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2 Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Seychelles: Buying Guide

(The) Seychelles – often referred to as a paradise on earth, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean off East Africa.

Seychelles is also remarkable because about half its landmass is reserved for national parks and reserves, preserving its nature.

But what can you do in Seychelles? A lot.

You could enjoy the beach life in Mahé and visit Beau Vallon Bay. Or perhaps the Sir Selwyn Clarke Market. Maybe the Praslin National Park in Praslin?

And if you want to see massive turtles, Aldabra is the place to be.

As you can see, there is no reason to be bored in Seychelles. In fact, you will most likely share your experiences online.

Before you do so, be aware that international roaming can be expensive, especially in Seychelles because of its remoteness.

Fortunately, there is a way to avoid roaming rates – local SIM cards.

With a local SIM card, like a Seychellois one, you can enjoy local rates, which are almost always lower than international roaming rates. But you do need to buy a SIM card from one of the local mobile operators.

How expensive are SIM cards in Seychelles?

You can get a Seychellois SIM card for 100 SCR (7 USD) in Airtel and Cable & Wireless stores across Seychelles. A bundle featuring 1 GB of data is available for as low as 200 SCR (14 USD).

Cannot see the video above? Watch it on YouTube.

In the previous version of this guide, 100 SCR was equal to 4.70 USD. Somehow, the exchange rate between SCR to USD went up by almost 50% overnight somewhere in April 2021 – odd.

Anyway, we have just scratched the surface. There are many other things you should know about getting yourself a SIM card in Seychelles.

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

Buying a SIM Card in Seychelles Guide (logos of Airtel and Cable & Wireless)

Original publication: 6th of August 2020. Last updated: 7th of August 2021.

Table of Contents

Can You Buy a SIM Card in Seychelles?

Anyone living or visiting Seychelles can buy a Seychellois SIM card without restrictions.

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 Seychelles). Finally, you need to have a SIM-lock-free (unlocked) phone to use local SIM cards.

Where Can You Buy a SIM Card in Seychelles?

You can get a Seychellois SIM card in the official stores of Airtel and Cable & Wireless – it is not possible to get SIM cards from retail stores anymore since October 2020. They are also available at Victoria/Seychelles International Airport (Aéroport de la Pointe Larue).

Cannot see the video above? Watch it on YouTube.

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

  • Airtel Seychelles: 100 SCR
  • Cable & Wireless Seychelles: 100 SCR

Can You Use Your Phone in Seychelles?

Seychelles 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.

Traditional European frequencies are used in Seychelles, which are mostly used in ITU Regions 1 & 3 (Africa, Asia (including the Middle East), Europe & Oceania).

The Americas (North-, Central– & South America + the Caribbean – ITU Region 2) use American Frequencies, which differ from the European ones.

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

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 Seychelles.

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 Seychelles or can only on 2G.

If you have a medium/high-end device with Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, you can use your phone in Seychelles – even on 4G/LTE.

Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Seychelles

Seychelles has two mobile network operators:

  • Airtel Seychelles
  • Cable & Wireless Seychelles

The following frequencies are used in Seychelles:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20)
  • 5G NR: unknown

You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.

Cannot see the video above? Watch it on YouTube.

To check whether your phone will work in Seychelles, 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 Seychelles

Commercial 5G NR has been available in Seychelles since June 2020 with Cable & Wireless Seychelles. However, 5G NR is currently only available to postpaid customers. It is unknown when prepaid customers can get access to 5G NR networks.

Moreover, it is unknown when Airtel Seychelles will launch 5G NR and whether it will be available to prepaid customers from the start or not.

Best SIM Card in Seychelles

If you want to buy the best SIM Card in Seychelles, I recommend going with either Airtel or Cable & Wireless. Both mobile operators are great. Airtel is the faster option. On the other hand, Cable & Wireless has better 4G/LTE reception.

SIM Card Registration in Seychelles

SIM card registration, with the use of your passport information, is mandatory in Seychelles. This will be done at the point of sale.

Seychelles Mobile Internet Prices & Insights

Flag of Seychelles

Mobile data rates can be either super low or crazy high in Africa. And the costs are even more outrageous on island nations around this continent.

The cost of mobile data in Seychelles has never been low, mostly due to the countries remote nature.

So, how expensive is mobile data in Seychelles?

The average price for 1 GB of data in Seychelles is 8.64 USD, far above the African average of 5.80 USD. The world average is 4.07 USD.

This places Seychelles in the top ten countries with the most expensive mobile data rates in Africa.

Luckily for the locals, and us travelers, the average cost of 1 GB of data has gone down significantly by 55.8% compared to 2019's figures.

The remoteness of this multi-island nation has also not done too much good regarding mobile data speeds. Browsing speeds are decent but far from blazing-fast. But streaming videos in urban areas should not cause too much buffering. I would, however, not recommend trying to play competitive games while in Seychelles.

With reasonably priced SIM cards, bit expensive plans, solid nationwide coverage, and decent mobile internet speeds, you should have a smooth network experience in Seychelles.

Currency in Seychelles

Seychellois Rupee Bank Notes
© Central Bank of Seychelles

Seychelles uses the Seychellois Rupee with the symbol SCR (which will be used throughout this article). However, prices are often listed as SR or Rs. For example, 25 SCR = SR/Rs. 25. For reference, below are some exchange rates between SCR and USD (US Dollars):

  • 1 SCR = 0.07 USD
  • 10 SCR = 0.70 USD
  • 100 SCR = 7.00 USD
  • 1000 SCR = 69.80 USD
  • 10 000 SCR = 698 USD

For up-to-date SCR:USD exchange rates, search SCR 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 Euros, my main currency, when using Wise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards. Open a Wise account FREE!

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Seychellois Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through Airtel Seychelles and Cable & Wireless Seychelles, 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 Seychelles has to offer to us.

Airtel Seychelles

Airtel Logo
© Airtel

Airtel Seychelles, just Airtel, is the largest mobile operator in Seychelles. It purchased Telecom Seychelles back in 2010 and is now the market leader in the country. Airtel is active in 19 countries in South Asia, Africa, Jersey & Guernsey in Europe. With all its subsidiaries, Bharti Airtel is the second-largest mobile operator in the world (440+ million subscribers).

Airtel uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20)

This is what you will learn about Airtel:

* Coverage
* How to Get an Airtel SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Click on the links above to jump to the section you are interested in

Jump to Cable & Wireless

Coverage – Airtel Seychelles

Airtel has extensive coverage throughout Seychelles.

Although reception is nationwide, 4G/LTE is not always available.

Airtel has an image showing all its 4G/LTE tower locations:

Airtel Seychelles 4G Coverage Map
© Airtel

Although a nice image, it is rather useless for determining Airtel's coverage.

Below is Airtel's 2G coverage map:

Then we have the 3G map:

And, of course, its 4G/LTE reception map:

Finally, we have map showing all the technologies combined (2G, 3G & 4G/LTE):

I always like to compare official coverage maps with one made independently because some mobile operators are overly optimistic with their maps.

SIM Card Price – Airtel Seychelles

You can buy an Airtel SIM card for 100 SCR in Airtel stores, showrooms & dealers. It is also possible to get SIM cards at Victoria/Seychelles International Airport.

Dial *121#, select option 1, and option 1 again to see your Airtel phone number.

Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Airtel Seychelles

Airtel top-up vouchers are sold in Airtel stores, showrooms & dealers and other places, such as kiosks, convenience stores, and grocery stores.

To top up your Airtel SIM card, dial *244*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *244*123456#.

You can also 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.

Dial *220# to check your Airtel balance.

You can also use the My Airtel (Africa) app to refill and check your balance (Android/iOS).

My Airtel Africa App
© Airtel Africa

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Airtel Seychelles

Airtel has only one data-featured plan, which is the Data Bundles.

The following Data Bundles are available, which you can purchase online or on the app:

PriceDataValidity
24 SCR50 MB7 days 
49 SCR150 MB15 days 
98 SCR300 MB30 days 
149 SCR750 MB30 days 
299 SCR1.5 GB30 days 
499 SCR3 GB30 days 
999 SCR7 GB30 days 
1999 SCR15 GB 30 days 

APN/Internet Settings – Airtel Seychelles

  • Name: Airtel
  • APN: airtelgprs.com

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

Cable & Wireless Seychelles

Cable & Wireless Logo
© Cable & Wireless

Cable & Wireless Seychelles, just Cable & Wireless, is the other mobile operator in Seychelles. It used to be owned by Liberty Latin America, the parent company of Cable & Wireless, but its Seychellois division was sold to a consortium of local investors.

Cable & Wireless uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20)
  • 5G NR: unknown

This is what you will learn about Cable & Wireless:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Cable & Wireless SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Click on the links above to jump to the section you are interested in

Jump to Airtel

Coverage – Cable & Wireless Seychelles

Cable & Wireless has extensive coverage throughout Seychelles.

Its 4G/LTE reception is better than Airtel Seychelles'.

Below is Cable & Wireless' coverage map:

SIM Card Price – Cable & Wireless Seychelles

You can buy a Cable & Wireless SIM card in 6 Cable & Wireless Stores, the airport booth at Victoria/Seychelles International Airport, and Cable & Wireless Kiosks around La Digue, Mahe & Praslin, which foreigners can use for purchasing SIM cards as well.

Below is a list of all the Cable & Wireless SIM card purchase locations:

  • Victoria Customer Service
  • Providence Customer Service
  • Anse Royale Customer Service
  • Beau Vallon Customer Service
  • Grand Anse Praslin Customer Service
  • La Digue Customer Service
  • Airport Booth at Victoria/Seychelles International Airport
  • Cable & Wireless Kiosks (La Digue, Mahe & Praslin)

Dial #126# to see your Cable & Wireless phone number.

Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Cable & Wireless Seychelles

Cable & Wireless top-up vouchers are sold in Cable & Wireless stores and many other establishments, such as kiosks, gas stations, and grocery stores.

To top up your Cable & Wireless SIM card, call 110 and follow the instructions.

You can also 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.

Dial #125# to check your Cable & Wireless balance.

You can also use the MyCare app to refill and check your balance (Android/iOS).

Cable & Wireless Seychelles App
© Cable & Wireless Seychelles

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Cable & Wireless Seychelles

Cable & Wireless has three data-featured plans:

Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

Boosters – Cable & Wireless Seychelles

The Boosters are combo plans with data, minutes, and SMS.

The following Boosters are available, which you can activate online or on the app:

PriceBoosterDataFacebook DataLocal MinutesLocal SMSValidity
19 SCRFacebook BoosterN/A250 MBN/AN/A5 days
271 SCRJumbo 2712 GB500 MBUnlimitedUnlimited7 days 
571 SCRJumbo 5715 GB1 GB UnlimitedUnlimited30 days 
Data TopUps – Cable & Wireless Seychelles

The Data TopUps are data-only plans.

The following Data TopUps are available, which you can activate online or on the app:

PriceDataFacebook DataValidity
24 SCR50 MBN/A7 days 
49 SCR150 MBN/A15 days 
99 SCR300 MBN/A30 days 
199 SCR1 GB100 MB30 days 
399 SCR2 GB200 MB30 days 
549 SCR3 GB300 MB30 days 
749 SCR4 GB400 MB30 days 
849 SCR5 GB500 MB30 days 
1699 SCR10 GB 1000 MB30 days 
Data Boosters – Cable & Wireless Seychelles

The Data Boosters are data-only plans.

The following Data Boosters are available, which you can activate online or on the app:

PriceDataFacebook Data
49 SCR150 MBN/A
99 SCR300 MBN/A
199 SCR1000 MB100 MB
399 SCR2000 MB200 MB
549 SCR3000 MB300 MB

APN/Internet Settings – Cable & Wireless Seychelles

Most phones will automatically retrieve the correct APN settings when inserting a SIM card – the same counts for Cable & Wireless SIM cards. If that does not automatically happen, you can text all to 9633 to download the APN settings.

If that does not work, you will have to add the settings manually by filling in these fields:

  • Name: CW Seychelles
  • APN: internet

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Seychelles

Getting a Seychellois SIM card is the best way to stay connected in the country.

However, for some, getting local SIM cards is not an option. For example, if you have a SIM-locked device.

Luckily, there are other ways to get online when in Seychelles.

However, these methods may be more expensive than getting a SIM card from the local operators.

International Roaming

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 Seychelles 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.

Using a Mobile Hotspot (Pocket WIFI)

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.

You can either buy a mobile hotspot or rent one.

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 Seychelles.

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 Seychelles

Getting a SIM card from Airtel or Cable & Wireless would do you well when considering a Seychellois SIM card.

Local Prepaid SIM Card in Other African Countries

Visiting other countries in Africa? Check out my Africa SIM card buying guide, covering other African countries, 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

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, and 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, and 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 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.

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!

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