Tuvalu is a small island nation in Oceania consisting of 9 islands. Although tiny, it is not a boring destination for those who love beaches, as you will find them anywhere.
While the temperature seems to be stable throughout the year, the rainy season from November to April makes it a relatively seasonal travel destination.
Many travelers prefer to buy local SIM cards because roaming with your provider can be expensive in many cases, including Tuvalu. That is why I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Tuvalu so that you can avoid those expensive roaming rates. Let's investigate.
Original publication: 30th of January 2020. Last updated: 20th of October 2022.
Table of Contents
Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Tuvalu
Tuvalu has 1 telecom provider, which is Tuvalu Telecom Corporation (TTC). TTC runs 3G and 4G/LTE networks on the main islands. Initially, TTC relied on two relatively slow satellite connections for its mobile internet. Nowadays, speeds have significantly improved, but you should not expect insanely fast speeds because Tuvalu still uses satellites instead of submarine cables.
Best SIM Card in Tuvalu
If you want to buy a SIM card in Tuvalu, your only choice would be Tuvalu Telecom Corporation.
Tuvalu Speeds, Internet Prices & Insights
The main issue with the internet in Tuvalu is bandwidth. The more people who are trying to use the web, the slower the experience will be for everyone else. Bandwidth should be improved over the coming years, but you will not be able to enjoy high-speed 4G/LTE speeds like other nations in Oceania, like Australia.
SIM Card Registration in Tuvalu
Like most nations in Oceania, you do not have to show your passport when buying a SIM card in Tuvalu.
Tuvalu Prepaid SIM Cards
With that said, let’s see what TTC has to offer.
Tuvalu Telecom Corporation (TTC)
Tuvalu Telecom Corporation, just TTC, has a monopoly on broadband internet and mobile internet. Coverage can be found on Funafuti, Nukulaelae, and Vaitupu. TTC got rid of its 2G network because of capacity issues.
Right now, their 3G can only handle a handful of current data connections and calls, so do not be surprised when you cannot make calls or use the web. 4G/LTE can only be found in the capital of Tuvalu, Funafuti.
You can buy a TTC SIM card at the main office of Tuvalu Telecom, which is close to close to Funafuti International Airport. Opening hours are 9 AM until 3 PM on weekdays, 10 AM until 1 PM on Saturdays, and 2 PM to 5 PM un Sundays – do not wait too long with buying your SIM card.
SIM Card Price – Tuvalu Telecom
TTC SIM cards cost 10 AUD ($6.70) and come with 5 AUD in credit. Recharge cards can be bought at TTC stores. To redeem your voucher, dial *211*VOUCHER CODE# and your voucher will be activated. For example, if my voucher code is 123456, I would dial *211*123456#. You can check your balance by dialing *767#. Standard Pay As You Go data rates are 0.05 AUD per MB or 51.20 AUD per GB.
- Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
You would be better off buying one of the following monthly data packs:
- 5 AUD: 250 MB (for 15 days)
- 10 AUD: 700 MB (for 15 days)
- 20 AUD: 1 GB
- 50 AUD: 2.5 GB
- 100 AUD: 5 GB
- 200 AUD: 12 GB
- 300 AUD: 18 GB
- 500 AUD: 32 GB
- 750 AUD: 60 GB
As you can see, mobile data is expensive in Tuvalu. You can activate your pack of choice by texting HELP to 123.
If you need to change your TTC APN settings manually, then you need to add the following under APN, username, and password: “ttc”.
TTC’ WIFI hotspots provide faster speeds than mobile data. You can read more about their WIFI hotspots in the Free WIFI connections section of this article.
The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Tuvalu
Getting a SIM card from TTC would be your only choice when considering a Tuvaluan 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:
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