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Jamaica: 2 Best Prepaid SIM Cards Buying Guide (2023)

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 & 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 (4.80 USD) from Digicel in their stores and from resellers. They are also sold at Kingston-Norman Manley International Airport (KIN – Digicel only) but not at Montego Bay-Sangster International Airport (MBJ).

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.

In this guide, I will tell you everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Jamaica. Let's get started.

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

Original publication: 30th of July 2021. Last updated: 18th of October 2022.


Table of Contents

Can You Buy a SIM Card in Jamaica?

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

You do have to comply with the SIM card registration regulations.

Moreover, your phone has to support the frequencies used in Jamaica.

Finally, 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 from resellers. They are also available at Kingston-Norman Manley International Airport (KIN – Digicel only) but not at Montego Bay-Sangster International Airport (MBJ).

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

  • Digicel Jamaica: 740 JMD
  • Flow Jamaica: 500 JMD
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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 & 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– & 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 mobile 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 want to go with Flow Jamaica.

It supports traditional American frequencies on 2G, 3G & 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 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 any mobile operator, 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 offering prepaid services:

  • 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.

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.

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A Note About Rock Mobile

Rock Mobile will become Jamaica’s third mobile 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.

VoLTE & VoWiFi in Jamaica

Both VoLTE (Voice over LTE (4G) – also known as HD Voice) and VoWiFi (Voice over WiFi – also known as WiFi calling) are not offered by the mobile operators in Jamaica (yet).

This means that when you make a call, your phone will downgrade to 3G (or 2G when 3G is not available) instead of staying connected to 4G/LTE.

This is also why you often cannot use mobile while calling if not connected to WiFi.

VoWiFi is, as the name implies, calling on a WiFi connection as opposed to on a cellular network.

5G NR in Jamaica

5G NR is not available in Jamaica as of 2022, 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.

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Best eSIM in Jamaica

Unfortunately, none of the mobile operators offer eSIM (to prepaid customers) in Jamaica yet.

However, you can get travel eSIMs from Airalo and Nomad.

Airalo has the Jamcomm eSIMs:

Jamaica Jamcomm eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

You have one option:

  1. Jamaica/Jamcomm 1 GB eSIM for 7 days

For Airalo eSIMs, the links above and below will automatically get you the Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers available – a code is not necessary.

You can also get Jamaica eSIMs from Nomad.

Jamaica eSIMs Nomad

Use code ADU123 for the best deals available when getting Nomad eSIMs (on the site or their apps), such as getting 3 USD off!

Nomad Travel eSIM Reviews by Phone Travel Wiz

With this eSIM, you can skip Jamaica's SIM card registration scheme entirely and use it immediately upon arriving in Jamaica!

  • Find out about the best local eSIMs, local travel eSIMs & regional travel eSIMs for every country (lookup tool)
Best Local & Travel eSIMs Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

TIP: Check out my eSIM lookup tool for an overview of local mobile operators offering eSIMs to prepaid customers and travel eSIMs I use and love (for eSIMs in Jamaica and eSIMs worldwide).

If you plan on visiting other neighboring Caribbean nations, consider the Island Hopper eSIM with 1 GB of data (7 days) in Jamaica and these other islands:

Island Hopper Caribbean eSIM Airalo
© Airalo
  • Aruba
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bonaire
  • British Virgin Islands (BVI)
  • Cayman Islands
  • Curaçao
  • Dominica
  • Guadeloupe
  • Grenada
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique
  • Montserrat
  • Panama
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

With the Island Hopper eSIM, you can save a lot of money by skipping the initial SIM card costs per country you visit – averaging 8 USD/country in the Caribbean!

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 (looking at the both of you – Digicel and Flow 😡).

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.

Okay, that is only two countries, and Jamaica is not one of them.

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 compared to other Caribbean islands, Jamaica never had excessively high mobile data rates (like the Cayman Islands with an average cost of 1 GB of 26.79 USD.

Also unlike most Caribbean nations, we have concrete data on how fast mobile internet speeds are in Jamaica.

And they are the second-fastest in the Caribbean.

Jamaica's median mobile download speed is around 31 Mbps.

Currently, Trinidad and Tobago has the fastest median mobile download speed in the Caribbean, but only at 32 Mbps.

Perhaps Jamaica will take over Trinidad's and Tobago's throne soon 👑.

Okay, so which mobile operator is the fastest in Jamaica?

That would be Digicel Jamaica, with a mean download speed of 44 Mbps. Flow Jamaica has a mean download speed of 29 Mbps.

With low SIM card prices, close to excellent nationwide coverage, average mobile download speeds, and low mobile data rates, you should have a smooth network experience in Jamaica.

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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 guide).

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, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

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 Australian Dollars and Euros, my main currencies, when using Wise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards.

Open a Wise account for 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 & availability
  • Recharge/top-up information
  • Combo plans, data plans & 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 one of the two mobile operators in Jamaica.

It is also the fastest mobile operator in the country.

Digicel, as a company, is active in many other Caribbean nations, Central America & 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

Coverage – Digicel Jamaica

Digicel has the best coverage in Jamaica.

It even won the Jamaica Speedtest Best Mobile Coverage Award of 2021.

Below is Digicel's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

SIM Card Price – Digicel Jamaica

You can get a Digicel SIM card for 740 in Digicel stores and from resellers. They are also sold at Kingston-Norman Manley International Airport (KIN) but not at Montego Bay-Sangster International Airport (MBJ).

  • Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

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

Dial *129# to see your Digicel phone number.

Dial *147# to access the Digicel menu.

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Digicel Jamaica

Digicel top-up vouchers are sold in Digicel stores, kiosks, gas stations & grocery stores.

To top up your Digicel SIM card, dial *125# 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 *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 two data-featured prepaid plans: Prime Brawta Bundles (combo) & Brawta Bundles (combo)

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

I will list all the prices in JMD (Jamaican Dollar).

To convert JMD to your currency (let's say USD) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

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Prime Brawta Bundles – Digicel Jamaica

The Prime Brawta Bundles are combo plans with data (without 5G NR access) and minutes.

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

PricePlanDataSocial Data 1Local MinutesValidity
195 JMD1 Day Prime Brawta Bundle3 GB1 GB/app100 minutes1 day
435 JMD3 Day Prime Brawta Bundle6 GB3 GB/app300 minutes3 days
895 JMD7 Day Prime Brawta Bundle8 GB10 GB/app500 minutes7 days
3000 JMD28 Day Prime Brawta Bundle15 GB30 GB/app2500 minutes28 days

1 for BiP, GoLoud, HBO Max, Instagram, Loop, SportsMax, Spotify, TikTok & YouTube (so you would have the said data allowance per app, aka 1 GB for BiP, 1 GB for GoLoud, 1 GB for Loop, etc., if the data allowance says “1 GB/app”)

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

Digicel-Jamaica-Prime-Brawta-Bundles
Brawta Bundles – Digicel Jamaica

The Brawta Bundles are combo plans with data (without 5G NR access) and minutes.

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

PricePlanDataLocal MinutesValidity
325 JMD2 Day Brawta Bundle1 GB200 minutes2 day
595 JMD5 Day Brawta Bundle2 GB300 minutes5 days

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

Digicel-Jamaica-Brawta-Bundles

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.

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Flow Jamaica

Flow Logo
© Flow

Flow Jamaica, just Flow, is one of the two mobile operators in Jamaica.

Flow is a brand by Cable & Wireless used throughout the Caribbean.

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

Coverage – Flow Jamaica

Flow has extensive coverage throughout Jamaica.

While its nationwide coverage is close to excellent, its 4G/LTE coverage is lacking compared to Digicel Jamaica's.

Below is Flow's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

SIM Card Price – Flow Jamaica

You can get a Flow SIM card for 500 JMD in Flow stores and Flow partners (resellers). They are not sold Kingston-Norman Manley International Airport (KIN) nor at Montego Bay-Sangster International Airport (MBJ).

  • Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

While there is a Flow Express Kiosk at Kingston-Normal Manley International Airport, it is there for paying (last-minute) bills – not for getting new SIM card.

Dial *129# to access the Flow menu.

Dial *555# to see your Flow phone number.

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Flow Jamaica

Flow top-up vouchers are sold in Flow stores and from Recharge Partners, including grocery stores, gas stations & 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# 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 only one data-featured prepaid plan: Prepaid Moblie Plans (combo). It includes data (without 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.

I will list all the prices in JMD (Jamaican Dollar).

To convert JMD to your currency (let's say USD) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

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The following Prepaid Moblie Plans are available, which you can activate by dialing the Activation Code:

PricePlanDataSocial Data 1Tik Tok Data Local MinutesLocal SMSValidityActivation Code
285 JMD2-Day Plan500 MBUnlimited1 GBUnlimitedUnlimited2 days*123*2#
530 JMD5-Day Plan2 GBUnlimited2 GBUnlimitedUnlimited5 days*123*5#
775 JMD7-Day Plan6 GBUnlimited4 GBUnlimitedUnlimited7 days*123*7#
2600 JMD28-Day Plan10 GBUnlimited8 GBUnlimitedUnlimited28 days*123*29#
4900 JMD30-Day Plan“Unlimited”, 35 GBUnlimited8 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days*123*30#

1 for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Spotify, Twitter & WhatsApp (for voice calls & text messaging only with WhatsApp)

Flow-Jamaica-Prepaid-Moblie-Plans

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.

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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.


Next Steps to Enhance Your Travel Experiences

Looking for the next steps to enhance your phone travel experiences? Here is what to do:

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Your support helps me keep producing impartial content by eliminating the need to recommend international SIM cards as the best local SIM card (but some of them CAN be useful).

Every Ko-Fi donation, one-time or monthly, helps me to spend more time creating local SIM card buying guides.

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Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience

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Save money with international SIM cards, on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises & accommodation.

Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!

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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 cardsinternational SIM cardsmobile hotspots, or roam internationally.

Each of these options has its pros and cons. Learn more about them, and find the best option for you.

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