeem your Flow recharge voucher, dial *129#.
To see your Flow balance, dial *120#.
Flow Antigua and Barbuda Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers
Flow Antigua and Barbuda Always On Prepaid Plans
The always On Prepaid Plans are combo plans with data, minutes, and SMS. They also include unlimited social media messaging for SWIFT, standing for Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.
The following Always On Prepaid Plans are available:
|Price||Plan||Data||Unlimited Social Media Messaging (SWIFT)||Local Anywhere Minutes||Local Anywhere SMS||Validity||Activation Code|
|8.50 XCD||Prepaid 1 Day Plan (S)||1 GB||Yes||25 minutes||25 SMS||1 day||*244*0#|
|20 XCD||Prepaid 3 Days Plan (M)||1 GB||Yes||200 minutes||200 SMS||3 days||*244*1#|
|40 XCD||Prepaid 7 Days Plan (L)||3 GB||Yes||350 minutes||350 minutes||7 days||*244*2#|
|100 XCD||Prepaid 30 Days Plan (XL)||7 GB||Yes||700 minutes||700 SMS||30 days||*244*3#|
|120 XCD||Prepaid 30 Days Plan (XXL)||10 GB||Yes||1000 minutes||1000 minutes||30 days||*244*4#|
The Always On Prepaid Plans auto-renew. To cancel auto-renewal, dial *363*1#.
You can check your data balance by dialing *129*4#.
Flow Antigua and Barbuda Data Plans
The Data Plans are standard data-only plans.
The following Data Plans are available, which can be activated by dialing *129#:
|2 XCD||20 MB||1 day|
|3.29 XCD||250 MB||1 day|
|12.99 XCD||500 MB||3 days|
|21.99 XCD||500 MB||7 days|
|29.99 XCD||1 GB||7 days|
|44.99 XCD||1 GB||30 days|
|79.99 XCD||3 GB||30 days|
|99.99 XCD||3 GB||30 days|
The Data Plans auto-renew. To cancel auto-renewal, dial *787#.
You can check your data balance by dialing *129*4#.
Flow Antigua and Barbuda APN Settings
- Name: FLOW Internet
- APN: ppinternet
Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.
Digicel Antigua and Barbuda
Digicel Antigua and Barbuda, just Digicel, is the operator that dominates the mobile market, together with Flow Antigua and Barbuda.
It is unknown whether Digicel has a larger market share than Flow Antigua and Barbuda.
Digicel Antigua and Barbuda Coverage
Digicel has excellent coverage in Antigua and Barbuda.
They used to have a coverage map on their site. This map, unfortunately, vanished when Digicel redesigned their website. Luckily, we have the coverage map checked by Speedtest.
Getting a Digicel Antigua and Barbuda SIM Card & Price
Digicel SIM cards can be bought for 20 XCD in Digicel stores.
You may have to dial *122# to activate your Digicel SIM card if the salesperson has not done that for you.
Topping-Up Your Digicel Antigua and Barbuda SIM Card
Digicel recharge vouchers are sold in denominations of 5 XCD to 200 XCD in Digicel stores and other establishments like gas stations, grocery stores, and post offices. Online top-ups with (international) debit or credit cards are available as well.
To redeem your Digicel recharge voucher, dial *125#VoucherCode#.
For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *125#123456#.
To see your Digicel balance, dial *120#.
Digicel Antigua and Barbuda Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers
Digicel has two types of bundles – the Prime Bundles and the Pick Lite bundles.
Digicel Antigua and Barbuda Prime Bundles
Digicel has the new Prime Bundles, which are combo bundles with data, minutes, and SMS. There are also dedicated data allowances for select apps.
The following Prime Bundles are available:
|Price||Bundle||Any Use LTE Data||Listen More (Music) Data||Listen More (Radio) Data||Watch More Data||Play More Data||Share More Data||Know More Data||Store More Data||On-Net Minutes||Off-Net Minutes||On-Net SMS||Validity|
|8 XCD||1 Day Digicel Prime Bundle||2 GB||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||Unlimited||75 off-net minutes||Unlimited||1 day|
|40 XCD||7 Day Digicel Prime Bundle||5 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||Unlimited||400 off-net minutes||Unlimited||7 days|
|110 XCD||30 Day Digicel Prime Bundle||12 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||Unlimited||1000 off-net minutes||Unlimited||30 days|
You also get unlimited Do More data, which is for the MyDigicel App
Prime Bundles can be activated on the MyDigicel app or by dialing *141#.
You can download any Prime Bundle app by visiting the links below:
- Listen More (Music) with D'Music
- Listen More (Radio) with GoLoud
- Watch More with PlayGo
- Play More with Sports Max
- Share More with Bip
- Know More with Loop
- Store More with Billo
Digicel Antigua and Barbuda Quick Pick Bundles
The Quick Pick Bundles are combo bundles, data-only, or call/SMS-only bundles available as Pick Talk, Pick Data, and Pick Data & Talk.
The following Quick Pick Bundles are available:
|Price||Bundle||Data||Unlimited Social Media||On-Net Minutes||On-Net SMS||Validity|
|28 XCD||Pick Data||500 MB||No||No||No||7 days|
|28 XCD||Pick Talk||N/A||No||Yes||Yes||7 days|
|35 XCD||Pick Data & Talk||700 MB||Yes, one app||Unlimited||Unlimited||7 days|
|90 XCD||Pick Data||3 GB||No||No||No||30 days|
|90 XCD||Pick Talk||N/A||No||Yes||Yes||30 days|
|105 XCD||Pick Data & Talk||3 GB||Yes, one app||Unlimited||Unlimited||30 days|
Unlimited on-net minutes has a daily Fair Use limit of 8 hours a day.
You have to select which app you want for unlimited social media data (Instagram, Twitter & Instagram) on the MyDigicel app.
Unused data will roll over when you let your Quick Pick Bundle auto-renew or if you purchase another Quick Pick Bundle before it expires. Up to 15 GB can be rolled over.
To check your Quick Pick Bundle call balance, dial *120*2#. To check your data balance, dial *120*131#.
The Quick Pick Bundles auto-renew. To cancel auto-renewal, dial *141#.
Digicel Antigua and Barbuda Pick Lite
The Pick Lite bundles are combo bundles with data and minutes.
The following Pick Lite bundles are available:
|4 XCD||50 MB||10 minutes||1 day|
|20 XCD||350 MB||70 minutes||7 days|
|70 XCD||1.5 GB||300 minutes||30 days|
Unused data and minutes will roll over when you let your Pick Lite bundle auto-renew or if you purchase another Pick Lite bundle before it expires. Up to 15 GB can be rolled over.
To check your Pick Lite balance, dial *141#.
The Pick Lite bundles auto-renew. This can be deactivated on the MyDigicel app.
Digicel Antigua and Barbuda APN Settings
- Name: Digicel
- APN: web
Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.
APUA INET, mostly referred to as INET, is the smallest operator in Antigua and Barbuda. They have been offering mobile data for less than five years, while its competitors have been offering it for more than a decade.
APUA INET Coverage
APUA INET claims to have great coverage in Antigua and Barbuda.
Sadly, APUA has no official coverage map, nor could any other coverage map be found.
Compared to Flow Antigua and Barbuda and Digicel Antigua and Barbuda, APUA INET has not been offering mobile data services for long, meaning that their coverage has yet to be proven.
I assume that their coverage is good to excellent (mostly because Antigua and Barbuda are not so large). Still, I suspect it to be (slightly) worse than Flow Antigua and Barbuda‘s and Digicel Antigua and Barbuda‘s coverage.
Getting an APUA INET SIM Card & Price
APUA INET SIM cards can be purchased for 25 XCD in the APUA store.
Topping-Up Your APUA INET SIM Card
APUA INET recharge vouchers are sold in denominations of 5 XCD to 200 XCD in the APUA store and from other Top Up Vendors.
To redeem your APUA INET recharge voucher, dial *121#.
To see your APUA INET balance, dial *121#.
APUA INET Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers
APUA INET offers several packages, which are:
Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.
APUA INET Italk N Surf (Talk & Data)
The Italk n Surf bundles, also known as Talk & Data plans, are combo plans with data, minutes, and SMS.
The following Italk n Surf bundles can be bought, which can be activated by dialing *121#:
|Price||Plan||Data||Bonus Data||Local Minutes||Local SMS||Validity|
|6.95 XCD||Italk n Surf 700||700 MB||N/A||50 minutes||“Unlimited” 5000 SMS||1 day|
|20 XCD||Italk n Surf 2G||2 GB||N/A||200 minutes||“Unlimited” 5000 SMS||3 days|
|39.95 XCD||Italk n Surf 4G||4 GB||1.5 GB||500 minutes||“Unlimited” 5000 SMS||7 days|
|89.95 XCD||Italk n Surf 8G||8 GB||3 GB||800 minutes||“Unlimited” 5000 SMS||30 days|
|109.95 XCD||Italk n Surf 10G||10 GB||4 GB||1200 minutes||“Unlimited” 5000 SMS||30 days|
Unused data and minutes will roll over when you renew your plan or ranother plan. Up to 50 GB and 5000 minutes can be in your data and call bank.
APUA INET Data Only
The Data Only plans are standard data-only bundles.
The following Data Only packages can be activated, which can be purchased by dialing *121#:
|5 XCD||My Data 250||250 MB||1 day|
|25 XCD||My Data 750||750 MB||7 days|
|34 XCD||My Data 1G||1 GB||7 days|
|79 XCD||My Data 3G||3 GB||30 days|
|99 XCD||My Data 5G||5 GB||30 days|
Unused data and minutes will roll over when you renew your plan or purchase another plan. Up to 50 GB can be in your data bank.
APUA INET Data Add Ons
The Data Add Ons are data boosters for the Talk n Surf and Data Only plans.
The following Data Add Ons can be purchased, which can be activated by dialing *121#:
|3 XCD||Data Plus 100||100 MB||5 days|
|8 XCD||Data Plus 300||300 MB||5 days|
|10 XCD||Data Plus 512||512 MB||5 days|
|19 XCD||Data Plus 1024||1 GB||5 days|
APUA INET APN Settings
- Name: APUA
- APN: internet
Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Antigua and Barbuda
However, these methods may be more expensive than getting a SIM card from the two local operators.
International roaming is the most convenient way to stay connected when traveling in other countries because you do not have to buy a new SIM card, have to deal with SIM card registration regulations, nor have multiple phone numbers to deal with.
However, international roaming has proven to be expensive in many cases, especially compared to buying local SIM cards. That is why many travelers are not fond of international roaming.
International roaming has its pros and cons. However, it is important to know how it works. This in-depth guide explains it all.
Find out whether your mobile operator has attractive roaming rates for Antigua and Barbuda here.
Using an International SIM Card or Travel SIM Card
International SIM cards are SIM cards made for the traveler in mind. Using them is often cheaper than international roaming. However, they are almost always more expensive than using a local SIM card.
There are many other advantages and disadvantages of getting international SIM cards, which you can learn about here.
Mobile hotspots, or pocket WIFI, are small devices that connect to the local operators of the country you are visiting. Mobile hotspots are ideal for families or those traveling in a large group, as they allow you to connect multiple devices to one hotspot without the need of each traveler having to buy a SIM card.
Using Free WIFI Networks
Using free WIFI connections is the cheapest way to stay connected because they are free. The major downside of trying to use WIFI hotspots is that you will have to locate them, and they are not available on every corner in Antigua and Barbuda.
Make sure to protect your internet traffic with a VPN so that hackers cannot steal your personal data.
The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Antigua and Barbuda
Getting a SIM card from either Flow or Digicel would do you well when considering an Antiguan and Barbudan SIM card.
Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other Caribbean Countries
Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
Next Steps to Enhance Your Travel Experiences
Looking for the next steps to enhance your phone travel experiences? Here is what to do:
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