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

Vanuatu – known for being a diving hotspot, stunning beaches & a shipwreck.

Yes – that is true. A luxury liner sank near Espiritu Santo.

The country is always in the top five happiest countries on the Happy Planet Index.

So, what can you do in Vanuatu? Honestly, just chill.

You can just spend your time at the beach taking in the sun.

If you are into volcanoes, Mount Yasur can be an interesting hike.

And you can also stay in your resort – the country has plenty of them.

As you can see, there is no reason to be bored in Vanuatu.

But you should know that Vanuatu is not cheap. Far from it.

And you could make your experience much more expensive by roaming in Vanuatu.

You are better off getting local SIM cards, like a Vanuatuan one, to enjoy local rates, which are almost always better than international roaming.

Luckily, Vanuatuan SIM cards are available to travelers too.

So, how expensive are SIM cards in Vanuatu?

You can get a Vanuatuan SIM card for 200 VUV (1.75 USD) from Digicel and 250 VUV (2.20 USD) from Vodafone (formerly TVL) in their stores or from resellers, like convenience stores and kiosks. SIM cards are also sold at Port Vila-Bauerfield International Airport (VLI).

Those prices are not too bad! They used to be much worse until a submarine cable was installed to Vanuatu.

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

Buying a SIM Card in Vanuatu (Digicel & Vodafone)

Original publication: 19th of January 2020. Last updated: 4th of November 2022.


Table of Contents

Can You Buy a SIM Card in Vanuatu?

Anyone is allowed to buy a Vanuatuan SIM card, including tourists and visitors, from Digicel and Vodafone (formerly TVL) without restrictions.

Your phone has to support the frequencies used in Vanuatu.

Furthermore, your phone needs to be unlocked (SIM-lock free) to use a Vanuatuan SIM card.

Where Can You Buy a SIM Card in Vanuatu?

You can get a Vanuatuan SIM card in Digicel and Vodafone (formerly TVL) stores. Resellers, like post offices, newsstands & grocery stores, also sell SIM cards. They are also sold at Port Vila-Bauerfield International Airport (VLI).

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

  • Digicel Vanuatu: 200 VUV (promotional pricing), else 500 VUV
  • Vodafone Vanuatu (formerly TVL): 250 VUV

The following mobile operators also have SIM cards targeting tourists:

For up-to-date VUV:your currency (let's say AUD) exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

  • 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)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

Can You Use Your Phone in Vanuatu?

Vanuatu uses GSM technology for mobile communications. CDMA phones will not work in Vanuatu. If your phone has a SIM card slot, then it supports GSMA (99% of the phones do support GSM nowadays).

Traditional European frequencies are used in Vanuatu, which are mostly used in ITU Regions 1 and 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 and 3), you should not experience any issues with using your phone in Vanuatu.

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 Vanuatu or can only use slower networks (3G or 2G).

If you have a medium/high-end device with Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, you can use your phone in Vanuatu (to some extent) – also on 4G/LTE .

Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Vanuatu

Vanuatu has two mobile operators offering prepaid services:

  • Digicel Vanuatu
  • Vodafone Vanuatu (formerly TVL)

The following frequencies are used in Vanuatu:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 28)
  • 5G NR: N/A – rollout not announced yet

You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.

To check whether your phone will work in Vanuatu, 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.

VoLTE & VoWiFi in Vanuatu

VoLTE (Voice over LTE (4G) – also known as HD Voice) is not available in Vanuatu – the same counts for VoWiFi (Voice over WiFi – also known as WiFi calling).

This means that your phone will downgrade to 2G or 3G when making a call in Vanuatu (unlike mobile operators that do support VoLTE – then you can still use 4G/LTE while calling).

VoWiFi is, as the name implies, calling on a WiFi connection as opposed to on a cellular network.

5G NR in Vanuatu

5G NR is not available in Vanuatu as of 2022, and the Vanuatuan government has not made any indications of when they will auction 5G licenses.

Best SIM Card in Vanuatu

If you want to buy the best SIM card in Vanuatu, I recommend going with Digicel or Vodafone (formerly TVL). The difference between the two networks has become minimal in recent years. Digicel has attractive plans with dedicated data allowances for Digicel apps. Vodafone has generous data allowances.

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SIM Card Registration in Vanuatu

SIM card registration, with the use of your personal information (such as your passport), is not required when buying a SIM card in Vanuatu.

  • Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
SIM Card Registration Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

Vanuatu Mobile Internet Prices & Insights

Flag of Vanuatu

Being redone.

Currency in Vanuatu

5000 Vanuatu Vatu Bank Note
© Reserve Bank of Vanuatu

Vanuatu use the Vanuatu Vatu with the symbol VUV (which will be used throughout this guide).

However, prices are often listed as VT. For example, 25 VUV = 25 VT.

For reference, below are some exchange rates between VUV and USD (US Dollars):

  • 1 VUV = 0.01 USD
  • 10 VUV = 0.10 USD
  • 100 VUV = 0.90 USD
  • 1000 VUV = 8.70 USD
  • 10 000 VUV = 87.30 USD

For up-to-date VUV:your currency (let's say AUD – Australian Dollar) exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

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!

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Vanuatuan Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through Digicel Vanuatu & Vodafone Vanuatu (formerly TVL), 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 Vanuatu has to offer to us.


Digicel Vanuatu

Digicel Logo
© Digicel

Digicel Vanuatu, just Digicel, is the largest mobile operator in Vanuatu.

It dominated the Vanuatuan telecom market until Vodafone Vanuatu purchased TVL.

Since then, Vodafone Vanuatu has made an impressive comeback, threatening Digicel's monopoly.

For now, it does not have to worry that much… unless it does not innovate.

Digicel, as a company, is active in the Caribbean nations, Central America & Oceania.

Digicel uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 28)
  • 5G NR: N/A – rollout not announced yet
  • VoLTE: No
  • VoWiFi: No

This is what you will learn about Digicel:

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

Coverage – Digicel Vanuatu

Digicel has extensive coverage in the populated areas in Vanuatu.

The islands with the best 3G and 4G/LTE coverage are Efate, Erromango, Espiritu Santo & Malakula.

The other islands have 2G coverage if you are lucky.

Below is Digicel's coverage map produced by Speedtest (although it is not as accurate as it should be):

SIM Card Price – Digicel Vanuatu

You can get a Digicel SIM card for 200 VUV with 1 GB, 6 GB for Digicel apps (1 GB/app), 100 local minutes & 100 local SMS for 3 days (promotional pricing, else 500 VUV) in Digicel stores and from resellers, like grocery stores, gas stations & convenience stores. SIM cards are also sold at Port Vila-Bauerfield International Airport (VLI).

Digicel Vanuatu SIM Card Offer
  • 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)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

You may have to dial *122# to activate your Digicel SIM card.

Digicel has no eSIMs – not even for postpaid customers.

My preferred eSIM providers, Airalo, Holafly, Nomad & SimCorner, do not have eSIMs for Vanuatu.

Others claim to cover Vanuatu at ridiculous prices 😔.

  • Find out about the best local eSIMs, local travel eSIMs & regional travel eSIMs for every country (lookup tool)
Best Local & Travel eSIMs Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

Be aware that there is no VoLTE or VoWiFi with Digicel.

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Digicel Vanuatu

Digicel top-up vouchers are sold in Digicel stores and partner stores, kiosks, gas stations & grocery stores.

To top up your Digicel SIM card, dial *121*VoucherCode#, or dial *121# and follow the instructions.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *121*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 *555# to check your Digicel balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the Digicel app (Android/iOS).

Digicel App
© Digicel

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Digicel Vanuatu

Digicel has two data-featured plans: All In One Niufala AIO Plans (combo) & 4G Data Plans.

All Digicel plans can be activated by dialing *555# or *678#.

I will list all the prices in VUV (Vanuatu Vatu).

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

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All In One Niufala AIO Plans – Digicel Vanuatu

The All In One Niufala AIO Plans are combo bundles with data (without 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.

All In One Niufala AIO Plans can be activated by dialing *555# or *678#:

PriceDataListen More (Music) DataListen More (Radio) DataWatch More DataShare More DataKnow More DataStore More DataOn-Net MinutesOn-Net SMSValidity
50 VUV100 MB350 MB350 MB350 MB350 MB350 MB350 MB50 minutes50 SMS3 hours
125 VUV125 MB500 MB500 MB500 MB500 MB500 MB500 MB75 minutes75 SMS1 day
250 VUV350 MB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB350 minutes350 SMS3 days
550 VUV1250 MB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB800 minutes1500 SMS7 days
750 VUV2000 MB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB1000 minutes2000 SMS7 days
1100 VUV3000 MB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB1750 minutes3000 SMS7 days

All In One Niufala AIO Plans auto-renew. To disable auto-renewal, dial *555#.

Digicel Vanuatu All In One Niufala AIO Plans
4G Data Plans – Digicel Vanuatu

The 4G Data Plans are, as the name suggests, data bundles (without 5G NR access).

4G Data Plans can be activated by dialing *555#:

PriceDataValidity
50 VUV350 MB3 hours
65 VUV650 MB3 hours
125 VUV600 MB24 hours
175 VUV1 GB24 hours
300 VUV1.5 GB3 days
500 VUV2.5 GB7 days
600 VUV3 GB7 days
1000 VUV6 GB30 days
1200 VUV8 GB30 days
3000 VUV20 GB30 days
Digicel Vanuatu 4G Data Plans

4G Plans auto-renew. To disable auto-renewal, dial *555#.

APN/Internet Settings – Digicel Vanuatu

  • Name: Digicel
  • APN: web.digicelpacific.com

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

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Vodafone Vanuatu (formerly TVL)

Vodafone Logo
© Vodafone

Vodafone Vanuatu, just Vodafone and formerly TVL, is the other mobile operator in Vanuatu.

It used to have horrible service when it was still TVL.

After TVL launched 4G/LTE, things changed dramatically.

Not only did it improve its coverage, but its speeds also improved significantly.

With peak speeds of 150 Mbps download, but an average download speed of 30 Mbps, Vodafone is often faster than Digicel nowadays.

Vodafone, as a company, is active in Africa (mostly as Vodacom), Asia, Europe, the Middle East & Oceania.

Vodafone uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 28)
  • 5G NR: N/A – rollout not announced yet
  • VoLTE: No
  • VoWiFi: No

This is what you will learn about Vodafone:

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

Coverage – Vodafone Vanuatu (formerly TVL)

Vodafone has extensive coverage in the populated areas in Vanuatu.

The islands with the best 3G and 4G/LTE coverage are Efate, Erromango, Espiritu Santo & Malakula.

The other islands have 2G coverage if you are lucky.

Below is Vodafone's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

SIM Card Price – Vodafone Vanuatu (formerly TVL)

You can get a Vodafone SIM card for 450 VUV with 200 VUV credit in Vodafone stores and from resellers, like grocery stores, gas stations & convenience stores. SIM cards are also sold at Port Vila-Bauerfield International Airport (VLI).

  • 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)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

You may have to call 171 to activate your Vodafone SIM card.

Vodafone has no eSIMs – not even for postpaid customers.

My preferred eSIM providers, Airalo and Nomad, do not have eSIMs for Vanuatu.

Others claim to cover Tuvalu at ridiculous prices 😔.

  • Find out about the best local eSIMs, local travel eSIMs & regional travel eSIMs for every country (lookup tool)
Best Local & Travel eSIMs Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

Be aware that there is no VoLTE no VoWiFi with Vodafone.

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Vodafone Vanuatu (formerly TVL)

Vodafone top-up vouchers are sold in Vodafone stores and partner stores, kiosks, gas stations & grocery stores.

The following Vodafone top-up options are available:

Top-UpOn-Net MinutesOn-Net SMSValidity
150 VUV5 minutes5 SMS1 day
500 VUV10 minutes10 SMS1 day
1000 VUV15 minutes15 SMS1 day
2000 VUV25 minutes25 SMS1 day
Vodafone Vanuatu Top Ups

To top up your Vodafone SIM card, dial *184*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *184*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.

Dial *183# to check your Vodafone balance.

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Vodafone Vanuatu (formerly TVL)

Vodafone has two data-featured plans: All in Wan Plans (combo) & WAO! Data Plans.

All Vodafone plans can be activated by texting the Activation Code to 183.

I will list all the prices in VUV (Vanuatu Vatu).

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

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All in Wan Plans – Vodafone Vanuatu (formerly TVL)

The All in Wan Plans are combo bundles with data (without 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.

All in Wan Plans can be activated by texting the Activation Code to 183:

PriceDataOn-Net MinutesOn-Net SMSValidityActivation Code
50 VUV50 MB25 minutes50 SMS3 hoursPass All50
100 VUV50 MB50 minutes50 SMS1 dayPass All100
150 VUV90 MB90 minutes90 SMS1 dayPass All150
250 VUV350 MB350 minutes350 SMS3 daysPass All250
500 VUV600 MB750 minutes1500 SMS7 daysPass All500
1000 VUV900 MB1600 minutes3000 SMS7 daysPass All1000
Vodafone Vanuatu All in Wan Plans
WAO! Data Plans – Vodafone Vanuatu (formerly TVL)

The WAO! Data Plans are, as the name suggests, data bundles (without 5G NR access).

WAO! Data Plans can be activated by texting the Activation Code to 183:

PricePlanDataBonus DataValidityActivation Code
50 VUVWAO 50300 MB 1N/A3 hoursBUY WAO50
60 VUVWAO 60400 MBN/A3 hoursBUY WAO60
125 VUVWAO 155500 MB100 MB (2 hours)24 hoursBuy WAO125
400 VUVWAO 4001.5 GB200 MB (2 hours)3 daysBUY WAO400
400 VUVWAO Night 4004.5 GB500 MB (2 hours)7 nights (23:00 – 7:00)BUY WAONIG400
600 VUVWAO 6002.5 GB300 MB (2 hours)7 daysBUY WAO600
1000 VUVWAO 10005.5 GB400 MB (2 hours)25 daysBUY WAO1000
3000 VUVWAO 300018 GB500 MB (2 hours)25 daysBUY WAO3000
10 000 VUVWAO 10 00065 GB500 MB (2 hours)90 daysBUY WAO10000

1 no data rollover

Unused data will roll over for one recharge when you renew your plan before it expires.

Vodafone Vanuatu WAO! Data Plans

APN/Internet Settings – Vodafone Vanuatu (formerly TVL)

  • Name: Vodafone
  • APN: data.vodafone.vu

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

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The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Vanuatu

Getting a SIM card from Digicel or Vodafone (formerly TVL) would do you well when considering a Vanuatuan 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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Every Ko-Fi donation, one-time or monthly, helps me to spend more time creating local SIM card buying guides.

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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.

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