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Using your own phone in the Dominican Republic could be expensive. A top tip for saving money and reducing roaming rates is to switch to a local SIM card. Cheaper deals, plans and tariffs could save you surprising amounts of Dominican pesos. Dominican Republic has some of the best SIM card deals in the Caribbean and you can get 1GB of data for as little as DOP249 (US$5.25). So, get help with cutting down your costs by comparing SIM card options on finder.com.
There are four main telco providers in the Dominican Republic: Claro, Orange, Tricom and Viva. All networks are tried and tested, and they are trusted by both locals and tourists. According to OpenSignal’s global state of mobile networks report, the Dominican Republic is in the bottom half of the worldwide overall speed list, at 5.75Mbps. Network coverage is good in Santo Domingo, but coverage can become weaker in other far-flung areas.
All four operators offer prepaid SIM cards and they can be bought from shops, supermarkets, kiosks, pharmacies, official stores, and at Punta Cana international airport. There are 2G, 3G and 4G wireless plans available for unlocked GSM phones. SIM cards can be purchased by showing your passport. To add credit, there are several prepaid SIM card machines around towns and cities, and vouchers are stocked in shops and supermarkets. Please note there can sometimes be a 30% tax added on top of listed prices, depending on store and pricing plans.
Claro is the market leader on this Caribbean island. Claro network has the best coverage and some of the best deals. It offers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services, however the latter has some limited frequency ranges, so check to make sure your handset is compatible before purchasing the card. SIM cards must be registered using your passport, and they can be purchased for DOP150 from official stores or approved resellers, and come with that amount of credit and a DOP60 starter bonus.
Credit can be purchased online or at most stores across the country. Scratch cards are the main way of uploading credit to your plan and they come in the following denominations:
SIM cards will be cancelled once you reach the end of a plan so make sure you keep your credit updated if you intend to stay longer. Dial *111*2*4*2# to check the SIM’s validity. You can also purchase additional time:
Dial *111*2*4*1# to add this extra time. Dial *122# to check balance and *112*2*5# for data validity checks.
Claro also offers some great data packs which can be added to the above-mentioned SIM cards:
|10MB||Valid for 1 hour||DOP10|
|40MB||Valid for 3 hours||DOP20|
|100MB||Valid for 7 hours||DOP30|
|10MB||Valid for 1 day||DOP25|
|100MB||Valid for 1 day||DOP40|
|Unlimited||Valid for 1 day||DOP50|
|250MB||Valid for 3 days||DOP65|
|Unlimited||Valid for 3 day||DOP95|
|350MB||Valid for 5 days||DOP100|
|Unlimited||Valid for 5 day||DOP140|
|500MB||Valid for 7 days||DOP150|
|Unlimited||Valid for 10 day||DOP295|
|1GB||Valid for 30 days||DOP400|
|3GB||Valid for 30 days||DOP1,125|
Dial *111*2*4*1*1# to activate, and select the plan you wish to purchase.
Social media packs can also be added:
Dial *111*2*4*1*3# to activate. Check in the store where you purchase your plan, to find out which social media sites and apps are included, because they often change.
Claro also offer great data-only SIM card options for modems, tablets and routers:
|50MB||Valid for 1 hour||DOP20 (plus 30% tax)|
|100MB||Valid for 3 hours||DOP30 (plus 30% tax)|
|200MB||Valid for 7 hours||DOP40 (plus 30% tax)|
|150MB||Valid for 1 day||DOP50 (plus 30% tax)|
|350MB||Valid for 3 days||DOP115 (plus 30% tax)|
|1.5GB||Valid for 7 days||DOP550 (plus 30% tax)|
|3GB||Valid for 30 days||DOP1,125 (plus 30% tax)|
|5GB||Valid for 60 days||DOP1,800 (plus 30% tax)|
Claro’s APN for smartphones: internet.ideasclaro.com.do
Claro’s APN for routers and modems: ba.amx, and website:http://www.claro.com.do
Orange is the second largest provider in the Dominican Republic and offers great 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE wireless services. SIM cards can be purchased from official stores or approved resellers and credit can be purchased from almost everywhere. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased for DOP150 which includes a DOP60 bonus. Credit purchases of DOP100 come with a DOP100 bonus, if uploaded within the first three days only.
Orange e-voucher top-ups are also available:
Top-up cards can also be purchased in the following denominations: DOP30, DOP60, DOP100, DOP200 and DOP300. Dial #131# to check balance.
SIM cards do not come with data allocation, so for any data required the following “paqueticos” packs can be purchased:
|10MB||Valid for 1 day||DOP29|
|150MB||Valid for 1 day||DOP59|
|150MB||Valid for 7 days||DOP75|
|250MB||Valid for 7 days||DOP99|
|500MB||Valid for 7 days||DOP149|
|1GB||Valid for 7 days||DOP249|
|500MB||Valid for 30 days||DOP275|
|1GB||Valid for 30 days||DOP399|
Dial #100# and select “paqueticos” and the specific plan to activate.
Orange also offers data-only packs called Internet Orange Prepago, which can be purchased for DOP250 and come with 500MB valid for 7 days. The following add-ons can also be purchased:
Orange’s APN: orangenet.com.do, and website:https://www.orange.com.do
Tricom offers a 3G platform for CDMA users and a good 4G/LTE service for GSM compatible devices. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from only a few stores in the country, so it’s better to pick up a card from the Tricom flagship store in Lope de Vega to make sure your device is compatible. Reload vouchers can be purchased in several denominations between DOP60 and DOP460, valid for between 10 and 90 days depending on amount purchased. Dial *855 to add credit. If no purchase is made within 120 days then the SIM card will be cancelled.
The following data packs can be added to the 4G/LTE SIM cards:
Dial *33 or *44 and select a relevant pack to activate it.
Tricom’s APN for 4G/LTE: lte.tricom.net, and website:http://www.tricom.net
Viva is the smallest provider in the country and only offers a 2G, 3G and 4G platform. The services can be limited so check to make sure your device is compatible. Although Viva prices are low, we highly recommend that you choose another provider if you intend to use calls and SMS most of the time. Viva have announced that they will launch a 4G/LTE services at the end of 2017 which will rival speeds of Orange and Claro.
The good thing about Viva is that they offer some of the best data packs on the island:
Viva’s APN: edge.viva.net.do, and website:http://viva.com.do
TripAdvisor reviews can help guide you through what SIM cards have been tried and tested in Dominican Republic. Here are some top tips from TripAdvisor users:
All networks require you to have a SIM-unlocked GSM compatible international phone. To double check you have this option, contact your service provider before you set off on your travels.
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