Greenland is the largest country in the world. However, it is also a sparsely populated country, mainly due to the majority of the country is covered by snow.
Even then, Greenland can be a fun travel destination for those who like the cold. Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, has the Nuuk Art Museum, the Katuaq cultural center, and whales swimming around.
Fjords can be found all over the country. The same can be said for glaciers and auroras. Polar bears wander around in Kulusuk, Ittoqqortootmiit, and Tasiilaq – those are some hard names to pronounce and spell!
What will also be a challenge is dealing with an expensive roaming bill you may get from roaming with your provider in Greenland. Roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why many travelers prefer to buy local SIM cards, like a Greenlandic one.
Because Greenland is rather isolated in the Atlantic, mobile data is quite expensive. But it is still cheaper than roaming in many cases.
In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Greenland. Let's go.
Telecom Provider in Greenland
Greenland has 1 telecom operator:
- TELE Post (Tusass)
They are the national post office. Their internet brand (mobile and broadband) is called Tusass. Tussas has 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks.
What SIM card should you buy when visiting Greenland? If you want to buy a SIM card in Greenland, then TELE Post would be your only choice.
RECOMMENDED: Want to get an excel sheet of the best SIM cards of over 230+ destinations around the world, updated monthly? Sign up for the Phone Travel Wiz Newsletter and get the excel sheet for FREE!
Like many countries in Northern Europe, the Nordic countries, and Europe in general, you do not have to register yourself when buying a SIM card in Greenland.
As of June 2017, a new regulation has been enforced, which is known as roam like at home, meaning that those with a European Union (or EEA) SIM card should be allowed to use (some) of their data allowance in other EU/EEA countries without a surcharge.
As Greenland is not part of the EU/EEA, the Roam Like at Home regulation does not apply to Greenland. Therefore, it is recommended that European citizens with EU SIM cards buy a Greenlandic SIM card instead of roaming with their providers. Some providers, however, offer free roaming in Greenland, but this is not the case for all. Be sure to check your provider’s site to learn whether you can roam for free or not.
Moreover, Greenland is sparsely populated, which means that there is no nationwide coverage as you would expect in many countries (in fact, less than 10% of the country is covered).
Instead, every settlement with at least 70 inhabitants is covered by 2G, which is too slow for modern web browsing. But more than 90% of the population is covered by TELE Post’s 4G/LTE network.
If you are in a populated area, then you should not experience coverage issues. For a coverage map, see this.
With that being said, let’s see what TELE Post has to offer to us.
Tusass by TELE Post
TELE POST, with the mobile brand called Tusass, is the sole operator in Greenland. You can get Tusass prepaid SIM card for 400 DKK ($48.05), which comes with 200 DKK in credit, and it can be bought in every post office.
Do note that the prepaid SIM card does not have any packages. Instead, you will pay the following rates:
- Call charge: 0.15 DKK
- Local calls: 1.20 DKK/min
- SMS: 0.15 DKK/SMS
- Data: 0.80 DKK/MB
This means that if you want to use 1 GB of data, you will have to pay 0.80 DKK * 1024 MB = 819.20 DKK, which is extremely expensive and should be avoided if possible. However, that is your only option with Tusass prepaid.
There is also Tusass mobile, which is an actual subscription. Luckily, this plan does not have a long-term commitment and can be canceled whenever, as long if it is done before the 20th of the month (if not canceled before the 20th, then you will be charged for the next month).
Although Tusass mobile plans seem to be available to travelers as well, Tusass may ask for a CPR number (Centrale Personsregister – Personal Number), which you will not get if you do not live in Greenland. At this point in time, it is unclear whether CPR registration is necessary.
All of the Tusass monthly subscriptions come with unlimited calls and SMS. The following 5 out of 6 plans include data:
- 249 DKK: 1 GB
- 349 DKK: 3 GB
- 449 DKK: 5 GB
- 499 DKK: 12 GB
- 699 DKK: 20 GB
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Greenland
I have discussed the relevant providers in Greenland in this article because using a Greenlandic SIM card would be much cheaper than roaming with your provider… in most cases. However, buying a local SIM card is not the only way to stay connected in Greenland. You can buy an international SIM card, use a mobile hotspot, or use free WIFI connections. Below, I will discuss the alternative options to use your phone in Greenland.
Roaming in Greenland 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. Let’s say your provider is Andorra Telecom, then you would be roaming with Andorra Telecom in Greenland.
The issue with roaming is that it can be expensive. There have been many horror stories where people had to pay thousands in roaming fees when coming back from their holidays, which is just a shame, in my opinion. However, roaming does not always have to be expensive, especially when visiting a neighboring country.
Many providers offer roaming plans. Some allow you to roam for free in Greenland, while others would offer you a roaming bundle with a set number of minutes, SMS, and data. Finally, several operators let you use your plan’s allowance for a daily fee.
As you can see, there are many options out there, so be sure to explore the roaming options your provider has. Conveniently for you, I have reviewed the roaming options of many providers (and many more to come) and discussed everything you need to know about roaming with your provider. If you are lucky, you may not even have to buy a SIM card in Greenland and can roam for free there.
No idea how roaming works? I made this comprehensive guide about what roaming is and how it works. It is worth the read – promised!
One thing I would not recommend doing is to Roam As You Go. Just like prepaid cards where you can buy bundles or Pay As You Go (as in, charged per minute, SMS, or MB), Roaming As You Go can be insanely expensive (that is how people get expensive roaming bills). So far, there are a handful of providers I have reviewed that offer affordable Roam As You Go rates. But generally, avoid it. Get a roaming plan if you can or buy a SIM in Greenland.
Using an International SIM Card in Greenland
International SIM cards are cards that have been made for travelers so that they do not have to deal with roaming costs.
The number of international SIM card providers is too many to count, but international SIM cards give you the same convenience as roaming with your provider. A few providers I know are OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, and SimCorner.
They allow people to call you at one number instead of five in case you are exploring multiple countries in one trip. Moreover, you do not have to deal with multiple SIM cards you will never use again. In short, international SIM cards have been made for the international traveler in mind.
Although this sounds fabulous, international SIM cards are much more expensive than local SIM cards in Greenland. Some international SIM card providers charge ridiculous fees (sometimes, even more than roaming with your provider), while others offer awful service. It is, therefore, important to go with a reputable company so that you do not have to deal with surprised when traveling around the world.
On the other hand, international SIM cards are appealing to those who travel frequently or are visiting multiple destinations in one trip. Some countries in Europe require you to register before you can use a SIM card, which can be a hassle for some. Additionally, the language barrier may be off-putting to some travelers, which is why an international SIM card can be handy. You order it before you depart and can use it in various destinations.
My recommendation, however, is to get a local SIM card if you are only visiting one destination. If you are visiting multiple ones, an international SIM card could be handy. If you want to learn more about international SIM cards, check out my international SIM card comparison article, where I analyze 10 international SIM card providers so that you do not have to.
Using Portable Hotspots (Pocket WIFI) in Greenland
Portable hotspots, also referred to mobile hotspots or pocket WIFI, are routers small enough to bring with you everywhere you go. They are portable, battery-powered wireless routers that allow you to connect your phone, laptop, or tablet without needing multiple SIM cards for those devices to be connected to the internet. They are compact and lightweight so that you take them along with you whenever you need internet access on the go.
Just like with the number of international SIM card providers, there are so many mobile hotspots out there that it is challenging to keep track of them all. Skyroam, Vision Global Wireless, and Travelwifi are reputable pocket WIFI providers. You can get a discount if you rent a router through Skyroam by using coupon code PHONETRAVELWIZ. Cellular access with Skyroam starts at $8 a day while using a Vision Global device starts at $2 a day. Travelwifi offers Teppy, the name of the pocket WIFI, starting from $7 per day. All these services cover more than 130 destinations around the world.
The first time I used a portable hotspot was when I was in Bangkok, Thailand, with my dad. He uses the Dutch telecom provider called KPN, which does not let you roam for free in Thailand. I was with 3 Denmark (3 Danmark), which also did not allow me to roam for free. The router was offered for free by our Airbnb host. Let me tell you how convenient that thing was!
I do not remember the exact brand router we used, but we could connect our phones to it, explore Bangkok, and upload highlights of our trip on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and WhatsApp without the need of connecting to unsecure and slow connections in Thailand.
That is why I often recommend those who are traveling in groups or with families to consider getting a pocket WIFI device so that each individual does not need to buy a local SIM card and data packages. In some countries, the cost of getting a local SIM card or packages is so low that it is not even worth getting a mobile hotspot. In others, it could save you money.
I recently wrote an article analyzing the 7 Best Mobile Hotspots for Travelers like yourself, which should be an interesting read if pocket WIFI is something you are considering. I do reviews of individual devices every now and then, so check out my mobile hotspot category to stay up to date.
Connecting to Free WIFI Networks in Greenland
Finally, we have the most cost-effective way to stay connected in Greenland which is using free WIFI networks.
Using WIFI networks should not cost you any money (unless you are connecting to premium hotspots), which is why it is a popular option for travelers. Go to a local café, buy a coffee, connect to their WIFI, and post your pictures to Facebook or Instagram. Straightforward, right? Well, let’s see if that is indeed the case.
First, you need to find hotspots. In some regions, they are readily available. In others, you cannot find any, require you to give your personal details (for commercial purposes), are restricted for those who are a subscriber of an operator’s, or are so slow that you wished you never connected to them.
In the case of Greenland, you will find many hotspots in the capital. I am not sure about the less inhabited places.
Public WIFI hotspots are unsecure. They are a prime target for hackers to steal your data and use it for illicit purposes. That is 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, and you can get up to 70% off when you get a NordVPN subscription. Get your subscription now!
The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Greenland
Getting a SIM card from TELE Post/Tusass would be your only option when considering a Greenlandic SIM 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 Scandinavia or the Nordic Countries? Check out my Scandinavia and Nordics SIM card buying guide covering the other Scandinavian and Nordic destinations, such as Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
What about other places in Europe? My Europe SIM card buying guide covers all destinations in Europe, including those not part of the European Union/EEA, such as Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
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 Greenland
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 Greenland. If you are not ready to take off yet, set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog, and they will notify you once ticket prices to Greenland drop.
Book Your Accommodation for Greenland
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 Greenland. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in a Greenlandic hotel.
Get Your Travel Insurance for Greenland
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 Greenland, 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 Danish Kroner 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!