Buying a Prepaid SIM Card in Guam & Northern Mariana Islands Guide

Logos of Telecom Providers in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands: DoCoMo Pacific, iConnect Advanced, IT&E Wireless, and GTA Teleguam

Guam is officially an organized territory of the United States in Oceania. The citizens are US citizens, but the island is not a state of the US, unlike Hawaii that is an official state. As a result, Guam has a slightly different visa policy, allowing more nations to visit the nation visa-free compared to Mainland US. Additionally, they have different operators that the United States itself.

Besides sitting on the beach, you can visit the Fish Eye Marine Park, go to Puntan Dos Amantes to see Guam from above and see its beautiful clear water from a different perspective, or go shipping in the T Galleria.

The Northern Marian Islands, also known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). It consists of several islands, except for Guam, which is regarded as a territory on its own.

The southern islands in the CNMI are also the most populated ones. Saipan, Tinian, and Rota have the largest population, accounting for around 55 000 people. The other islands are sparsely populated but may be lovely places to visit.

Although not something I do often, bird-watching at the Bird Island on Saipan is lovely – would highly recommend. If you are into casinos, then you will find a few in Tinian. If that is not something for you, go scuba diving. The same applies to Rota, although it is also a nice place for golfing.

Although separate territories, the same operators operate in this region. Some operators may be active everywhere in this area, while others may be active in Guam and one of the CNMI territories, which is why they are all discussed in this article together.

And also, you may not want to roam with your provider in this region because roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why many travelers prefer to buy local SIM cards, including in Guam or the Northern Mariana Islands.

In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Let's get started.

Telecom Providers in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands have 4 telecom providers: DoCoMo Pacific, GTA Teleguam, iConnect Advanced, and IT&E. All providers have 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks, except for iConnect Advanced that does not have a 2G network compatible with GSM devices.

IT&E uses CDMA for its 2G and 3G networks, but they use GSM for their 4G/LTE network. If you decide to go with IT&E, be aware that your device needs to be compatible with Band 12 and that your phone cannot fall back to 2G or 3G in case 4G/LTE is not available.

What SIM card should you buy when visiting Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands? If you want to buy a SIM card in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, I would recommend going with DoCoMo because they have the best coverage and speeds throughout all islands. Some operators cover Guam only, which would not be useful if visiting the other islands.

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Just like in the United States itself, you do not have to show your passport when buying a SIM card in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

For those who visited the United States before coming to Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands or have an American SIM card, be aware that none of the major 4 carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon) operate on these islands, and treat them as overseas destinations. You will be subject to international roaming rates, which can be expensive depending on their options.

With that being said, let’s see what the 4 operators have to offer in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

DoCoMo Pacific

NTT DoCoMo Pacific Logo

DoCoMo Pacific has 2G, 3G, and 4G coverage on Guam, Rota, Saipan, and Tinian, making them the operator with the best coverage in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. You can buy a DoCoMo Pacific SIM card, called Prepaid Starter Kit, in DoCoMo stores for $19.95, which comes with $10 in credit.

Recharge cards are sold from $5 to $20. To top up, dial *111*VOUCHER CODE#. For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *111*123456#. You can check your balance by dialing *112*#, and you will receive a text message with your balance.

The following DoCoMo Pacific data packs are available, which all come with unlimited calls and SMS for local use:

PriceDataValidityActivation Code
$2.951 GB1 dayHS1
$7.953 GB3 days HS3
$18.957 GB7 daysHS7
$35.9514 GB14 days HS14

You can activate the package by texting the activation code to 3282. For example, for the $18.95 7 GB pack, you would text HS7 to 3282 to activate it.

The packages do typically auto-renew. However, 12 hours before the package auto-renews, you will receive a text message from DoCoMo. You can text NO to the message if you do not wish to auto-renew the plan.

DoCoMo Pacific will text you when you have used 80% and 100% of your data. They will give you the option to buy more data. You have the following 4 top-ups:

  • $3: 250 MB. Activation code: 1
  • $6: 500 MB. Activation code: 2
  • $10: 1 GB. Activation code: 3
  • $25: 3 GB. Activation code: 4

To purchase any of these data top-ups, you have to reply with top up ActivationCode (to 3282). For example, if you want an additional GB for $10, you would reply top up 1 to the text message OR send top up 1 to 3282.

DoCoMo Visitor SIM

The DoCoMo Visitor SIM is DoCoMo's tourist SIM card. You can also buy a DoCoMo visitor SIM card for $25 and it comes with the following perks that are all valid for 7 days:

  • 7 GB of high-speed data
  • Unlimited local calls and SMS
  • 15 international minutes to China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States
  • Unlimited access to the DoCoMo WIFI hotspots on Guam

Normally, the salesperson will activate the Visitor SIM card for you. However, if that is not done for you, you have to text 7 to 8687 to activate your Visitor SIM card.

DoCoMo Pacific APN Settings

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

  • APN: internet

GTA Teleguam

GTA Teleguam Logo

GTA Teleguam solely covers Guam and not any of the other islands as of yet. They have 2G, 3G, and 4G coverage on Guam, and their coverage on Guam is as good as DoCoMo Pacific.

GTA Teleguam prepaid SIM cards are sold for $20 in GTA stores and a few other retail stores. Top-up cards are sold from $5 to $50.

You can check your GTA Teleguam balance by dialing *488# and selecting option 1.

DoCoMo Pacific Prepaid Data-Featured Plans

GTA Teleguam offers several daily and monthly plans. 3 of the 4 daily plans, charged at $0.50, $1, and $2 do not come with a data allowance. Instead, you will be charged $0.10/MB (or $102.40), which is not affordable. They do, however, come with other perks, such as unlimited local SMS and unlimited minutes, but they will not be mentioned in the table below.

The following 6 plans come with data, minutes, and SMS:

PriceDataMinutesSMSValidity
$2.50Unlimited*250 minutesUnlimited1 day
$25500 MB500 minutesUnlimited30 days
$35500 MB500 minutesUnlimited30 days
$455 GB500 minutesUnlimited30 days
$601 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
$703 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days

* Undisclosed fair-use policy

You can activate a GTA Teleguam plan by dialing *488# and selecting option 3.

GTA Teleguam APN Settings

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

  • APN: mpulse.GTA.net

iConnect Advanced

iConnect Advanced Logo

iConnect Advanced is active in Guam, Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. Their coverage, however, is subpar compared to DoCoMo Pacific and GTA Teleguam. The main benefit of using iConnect Advanced is that they have unlimited data plans for reasonable prices.

IConnect Advanced SIM cards are sold for $15 in IConnect Advanced stores. Recharge cards are sold from $5 to $20.

iConnect Advanced Prepaid Plans

IConnect Advanced’s data plans come with unlimited data and an undisclosed fair-use policy, meaning that your speed may be throttled after consuming a set amount of data. The following packages can be added:

PriceDataUnlimited Calls & SMSValidityAuto-Renews?Activation Code
$1.50UnlimitedYes1 dayYesDATADAY ON
$2.25UnlimitedNo1 day YesALLIN ON
$10UnlimitedNo7 daysNoDATAWEEK ON
$35UnlimitedNo30 days NoDATAMONTH ON

You can activate your iConnect Advanced pack by texting the activation code to 500. For example, if you want to buy the $10 pack for unlimited data for 7 days, I would text DATAWEEK ON to 500.

The daily plans do auto-renew at 3 AM. If you want to terminate the auto-renewal, you would text DATADAY OFF or ALLIN OFF to 500 for the $1.50 & $2.25 plans, respectively.

iConnect Advanced APN Settings

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

  • APN: ican OR internet
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IT&E Wireless

IT&E Wireless Logo

IT&E Wireless, just IT&E, has a hybrid network of CDMA- and GSM-technology. Their 2G and 3G networks run on CDMA, while their 4G/LTE network uses GSM, which is what most phones in the world use.

Before considering going with IT&E, be aware that your phone needs to support US-frequencies, which is 700 MHz on Band 12 (check this site to find out if your phone supports this frequency).

Furthermore, if 4G/LTE is not available, you will not be able to use your phone at all because of CDMA. IT&E, however, does have reasonably priced packages, which is why I will still mention them in this article.

IT&E SIM cards are sold for $20 in IT&E stores and they come with $10 in credit. Recharge cards are sold from $5 to $20, which can be purchased online (in Guam/The Mariana Islands only – VPNs will not work, I tried).

To top-up, text LOAD VoucherCode to 2931. For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would text LOAD 123456 to 2931. You can check your IT&E balance by dialing *87#.

IT&E Wireless Prepaid Plans

IT&E has daily and weekly prepaid plans, which are combo plans that come with data, unlimited local minutes, unlimited long-distance calls to the US, and unlimited local SMS. The following 4 prepaid plans are available:

PriceDataUnlimited Local Talk & Text?Unlimited Long-Distance Talk to the US?ValidityActivation Code
$1.50100 MBYesNo, $0.20/min24 hoursPlan 100 MB
$2200 MBYesYes24 hoursPlan 200 MB
$2.50Unlimited*YesYes24 hoursPlan 1 GB
$12200 MBYesNo7 daysPlan 7D

* Undisclosed fair-use policy. Based on the activation code, I assume it is 1 GB.

To activate IT&E Wireless plan, you text the activation code to 3282. For example, if you want to buy the $2 200 MB pack, you would text Plan 200 MB to 3282.

Do note that all plans auto-renew. To cancel auto-renewal, text CANCEL to 3282.

If you are out of data, you can buy more data:

  • $1: 100 MB. Activation code: 100MB to 3282
  • $10: 1 GB. Activation code: 1GB to 3282

IT&E Wireless Hafa Adai SIM Card

The Hafa Adia SIM card is IT&E Wireless's tourist SIM card. It costs $20 for 4 days or $30 for 7 days. Hafa Aida SIM cards come with unlimited data and unlimited local calls and SMS. Additionally, you get $10 in credit for international calls. These SIM cards will automatically be deactivated once they expire and cannot be renewed.

IT&E Wireless APN Settings

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

  • APN: prepaid.ite.net

Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

So far, you have been informed about the SIM card options in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. However, that is not the only way to be online in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. I have already briefly mentioned that you can roam with your provider, although it can be expensive in most cases. Besides that, you can use free WIFI connections, mobile hotspots, or international SIM cards.

Roaming in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands 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 Vodafone French Polynesia, then you would be roaming with Vodafone French Polynesia in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

You may have read horror stories of people coming back from a lovely holiday, only to be confronted with a roaming bill in the thousands. This can still be the case if you do not review your roaming options before going on a holiday. Luckily for you, I have written about the roaming options you have with various providers around the world, which you can read here.

Some operators offer roaming plans. Others allow you to roam for free in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, while several operators let you use your plan’s allowance for a daily fee. As you can see, roaming does not have to be a horrific experience. If your provider is generous and lets you roam for free in PanaGuam and the Northern Mariana Islands, then you do not even need a local SIM card (although I would still recommend doing so, as your connection speed will be much slower as a roamer than someone who is a customer of the network).

No idea how roaming works? I made this comprehensive guide about what roaming is and how it works. It is worth the read – promised!

Pay As You Go roaming should be avoided, as that is how travelers get high roaming bills. One provider charges you about 1000 USD per GB in certain destinations, which is insane. If you really want to roam, check whether your provider has attractive roaming plans. Else, you will be better off with buying a local SIM card.

Using Free WIFI connections in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

This does not require a lot of explanation, but using free WIFI connections is the cheapest way to connect to the internet because you do not have to pay anything. Nothing beats free stuff, right? Well, not so fast.

First, you need to find hotspots in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. In some countries of cities, you will find so many hotspots that you can try them out one by one and find the one with the fastest speeds. In other places, however, WIFI connections do not seem to exist.

In the case of Guam, you can find plenty of hotspots, including paid ones by DoCoMo Pacific (unless you got their tourist SIM card, which will give you free access to their WIFI network).

WIFI vouchers are sold on the DoCoMo Pacific website, which will be prompted when connecting to a hotspot. The following unlimited passes are available:

  • $8: 24 hours
  • $18: 3 days
  • $25: 5 days

Additionally, 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 or learn more about NordVPN.

Using a Pocket WIFI (Mobile Hotspot) in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

Pocket WIFI is a portable, battery-powered wireless router that allows 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.

Many companies have created mobile hotspots (just have a quick search on Amazon, for example, you will find many). Skyroam and Travelwifi are reputable pocket WIFI providers I know. 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. 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.

Travelwifi banner
Skyroam Banner

I often recommend mobile hotspots to those who are traveling in groups or with families. They can save groups a lot of money if they are visiting destinations where buying multiple SIM cards would become an expensive endeavor.

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.

Getting an International SIM card for Traveling in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

International SIM cards are, as the name implies, SIM cards for international use. Well, that does not explain anything. Although most providers allow you to use your card abroad, some actually restrict this possibility. An international SIM card lets you go abroad without having to change SIM cards when visiting multiple destinations. They have been made with the traveler in mind.

All of this sounds lovely, but international SIM cards are much more expensive than local SIM cards in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Not only that, some offer poor service as well for high rates. Some reputable companies I know are OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, and SimCorner.

Surfroam Banner

International SIM cards are appealing to those who travel frequently or are visiting multiple destinations in one trip. Some countries in Oceania 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.

The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

Getting a SIM card from DoCoMo Pacific would do you well when considering a SIM card for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Be sure to explore the roaming options your provider offers you, as they may offer free or cheap roaming bundles.

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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, Fiji, French Polynesia, 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 Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

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 Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Book Your Accommodation for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

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 Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in a hotel.

Get Your Travel Insurance for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

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 Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, 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 US Dollars 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.

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Enjoy your trip!

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 in Asia, in particular, East and Southeast Asia. He currently lives in Tainan, Taiwan, and plans on exploring Oceania and more of East and Southeast Asia.

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