Original publication: 13th of March 2020. Last updated: 2nd of December 2020.
Table of Contents
Can You Buy a SIM Card in Montserrat?
Everyone can buy a SIM card in Montserrat, whether you live in Montserrat for an extended period of visit the territory for a short-term stay.
Just be aware of the SIM card registration requirements, the frequencies used in Montserrat, and you need an unlocked phone (SIM-lock free).
Can You Use Your Phone in Montserrat?
Your phone needs to support GSM technology to use your phone in Montserrat.
Fewer than 20 mobile network operators around the world still use CDMA, the other leading cellular communications technology.
So there is a 95%+ chance (probably higher) that your phone supports GSM. But that is not all you need to be aware of – the frequencies used in Montserrat determine whether you can use your phone.
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.
Montserrat uses traditional American Frequencies for its mobile network communications, meaning that those who purchased their phones in ITU Region 2 will experience no issues in Montserrat.
However, 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), there is a big chance you cannot use your phone (properly) in Montserrat.
If you bought a medium/high-end device with Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, then you can use your phone in Montserrat. However, you may be limited to just 2G and 3G.
Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Montserrat
Montserrat has two mobile network operators:
- Flow Montserrat
- Digicel Montserrat
The following frequencies are used in Montserrat:
- 2G: 850 MHz
- 3G: 850 MHz
- 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 13)
You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.
To check whether your phone will work in Montserrat, check out this page by Will My Phone Work.
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.
Best SIM Card Montserrat
If you want to buy a SIM card in Montserrat, I recommend going with either Flow or Digicel. Flow's coverage is slightly better than the one of Digicel. However, Digicel offers much more choice and variety in plans and packages, which include international minutes to select destinations.
SIM Card Registration Montserrat
SIM card registration with your passport information is required in Montserrat. It will be done at the point of sale.
Montserrat Internet Prices & Insights
Compared to any other nation or territory in the Caribbean, Montserrat is unique due to the fact half of its land is off-limits because of the volcano eruption.
As a result, goods and services are, on average, more expensive in Montserrat compared to other places in the Caribbean.
That, in combination with the fact that Montserrat is an island territory, mobile data is more expensive than places on land.
The average price for 1 GB of data in Montserrat is 8.33 USD, which is less than the Caribbean average of 7.19 USD. The world average is 5.03 USD.
In fact, Montserrat is the 11th most expensive place to get 1 GB of data in the Caribbean, according to Cable.co.uk.
Even though mobile data rates are slightly high in Montserrat, you can expect good coverage in the populated areas and decent speeds.
Currency in Montserrat
Montserrat uses the East Caribbean Dollar with the symbol XCD (which will be used throughout this guide). However, prices are often listed as ECD, EC$, or $. For example, 25 ECD is ECD/EC$/$ 25.
XCD is pegged 2.70:1 to the Us Dollar (USD), meaning that 2.70 XCD is 1 USD. 27.10 XCD would be 10 USD. 270 is 100 USD, etc. 1 XCD is 0.37 USD, 10 XCD is 3.70 USD, 100 XCD is 37 USD – you know the drill.
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!
Montserrat Prepaid SIM Cards
- 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 Montserrar has to offer to us.
Flow Montserrat, just Flow, is the original operator in Montserrat. Before Digicel entered the Montserratian market, Flow held a monopoly on the island nation. Since then, it has lost some of their market share, but Flow is still the most popular operator on the island.
Flow Montserrat Coverage
Flow has good coverage in the populated areas of Montserrat.
As a result, expect no coverage in southern Montserrat, including the capital city Plymouth, which is now a ghost town.
Coverage in and around Brades is good to excellent. The same can somewhat be said for Salem. Smaller towns in the north may have spotty to no coverage, especially high up in the mountains.
Now you know all of that, the coverage map shown below does not seem to shocking.
Getting a Flow Montserrat SIM Card & Price
Flow SIM cards are sold for 25 XCD in the Flow store on Sweeneys Road.
Topping Up Your Flow Montserrat SIM Card
Top-up vouchers are sold from 5 XCD to 200 XCD in various stores like supermarkets and gas stations, but you can also top-up online with a credit card. To check your Flow balance, dial *120# or use the Flow app.
Flow Montserrat Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers
|Price||Plan||Data||Social Messaging (SWIFT)||Local Anywhere Minutes||Local Anywhere SMS||Validity||Activation Code|
|5 XCD||Prepaid 1 Day Plan||2 GB||Unlimited||25 minutes||25 SMS||1 day||*244*0#|
|16 XCD||Prepaid 3 Days Plan||2 GB||Unlimited||200 minutes||200 SMS||3 days||*244*1#|
|35 XCD||Prepaid 7 Days Plan||6 GB||Unlimited||350 minutes||350 SMS||7 days||*244*2#|
|120 XCD||Prepaid 30 Days Plan||20 GB||Unlimited||1000 minutes||1000 SMS||30 days||*244*3#|
Flow Montserrat APN Settings
Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.
- Buying a SIM card in the Caribbean (All Caribbean nations)
- Buying a SIM card in Antigua and Barbuda
- Buying a SIM card in Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Buying a SIM card in Guadeloupe
- Buying a SIM card in Dominica
Digicel Montserrat Coverage
Digicel has good coverage in the populated areas of Montserrat.
Unfortunately, Digicel has no (official) coverage map (anymore), nor could a reputable map be found.
Digicel's coverage is on par with Flow's, so you can check Flow's coverage map to get an idea of what to expect with Montserrat in Dominica.
Getting a Digicel Montserrat SIM Card & Price
You can buy a Digicel SIM card for 20 XCD in their store in Brades (#7 Farara Plaza).
Topping Up Your Digicel Montserrat SIM Card
Digicel reload cards are sold in many stores across the island, but you can also top-up online with a credit card. To check your Digicel balance, dial *120#.
Digicel Montserrat Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers
Digicel Montserrat Prime Bundles
Digicel has the new Prime Bundles, which are bundles with Any Use Data, on-net minutes, off-net minutes, on-net SMS, and data allowances for select apps.
The following Prime Bundles are available:
|Price||Bundle||Any Use Data||Listen More (Music) Data||Listen More (Radio) Data||Watch More Data||Play More Data||Share More Data||Know More Data||Store More Data||On-Net Minutes||Off-Net Minutes||On-Net SMS||Validity|
|6 XCD||1 Day Digicel Prime Bundle||2 GB||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||25 on-net minutes||25 off-net minutes||N/A||1 day|
|35 XCD||7 Day Digicel Brime Bundle||5 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||350 on-net minutes||N/A||Unlimited||7 days|
|120 XCD||30 Day Digicel Prime Bundle||12 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||1000 on-net minutes||N/A||Unlimited||30 days|
You also get unlimited Do More data, which is for the MyDigicel App
Prime Bundles can be activated on the MyDigicel app or by dialing *644#.
You can download any Prime Bundle app by visiting the links below:
- Listen More (Music) with D'Music
- Listen More (Radio) with GoLoud
- Watch More with PlayGo
- Play More with Sports Max
- Share More with Bip
- Know More with Loop
- Store More with Billo
Digicel Montserrat Pick Lite Bundles
|PricePlanDataAnywhere Minutes (local, Canada & USA)Validity3 XCDPick Lite 1 Day 50 MB4 anywhere minutes1 day15 XCDPick Lite 7 Days250 MB20 anywhere minutes7 days 50 XCDPick Lite 30 Days 1 GB70 anywhere minutes30 days|
Digicel Montserrat Quick Pick Plans
|Price||Data||Local Minutes||On-Net SMS||Validity|
|5 XCD||100 MB||10 minutes||Unlimited||1 day|
|25 XCD||1 GB||70 minutes||Unlimited||7 days|
|90 XCD||4 GB||200 minutes||Unlimited||30 days|
Digicel Montserrat APN Settings
Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Montserrat
I would highly encourage anyone visiting Montserrat to get themselves a Montserratian SIM card – you will be saving a lot of money when you do so.
However, for some, getting a Montserratian SIM card is not an option. For example, your device may be SIM-locked, meaning that you cannot use any SIM card other than the SIM card provided by your operator.
There are other ways to stay online while in Montserrat, 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 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 Montserrat 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.
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.
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 Montserrat.
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 Montserrat
Getting a SIM card from Flow would do you well when considering a Montserratian SIM card.
Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other Caribbean Countries
Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
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