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2 Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Jamaica: Buying Guide

Jamaica – the home of Reggae music, known for Usain Bolt, and, to some, the tasty Jamaican rum.

The island is also known for its stunning beaches, thrilling nightlife, and majestic waterfalls.

Montego Bay has plenty of beach resorts. Negril is famous for its nightlife. And Kingston has the Bob Marley Museum.

If you are into history, you may want to visit the Cathedrals in Spanish Town.

Overall, there is no reason to be bored when in Jamaica, and you probably want to share your experiences online.

Which you should do! But, you should know that international roaming can be expensive. In most cases, roaming is not worth it.

But how else can you stay connected when in Jamaica? WIFI hotspots are not available everywhere.

Local SIM cards – they are the most affordable way to stay connected when traveling abroad. Local prepaid SIM cards are often inexpensive, and you can enjoy local rates.

So, how expensive are SIM cards in Jamaica?

You can get a Jamaican SIM card for 500 JMD (3.20 USD) from Flow and 740 JMD from Digicel (4.80 USD) in their stores and from authorized dealers. A plan with 2 GB of data valid for 7 days will cost you at least 675 JMD (4.35 USD).

Cannot see the video above? Watch it on YouTube.

And they say the Caribbean is expensive! Well, that is true – it is not the cheapest travel destination.

But SIM cards and mobile data in Jamaica are pretty affordable for global standards. And of course, there is still much more to learn about Jamaican SIM cards.

Buying a SIM Card in Jamaica Guide (logos of Digicel & Flow)

Original publication: 30th of July 2021. Last updated: 1st of August 2021.

Table of Contents

Can You Buy a SIM Card in Jamaica?

You can buy a Jamaican SIM card from Digicel or Flow as a tourist. There is nothing preventing travelers from buying a SIM card in Jamaica.

You do have to comply with the SIM card registration regulations. Moreover, your phone has to support the frequencies used in Jamaica. Furthermore, your phone needs to be unlocked (SIM-lock free) to use a Jamaican SIM card.

Where Can You Buy a SIM Card in Jamaica?

You can get a Jamaican SIM card in the official stores of Digicel and Flow and their authorized dealers. They are also available at Norman Manley International Airport & Sangster International Airport.

Cannot see the video above? Watch it on YouTube.

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

  • Digicel Jamaica: 740 JMD
  • Flow Jamaica: 500 JMD

Can You Use Your Phone in Jamaica?

Jamaica uses GSM and CDMA technology for mobile telecommunications services. Digicel Jamaica is phasing out its CDMA network, so you should not bank on it. Moreover, you would not be able to use Digicel Jamaica's CDMA network unless you buy a phone from them or roam.

Fortunately, there is a 99% chance you have a phone that supports GSM.

Besides that, you need to be aware of the ITU regions to determine whether your phone will work in other parts of the world.

Although there are 3 ITU regions, you only need to know these two terms: American Frequencies and European Frequencies.

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

The Americas (North-, Central, and South America + the Caribbean), ITU Region 2, use American Frequencies, which are different from the European Frequencies.

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

Jamaica uses a mix of American Frequencies and European Frequencies for 2G and 3G, depending on the operator. 4G/LTE is exclusively on American Frequencies.

If you bought your phone in the Americas (ITU region 2) and have a low/medium-end device (without Tri-Band or Quad-Band) support, you would want to go with Flow Jamaica. It supports traditional American Frequencies on 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE, meaning that you can take full advantage of its network.

If you purchased 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, you would want to go with Digicel Jamaica. It supports traditional European Frequencies on 2G and 3G, but you will not be able to use its 4G/LTE network.

Suppose you have a medium/high-end device with Tri-Band or Quad-Band support. In that case, you can go with either Flow Jamaica or Digicel Jamaica, as your phone will support both American Frequencies and European Frequencies, even on 4G/LTE.

Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Jamaica

Jamaica has two mobile operators:

  • Digicel Jamaica
  • Flow Jamaica

The following frequencies are used in Jamaica:

  • 2G: 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 12 & Band 17), 850 MHz (Band 5), 1700 MHz (Band 4) & 1900 MHz (Band 2)

You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.

Cannot see the video above? Watch it on YouTube.

To check whether your phone will work in Jamaica, 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 Rock Mobile

Rock Mobile will become Jamaica’s third mobile network operator.

In early 2021, it was reported that Bruce Bowen and Suzanne Fernando-Bowen were interested in acquiring spectrum for telecommunications.

In May 2021, it was announced that the Bowens had indeed received the necessary spectrum (700 MHz on (an) unknown Band(s)) to launch a mobile network in Jamaica.

One of the conditions Rock Mobile has to satisfy is to launch commercial operations within 12 months (before May 2022). Else, Rock Mobile risks losing its operating license. Moreover, 95% of the Jamaican population needs to be covered by Rock Mobile within 2 years (before May 2023).

It is refreshing to see another player breaking the duopoly of Digicel and Flow in English-speaking Caribbean nations. More competition, especially one breaking a duopoly, should better serve customers, like the locals and us travelers.

Once Rock Mobile has officially launched and announced its prices, this guide will be updated.

5G NR in Jamaica

5G NR is not available in Jamaica as of 2021, and the Jamaican government has not made any indications of when it will auction 5G licenses.

However, it was reported in late 2020 that the Jamaican government is studying a proposal from Rivada regarding 5G NR development in the country.

No indication has been made when a decision will be made with the said proposal or when 5G NR will be available in the country.

Best SIM Card in Jamaica

If you want to buy the best SIM card in Jamaica, I recommend going with Digicel. It has the best coverage and the fastest speeds.

SIM Card Registration in Jamaica

SIM card registration with your passport information is mandatory in Jamaica. It will be done at the point of purchase.

Jamaica Mobile Speeds, Mobile Internet Prices & Insights

Flag of Jamaica

The Caribbean used to be a region where mobile data was close to unaffordable.

This had partially to do that the Caribbean nations are island nations. And also because most Caribbean countries have duopolies running the scene.

Nowadays, however, the cost of mobile data in the Caribbean has gone down a lot. In some nations, the average price of 1 GB of data is less than 1 USD.

So how expensive is mobile data in Jamaica?

The average price for 1 GB of data in Jamaica is 2.74 USD, below the Caribbean average of 4.44 USD. The world average is 4.07 USD.

Those are good numbers! And the cost for mobile data has been relatively stable in Jamaica – luckily on the more affordable end (if compared to the rest of the region and worldwide – the locals will tell you that it is (still) too expensive).

So, what about speeds? Are they any good?

Jamaica's average mobile download speed is around 40 Mbps.

Currently, Jamaica has the fastest average mobile download speed in the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago are following closely at 39 Mbps, followed by Suriname at 38 Mbps.

Below is a breakdown of how Digicel Jamaica and Flow Jamaica are performing:

With low SIM card prices, low costs for mobile data, and nationwide network coverage, you should have a smooth network experience in Jamaica.

Currency in Jamaica

5000 Jamaican Dollar Bank Note
© Bank of Jamaica (BOJ)

Jamaica uses the Jamaican Dollar with the symbol JMD (which will be used throughout this article). Prices in Jamaica are listed in just $ or J$. For example, 25 JMD = $J/$25. For reference, below are some exchange rates between JMD and USD (US Dollars):

  • 10 JMD = 0.07 USD
  • 100 JMD = 0.65 USD
  • 1000 JMD = 6.45 USD
  • 10 000 JMD = 64.60 USD

For up-to-date JMD:USD exchange rates, search JMD to USD on Google, or replace USD with the currency you use.

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!

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Jamaican Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through Digicel Jamaica & Flow Jamaica, 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 Jamaica has to offer to us.

Digicel Jamaica

Digicel Logo
© Digicel

Digicel Jamaica, just Digicel, is the largest mobile network operator in Jamaica. It ended Flow's monopoly and managed to become the larger player. It is also the fastest option in the country.

Digicel as a company is active in many other Caribbean nations, Central America, and Oceania.

Digicel uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz & 1800 MHz
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 17) & 1900 MHz (Band 2)

This is what you will learn about Digicel:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Digicel SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

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

Jump to Flow

Coverage – Digicel Jamaica

Digicel has the best coverage in Jamaica.

It even won the Jamaica Speedtest Best Mobile Coverage Award of 2020.

Digicel's general availability is close to excellent. Its 4G/LTE availability, however, is decent.

Below is Digicel's coverage map:

SIM Card Price – Digicel Jamaica

You can buy a Digicel SIM card for 740 JMD in Digicel stores.

You may have to dial *122# to activate your SIM card if your SIM card does not work upon purchase.

Dial *147# to access the Digicel menu.

Digicel SIM cards get deactivated if there has been no activity for 120 days (no top-up for 120 days or no activity for 120 days).

Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Digicel Jamaica

Digicel top-up vouchers are sold in Digicel stores and many other establishments, such as kiosks, gas stations, and grocery stores.

To top up your Digicel SIM card, dial *121*VoucherCode# or dial *125# and follow the instructions.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *121*123456#.

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 *124# to check your Digicel balance.

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

Digicel App
© Digicel

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Digicel Jamaica

Digicel has four data-featured plans:

  • Prime Bundles (combo)
  • Nuff Data + Talk (combo)
  • Nuff Nuff Data (data-only)
  • Social Media Add On (social media add on)

All Digicel plans can be activated by dialing *147#.

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

Prime Bundles – Digicel Jamaica
Digicel Trinidad & Tobago Prime Bundles
© Digicel

Digicel has the new Prime Bundles, which are bundles with data, data for select Digicel apps, minutes, and SMS.

The following Prime Bundles are available, which can be activated by dialing *147#:

PricePlanAny Use DataListen More (Music) DataListen More (Radio) DataWatch More DataPlay More DataShare More DataKnow More DataStore More DataOn-Net MinutesOff-Net MinutesValidity
150 JMD1 Day Prime Bundle1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GBUnlimited“Unlimited”, 120 minutes1 day
375 JMD3 Day Prime Bundle3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GBUnlimited“Unlimited”, 360 minutes3 days
850 JMD7 Day Prime Bundle6 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GBUnlimited“Unlimited”, 840 minutes7 days
1600 JMD14 Day Prime Bundle9 GB14 GB14 GB14 GB14 GB14 GB14 GB14 GBUnlimited“Unlimited”, 1680 minutes14 days
3000 JMD28 Day Prime Bundle12 GB28 GB28 GB28 GB28 GB28 GB28 GB28 GBUnlimited“Unlimited”, 3360 minutes28 days

Prime Bundles auto-renew. To disable auto-renewal, dial *147#.

Nuff Data + Talk – Digicel Jamaica

The Nuff Data + Talk plans are combo bundles with data and minutes.

Do note that these plans are not available to Digicel customers who joined Digicel after the 20th of October 2020. Old Digicel customers, those who joined on or before the 20th of October 2020 can enable Nuff Data + Talk plans.

Nuff Data + Talk plans can be activated by dialing *147#:

PriceDataLocal MinutesValidity
275 JMD500 MB120 minutes2 days
675 JMD900 MB370 minutes7 days
1250 JMD2 GB500 minutes14 days
2650 JMD5.5 GB1500 minutes28 days

Nuff Data + Talk auto-renews. To disable auto-renewal, dial *147#.

Nuff Nuff Data – Digicel Jamaica

The Nuff Nuff Data plans are data-only bundles.

Do note that these plans are not available to Digicel customers who joined Digicel after the 20th of October 2020. Old Digicel customers, those who joined on or before the 20th of October 2020 can enable Nuff Data + Talk plans.

Nuff Data + Talk plans can be activated by dialing *147#:

PriceDataValidity
275 JMD1 GB2 days
675 JMD1.75 GB7 days 
1250 JMD3 GB14 days
2650 JMD7 GB28 days

Nuff Nuff Data auto-renews. To disable auto-renewal, dial *147#.

Social Media Add On – Digicel Jamaica

The Social Media Add On is a data-only add-on for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter & WhatsApp. This add-on cannot be purchased as a standalone plan.

PriceSocial Data 1Validity
50 JMD500 MB2 days

1 Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter & WhatsApp

APN/Internet Settings – Digicel Jamaica

  • Name: Digicel
  • APN: web.digiceljamaica.com

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

Flow Jamaica

Flow Logo
© Flow

Flow Jamaica, just Flow, is Jamaica's first mobile operator, which held a monopoly until Digicel entered the market. Flow is a brand by Cable & Wireless used throughout the Caribbean. Flow used to be known as Lime before 2015.

Flow uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 850 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 12), 1700 MHz (Band 4) & 1900 MHz (Band 2)

This is what you will learn about Flow:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Flow SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plan & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

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

Jump to Digicel

Coverage – Flow Jamaica

Flow has great coverage throughout Jamaica.

Flow's general availability is close to excellent. Its 4G/LTE availability, however, is lacking.

Below is Flow's coverage map:

SIM Card Price – Flow Jamaica

You can get a Flow SIM card for 500 JMD in Flow stores.

Dial *129*4*1# to see your Flow phone number.

Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Flow Jamaica

Flow Top Up
© Flow Jamaica

Flow top-up vouchers are sold in Flow stores and recharge partners, including grocery stores, gas stations, and bars.

To top up your Flow SIM card, dial *121*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *121*123456#.

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 *120# or *129# to check your Flow balance.

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

Flow App
© Flow

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Flow Jamaica

Flow has two data-featured plans: Prepaid Plans (combo) & Data Add Ons (data add-on).

Prepaid Plans – Flow Jamaica
Flow Jamaica Prepaid Plans
© Flow Jamaica

The Prepaid Plans are combo plans with data, minutes, and SMS.

The following Prepaid Plans are available:

PricePlanDataSocial Data 1Local MinutesLocal SMSValidityActivation Code
275 JMD2-Day Plan250 MB“Unlimited”, 6.7 GB“Unlimited”, 300 minutes“Unlimited”, 100 SMS2 days*123*2#
450 JMD5-Day Plan450 MB“Unlimited”, 15 GB“Unlimited”, 600 minutes“Unlimited”, 200 SMS5 days*123*5#
675 JMD7-Day Plan2 GB“Unlimited”, 15 GB“Unlimited”, 600 minutes“Unlimited”, 200 SMS7 days*123*7#
1100 JMD14-Day Plan1 GB“Unlimited”, 23 GB“Unlimited”, 1550 minutes“Unlimited”, 500 SMS14 days*123*14#
1800 JMD28-Day Plan2 GB“Unlimited”, 45 GB“Unlimited”, 3100 minutes“Unlimited”, 1000 SMS28 days*123*28#
2400 JMD28-Day Plan4 GB“Unlimited”, 45 GB“Unlimited”, 3100 minutes“Unlimited”, 1000 SMS28 days*123*29#
4900 JMD30-Day Plan“Unlimited”, 35 GB 2“Unlimited”, 45 GB“Unlimited”, 3100 minutes“Unlimited”, 1000 SMS30 days*123*30#

1 SWIFT (Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter) + Flow Sports & YouTube
2 speeds will be throttled when you exceed your FUP data allowance

Prepaid Plans auto-renew. To disable auto-renewal, dial *787#.

Unused data allowances will roll over if you keep auto-renewal enabled. Moreover, you can get a discount of up to 400 JMD on Prepaid Plans if you keep auto-renewal on.

Multiple Prepaid Plans can be activated simultaneously.

Data Add-Ons – Flow Jamaica

The Data Add-Ons are data-only bundles. They cannot be purchased as standalone plans.

You have the following Data Add-Ons:

PriceDataValidityActivation Code
100 JMD200 MB24 hours*147*5#
500 JMD1.5 GB7 days*147*9#

APN/Internet Settings – Flow Jamaica

  • Name: Flow Internet
  • APN: ppinternet

Note: do not use just “internet” as a prepaid customer. That APN is reserved for postpaid customers. Leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Jamaica

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

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

There are other ways to stay online while in Jamaica, 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 Jamaica 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 Jamaica.

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 Jamaica

Getting a SIM card from Digicel would do you well when considering a Jamaican SIM card.

Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other Caribbean Countries

Visiting other countries in the Caribbean? Check out my Caribbean SIM card buying guide, covering other Caribbean nations, such as:

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:

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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