The name Papua New Guinea (PNG) is so funny to say (at least, to me it is). The country itself is also fun. The PNG National Museum can be seen in Port Moresby, the capital of PNG. Rabaul is famous for volcanoes and scuba diving. Lastly, you have Alotau with many war memories. You will not be bored in Papua New Guinea.
What you may not want to do is to roam with your provider in Papua New Guinea. Roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why seasoned travelers prefer to buy local SIM cards.
In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Papua New Guinea. Let's get started.
Original publication: 20th of January 2020. Last updated: 22nd of August 2023.
Table of Contents
Telecom Providers in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea has 3 telecom Providers: Digicel PNG, Bmobile – Vodafone PNG, and Telikom PNG. Digicel PNG and Bmobile – Vodafone PNG have 2G and 3G networks. Telikom PNG and Digicel PNG have 4G/LTE networks. Telikom also has a 3G network. In short, Digicel PNG is the only operator with 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks.
Best SIM Card in Papua New Guinea
If you want to buy a SIM card in Papua New Guinea, I would recommend going with Digicel because they have the best network and coverage throughout the country. Telikom PNG should be considered when staying in the larger cities to enjoy lower rates compared to Digicel.
SIM Card Registration Regulations in Papua New Guinea
Unlike most countries in Oceania, you have to show your passport when buying a SIM card in Papua New Guinea. Besides, you have to mention the address you are staying at in Papua New Guinea, get pictures of you taken, and tell your occupation.
With that said, let’s see what the operators have to offer to us.
Digicel PNG, just Digicel, is the largest operator in Papua New Guinea. They also have the best coverage and speeds, although speeds can drop when there is a lot of network congestion.
SIM Card Price – Digicel PNG
Digicel SIM cards can be bought in Digicel stores, and top-up vouchers are sold from 3 PGK ($0.90) to 100 PGK in various stores throughout Papua New Guinea.
Digicel sells 7 types of data packs ranging from 60 MB to 13 GB. The price for each pack depends on how long you want to use the data. For example, the 60 MB pack will cost you 3 PGK if you want it to be valid for 1 day but 6 PGK if you want the pack to be valid for 7 days. Below are the data pack prices when the validity is 1 day:
- 3 PGK: 60 MB
- 12 PGK: 400 MB
- 25 PGK: 1.2 GB
- 40 PGK: 2.5 GB
- 85 PGK: 6 GB
The following Digicel data packs are available with a validity of 3 days:
- 4.5 PGK: 60 MB
- 8 PGK: 150 MB
- 15 PGK: 400 MB
- 35 PGK: 1.2 GB
- 57 PGK: 2.5 GB
If you want your Digicel data pack to last for 7 days, then you have to pay the following:
- 6 PGK: 60 MB
- 10 PGK: 150 MB
- 20 PGK: 400 MB
- 42 PGK: 1.2 GB
- 135 PGK: 6 GB
Finally, you can have your Digicel data pack last for 30 days:
- 35 PGK: 400 MB
- 68 PGK: 1.2 GB
- 110 PGK: 2.5 GB
- 230 PGK: 6 GB
- 450 PGK: 13 GB
Besides these plans, you can also get Digicel social plans, which come with unlimited Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter:
- 3 PGK: 24 hours
- 20 PGK: 7 days
- 70 PGK: 30 days
Night owls can enjoy the following Digicel data packs to be used from 12 AM until 5 AM (one time):
- 4 PGK: 500 MB
- 6 PGK: 1.2 GB
Bmobile – Vodafone PNG
Bmobile – Vodafone PNG, just Bmobile – Vodafone, is the second-largest operator in Papua New Guinea. Bmobile teamed up with Vodafone in 2014 to become the company they are now, which they did in the Solomon Islands as well.
Remember, Bmobile – Vodafone does not have a 4G/LTE network, so do not expect extremely fast speeds with them. Additionally, their coverage is not as extensive as the one of Digicel.
SIM Card Price – Bmobile – Vodafone PNG
Bmobile – Vodafone SIM cards are sold for 5 PGK and come with 1 PGK in credit. Recharge cards are sold from 3 PGK to 100 PGK in many stores throughout the country.
Unlike Digicel, Bmobile – Vodafone’s data pack structure is simple:
- 4 PGK: 50 MB for 24 hours
- 5 PGK: 70 MB for 3 days
- 10 PGK: 150 MB for 7 days
- 20 PGK: 350 MB for 14 days
- 30 PGK: 650 MB for 14 days
- 80 PGK: 1.5 GB for 30 days
- 225 PGK: 5 GB for 30 days
- 375 PGK: 10 GB for 30 days
Telikom PNG is the smallest operator in Papua New Guinea. It is a state-owned company that has a monopoly on the landline market. They do not have a 2G network, but they do have a 4G/LTE network, unlike Bmobile – Vodafone. Telikom PNG 4G/LTE coverage can be found in the populated areas, including Port Moresby, Madang, and Kerema.
Do note that the coverage of Telikom PNG is limited. If you do not plan on exploring the country and will be staying in the bigger cities, like Port Moresby, then Telikom PNG will be the most affordable option out there. However, as their coverage is so limited, they are not recommended for those who plan on traveling through the country or plan on visiting rural Papua New Guinea.
SIM Card Price – Telikom PNG
A Telikom PNG SIM card will cost you 20 PGK, and you would need to visit a Telikom PNG office to get one.
The following data packages can be bought:
- 2 PGK: 60 MB for 3 days
- 3 PGK: 100 MB for 5 days
- 5 PGK: 200 MB for 7 days
- 9 PGK: 400 MB for 14 days
- 15 PGK: 600 MB for 14 days
- 25 PGK: 1 GB for 14 days
- 40 PGK: 2 GB for 30 days
- 60 PGK: 3 GB for 30 days
- 90 PGK: 5 GB for 30 days
- 125 PGK: 7 GB for 30 days
The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Papua New Guinea
Getting a SIM card from Digicel would do you well when considering a Papuan SIM card. Be sure to explore the roaming options your provider offers you, as they may offer free or cheap roaming bundles.
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.
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