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Compare prepaid SIM cards for Maldives

Grab your itinerary and check out your options for an international SIM card in the Maldives.

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Editor's choice: SimCorner

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With the breathtaking ocean views, gorgeous beaches and countless island resorts to explore in the Republic of Maldives, who wouldn’t want to share their experiences with the world by phone or on social media? But with some sought-after resorts charging up to USD$20 a day for Internet access and Wi-Fi still spotty in this emerging Indian Ocean hotspot, you’ll likely get more for your money by picking up a local SIM card to use in your phone during your stay.

Depending on how much you plan to use your mobile phone and for what purposes, you’ve got some options to quickly and easily pick up an international SIM card on your way out of the airport. Recent travelers have been set up with a communication solution in just 5 or 10 minutes, and for less than USD$20 a month.

Whether you’re staying for a day, a week, a month or longer, finder.com has the information you need to compare and save on your SIM card options for the Maldives.

Compare international SIM cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Number of countries Data range Shipment time
Flexiroam X
150+
1GB-7GB
3-7 business days
Attach the Flexiroam X ultra-thin microchip sticker to your current SIM card to access data roaming in over 140 countries.
SimCorner
80+
1GB-Unlimited
1-12 business days
SimCorner's prepaid SIM cards offer local call, text and data rates in dozens of countries around the world. Choose from a range of data packages, including unlimited data in the USA.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Telco providers in the Maldives

Your two choices for a SIM card, Dhiraagu and Ooredoo, are both affordable telco providers in the Maldives. Dhiraagu has led the way in establishing signal coverage across one of the world’s most dispersed countries, while Ooredoo has pushed the technological envelope by creating the nation’s first 3G and 4G networks. Both require GSM-compatible, unlocked phones.

Network coverage

Dhiraagu now boasts extensive 3G and 4G LTE coverage of every major Maldivian island you could stay, live or work on, and it’s backed by a submarine fiber optic network.

Ooredoo claims a more general 4G coverage across the nation.

The difference is likely found in 4G LTE coverage. Some sources credit Dhiraagu LTE with 56% coverage of the entire Maldives, while claiming Ooredoo covers just 40 of the main islands. Dhiraagu specifically lists more than 150 locations where it offers mobile broadband speeds, while Ooredoo provides a coverage map for more details.

Where to get your SIM card

Most travelers can conveniently swing by the network retail shop of their choice on the way out of the Malé International Airport, officially known as the Velana International Airport. Retail outlets for both Dhiraagu and Ooredoo are located near the baggage claim area. You’ll need to show your passport and fill out a form to buy a SIM card.

Once you’ve ventured beyond the airport to one of the nation’s more than 1,000 coral islands, you’ll be able to stop in at one of hundreds of retailers that provide prepaid SIM cards and add-ons.

All SIM card and data purchases are subject to the Maldives’ 6% standard tax rate, and some tourist areas charge a higher tax rate.

Prepaid SIM card packages

With either mobile network, your cost to get the SIM card is just US$2, and you can pick from a number of data plans that range from 25MB to 200GB.

For heavy Facebook and Twitter users, Dhiraagu offers unlimited posting to social media sites with its Prepaid RED SIM card package. Ooredoo provides free Facebook access on all plans and free Twitter access on select data plans.

If you find yourself running out of time or data, you can top up your SIM card and extend it by buying an additional package.

Dhiraagu prices

The commonly used Prepaid RED package costs about US$2 and comes with US$1.30 in credit toward calls or text messages. Standard call rates are about US$0.06 per minute to any Dhiraagu phones and about US$0.10 per minute to other local numbers. The Dhiraagu-to-Dhiraagu SMS rate is a mere US$0.0007, and data is charged at US$0.02 per MB.

For bulk data, you can pick up a 30-day Power Plan, which can be used at both 3G and 4G speeds. Approximate prices include:

DataRate
500MBUS$6.50
2GBUS$13
3GBUS$16
5GBUS$23
8GBUS$36
15GBUS$62

Also available are Power Plus Plans that provide unlimited data but throttle your speed once you reach the limit. These plans start at 3GB for US$19.

If you just need brief access to a mobile data connection, there’s also a 1-hour 25MB plan for about US$0.65 and a 24-hour 125MB plan for US$1.62.

Keep in mind that on Prepaid RED, your Facebook and Twitter data are free.

Dhiraagu APN and Website

Ooredoo prices

Your Ooredoo SIM card also costs US$2 and comes with US$1.30 in credit. Standard per-minute call charges to Ooredoo numbers are US$0.06 while other local calls are slightly cheaper than Dhiraagu at about US$0.08 per minute. SMS rates are deducted at US$0.01 each locally and US$0.07 each internationally.

Ooredoo’s SIM cards last 60 days, but its bulk 3G data packages expire after 30 days:

DataRate
550MBUS$6.50
1GBUS$10
2GBUS$13
3GBUS$16
4GBUS$19
6GBUS$26
9GBUS$39
14GBUS$58
20GBUS$65
60GBUS$130
100GBUS$195
200GBUS$370

4G data packages range from 825MB for about US$8 to 6GB for US$21. Free from data charges are Facebook and nearly two dozen other apps. Some packages also offer free Twitter usage and call minutes.

For even shorter timeframes, Ooredoo offers Mini Data packages, including 30MB over a day for US$0.65, 160MB over three days for US$2 and 300MB over seven days for US$3. Other data allotments and timeframes are also available.

Ooredoo APN and Website

Tips from Tripadvisor users

The perspectives of travelers who’ve been to the Maldives and swapped out their SIM cards for local ones often provide valuable insights, and TripAdvisor is a great place to find that advice.

Here are some useful reviews from the website:

  • “Coverage is very good. We streamed stuff with no buffering — very good speeds. We also did some Skyping with no problems.”
  • “Took less than 5 minutes; very nice service. The SIM is ready to go right out of the package, which has this sentence on it: ‘To activate, simply start browsing.’ Worked beautifully with 4G service all over Hulhumale, Malé and Villingili, as well as while on ferry boats.”

Have more questions about finding the best SIM?

Switch to a cell phone plan with international calling

Name Product Data Minutes Texts Can I bring my own phone? Cell phone plans starting at:
Sprint
Starting at 2 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$25
Get unlimited data, calls and text or a customized plan on a 5G network. Eligible plans come with Hulu, Amazon Prime or Tidal subscriptions.
SIMPLE Mobile
Starting at 2 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$30
30-day phone plans that allow you to cancel your service at anytime. Choose from five different talk, text and data options with the choice to add international calling for $10/month.
FreedomPop
Starting at 500 MB
Starting at 200 minutes
Starting at 500 texts
Yes
$0
Bring your own phone for a free plan with 500MB of data, 200 minutes and 500 texts per month using Sprint's CDMA Network. Prepaid plans with more data, talk and text start at $9.99/month.
NET10 Wireless
Starting at 1 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$20
30-day plans with unlimited talk and text and the option to choose how much data is right for you. Add-on rollover data is available starting at $5/500MB.
Straight Talk Wireless
Starting at 3 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$35
Choose from several different plan options with no contracts, no fees and coverage on the same networks as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    SanjeevFebruary 27, 2018

    I am coming on work visa for 6 months at maldives. Plz suggest where i should get the sim and what is better plan for me to consume roughly 15 GB data plan monthly?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RenchMarch 13, 2018Staff

      Hi Sanjeev,

      Thanks for your inquiry. The page you are currently on has some useful information to your question.

      You can go to a network retail shop on the way out of the Malé International Airport, officially known as the Velana International Airport. Retail outlets for both Dhiraagu and Ooredoo are located near the baggage claim area. You’ll need to show your passport and fill out a form to buy a SIM card. Also, your phone needs to be unlocked and compatible with a GSM network for both Dhiraagu and Ooredoo SIM cards

      Whilst we cannot recommend a specific plan, you may compare your options on this same page.

      Best regards,
      Rench

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