Buying a local SIM card in Micronesia is the cheapest way to get online while traveling in Micronesia. That is because the local operator does not have many international roaming agreements with operators around the world.
In general, getting a local prepaid SIM card is the most affordable way to stay connected in countries worldwide. Local SIM cards also come with a lot of benefits, like the ones mentioned in this video.
Sometimes, getting yourself a SIM card can be a challenge. Luckily, that is not the case in the Micronesia. However, data prices are on the more expensive end in Micronesia compared to other Oceanian countries, like Australia.
In this guide, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Micronesia. Let's get started.
Original publication: 20th of January 2020. Last updated: 22th of November 2020.
Table of Contents
Can I Use My Phone in Micronesia?
Micronesia has GSM networks utilizing frequencies used in many regions around the world (such as Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania – ITU Regions 1 & 3), but not in the Americas (North-, Central-, and South America + the Caribbean – ITU Region 2).
If you purchased your phone in the Americas, if your device has not been unlocked, or the phone does not support Micronesia's frequencies, then you cannot use your phone in Micronesia.
Mobile Operators, Networks, and Frequencies in Micronesia
Micronesia has one mobile operator:
- FSM Telecom (FSMTC)
FSM Telecom uses the following frequencies:
- 2G: 900 MHz (being phased out)
- 3G: 900 MHz
- 4G/LTE: 700 Mhz (Band 12) & 1800 MHz (Band 3)
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.
The Best SIM Card in Micronesia
If you want to buy a SIM card in Micronesia, then FSMTC is your only option. They are the only mobile operator in Micronesia.
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SIM Card Registration in Micronesia
Like most nations in Oceania, you do not have to show your passport when buying a SIM card in Micronesia.
Micronesia Internet Prices & Insights
Micronesia consists of more than 600 islands. However, the majority are inhabited islands. As a result, mobile coverage can only be found in the four big islands: Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap.
Micronesia is a remote multi-island-nation that had to deal with slow satellite connections for a long time with extremely high prices.
Now, the country is connected to a submarine cable called HARTHU-1, which is then connected to other high-speed submarine cables in the region (through Guam & Marshall Islands).
As of December 2019, Micronesia is also linked to a broadband satellite called Kacific-1 by Kacific, which offers much faster internet speeds in Micronesia and other countries in the Asia Pacific region.
Since then, FSMTC was able to offer 4G/LTE plans and 4G/LTE services. This resulted in improved bandwidth, higher speeds, and a reduction in prices.
Although old reports still claim that Micronesia has incredible slow speeds and outrageous prices, these reports came out before Kacific-1 was launched.
According to Cable.co.uk, the average cost of 1 GB of data in Micronesia is 7.20 USD. This is slightly more expensive than the world average of 5.03 USD for 1 GB of data and much cheaper than the Oceanian average of 12.92 USD.
Currency in Micronesia
Micronesia uses the US Dollar with the symbol USD (which will be used throughout this article). Prices in Micronesia are listed in $.
If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Transferwise Borderless Account and Debit Card. Their fees are MUCH lower than banks, and credit card companies charge you (and Transferwise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks). I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Euros, my main currency, when using Transferwise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards. Open a Transferwise account FREE!
Micronesia Prepaid SIM Cards & Video Guide
Below, I will guide you through FSMTC and go through:
- Background information about FSMTC
- How to get a SIM card from FSMTC
- How to recharge your FSMTC SIM card
- What type of data-featured packages are offered by FSMTC
If you prefer to watch a video of what FSMTC has to offer, be sure to check the video below AND also subscribe to my channel for more local prepaid SIM card guides, SIM card reviews (prepaid and international), mobile hotspots, and international roaming guides. You should still go through the guide after watching the video (I refer to it multiple times throughout the video).
With that said, let’s see what FSM Telecom has to offer to us.
FSM Telecom (FSMTC)
FSM Telecom, also known as FSMTC, is a state-owned company that offers broadband and wireless internet in Micronesia. They are also the sole operator in the country.
Although Micronesia consists of more than 600 islands, FSM Telecom only covers the islands Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap. Below are FSM Telecom's the coverage maps of the said islands.
Getting an FSM Telecom SIM Card
FSMTC SIM cards are sold for 10 USD in FSMTC stores throughout Micronesia, like the one at Chuuk International Airport.
FSMTC SIM card comes with no balance, meaning that you need to top-up right away to use your SIM card.
Topping-Up Your FSM Telecom SIM Card
FSMTC reload cards, called FSMTC Telcards, are sold in denominations of 5 USD, 10 USD, and 20 USD in FSMTC stores and other stores throughout Micronesia such as grocery stores, corner shops, and kiosks.
FSMTC also sells premium Telcards, which can be bought for any denomination you wish. However, it is not clear what the difference is between a regular Telcard and a premium Telcard.
To recharge your FSMTC SIM card, dial *000#, select option 2, and enter your reload card code.
To check your FSMTC credit balance, dial *767# or dial *000# and select option 1. To check the balance of your plan, dial *000# and select option 3.
FSM Telecom Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers
FSMTC offers several plans that come with minutes, SMS, and minutes combined, or data only.
The following data-featured plans are available:
|Price||Plan Name||Data||3G or 4G||Minutes||SMS||Validity||Activation|
|2 USD||Unlimited 2||Unlimited||3G||N/A||N/A||24 hours||*438*4#|
|5 USD||Daily 5||100 MB||3G & 4G||30 minutes||50 SMS||24 hours||*438*1#|
|5 USD||5 Days 5 GB Plan||5 GB||3G & 4G||N/A||N/A||5 days||*438*11#|
|9 USD||Unlimited 9||Unlimited||3G||N/A||N/A||6 days||*438*5#|
|10 USD||5 Days 12 GB Plan||12 GB||3G & 4G||N/A||N/A||5 days||*438*12#|
|30 USD||Monthly 30||2 GB||3G & 4G||60 minutes||900 SMS||30 days||*438*2#|
|50 USD||Monthly 50||5 GB||3G & 4G||120 minutes||900 SMS||30 days||*438*3#|
|99 USD||Premium Bundled Plan||15 GB||3G & 4G||300 minutes||900 SMS||30 days||*438*6#|
|199 USD||Elite Bundled Plan||30 GB||3G & 4G||900 minutes||1500 SMS||30 days||*438*7#|
FSM Telecom APN Settings
- Buying a SIM Card in Oceania (All Oceanian Countries)
- Buying a SIM Card in Palau
- Buying a SIM Card in Australia
- Buying a SIM Card in New Zealand
- Buying a SIM Card in Papua New Guinea
Other Ways to Get Online When Traveling in Micronesia
Although getting a Micronesian SIM card is the cheapest way to stay connected when traveling in Micronesia, you have many other options.
Some love international roaming because of the convenience factor. Others hate roaming because of the insanely high costs.
Regardless of your stance on international roaming, it may not even be possible because FSMTC does not have many international roaming agreements with foreign operators.
Operators around the world set up roaming agreements to allow their customers to use their phones abroad (which results in an additional revenue stream).
To learn more about how international roaming works, this in-depth guide covers it all. If you want to know whether your operator allows you to roam in Micronesia, check out my international roaming guides.
Using an International 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. Do note that many international SIM cards either do not cover Micronesia or the rates are outrageous.
Using free WIFI connections is the cheapest way to stay connected because you do not have to pay for anything. The issue, however, that WIFI connections can be unreliable or unsecure.
In the case of Micronesia, WIFI speeds will be slow of you have to pay for them. This is something to be aware of.
The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Micronesia
Getting a SIM card from FSMTC would be your only when considering a Micronesian SIM card. It is also the cheapest way to get online in Micronesia.
Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other Oceanian Countries
Visiting other countries in Oceania? Check out my Oceanian SIM card buying guide covering the other Oceanian destinations, 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
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Start Your Own Online Business – Make Money While Traveling
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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.
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