Many people think Fiji is just one island. In fact, Fiji consist of 333 tropical islands. With so many islands, there is bound to be something you will enjoy doing when visiting Fiji.
Diving, playing golf, or even getting married to your partner; Fiji can make everything a life-lasting experience.
Although Fiji can be an expensive country because of all the must-do activities, roaming with your provider can make your holiday even more expensive. That is why seasoned travelers explore the local SIM card options when heading to Fiji. In this article, we will go through everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Fiji. Let's do this.
Telecom Providers in Fiji
As a small country, or a group of islands to be exact, Fiji has two telecom providers: Vodafone Fiji, and Digicel Fiji. Vodafone Fiji (just Vodafone from now on) has the most subscribers, while Digicel Fiji (just Digicel) has lower rates.
What SIM card should you buy when visiting Fiji? If you want to buy a SIM card in Fiji, I would recommend going with Vodafone. Although Vodafone is more expensive than Digicel, they have better coverage than Digicel and are faster.
Like some other countries in Oceania, you have to register your SIM card. Although you can buy Fijian SIM cards at various unofficial stores, it is better to buy them at the stores of Vodafone or Digicel or at the international airport.
Let’s see what Vodafone and Digicel have to offer to us.
Vodafone used to have a monopoly until Digicel knocked on its door in 2008. Its 2G network is extensive but slow. Vodafone’s 3G covers 95% of the population, and 4G/LTE can be found in major cities and towns, covering 85% of the population.
At the airport, Vodafone sells tourist sim cards. Several tourist packages are available. However, you cannot add regular packs to these cards. As you can expect, these packages are sold at a premium.
The tourist SIM card is given away for free, and the following packages can be added:
- 35 FJD ($16.15): 35 MB and 25 FJD in credit
- 70 FJD: 60 MB and 50 FJD in credit
- 100 FJD: 90 MB and 75 FJD in credit
Compared to standard packages, these tourist plans are criminal. A regular SIM card is sold for 4.70 FJD and can be topped up with vouchers ranging from 2 FJD to 100 FJD. A handful of packages are mentioned below. Some auto-review and some roll-over (meaning that if you have data left, you can take it with you when your plan renews). Plans marked with a 1 auto-renew and plans marked with a 2 roll-over.
- 2 FJD: 450 MB for 24 hours – 1 & 2
- 3 FJD: 800 MB for 24 hours with free Snapchat and Instagram – 2
- 4 FJD: 1 GB for 24 hours with free Facebook and Twitter – 2
- 5 FJD: 500 MB for 3 days with free Facebook and Twitter
- 6 FJD: 800 MB for 7 days – 1 & 2
- 7 FJD: 1 GB for 7 days – 1 & 2
- 8 FJD: 1.5 GB for 7 days with free Snapchat and Instagram – 1 & 2
- 25 FJD: 3 GB for 30 days – 1 & 2
- 45 FJD: 5 GB for 30 days with free Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook – 1
Vodafone sells data-only SIM cards called Flashnet, which are designed for tablets and modems. They are sold for 4.50 FJD and come with no balance. A starter pack can be bought for 65 FJD that comes with 8 GB to be used within 15 days. More data can be added for the following prices:
- 6 FJD: 500 MB for 6 days
- 11 FJD: 5GB for 11 days
- 15 FJD: 7 GB for 20 days
- 25 FJD: 12 GB for 30 days
- 35 FJD: 18 GB for 30 days
- 50 FJD: 50 GB and 50 GB night bonus for 30 days
- 65 FJD: 70 GB and 70 GB night bonus for 30 days
- 100 FJD: 110 GB for 110 GB night bonus for 30 days
The night bonus can be used between 11 PM to 7 AM.
When Digicel entered Fiji, many customers moved from Vodafone because Digicel had lower prices. 2G and 3G can be found on the main islands, and 4G can be found in the main towns. As a result, Digicel should be considered if staying in the bigger towns and cities in Fiji because of the lower rates. If you are planning on exploring Fiji, then you should stick with Vodafone.
Tourists can sometimes get a free SIM card that comes with 500 MB at Nadi International Airport. They can be recharged with FlexCard ranging from 6 FJD to 50 FJD.
Data bundles, called Big Phat data, can be bought. They all come with free on-net minutes free unlimited social media usage (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn, Viber, and Facebook Messenger). The data packages are listed below;
- 2 FJD: 1 GB for 24 hours
- 3 FJD: 2 GB for 3 days
- 7 FJD: 7 GB for 7 days
- 15 FJD: 15 GB for 15 days
- 25 FJD: 25 GB for 30 days
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Fiji
Besides getting a Fijian SIM card, there are different ways of staying connected when exploring Fiji, such as using an international SIM card, roaming with your provider, using pocket WIFI, or WIFI networks.
International SIM Cards
You can consider purchasing an international SIM card. International SIM cards are SIM cards that can be used internationally without the roaming charges.
There are many international SIM cards out there, such as OneSimCard and SIM cards from SimOptions. These SIM cards with the same as roaming with your provider, but the charges are often way less than actually roaming because they have been set up for international travel.
International SIM cards give you the same convenience as roaming with your provider. As in, not having to get numerous SIM cards, you will not use again, and being reachable on one number instead of multiple. In most cases, you can use your international SIM when back home, but their rates will be high compared to using your carrier.
Do note that using an international SIM card is often more expensive than using a local SIM card but cheaper than roaming with your provider. International SIM cards are appealing for those who travel frequently and cannot be bothered with the hassle of purchasing a SIM card each time they arrive at a new destination. Additionally, constantly having to switch SIM cards and using different phone numbers may discourage seasoned travelers from buying local SIM cards.
If you are visiting only one destination for a short period, get a local SIM card (or roam with your provider if they have attractive roaming rates or plans). If you travel often and want to be able to be contacted on one phone number when visiting multiple destinations, international SIM cards could be attractive. Check out my international SIM card comparison article, where I analyzed the top 10 leading international SIM cards out there.
Roaming With Your Provider
Roaming is a term used in wireless telecommunication that indicates a mobile device is outside the range of its home network and has connected to a different, available cell network. If you use your phone in Fiji without changing SIM cards, you would be roaming in Fiji.
You have probably read numerous horror stories of travelers who went abroad for a while and came back home to a phone bill in the thousands because they were roaming. An example of such a story is this individual who received a bill of £8,348.41 for data roaming for 40 minutes. I also found the reason why roaming is so expensive.
No idea how roaming works? I made this comprehensive guide about what roaming is and how it works. It is worth the read – promised!
Roaming can be convenient because you do not have to wait in line to get a local SIM card, go through the whole SIM card registration process, and can easily be reached when friends and family who are in your home country want to call or text you.
However, this convenience comes at a cost – a high cost if you do not watch out. But this does not always have to be the case.
Some carriers allow you to roam for free in select countries, such as Three. Three operates in multiple countries, such as Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and a few others. They have a program called Roam Like Home or a slight variation of that depending on where you are from.
Three Denmark includes free roaming in more than 60 destinations around the world – Fiji is not included. Let's say it was, it would mean that Three customers could use their plan's data, voice, and text allowance in Fiji at no additional cost, although certain restrictions apply (such as the hard cap of a maximum of 20 GB of roaming data regardless of whether you have a higher data cap in your plan or not).
Other carriers allow you to use your plan's allowance if you pay a fixed daily fee. For example, Koodo, a Canadian provider, allows you to use your plan's allowance with their program called Koodo Easy Roam International for $12 a day, which can be used in Fiji as well. This means that if you get 10 GB a month, you can use those 10 GB in Fiji as well.
However, you should take caution with such plans. They are convenient and inexpensive when done for a few days, but not when going abroad for a week or more. I often argue that one can use these plans if you are staying abroad for a maximum of three days. If longer, than you are better off with a local SIM card, which will give you more bang for your buck. Check out my articles to see if your provider offers roaming bundles.
Finally, you can roam on Pay As You Go roaming rates. With standard roaming rates, you get charged per action on the go. In other words, you get charged per minute, SMS, or KB/MB. Often, Pay As You Go roaming rates are insanely high (which leads to those stories where people got charged into the thousands), and should be avoided in most cases. However, some providers do have reasonable standard roaming rates, especially to neighboring countries.
In general, I would discourage you from roaming on Pay As You Go roaming rates when visiting Fiji, but it is still an option to explore. If you want to see what your carrier would charge you, check out my roaming with your provider articles with my analysis and verdicts.
If you do not want to get a local SIM card or an international SIM card and do not feel like roaming either, then you can get pocket WIFI. A portable hotspot is a device that acts as your personal router that you can take with you. This hotspot connects to the cellular networks of your destination – just like your phone would do but without the roaming costs.
There are many portable hotspots out there. Two reputable pocket WIFI companies I know are Skyroam (use coupon code PHONETRAVELWIZ) and Vision Global Wireless. WIFI access with Skyroam starts at $8 a day. Using a Vision Global device starts at $2 a day. Both services cover more than 130 destinations around the world.
A pocket WIFI device is ideal for those who are traveling with families or multiple individuals. This way, everyone can connect to the device and enjoy the WIFI network on the go. Some companies will charge you per GB while others will give you unlimited data. Be aware of the data restrictions of your device so that you will not receive a high bill after your travels.
Using Free WIFI Connections
If you do not want to pay anything extra for staying connected while in Fiji, then you can choose to connect to WIFI networks instead of cellular networks.
Although using WIFI hotspots may save you money, it may not be convenient as using a SIM card. First, you would have to find WIFI hotspots. Unlike North America and Europe, Fiji does not prevalently use WIFI, meaning it may be a challenge to find a hotspot. Once you have found one, they may not even work or are extremely slow.
Additionally, public WIFI hotspots are unsecure. I would recommend using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if you connect to an unfamiliar network. The VPN will encrypt your data and will keep your data private. I use NordVPN, and you can get up to 70% off when you get a NordVPN subscription. Get yours today or find out more about NordVPN.
The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Fiji
Getting the visitor SIM card from Vodafone would do you well when considering a Fijian card. Be sure to explore the roaming options your provider offers you, as they may offer free or cheap roaming bundles.
You could also consider getting an international SIM card or using a portable hotspot. International SIM cards are attractive for those visiting multiple destinations at once or within a year. Portable hotspots will be useful when traveling with multiple people so that not each individual has to get a SIM card but can use the hotspot.
Visiting other countries in Oceania? Check out my Oceanian SIM card buying guide covering the other Oceanian destinations, such as American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna. Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
What is next?
Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! Save money 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!
Book Your Flight for Fiji
It is time to book your flight. Find cheap flights with AirWander so that you can add free or cheap stopovers in destinations you have not considered yet before going to Fiji. If you are not ready to take off yet, set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog, and they will notify you once ticket prices to Fiji drop.
Book Your Accommodation for Fiji
I am a huge fan of Airbnb because it allows me to live with a local or get a local place for myself. Staying in someone’s house or apartment feels much different than being in a ho(s)tel, especially in Fiji. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in a Fijian hotel.
Get Your Travel Insurance for Fiji
You will regret not having travel insurance once you actually need it and “forgot” to get it. Nowadays, travel insurance is cheap and comprehensive unlike back in the days. World Nomads is by far the best travel insurance for adventurous travelers like yourself. You can even get insured WHILE already traveling in Fiji, which is not something many insurance companies allow you to do.
Get a Travel Debit Card
Travel Cheques are outdated. Paying with your credit card or debit card can be expensive because of all the exchange commissions banks charge you. TransferWise allows you to convert your main currency to the local currency for a small fee (up to 8 times less than with your bank!) Getting a Transferwise Borderless account is FREE, so you will get an instant return on your investment.
Enjoy your trip!