The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) – a country consisting of 607 islands spread across the western part of the Pacific Ocean.
The country used to be part of the United States until it declared independence.
Micronesia is an excellent travel destination for water sports activities. It would have been a shame if they let those 607 islands go to waste.
From scuba-diving, exploring waterfalls, and checking out ruins, there is more than enough to do when in Micronesia.
And you certainly want to share your travel experiences online.
You do need to be aware that international roaming can be expensive. That video you upload to YouTube can costs you some hard cash.
Luckily, it is possible to buy SIM cards in Micronesia so that you can enjoy local rates.
But how expensive are SIM cards in Micronesia?
You can get an FSM Telecom (FSMTC) SIM card, the only option in Micronesia, for 10 USD in FSMTC stores throughout Micronesia. 5 GB of data, valid for 5 days, will cost you 5 USD.
Those prices are not too bad! It used to be much more expensive in Micronesia until the country finally managed to get connected to submarine cables.
But this is just the beginning – there are plenty of things to know about Micronesian SIM cards.
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: 6th of July 2021.
Table of Contents
Can You Buy a SIM Card in Micronesia?
Anyone is allowed to buy a Micronesian SIM card, including tourists and visitors.
Be aware that you need a phone that supports the frequencies used in the country (preferably all of them to have the most optimal experience while in Micronesia).
Where Can You Buy a SIM Card in Micronesia?
You can get a Micronesian SIM card in FSM Telecom stores. It is also possible to get SIM cards at Chuuk International Airport.
You can expect to pay the following for Micronesian SIM cards:
FSM Telecom (FSMTC): 10 USD
Can You Use Your Phone in Micronesia?
Micronesia uses GSM for its cellular communications, meaning that you need a GSM-capable phone to use your phone in the country. Fortunately, there is about a 99% chance your phone 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.
Micronesia uses a mix of American Frequencies and European Frequencies for 4G/LTE. 2G and 3G are exclusively on European Frequencies.
If you bought your phone in Africa, Asia, Europe, or Oceania (ITU regions 1 & 3), you should not experience any issues with using your phone in Micronesia.
If you purchased your phone in the Americas (ITU Region 2) and have a low/medium-end device (without Tri-Band or Quad-Band) support, then there is a possibility you cannot use your phone when in Micronesia when there is no 4G/LTE available.
Be aware that 4G/LTE availability is still limited in Micronesia.
If you have a medium/high-end device with Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, you can use your phone in Micronesia (to some extent) – also on 4G/LTE.
Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Micronesia
Micronesia has one mobile operator:
- FSM Telecom (FSMTC)
The following frequencies are used in Micronesia:
- 2G: 900 MHz (being phased out)
- 3G: 900 MHz
- 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 12) & 1800 MHz (Band 3)
You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.
To check whether your phone will work in Micronesia, 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.
5G in Micronesia
5G is not available in Micronesia as of 2021, and the Micronesian government has not made any indications of when they will auction 5G licenses.
Best SIM Card in Micronesia
If you want to buy the best SIM card in Micronesia, then FSMTC is your only option. It is the only mobile operator in Micronesia.
SIM Card Registration in Micronesia
SIM card registration, with the use of your personal information (such as your passport), is not required when buying a SIM card in Micronesia.
Micronesia Mobile Internet Prices & Insights
Mobile data rates can be crazy expensive in Oceania. At least, that used to be the case in the past.
Sure, 1 GB of data may still cost you an arm and a leg in some nations in Oceania, but that number has gone down significantly.
Is mobile data expensive in Micronesia?
The average price for 1 GB of data in Micronesia is 7.37 USD, more than the Oceanian average of 5.51 USD. The world average is 4.07 USD.
Compared to 2019's figures, the average cost of 1 GB of data has gone down by 39%.
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 HANTRU-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 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.
Overall, you should have a decent network experience when in Micronesia.
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 just $.
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!
Micronesian Prepaid SIM Cards
Below, I will guide you through FSMTC 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 Micronesia has to offer to us.
FSM Telecom (FSMTC)
FSM Telecom, also known as FSMTC, is a state-owned monopoly company that broadband and wireless internet in Micronesia.
FSMTC uses the following frequencies:
- 2G: 900 MHz (being phased out)
- 3G: 900 MHz
- 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 12) & 1800 MHz (Band 3)
Coverage – FSM Telecom (FSMTC)
FSMTC has good coverage throughout Micronesia.
Although Micronesia consists of 607 islands, FSM Telecom only covers Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei & Yap. Below are FSMTC's the coverage maps of the said islands:
Below are some coverage maps of the same islands that are easier to read:
SIM Card Price – FSM Telecom (FSMTC)
You can buy an FSMTC SIM card for 10 USD in FSMTC stores throughout Micronesia. It is also possible to get SIM cards at Chuuk International Airport.
Dial *000# to access the FSMTC menu.
FSMTC SIM cards get deactivated if there has been no activity for 180 days (no top-up for 180 days or no activity for 180 days).
Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – FSM Telecom (FSMTC)
FSMTC top-up vouchers, called FSMTC Prepaid TelCards, are sold in FSMTC stores and other stores, including grocery stores, corner shops, and kiosks.
The following top-up options are available:
|5 USD||90 days|
|10 USD||90 days|
|20 USD||90 days|
FSMTC also sells premium Prepaid TelCards, which can be bought for any denomination you wish. However, it is not clear what the difference is between a regular and a premium TelCard.
To top up your FSMTC SIM card, dial *000#, select option 2, and enter your Voucher Code.
You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.
Dial *767# to check your FSMTC balance. The same can be done by dialing *000# and selecting option 1.
Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – FSM Telecom (FSMTC)
FSMTC offers the Mobile Plans, which are combo plans, data-only plans, call plans, and SMS plans.
The following Mobile Plans are available:
|Price||Plan||Data||3G or 4G||Local Minutes||Local SMS||Validity||Activation Code|
|2 USD||Unlimited 2||Unlimited||3G||N/A||N/A||24 hours||*438*4#|
|5 USD||5 Days 100 Min Plan||N/A||N/A||100 minutes||N/A||5 days||*438*9#|
|5 USD||5 Days 100 SMS Plan||N/A||N/A||N/A||100 SMS||5 days||*438*8#|
|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#|
|25 USD||30 Days 300 Mins Plan||N/A||N/A||300 minutes||N/A||30 days||*438*10#|
|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#|
|100 USD||30 Days 4000 SMS Plan||N/A||N/A||N/A||4000 SMS||30 days||*438*13#|
|199 USD||Elite Bundled Plan||30 GB||3G & 4G||900 minutes||1500 SMS||30 days||*438*7#|
APN/Internet Settings – FSM Telecom (FSMTC)
- Name: FSMTC
- APN: fsmtc
Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.
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.
Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other Oceanian Countries
Visiting other countries in Oceania? Check out my Oceania SIM card buying guide, covering other Oceanian 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
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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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