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2 Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Belize: Buying Guide

Belize – meaning muddy waters in Spanish, is a country in Central America.

Next to the Caribbean Sea, the country hosts majestic beaches, the Belize Barrier Reef, and various Caves like the ATM cave.

Not only that, but there are plenty of museums to visit, resorts to chill at, and snorkeling and scuba diving locations – all instagrammable activities and locations!

Before you host a 1-hour live stream, you should know that social media apps consume a lot of data. This is not an issue if you have a large data plan or, even better, an unlimited data plan; those allowances often do not apply when abroad.

And to make matters worse, international roaming rates are often insanely high, making it expensive. If you do not watch out, you will come back home bankrupt.

Okay, roaming probably will not bankrupt you, but the costs are high.

So how to stay connected when traveling abroad in an affordable way? By using local SIM cards, like a Belizean one.

That way, you can enjoy local rates, which are almost always lower than international roaming.

So how much do SIM cards cost in Belize?

You can get a Belizean SIM card for as low as 20 BZD (10 USD) in Digi and Smart! stores and SIM agents. A data plan with 1700 MB valid for 7 days will cost you at least 20 BZD (10 USD).

Cannot see the video above? Watch it here or on YouTube.

Those prices are not too bad. Sure, it can be cheaper in other places throughout the Americas, but it could also be much worse *cough* The Falkland Islands *cough*.

But there are quite some things to know before buying a SIM card in Belize.

In this guide, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Belize. Let's do this.

Buying a SIM Card in Belize Guide (Digi Belize & Smart! Belize)

Original publication: 29th of December 2019. Last updated: 21st of June 2021.

Table of Contents

Can You Buy a SIM Card in Belize?

Anyone 18 years old or older can buy a SIM card in Belize without restrictions.

You should know that your SIM card has to be registered in your name through a SIM card registration process. Moreover, your phone needs to support the frequencies used in the country (even if you plan on roaming in Belize). Finally, your phone needs to be unlocked (SIM-lock-free) to use local SIM cards

Where Can You Buy a SIM Card in Belize?

You can get a Belizean SIM card in Digi and Smart! stores.

It is not possible to buy a SIM card at Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (Belize Airport).

Cannot see the video above? Watch it here or on YouTube.

You can expect to pay the following for Belizean SIM cards:

  • Digi Belize (formerly DigiCell): 22.50 BZD
  • Smart!: 15 BZD

Can You Use Your Phone in Belize?

Belize uses GSM technology for mobile communications primarily. CDMA phones will only work with Smart!. However, CDMA will be phased out in the near future. Both Digi and Smart have GSM networks.

You also need to be aware of the ITU regions to determine whether your phone will work in other parts of the world.

Although there are three ITU regions, you only need to know these two terms: American Frequencies and European Frequencies.

Belize uses American Frequencies, which are used in the Americas (North-, Central, and South America + the Caribbean – ITU Region 2). Phones sold in the Americas typically have no issues when using their phone in other ITU Region 2 countries.

In Africa, Asia (including the Middle East), Europe, and Oceania (ITU Regions 1 & 3), they typically use European Frequencies, meaning phones bought in those regions can be used in countries using European Frequencies without issues.

ITU Regions Map
By Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) – Own work, using this file by Denelson83, CC BY-SA 2.5

If you purchased your phone in the Americas (ITU Region 2), you should not experience any issues with using your phone in Belize.

If you bought your phone in Africa, Asia, Europe, or Oceania (ITU regions 1 & 3) and have a low/medium-end device without Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, then there is a possibility you cannot use your phone when in Belize or can only use slower networks (3G or 2G).

If you have a medium/high-end device with Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, you can use your phone in Belize (to some extent) – also on 4G/LTE.

Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Belize

Belize has two mobile network operators:

  • Digi by BTL
  • Smart! by Speednet

The following frequencies are used in Belize:

  • 2G: 850 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 13 & Band 17) & 1900 MHz (Band 2)

You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.

Cannot see the video above? Watch it here or on YouTube.

To check whether your phone will work in Belize, check out this page by Will My Phone Work (may be outdated or inaccurate at times).

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.

A Note About 4G HSPA+

Before 4G/LTE was being rolled out in Belize, both Digi and Smart! thought it was a great idea to market HSPA+, which is 3.75G, as 4G (HSPA+) to confuse or trick customers into thinking that they were getting 4G/LTE experiences. 4G HSPA+ is not 4G/LTE – it is a lie.

To this day, some operators referred to HSPA+ as 4G. While 4G/LTE or LTE is true 4G/LTE.

As of 2015 and 2016, true 4G/LTE is available in Belize, but the 4G HSPA+ trickery is still going on to this day.

Unfortunately, this lie is not exclusive to Belize, if affected (almost) all countries in the Americas, including Canada, countries where Digicel (with one L) is active, and various other bad actors. As history likes to repeat itself, American operators AT&T & Verizon have been caught lying about their 5G networks. In addition, T-Mobile USA was told to town down with their 5G reliability advertisements.

Almost none of the operators in Central or South America have proper commercial 5G NR. I hope they will not try this trickery again.

5G in Belize

5G is not available in Belize as of 2021, and the Belizean government has not made any indications of when they will auction 5G licenses.

Best SIM Card in Belize

If you want to buy the best SIM card in Belize, I recommend going with either Digi or Smart!. Digi has the best coverage and fastest speeds, but it is also the most expensive. On the other hand, Smart! is cheaper, but you have to trade in speeds and coverage for lower costs.

SIM Card Registration in Belize

SIM card registration, with the use of your passport information, is mandatory in Belize. This will be done at the point of purchase.

Remember, you also need to be at least 18 years old to purchase and register a SIM card in Belize.

Belize Internet Prices & Insights

Flag of Belize

Central America is one of the regions with the lowest mobile data rates. But can the same be said for Belize?

How expensive is mobile data in Belize?

The average price for 1 GB of data in Belize is 2.97 USD, slightly above the Central American average of 2.40 USD. The world average is 4.07 USD.

Compared to 2019, the average cost of 1 GB of data went down by 32.3%.

Back in 2018, Speedtest did its Belize Fastest Mobile Network Awards, and Digi (back then DigiCell) won the award with an average download speed of 21 Mbps. Smart! was not far behind, with an average download speed of 16 Mbps.

Belize Speedtest Awards Fastest Mobile Network Statistics

Mobile coverage will be great in the urban areas but may be disappointing in rural Belize. Unfortunately, his is the norm in the region (mostly because of mountains, (rain)forests, and jungles), but it is something to be aware of.

You should have a relatively smooth network experience in Belize.

Currency in Belize

100 Belize Dollar Note
© Central Bank of Belize

Belize uses the Belize Dollar with the symbol BZD (which will be used throughout this guide). However, prices are often listed as just $ or BZ$. For example, 25 BZD = BZ$/$25.

BZD is officially pegged 2:1 to the US Dollar (USD), meaning that 2 BZD is 1 USD or 0.5 USD is 1 BZD. However, the exchange rate has been 1:1 for the past few years.

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

Wise Signup Banner

Belizean Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through Digi & Smart!, and go through:

  • 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 Belize has to offer to us.

Digi Belize (formerly DigiCell)

Digi Belize Logo
© Digi/BTL

Digi by BTL, not to be confused with Digi in Malaysia, and formerly known as DigiCell, is the largest operator in Belize. Digi used to have a monopoly until Smart! entered the market. It has won the Speedtest Belize Fastest Mobile Network of 2018.

Digi uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 850 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 3G: 850 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 17) & 1900 MHz (Band 2)

This is what you will learn about Digi:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Digi SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping-Up Options & Methods
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Click on the links above to jump to the section you are interested in.

Jump to Smart!

Coverage – Digi Belize (Formerly DigiCell)

Digi has the best coverage in Belize.

Do note that reception may be lacking in rural areas, or you may have no coverage at all.

Below is Digi's coverage map:

SIM Card Price – Digi Belize (Formerly DigiCell)

You can buy a Digi SIM card for 22.50 BZD with 10 BZD in credit in Digi stores and Digi Agents.

Short-term travelers can also take advantage of the Digi Tourist SIM card. It costs 20 USD and features 5 BZD in credit, 4 GB of data, 300 local minutes, and 300 local SMS – all valid for 14 days. The SIM card itself becomes deactivated after 21 days, and it cannot be extended.

Digi SIM cards get deactivated if there has been no activity for 3 months (no top-up for 3 months or no activity for 3 months).

Dial *100# or call *100 to access the Digi menu.

Topping Up & Recharging – Digi Belize (Formerly DigiCell)

Digi top-up vouchers are sold in Digi stores and Digi Agents, but also from top-up agents. These include grocery stores, bars, and convenience stores.

The following top-up options are available:

Top-UpValidity
5 BZD30 days 
10 BZD30 days 

To top up your Digi SIM card, dial *100# and follow the instructions.

You can also tell the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Dial *201#, call 100 or text bal to 100 to check your Digi balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the Digi app (Android/iOS).

Digi Belize App
© Digi/BTL

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Digi Belize (Formerly DigiCell)

Digi has four types of data-featured plans, which are:

Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

All In One Bundles – Digi Belize (Formerly DigiCell)

The All In One Bundles are combo bundles with data, minutes, and SMS.

You can activate an All In One Bundle by dialing *100#:

PricePlanDataLocal MinutesOn-Net SMSValidity
6 BZDS-Bundle350 MB30 minutes“Unlimited”, 10 000 SMS3 days 
13 BZDM-Bundle750 MB60 minutes“Unlimited”, 10 000 SMS5 days
25 BZDL-Bundle1500 MB90 minutes“Unlimited”, 10 000 SMS10 days 
PrePaid Data Plans – Digi Belize (Formerly DigiCell)

The PrePaid Data Plans are data-only bundles.

The following PrePaid Data Plans can be purchased by dialing *100#:

PricePlanDataValidity
1 BZDXS Plan130 MB6 hours 
2.50 BZDS Plan330 MB1 day
5 BZDM Plan680 MB3 days 
12 BZDL Plan1700 MB7 days 
20 BZDL+ Plan3000 MB15 days 
35 BZDXL Plan5500 MB30 days 
45 BZDXXL Plan 7500 MB30 days 
69 BZDWork From Home Data Plan 25 600 MB30 days 
Digi After Dark – Digi Belize (Formerly DigiCell)

The Digi After Dark plan is a nighttime data bundle that can be used for one night (20:00 – 6:00).

Digi After Dark can be bought by dialing *100#:

PriceDataOn-Net MinutesOn-Net SMSValidity
1.99 BZD1 GB UnlimitedUnlimited1 night (20:00 – 6:00)
Weekend Data Pass – Digi Belize (Formerly DigiCell)

The Weekend Data Pass is a data bundle with 1 GB for one weekend (from Saturday 0:00 to Sunday 23:95).

The Weekend Data Pass can be activated by dialing *700#:

PriceDataValidity
5 BZD1 GB 1 weekend (Saturday 0:00 – Sunday 23:59) 

APN/Internet Settings – Digi Belize (Formerly DigiCell)

  • Name: digi
  • APN: data

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

Smart!

Smart Belize Logo
© Smart!

Smart! by Speednet is the smaller operator in Belize. It entered the Belizean market to end Digi's/BTL's monopoly. Smart! is popular among the Belizean youth.

Smart! uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: N/A
  • 3G: 850 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 13)

This is what you will learn about Smart!:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Smart! SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping-Up Options & Methods
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Click on the links above to jump to the section you are interested in.

Jump to Digi

Coverage – Smart!

Smart! has decent coverage throughout Belize.

Smart!'s 4G/LTE coverage is lacking, but it has overall coverage in the more populated areas in Belize. It is not recommended to go with Smart if planning on visiting rural Belize.

Below is Smart!'s coverage map:

SIM Card Price – Smart!

You can get a Smart! SIM card for 15 BZD in Smart! stores.

Short-term travelers can also take advantage of the Smart! Tourist SIM card. It costs 75 BZD and featured 70 BZD in credit, 3800 MB, and 500 local SMS – all valid for 30 days.

You can use your bonus credit to buy a Mobile Data plan.

Topping Up & Recharging – Smart!

Smart! top-up vouchers are sold in Smart! stores and many other stores, including pharmacies, post offices, and corner shops.

The following top-up options are available:

Top-UpValidity
5 BZD15 days 
10 BZD30 days 
20 BZD30 days 
50 BZD60 days 
100 BZD60 days 

The following online/eTopUp options are available:

Top-UpValidity
1 BZD – 9.99 BZD15 days 
10 BZD – 29.99 BZD30 days 
30 BZD – 49.99 BZD45 days 
50 BZD => 60 days 

To top up your Smart! SIM card, call 120, and enter your Voucher Code.

You can also tell the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Call 122 to check your Smart! balance.

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Smart!

Smart! has only one data-featured plan, which is the Mobile Data Plan.

You can activate a Mobile Data plan by calling the Activation Code:

PriceDataValidityActivation Code
1.25 BZD165 MB24 hours638
4 BZD530 MB24 hours638
7 BZD1000 MB3 days 638
14 BZD2000 MB7 days 3282
25 BZD3800 MB15 days 3282
40 BZD6300 MB30 days 3282
60 BZD10 000 MB30 days 3282
110 BZD18 500 MB40 days 3282
160 BZD31 000 MB 40 days 3282

APN/Internet Settings – Smart!

  • Name: smart
  • APN: smart.com.bz

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Belize

I would highly encourage anyone visiting Belize to get themselves a Belizian SIM card – you will be saving a lot of money when you do so.

However, for some, getting a Belizian SIM card is not an option. For example, your device may be SIM-locked, meaning that you cannot use any SIM card other than the SIM card provided by your operator.

There are other ways to stay online while in Belize, but they may not be cheap.

However, these methods may be more expensive than getting a SIM card from the two local operators.

International Roaming

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 Belize 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.

Using a Mobile Hotspot (Pocket WIFI)

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.

You can either buy a mobile hotspot or rent one.

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 Belize.

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 Belize

Getting a SIM card from Digi or Smart! would do you well when considering a Belizean SIM card.

Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other Central American Countries

Visiting other countries in Central America? Check out my Central America SIM card buying guide, covering other Central American nations, such as:

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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