Buying a Prepaid SIM Card in Liberia Guide

Logos of Telecom Operators in Liberia: LoneStar Cell MTN & Orange Liberia

Liberia is a country with a vast history. Many museums can be found throughout the country. Being a seaside country, many beautiful beaches can also be found.

In fact, many of these beaches will get you a lot of likes on Instagram and Facebook… if you manage to find a way to get connected. Roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why local SIM cards are popular.

However, mobile data rates have been known to be expensive in Liberia, especially for African standards. Even then, it is still worth it to get a local SIM card and buy a data package in Liberia as opposed to roaming, as you will still be saving a lot of money.

In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Liberia. Let's do this.

Telecom Operators, Networks, and Frequencies in Liberia

Flag of Liberia

Liberia has 2 telecom operators:

  • LoneStar Cell MTN
  • Orange Liberia

Both operators have 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks.

The following frequencies are used by the Liberian operators:

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

The Best Prepaid SIM Card in Liberia

Which of these Liberian operators have the best prepaid SIM card and prepaid offering?

If you want to buy a SIM card in Liberia, then both LoneStar Cell MTN and Orange are good options. The coverage with both operators is similar, and so are the prices. However, Orange's 4G/LTE network is more extensive than the one of LoneStar Cell MTN.

ALSO: 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!

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Get Us In Your Inbox

Get regular phone-travel-related news, tips, and articles. I will also send you a FREE Excel sheet with the best operator(s) of 230+ destinations around the world, including why they are the best, SIM card prices, and more! 

We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use

SIM Card Registration Regulations in Liberia

Just like most countries in West Africa, and Africa in general, you have to register your passport details to buy a SIM card in Liberia.

The State of the Liberian Telecom Market

Liberia was involved in two civil wars (1 & 2), which resulted in the fixed-line infrastructure being destroyed. As a result, broadband internet is not as prevalent compared to other West African nations or Africa in general.

Although Liberia uses submarine cables to facilitate the internet, unlike some island nations that have to use satellites, the lack of a fixed-line infrastructure means that data rates are still expensive in Liberia. Not only for (West) Africa standards but also compared to the world average.

The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) found that in terms of average monthly income, the cost of 1 GB of data is the 5th highest in the world, which results in spending 17.25% of a Liberian monthly income on 1 GB of data. This puts Liberia behind the Democratic Republic of the Congo (26.24%), Central African Republic (22.63%), Chad (21.47%), and Guinea-Bissau (19.96%). Do note that the A4AI focuses on Africa, the Americas, excluding North America, and Asia only.

In terms of absolute prices, the average cost of 1 GB of data in Liberia is 8.63 USD/GB, which puts Liberia just out of the top 25, but still pretty high on the list.

For many around the world, these prices seem average (if you are from Canada or an island nation where they still use satellites – these prices are a steal then). For (West) African standards, these prices may seem outrageous.

Do note that SIM cards in Liberia used to cost 70 USD in the past. Now, you can get a SIM card for around 1 USD.

In areas where coverage exists, especially 4G/LTE, reception and speeds are good. When in rural Liberia, you may have to deal with 2G or no connection at all.  

Currency in Liberia

Lesotho uses the Liberian Dollar with the symbol LRD and US Dollar with the symbol USD. Liberia has been a dual-currency country for a long time. In 2017, the Liberian Lower House passed a law to make the Liberian Dollar the sole legal tender in the country. Unfortunately, Liberia has been plagued with high inflation (especially after 2017), so the US Dollar is still actively being used in Liberia, and it is also used for prices. The symbol USD will be used throughout this paper unless the operator lists a cost in Liberian Dollar, then LRD will be used.

Liberian Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through LoneStar Cell MTN and Orange Liberia and go through:

  • Background information
  • 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 LoneStar Cell MTN and Orange Liberia have to offer to us.

LoneStar Cell MTN

LoneStar Cell MTN Logo

LoneStar Cell MTN is the largest operator in Liberia. The company is an acquisition of MTN buying Investcom LLC, which owned LoneStar Cell.

You can buy a LoneStar Cell MTN SIM card for 100 LRD in LoneStar Cell MTN stores. You will get 0.50 USD credit in your Mobile Money wallet. For each top-up, you get a bonus of 300% if done with a voucher or 400% if done on Mobile Money. To top-up (with a voucher), dial *125*VoucherCode#. For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *125*123456#. Dial *124# to check your LoneStar Cell MTN balance.

LoneStar Cell MTN Mobile Internet

LoneStar Cell MTN has several combo plans and data-only plans, which are

  • Da Yor Own (3-day combo plan)
  • Kool4U (combo plans)
  • Data Bundles (data-only plans)

Let’s go through each of them.

LoneStar Cell MTN Da Yor Own

The Da Yor Own plan is a 3-day combo plan that comes with data, minutes, and on-net SMS. The price for the Da Yor Own bundle is 1 USD and comes with the following perks for 3 days:

  • 50 MB
  • 45 on-net minutes
  • 10 off-net minutes
  • 50 on-net SMS

The Da Yor Own plan can be activated by dialing *143#. To unsubscribe, dial *143*9#. Dial *143*3# to check your Da Yor Own balance.

LoneStar Cell MTN Kool4U

The Kool4U bundles are combo plans that come with data, local minutes, international minutes, and on-net SMS. The following Kool4U bundles can be purchased by dialing *243#:

PriceDataOn-Net MinutesOff-Net MinutesInternational MinutesOn-Net SMSValidity
2 USD150 MB80 minutes15 minutesNone15 SMS3 days
20 USD1 GB600 minutes120 minutesNone120 SMS30 days
20 USD5.4 GB200 minutes60 minutesNone60 SMS30 days
29 USD2 GB700 minutes150 minutes100 minutes150 SMS30 days
29 USD7.4 GB200 minutes60 minutes60 minutes60 SMS30 days
39 USD12 GB400 minutes100 minutesNone100 SMS30 days
79 USD30 GB600 minutes180 minutes150 minutes180 SMS30 days
Multiple Kool4U bundles can be activated at the same time.

Do note that Kool4U plans support data and voice rollover, which means that if you have any data or minutes left when renewing your plan, the allowance will roll over to the new period. For example, if you used 512 MB of your 1 GB plan and let it renew, you would get 1.5 GB in the new period (512 MB = 0.5 GB).

Dial *243*5# to check your Kool4U balance. You can deactivate a Kool4U plan by dialing *243*6#.

LoneStar Cell MTN Data Bundles

The Data Bundles are standard data-only bundles. They come in daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly variants. You can buy the following data bundles by dialing *352#:

PriceDataValidity
0.35 USD75 MB24 hours
0.40 USD100 MB24 hours
0.50 USD180 MB24 hours
1 USD400 MB3 days
2 USD1288.8 MB7 days
2 USD819.2 MB14 days
2 USD600 MB30 days
5 USD600 MB7 days
5 USD1.7 GB14 days
5 USD1946 MB30 days
8 USD3 GB30 days
10 USD5.2 GB7 days
10 USD3.5 GB14 days
10 USD3.9 GB30 days
12 USD4.5 GB14 days
12 USD4.3 GB30 days
20 USD10 GB7 days
20 USD7.5 GB14 days
20 USD7.9 GB30 days
30 USD15 GB7 days
30 USD10 GB14 days
30 USD12 GB30 days
36 USD12 GB14 days
50 USD18 GB14 days
50 USD20 GB30 days
60 USD22 GB14 days
60 USD25 GB30 days

You can check your data balance by dialing *352# and selecting option 7. Dial *352# and option 8 to cancel your data bundle.

LoneStar Cell MTN 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: internetlcc

RELATED GUIDES:

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Get Us In Your Inbox

Get regular phone-travel-related news, tips, and articles. I will also send you a FREE Excel sheet with the best operator(s) of 230+ destinations around the world, including why they are the best, SIM card prices, and more! 

We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use

Orange Liberia

Orange Logo

Orange Liberia, just Orange, is the other operator in Liberia. Although they are not the largest operator in Liberia, they do almost have a market share of 50%. Their 4G/LTE coverage seems to be more extensive than the one of LoneStar Cell MTN.

You can buy an Orange SIM card for 1 USD in Orange stores. Top-up cards are sold from 1 USD to 100 USD in Orange stores. To top-up, dial *125*VoucherCode#. For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *125*123456#. Dial *124# to check your Orange balance.

Orange Mobile Internet

Orange has several combo plans and data-only plans, which are:

  • My Way (“flexible” combo plans)
  • Smart Bundle (combo plans)
  • Data Packs (data-only plans)

Let’s go through each of them.

Orange My Way 

My Way is a flexible combo plan that comes with data, minutes, and SMS. The way My Way works is kind of complicated. It uses a sort of a credit system with inconsistent rules.

For example, the 1 USD plan comes with 50 on-net minutes/5 off-net minutes or 500 MB. However, for each minute you call, 11.1 MB will be deducted from your data balance. If you use 11.1 MB, 1 minute will be deducted from your call allowance.

The 2 USD My Flex plan has a 1 minute:13.3 MB ratio. The 29 USD plan has a 1 minute:14.28 MB ratio. The ratios for the 5 USD to 20 USD plans are unknown.

International minutes and SMS do not use a ratio system.

Moreover, some of the My Way plans do not use the flexible system, meaning that you can use your full call allowance and data allowance independently.

Below are all the available My Way plans, which can be activated by dialing *888#:

PriceDataOn-Net MinutesOff-Net MinutesMinutes to Canada & USAOn-Net SMSOff-Net SMSRollover?Flex?Validity
1 USD500 MB50 on-net minutes5 off-net minutesNoneUnlimited on-net SMSNoneNoYes30 days
2 USD1000 MB95 on-net minutes20 off-net minutes5 minutesUnlimited on-net SMSNoneNoYes30 days
5 USD2000 MB150 on-net minutes25 off-net minutes10 minutesUnlimited on-net SMS15 off-net SMSNoYes30 days
10 USD4000 MB300 on-net minutes40 off-net minutes20 minutesUnlimited on-net SMS30 off-net SMSNoYes30 days
20 USD8000 MB600 on-net minutes80 off-net minutes40 minutesUnlimited on-net SMS45 off-net SMSNoYes30 days
29 USD2000 MB700 on-net minutes150 off-net minutes100 minutesUnlimited on-net SMS50 off-net SMSYesNo30 days
29 USD10 000 MB700 on-net minutes100 off-net minutes100 minutesUnlimited on-net SMS50 off-net SMSNoYes30 days
49 USD20 000 MBUnlimited on-net minutes500 off-net minutes100 minutesUnlimited on-net SMSUnlimited off-net SMSYesNo30 days
79 USD30 000 MBUnlimited on-net minutes500 off-net minutes150 minutesUnlimited on-net SMSUnlimited off-net SMSYesNo30 days
99 USD50 000 MBVUnlimited on-net minutes500 off-net minutes250 minutesUnlimited on-net SMSUnlimited off-net SMSYesNo30 days
Orange Smart Bundles

The Smart Bundles are combo plans that come with data, minutes, international minutes, and SMS. You get international minutes to Canada and the United States, and you also get international minutes to China, France, Lebanon, and India with the 25 USD plan. The following Smart Bundles are available, which can be activated by dialing *999#:

PriceDataOn-Net MinutesOff-Net MinutesCanada/USA International MinutesChina, France, Lebanon & India International MinutesOn-Net SMSOff-Net SMSValidity
5 USD300 MB200 on-net minutes20 off-net minutesNoneNone200 off-net SMS20 off-net SMS30 days
10 USD2 GB400 on-net minutes60 off-net minutesNoneNone400 off-net SMS60 off-net SMS30 days
15 USD4 GB600 on-net minutes100 off-net minutes5 minutesNone600 off-net SMS100 off-net SMS30 days
25 USD8 GBUnlimited on-net minutesUnlimited off-net minutes10 minutes10 minutesUnlimited off-net SMSUnlimited off-net SMS30 days
Orange Data Packs

The Orange Data Packs are standard data-only plans. The following packs are available, which can be activated by dialing *474#:

PriceDataValidity
0.50 USD150 MB24 hours
1 USD400 MB2 days
25 USD10 GB30 days
50 USD25 GB30 days
99 USD60 GB30 days

Orange Liberia 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: web.cellcomnet.net

Other Ways to Get Online When Traveling in Liberia

Getting a Liberian SIM card is probably the cheapest way to connect to the internet when traveling in Liberia. However, you can also:

Mobile Hotspots

Mobile hotspots are 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 excellent for those traveling in groups, like friends or family.

You can either buy a mobile hotspot (like the ones I cover in this article) or rent them. As a solo traveler, I barely get a mobile hotspot for myself. When I do, I rent them from Travelwifi, which covers 130+ destinations for as little as $7/day, or Skyroam, which also covers more than 130 destinations, and data starts from $8/day. You can get a discount with Skyroam by using coupon code PHONETRAVELWIZ upon checkout.

Travelwifi banner
Skyroam banner

International SIM Cards & Travel SIM Cards

International SIM cards and travel SIM cards can be a convenient way to stay connected when traveling around multiple countries. Many countries require those buying local prepaid SIM cards to go through a registration procedure, like in Liberia.

Although I love to collect SIM cards, many do not. So having one SIM card that covers all the destinations you are visiting can be a blessing. I recommend four companies that sell international SIM cards or travel SIM cards:

  • Surfroam: my go-to SIM card when I arrive in a new destination and do not have a local prepaid SIM card yet. Airport WIFI is usually slow, and I am impatient and need to be connected right away. Data for as little as €0.01/MB (or €10.24/GB) in over 200 destinations. Read my Surfroam review.
  • SimOptions: a travel SIM card reseller that sells AMAZING travel SIM cards, covering multiple destinations, for reasonable prices. I have tried multiple SIM cards from SimOptions and have always been satisfied. Check out my review covering SimOptions SIM cards.
  • SimCorner: a travel SIM card reseller, but they also sell local SIM cards of the destination you are visiting and deliver them to your home, which is rather unique. See my SimCorner review.
  • OneSimCard: the ultimate international SIM card. It works in every corner in the world, and you can even buy multiple numbers from different countries and use them on ONE SIM card. A game-changer! See my article analyzing OneSimCard.

Roaming

Roaming with your provider is the most convenient way to stay connected when traveling because you can keep using your SIM card and do not have to buy a new one. However, roaming often results in expensive bills, but that does not always have to be the case. Your operator may offer attractive roaming packages, but it will most likely be more expensive than buying a local prepaid SIM card and getting a data package from a local operator.

I have an article explaining why roaming is so expensive. I also have many articles covering the roaming options of operators around the world, and make a verdict saying roaming can be worth it or not. Finally, I discuss many phone travel tips to keep your phone bills low when traveling.

Free WIFI Hotspots

Using free WIFI connections is the cheapest way to connect to the internet because you do not have to pay anything. However, free WIFI hotspots can be unsecure and unreliable.

You will barely find any WIFI hotspots in Liberia. Those you will find will not be free or will be slow. Additionally, public WIFI hotspots are unsecure. They are a prime target for hackers to steal your data and use it for illicit purposes, which is why I ALWAYS use a VPN on open WIFI connections (and even on private ones, even at home).

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 Preferred Way to Stay Online When Traveling in Liberia

Getting a SIM card from LoneStar Cell MTN (more choice in data packages) or Orange (best 4G/LTE coverage) would do you well when considering a Liberian SIM card.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Get Us In Your Inbox

Get regular phone-travel-related news, tips, and articles. I will also send you a FREE Excel sheet with the best operator(s) of 230+ destinations around the world, including why they are the best, SIM card prices, and more! 

We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use

Local Prepaid SIM Card in Other African Countries

Going to other countries in West Africa? Check out my West Africa SIM card buying guide, covering other West African nations, such as:

Be sure to check out this guide covering all African countries, such as these popular African travel destinations:

Otherwise, I have many guides covering countries all over the world. Get my SIM card recommendation sheet by signing up for my newsletter!

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 Liberia

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 Liberia.

Book Your Accommodation for Liberia

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 Liberia. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in a Liberian hotel.

Get Your Travel Insurance for Liberia

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 Liberia, 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.

Transferwise Banner

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.

Recent Content