Skip to Content

Samoa: 2 Best Prepaid SIM Cards Buying Guide (2023)

Samoa – often grouped or confused with American Samoa – used to be known as Western Samoa until 1997. Before that, the country was under New Zealand rule until (Western) Samoa declared independence.

Samoa is probably the country with the most generous visa policy – no visa is needed to enter the country. Anyone from any nationality can stay in the country visa-free for 60 days (except for US nationals living in American Samoa – they need to apply first). Those from the European Union (or European Economic Area) can stay visa-free for 90 days (in any 180-day period).

Like most Pacific nation islands, Samoa has a lot of stunning nature to see and explore. Fantastic resorts and beaches. And, of course, clear waters – I bet you will share you experiences on Instagram with #GoodLife (at least, I know I would).

The thing is, browsing and posting on Instagram can consume a lot of data, especially if you use the app a lot. This is usually not a concern if you have a reasonable data plan. However, international roaming is not included in most regular plans. Moreover, international roaming can be expensive.

If you are not careful, you could get a roaming bill in the hundreds, thousands, or even millions (depending on your currency, of course), which is certainly not worth it.

That is why you should get a local prepaid SIM card, like a Samoan one, so that you can take advantage of local rates. Luckily for you, you are in for a treat in Samoa.

You can get a Samoan SIM card for free as a tourist or traveler from Vodafone or Digicel. However, you will be encouraged to buy a plan costing at least 20 WST (8 USD). Regular SIM cards are available for 5 WST (2 USD) or 10 WST (4 USD). A data plan with 7 GB will cost you at least 11 WST (4.40 USD).

Those are genuinely affordable prices, especially compared to the rest of the region. Moreover, Samoa is one of the 20 countries with the lowest mobile data rates. Additionally, coverage and speeds have significantly improved over the years.

So you better grab yourself a Samoan SIM card to stay connected at affordable prices.

In this guide, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Samoa. Let's get started, shall we?

Buying a SIM Card in Samoa Guide (logos of Vodafone & Digicel)

Original publication: 19th of January 2020. Last updated: 14th of October 2022.

Table of Contents

Can You Buy a SIM Card in Samoa?

Everyone is allowed to buy a Samoan SIM card, including tourists and visitors.

You do need to be aware that you have to go through a SIM card registration procedure. Additionally, you need a phone that supports the frequencies used in the country (preferably all of them to have the most optimal experience while in Samoa).

The latter requirement applies to those who want to get a Samoan SIM card or want to roam in the country.

Where Can You Buy a SIM Card in Samoa?

You can get a Samoan SIM card in the official stores of Vodafone and Digicel. They are also available at Faleolo International Airport (Samoa International Airport).

You can expect to pay the following for Samoan SIM cards:

  • Vodafone Samoa: 10 WST (with 5 WST credit)
  • Digicel Samoa: “Free” (“SEKI SIM+” if top-up is => 5 WST) or 5 WST

Can You Use Your Phone in Samoa?

Samoa uses GSM technology for mobile communications. CDMA phones will not work in Samoa. However, there is a 99% chance your phone supports GSM (if your phone has a SIM card slot, then it 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 three 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.

The Americas (North-, Central, and South America + the Caribbean), ITU Region 2, use American Frequencies, which are different from the European Frequencies.

ITU Regions Map
By Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) – Own work, using this file by Denelson83, CC BY-SA 2.5

Samoa uses primarily European frequencies for 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE. However, they use a low-band frequency for 4G/LTE that is an American frequency (700 MHz on Band 28). In comparison, the high-band frequency for 4G/LTE is 1800 MHz on Band 3 – the base 4G/LTE frequency for almost all nations in ITU regions 1 & 3.

If you bought your phone in the Americas (ITU region 2) and have a low/medium-end device (without Tri-Band or Quad-Band) support, then you can get a SIM card from both Vodafone Samoa and Digicel Samoa and use only 4G/LTE on 700 MHz (Band 28). However, you will not have any fallback to 2G or 3G because those are on traditional European frequencies.

Even then, the standard band for 700 MHz in the Americas are Band 12 & Band 13 – Band 28 is popular in Latin America (Central America), some countries in Asia, and a few other Pacific nations. As a result, there is no guarantee that your phone will work in Samoa, even when bought in ITU region 2 and it supporting 700 MHz (on the wrong bands).

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, then you can get a SIM card from both Vodafone Samoa and Digicel Samoa and use 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE. However, your phone may fall back to 2G or 3G in areas where only 700 MHz (Band 28) is used for 4G/LTE.

If you have a medium/high-end device with Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, you can use your phone in Samoa without (major) issues – also on 4G/LTE.

Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Samoa

Samoa has two mobile network operators:

  • Vodafone Samoa (formerly Bluesky Samoa)
  • Digicel Samoa

The following frequencies are used in Samoa:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 900 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 28) & 1800 MHz (Band 3)

You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.

To check whether your phone will work in Samoa, 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 NR in Samoa

5G is not available in Samoa as of April 2021. Additionally, the Samoan government has not made any indications of when they will be auctioning 5G licenses. Vodafone Samoa and Digicel Samoa are not having any 5G trials either.

In April 2020, the Minister of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) Afamasaga Rico Tupai had to make a public statement that Samoa has no 5G technology and that there no plans for when 5G will be rolled out in the country.

“We do not have 5G in Samoa. It has never been discussed, and it is not on any plans for Samoa.”

Afamasaga Rico Tupai – Minister of Communication and Information Technology

The minister had to make this statement because misinformation about COVID-19/the Coronavirus linking it to 5G spread around the community (for the record: 5G mobile networks DO NOT spread COVID-19).

Best SIM Card in Samoa

If you want to buy the best SIM card in Samoa, I recommend going with either Vodafone or Digicel. Vodafone has the most extensive coverage and more variety in plans. Digicel has the widest 4G/LTE range and is the cheapest. It also has attractive plans (Prime Bundles) if you use certain apps.

Phone Travel Wiz Approved Seal
Support Me on Ko-Fi Orange

SIM Card Registration in Samoa

SIM card registration with your passport information is required in Samoa. It will be done at the point of sale.

Samoa Mobile Internet Prices & Insights

Samoa Flag

Mobile data used to be super expensive in Oceania because the nations had to rely on satellites instead of submarine cables for broadband and wireless connections. Satellites were, and many still are, slow and costly, which drove up internet prices for the Pacific islands.

Because of their remote locations, it was often not feasible to connect the nations to submarine cables. Hence, satellites are their only way to stay connected.

That has changed over the years. Not only are more Pacific nations linked to submarine cables, but they also have access to much faster and cheaper satellite connections, such as Kacific (-1).

These developments have made some Oceanian countries see their average data prices be reduced by almost 95%. The country that noticed such a significant reduction is Samoa.

So how much will mobile data cost you in Samoa?

The average price for 1 GB of data in Samoa is 0.56 USD, about ten times less than the Oceanian average of 5.51 USD. The world average is 4.07 USD.

As shown in the table above, the average cost of 1 GB of data for Samoa was 10.86 USD in 2020. This placed Samoa in the top 30 countries with the most expensive data rates (position 28). By 2021, Samoa is in the top 20 countries with the cheapest mobile data rates (position 18 – 0.56 USD), which is remarkable. Not just for us travelers, but also for the locals.

The Oceanian average cost of data is still on the higher end than other regions worldwide, but it is still reasonable, based on analysis.

With only 53 countries with average data costs below 1 USD, Samoa is on the right path to make (mobile) broadband affordable and accessible for anyone in Samoa.

Currency in Samoa

Samoan Tala $20 Note

Samoa uses the Samoan Tālā with the symbol WST (which will be used throughout this guide) – However, prices are often listed as just $ or ST$ & WST$. For example, 25 WST = WST$/ST$/$25. For reference, below are some exchange rates between WST and USD (US Dollars):

  • 1 WST = 0.40 USD
  • 10 WST = 3.95 USD
  • 100 WST = 39.80 USD

For up-to-date WST:USD exchange rates, search WST to USD on Google, or replace USD with the currency you use.

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 Australian Dollars and Euros, my main currencies, when using Wise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards.

Open a Wise account for FREE!

Wise Signup Banner

Samoan Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through Vodafone Samoa & Digicel Samoa, 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 Samoa has to offer to us.

Vodafone Samoa (Formerly Bluesky Samoa)

Vodafone Logo
© Vodafone

Vodafone Samoa, just Vodafone, but used to be known as Bluesky Samoa, is the largest operator in Samoa. It is, however, unknown how far ahead they are of Digicel Samoa, which decided to enter the Samoan market in 2006.

Vodafone uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 900 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 28) & 1800 MHz (Band 3)

This is what you will learn about Vodafone:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Vodafone SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Vodafone Samoa (Formerly Bluesky Samoa)

Vodafone has extensive coverage throughout Samoa (Upolu and Savai'i).

Coverage can only be found on the two main islands, which are Upolu and Savai'i. Upolu is the most populated island. Which, in turn, makes it have better coverage than Savai'i.

Below is Vodafone's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

However, click here to see Vodafone's official coverage map.

SIM Card Price – Vodafone Samoa (Formerly Bluesky Samoa)

Vodafone SIM cards can be purchased for 10 WST with 5 WST credit in Vodafone stores.

Short-term visitors and tourists can also get a Vodafone Tourist SIM card sold at Faleolo International Airport (Samoa International Airport).

Vodafone Samoa Tourist SIM Card
© Vodafone Samoa

Although the Tourist SIM card itself is free, you will be highly encouraged to select one of the three Tourist Packages. The following three Tourist Packages are available:

PricePlanDataLocal MinutesBonus Local MinutesBonus International MinutesValidity
25 WSTTourist 255 GB50 minutes150 minutes120 minutes7 days 
49 WSTTourist 4912 GB125 minutes200 minutes175 minutes14 days 
99 WSTTourist 9925 GB300 minutesN/AN/A28 days 

You can check your Vodafone phone number by dialing *888#.

Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Vodafone Samoa (Formerly Bluesky Samoa)

You can top-up your Vodafone SIM card in many stores throughout Samoa. This can be done in Vodafone stores and other stores, including grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores.

To top-up, tell the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards with values between 1 WST to 100 WST.

Dial *888# to check your balance.

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Vodafone Samoa (Formerly Bluesky Samoa)

Vodafone has two data-featured prepaid plans: All In One Bundles (combo) & Data Bundles

All Vodafone plans can be activated by dialing *888#.

I will list all the prices in WST (Samoan Tala).

To convert WST to your currency (let's say USD) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

Wise Signup Banner
All In One Bundles – Vodafone Samoa (Formerly Bluesky Samoa)

The All In One Bundles are combo plans with data (without 5G NR access) and minutes.

The following All In One Bundles are available, which can be activated by dialing *888#:

PricePlanDataAustralia & New Zealand MinutesOn-Net Minutes/SMSOff-Net Minutes/SMSValidity
3 WSTMalo+ 32 GBN/AUnlimitedUnlimited 124 hours
10 WSTMalo+ 104 GB10 minutesUnlimited15 minutes4 days
13 WSTMalo+ 137 GB20 minutesUnlimited30 minutes7 days
15 WSTMalo+ 1513 GB30 minutesUnlimited40 minutes7 days 
21 WSTMalo+ 2117 GB40 minutesUnlimited50 minutes7 days 
29 WSTMalo+ 2929 GB60 minutesUnlimited60 minutes7 days 
79 WSTMalo+ 7979 GB79 minutesUnlimited79 minutes28 days 
3 WSTFiafia Tele 31 GBN/A30 minutesN/A1 day 
7 WSTFiafia Tele 73 GBN/A70 minutesN/A2 days 
10 WSTFiafia Tele 104 GBN/A100 minutesN/A4 days 
13 WSTFiafia Tele 137 GBN/A130 minutesN/A7 days 
15 WSTFiafia Tele 1513 GBN/A150 minutesN/A7 days 
21 WSTFiafia Tele 2117 GBN/A210 minutesN/A7 days 
29 WSTFiafia Tele 2929 GBN/A290 minutesN/A28 days 

1 10 minutes for off-net calls

Vodafone Samoa All In One Bundles
Data Bundles – Vodafone Samoa (Formerly Bluesky Samoa)

The Data Bundles are combo plans with data (without 5G NR access) and minutes.

The following Data Bundles are available, which can be activated by dialing *888#:

PricePlanDataValidity
1 WSTUnlimited 1Unlimited1 hour
2 WSTUnlimited 2Unlimited2 hours 
3 WSTUnlimited 3Unlimited3 hours 
5 WSTSuper Data $52 GB3 days 
6 WSTSuper Data $63 GB3 days 
10 WSTSuper Data $105 GB4 days
13 WSTSuper Data $137 GB7 days
15 WSTSuper Data $1513 GB7 days
21 WSTSuper Data $2117 GB7 days
60 WSTSuper Data $6060 GB28 days
99 WSTSuper Data $9999 GB28 days
Vodafone Samoa Data Bundles

APN/Internet Settings – Vodafone Samoa (Formerly Bluesky Samoa)

  • Name: Vodafone
  • APN: 4g.vodafone

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

Digicel Samoa

Digicel Logo
© Digicel

Digicel Samoa, just Digicel, is the other operator in Samoa. Before Digicel entered the Samoan market in 2006, Vodafone Samoa (which was called Bluesky back then) used to monopolize the telecom market in Samoa. Digicel's competition, and other factors, forced Vodafone Samoa to lower its prices to stay competitive.

Digicel uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 900 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz & 1800 MHz (Band 3)

This is what you will learn about Digicel:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Digicel SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Digicel Samoa

Digicel has extensive coverage throughout Samoa (Upolu and Savai'i).

There will not be any coverage on the other Samoan islands (Apolima, Manono, and the Aleipata Islands (Fanuatapu, Namua, Nu'ulua & Nu'utele).

Since September 2020, all of Digicel's towers are 4G/LTE compatible. Digicel managed to do that faster than Vodafone Samoa. However, that does not mean that your phone will not fall back to 2G or 3G – it will happen but not as often anymore.

Below is Digicel's coverage map produced by Speedtest.

SIM Card Price – Digicel Samoa

You can get a Digicel SIM card for 5 WST in the Digicel store. You can also get the free SEKI SIM+ Offer. However, you need to recharge at least 5 WST to take advantage of the New SEKI SIM+ offer.

Digicel Samoa Seki SIM +
© Digicel Samoa

Visitors and tourists can get the Digicel Visitor SIM for free at Faleolo International Airport (Samoa International Airport) or the Digicel store. You need to show your boarding pass and passport to get your free Tourist SIM. You can only add Tourist Plans to the Digicel Visitor SIM.

Digicel Samoa Visitor SIM
© Digicel Samoa
SEKI SIM+ Offer – Digicel Samoa

The SEKI SIM+ offer is an offer giving you free data (up to 4 GB), minutes (50 minutes), and SMS (up to 400 SMS) when you top up at least 5 WST for four months in a row.

Below is an overview of all the SEKI SIM+ Offer benefits:

MonthTop-UpFree DataFree Local MinutesFree Local SMSBenefits Validity
1st month=> 5 WST1 GB50 minutes100 SMS24 hours
2nd month=> 5 WST2 GB50 minutes200 SMS24 hours
3rd month=> 5 WST3 GB50 minutes300 SMS24 hours
4th month=> 5 WST4 GB50 minutes400 SMS24 hours

Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Digicel Samoa

You can top-up your Digicel SIM card in many stores throughout Samoa. This can be done in the Digicel store and other stores, including grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores.

To top-up, Tell the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

You can check your balance by dialing *120# and check the validity of your airtime by dialing *124#.

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Digicel Samoa

Digicel has only one data-featured prepaid plan: Prime Cheehoo (combo). It includes data (without 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.

I will list all the prices in WST (Samoan Tala).

To convert WST to your currency (let's say USD) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

Wise Signup Banner

The following Prime Cheehoo are available, which you can activate by dialing the Activation Code:

PricePlanDataSocial data 1On-Net MinutesInternationl MinutesLocal SMSValidity
3 WST1 Day Prime Cheehoo1 GB1 GB30 minutesN/A30 minutes1 day
5 WST1 Day Prime Cheehoo2 GB1 GB50 minutesN/A50 minutes1 day
7 WST3 Day Prime Cheehoo3 GB2 GB70 minutesN/A70 minutes3 days
11 WST7 Day Prime Cheehoo4 GB3 GB110 minutesN/A110 minutes7 days
13 WST7 Day Prime Cheehoo8 GB5 GBUnlimited15 minutesUnlimited7 days
15 WST7 Day Prime Cheehoo10 GB5 GBUnlimited20 minutesUnlimited7 days
21 WST7 Day Prime Cheehoo15 GB5 GBUnlimited30 minutesUnlimited7 days
60 WST28 Day Prime Cheehoo60 GB10 GB Unlimited60 minutesUnlimited28 days

1 for BiP, DigicelTV, GoLoud & Loop (so you would have the said data allowance per app, aka 1 GB for BiP, 1 GB for GoLoud, 1 GB for Loop, etc., if the data allowance says “1 GB/app”)

Digicel Samoa Prime Cheehoo

APN/Internet Settings – Digicel Samoa

  • Name: Digicel
  • APN: web.digicelsamoa.ws

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Samoa

Getting a SIM card from Vodafone or Digicel would do you well when considering a Samoan 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:

Support Phone Travel Wiz

It takes a lot of time to analyze, translate & review the SIM card options worldwide (especially to test them out).

Your support helps me keep producing impartial content by eliminating the need to recommend international SIM cards as the best local SIM card (but some of them CAN be useful).

Every Ko-Fi donation, one-time or monthly, helps me to spend more time creating local SIM card buying guides.

Support Me on Ko-Fi Orange

Check Out My Resource Page

Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience

Check out my travel resources page for the best companies to use when you travel!

Save money with international SIM cards, on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises & accommodation.

Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!

Start Your Own Online Business – Make Money While Traveling

Do you want to learn how I started an online business that allows me to generate income while traveling?

In my starting an online business guide, I tell you which tools, services & products I have for this site and my YouTube channel.

If I can start a business about something I am passionate about (phone travel), then you can do it too!

Learn About Your Phone Travel Options

You can buy local prepaid SIM cardsinternational SIM cardsmobile hotspots, or roam internationally.

Each of these options has its pros and cons. Learn more about them, and find the best option for you.

Phone Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks

I have written many articles with tips and hacks to save money on mobile costs while abroad. You surely want to check them out!

Sign Up for the Phone Travel Wiz Newsletter

Get updates related to the newest guides, videos & recommended products and services.

Moreover, I send you many tips and tricks on saving money while traveling every now and then.

Let's Be Social

Did you know that I have a YouTube channel covering everything you need to know about traveling with your phone?

A lot of useful videos are uploaded multiple times a week, and you do not want to miss out on them!

Learn More About Who Adu Actually Is

Who is the guy behind Phone Travel Wiz? Well, find out on the Ernest Adu about page!

Tags