The British Virgin Islands, often referred to just as BVI, is often confused with the US Virgin Islands (USVI). That is quite understandable because the territories are neighbors.
The British Virgin Islands is known for being a beautiful travel destination in the Caribbean. In fact, most travelers have the urge to share their memorable experiences online.
Which is a good thing – I would do so too. However, I would not recommend roaming in the British Virgin Islands because internationally can be roaming, especially on island nations (or territories, in this case).
That is why I prefer and recommend buying local SIM cards, even in the British Virgin Islands.
You can get a SIM card for 10 USD (Digicel) or 20 USD (Flow & CCT) in the British Virgin Islands. SIM cards are available in the operators' stores. A plan with 1 GB of data will cost you at least 5 USD.
Does that sound expensive? Maybe – mobile data is expensive in the British Virgin Islands. However, those prices are nothing compared to the standard roaming rates your home operator will charge you when deciding to roam in the British Virgin Islands.
In this guide, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in the British Virgin Islands. Let's get started.
Original publication: 21st of March 2020. Last updated: 25th of October 2021.
Table of Contents
Can You Buy a SIM Card in the British Virgin Islands?
Everyone is allowed to buy a SIM card in the British Virgin Islands, regardless of whether you are a resident, tourist, or visitor.
You do have to be aware of the following things before buying a SIM card in the British Virgin Islands or wanting to use your phone in general:
- Get your SIM card registered with your personal information
- Have a device that supports the frequencies used in the British Virgin Islands
- Make sure your phone is unlocked (SIM-lock free)
Can You Use Your Phone in the British Virgin Islands?
GSM technology is used for mobile communications in the British Virgin Islands. This means you need a GSM-compatible device to use your device in the British Virgin Islands.
Worry not – there is a 99% chance that your phone uses GSM.
In terms of telecommunications, the world is split into three different regions, also known as ITU regions. Countries in a particular region typically use the same base frequencies, also referred to as American and European frequencies.
The Americas (North-, Central-, and South America + the Caribbean – ITU Region 2) use different frequencies, American Frequencies, than the ones used in Africa, Asia (including the Middle East), Europe, and Oceania (ITU Regions 1 and 3), European Frequencies.
The operators in the British Virgin Islands use traditional American frequencies. However, some European frequencies are used in the territory as well.
If you bought your phone in the Americas (ITU region 2), you can go with any operator in the British Virgin Islands and experience no connectivity issues because your phone will support the base (and additional) frequencies without any problem.
If you bought your phone in ITU Regions 1 or 3 and have a low-end/medium-end phone without Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, you would want to go with CCT BVI because they support traditional European frequencies on 2G (900 MHz), while 4G/LTE is also on a frequency used a lot in Europe and Asia (900 MHz on Band 8).
Suppose you have a medium/high-end device with Tri-Band or Quad-Band support. In that case, you can go with either Digicel BVI, Flow BVI, or CCT BVI, as your phone will support both American and European frequencies.
Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies the British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands have three mobile operators:
- Digicel BVI
- Flow BVI
- CCT BVI
The following frequencies are used in the British Virgin Islands:
- 2G: 850 MHz, 900 MHz & 1900 MHz
- 3G: 850 MHz & 1900 MHz
- 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 12 & Band 13), 900 MHz (Band 8), 1700 MHz (Band 4) & 1900 MHz (Band 2)
You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.
To check whether your phone will work in the British Virgin Islands, 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 in British Virgin Islands
If you want to buy a SIM card in the British Virgin Islands, I recommend going with either Digicel or Flow. Both operators offer a lot of choice in packages and bundles, while offering fast speeds and great network coverage. CCT is a great option too, but their offering is not as diverse as Digicel and Flow.
SIM Card Registration int the British Virgin Islands
SIM card registration with your passport information is required in the British Virgin Islands. It will be done at the point of purchase.
British Virgin Islands Internet Prices & Insights
Mobile internet can be expensive on island nations, especially in the Caribbean.
Unfortunately, that is the case in the British Virgin Islands too.
The average price for 1 GB of data in the British Virgin Islands is 12.50 USD, which is much more than the Caribbean average of 7.19 USD. The world average is 5.03 USD.
In fact, the British Virgin Islands is in the top 5 of the most expensive places to buy 1 GB of data in the Caribbean.
From a global perspective, the British Virgin Islands is on position 21 of the 228 countries and territories Cable.co.uk analyzed.
Although you will pay almost top-dollar for mobile internet in the British Virgin Islands, mobile speeds are relatively fast in the territory (by Caribbean standards). Furthermore, the network quality is excellent.
Currency in the British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands use the US Dollar with the symbol USD (which will be used throughout this guide).
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!
British Virgin Islands 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 the British Virgin Islands have to offer to us.
Digicel British Virgin Islands (Digicel BVI)
Digicel British Virgin Islands, also known as Digicel BVI and will be referred to as just Digicel, has become the most popular operator in the British Virgin Islands. They entered the market in 2008 and managed to overtake Flow's top position within a couple of years.
Digicel British Virgin Islands Coverage
Digicel has extensive coverage on the British Virgin Islands.
Coverage should be close to excellent with Digicel on the islands.
Unfortunately, Digicel does not have an official coverage map (anymore). Luckily, Speedtest was able to produce one, which is shown below.
Getting a Digicel British Virgin Islands SIM Card & Price
Digicel SIM cards can be purchased for 10 USD in Digicel stores.
You may have to dial *122# to activate your SIM card if it does not work upon purchase and if the Digicel salesperson has not done so for you.
Topping Up Your Digicel British Virgin Islands SIM Card
Digicel top-up vouchers are sold in denominations starting from 5 USD to 100 USD in Digicel stores and many other stores, including grocery stores, gas stations, and corner shops. You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.
To redeem your Digicel top-up voucher, dial *125#.
Dial *284# to check your Digicel balance.
Digicel British Virgin Islands Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers
Digicel has several types of bundles and plans, which are:
Click on the links above to jump to the bundle you are interested in.
Digicel British Virgin Islands Prime Bundles
Digicel has the new Prime Bundles, which are bundles with Any Use Data, unlimited on-net minutes, off-net minutes, unlimited 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 & International Minutes*||On-Net SMS||Validity|
|6 USD||1 Day Digicel Prime Bundle||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||Unlimited||10 minutes||Unlimited||1 day|
|35 USD||7 Day Digicel Brime Bundle||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||7 GB||Unlimited||80 minutes||Unlimited||7 days|
|85 USD||30 Day Plus Digicel Prime Bundle||20 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||30 GB||Unlimited||250 minutes||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 *284#.
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
Your international minutes can be used to call to select destinations:
- calls to mobile and landline numbers in Canada, Puerto Rico, United States & the US Virgin Islands
- calls to landline numbers in the United Kingdom
- calls to Digicel Caribbean
Digicel Caribbean includes:
Digicel British Virgin Islands Big Data Bundles
The Big Data Bundles are combo bundles featuring data, app data for PlayGo & D'Music, unlimited on-net minutes, cross-net minutes (off-net minutes), and unlimited on-net SMS.
The following Big Data Bundles are available, which can be activated by dialing *284#:
|Price||Data||App Data||On-Net Minutes||Cross-Net Minutes||On-Net SMS||Validity|
|5 USD||1 GB||N/A||Unlimited||N/A||Unlimited||1 day|
|15 USD||1 GB||1 GB||Unlimited||15 cross-net minutes||Unlimited||3 days|
|30 USD||3 GB||1.5 GB||Unlimited||150 cross-net minutes||Unlimited||7 days|
|80 USD||8 GB||3 GB||Unlimited||300 cross-net minutes||Unlimited||30 days|
Unused allowances roll over when you renew your bundle. Big Data Bundles auto-renew.
Digicel British Virgin Islands SWIFT Add-Ons
The SWIFT Add-Ons are unlimited social media data add-ons exclusively for the Big Data Bundles. SWIFT, standing for Snapchat, WhatsApp (messaging only), Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. SWIFT Add-Ons cannot be purchased as standalone bundles.
The following SWIFT Add-Ons are available:
|Price||Big Data Plan Eligibility|
|3 USD||15 USD Big Data Plan|
|5 USD||30 USD Big Data Plan|
|15 USD||80 USD Big Data Plan|
Your SWIFT Add-On will expire when your Big Data Plan expires.
Digicel British Virgin Islands Pick Lite Bundles
The Pick Lite Bundles are combo bundles with data and Anywhere Minutes, which are local minutes, calls to Canada, and calls to the United States.
The following Pick Lite Bundles are available, which can be activated by dialing *284#:
|3 USD||Pick Lite 1 Day||50 MB||5 minutes||1 day|
|17 USD||Pick Lite 7 Days||500 MB||35 minutes||7 days|
|45 USD||Pick Lite 30 Days||1.5 GB||150 minutes||30 days|
Digicel British Virgin Islands APN Settings
- Name: Digicel
- APN: internet.vg
Note: APN “web” can also be used for 2G and 3G. Leave anything not mentioned above untouched.
Flow British Virgin Islands (Flow BVI)
Flow British Virgin Islands, also known as Flow BVI and will be referred to as just “Flow,” is the second-largest operator in the British Virgin Islands. They used to be the only one until Digicel BVI and CCT BVI entered the market. Although they lost their monopoly and position and top spot, they still have a lot of customers.
Flow British Virgin Islands Coverage
Flow has extensive coverage throughout the British Virgin Islands.
Coverage will be great to excellent on the main islands, which can be seen on the coverage maps below.
Getting a Flow British Virgin Islands SIM Card & Price
You can buy a Flow SIM card for 20 USD in Flow stores across the British Virgin Islands.
Topping Up Your Flow British Virgin Islands SIM Card
Flow top-up cards are sold in values of 5 USD to 100 USD in Flow stores and at (Wholesale) Recharge Partners, including bars, cafes, corner stores, grocery stores, and gas stations. You can also top-up online with international debit and credit cards.
To redeem your Flow top-up card, dial *121*VoucherCode#.
For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *121*123456#.
Dial *120# to check your Flow credit balance.
Flow British Virgin Islands Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers
Flow British Virgin Islands Always On Prepaid Plans
Flow offers several Always On Prepaid Plans, which are their combo plans that come with unlimited social messaging (SWIFT – Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter), minutes for local use and to select international destinations, and local anywhere minutes.
The following Always On Prepaid Plans are available:
|Price||Plan||Data||Social Messaging (SWIFT)||Minutes (Local, USA, USVI, PR, Canada, UK Landline & Flow Mobile Caribbean)||Local Anywhere SMS||Validity||Activation Code|
|5 USD||Prepaid 1 Day Plan||1 GB||Unlimited||25 minutes||25 SMS||1 day||*244*0#|
|12 USD||Prepaid 3 Days Plan||1 GB||Unlimited||200 minutes||200 SMS||3 days||*244*1#|
|28 USD||Prepaid 7 Days Plan||3 GB||Unlimited||350 minutes||350 SMS||7 days||*244*2#|
|85 USD||Prepaid 30 Days Plan||10 GB||Unlimited||1000 minutes||1000 SMS||30 days||*244*3#|
* USA = United States, USVI = US Virgin Islands, PR = Puerto Rico, UK = United Kingdom
** Flow Caribbean consists of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago & Turks and Caicos Islands
To purchase an Always On Prepaid Plan, dial the Activation Code.
For example, if you want to buy the Prepaid 7 Days Plan, you would dial *244*2#.
Dial *120# to check your Always On Prepaid balance.
Flow British Virgin Islands Prepaid Data Plans
The Prepaid Data Plans are data-only plans.
The following Prepaid Data Plans are available, which can be activated by dialing *129#:
|2.99 USD||100 MB||1 day|
|10 USD||500 MB||3 days|
|20 USD||2 GB||7 days|
|32 USD||1.5 GB||30 days|
|50 USD||4 GB||30 days|
Dial *120# to check your Prepaid Data Plan balance.
Flow British Virgin Islands APN Settings
- Name: Flow Internet
- APN: ppinternet
Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.
CCT BVI (CCT Wireless)
CCT BVI, also known as just CCT, is, unlike Digicel and Flow, a local operator. They were the first operator to offer 4G/LTE in the British Virgin Islands. However, they are still the smallest operator in the territory.
CCT BVI Coverage
CCT has extensive coverage in the British Virgin Islands.
Below is CCT's official coverage map.
Getting a CCT BVI SIM Card & Price
CCT SIM cards are sold for 20 USD in CCT stores.
Topping Up Your CCT BVI SIM Card
CCT BVI Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers
CCT BVI Hero Plans
The Hero Plans are combo plans with data, minutes for local and international use, and international SMS.
The following Hero Plans can be purchased by dialing *611#:
|Price||Plan||Data||Minutes (BVI, USVI, USA & PR)||Worldwide SMS||Validity|
|5 USD||Sidekick||200 MB||50 minutes||Unlimited||1 day|
|30 USD||Hero||2 GB||300 minutes||Unlimited||7 days|
|70 USD||Superhero||4 GB||750 minutes||Unlimited||30 days|
CCT BVI Data Plans
The Data Plans are data-only bundles.
You can purchase any of the Data Plans below by dialing *611# and selecting option 4:
|2.59 USD||100 MB||1 day|
|10 USD||500 MB||7 days|
|20 USD||2 GB||30 days|
CCT BVI APN Settings
- Name: CCT BVI
- APN: cctmobilenet.com
Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in the British Virgin Islands
I would highly encourage anyone visiting British Virgin Islands to get themselves a local SIM card – you will be saving a lot of money when you do so.
However, for some, getting a local 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 the British Virgin Islands, 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 the British Virgin Islands 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 the British Virgin Islands.
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 the British Virgin Islands
Getting a SIM card from either Digicel, Flow, or CCT BVI would do you well when considering a British Virgin Islands 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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