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A guide to finding the best local SIM card option in Palau

Only one company currently offers mobile network services in Palau.

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Unless you’re a fan of the reality TV series Survivor, Palau is one of the lesser-known island paradises in the South Pacific. A submarine cable is being installed, but for now the island relies solely on satellite technology for Internet access. If you are visiting Palau, you can cut down on roaming charges by investing in a prepaid SIM card. You can purchase a SIM card for $25 that includes $10 airtime.

Travel Sim Card

Travel Sim Card from SimCorner

SimCorner's prepaid SIM cards let you enjoy local call, text and data rates in dozens of countries around the world.

View details
Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Number of countries Data range Shipment time
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.
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.
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Prices last updated 10/06/2017

SIM card availability in Palau

Palau is comprised of about 250 islands, but the mobile network only works on the main islands. These include:

  • Rock Islands
  • Koror
  • Kayangel
  • Airai
  • Peleliu
  • Melekeok

PalauCel by PNCC

The Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC) is the only game in town for Palau. Its mobile brand is known as PalauCel. Its 3G coverage is good on Koror, Airai, Peleliu and Melekeok. The rest of the inhabited islands have 2G, but only for voice and text. Download and upload speeds are notably slow throughout the islands regardless of network. Because PNCC has a monopoly on this island chain of just 21,000 people, it can set the prices as it sees fit.

There are two PNCC offices where you can buy your prepaid SIM cards: one in Koror and the other in Airai. The stores are open Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm. The basic SIM is $45 with a credit of $10.

PalauCel offers several different plans for minutes, depending on how active you’ll be. All plans are per month, so weigh the cost of paying your own phone’s roaming charges against how long you’ll be in Palau.

Plan Fee Minutes Additional minutes
Volume $50 500 $0.25/minute
Unlimited $150 Unlimited No charge
Power $99 500 $0.20/minute
Business $50 225 $0.23/minute
Affordable $35 150 $0.25/minute
Basic $20 75 $0.25/minute
Emergency $10 0 $0.50/minute

The data price for PalauCel is $0.15 per MB, so plan to choose a data package to cut down on your costs.

Price Data Validity Activation code
$49.90 1GB 30 days *400*1#
$15 250MB 7 days *400*2#
$3 50MB 1 day (until 4am) *400*3#

APN: palaucel

Website: www.palaunet.com

Advice from Lonely Planet about SIM cards in Palau

In addition to its service as a publisher of leading travel guides, Lonely Planet has multiple forums for users to compare notes and exchange information about foreign locales. Here’s a bit of information from a Palau visitor about the state of its SIM card market.

“I would find it highly unlikely that Palaunet will have anything other than the basic SIM card that non-smartphones use. Few people in Palau have any sort of smartphone.

That said, I do know of at least one American that brought her iPhone and was able to get it to work on the cell network. I remember it being quite a hassle to get it unlocked and able to be used.”

Pros and cons of Palau’s top SIM card operator

Palau has just one mobile network operator that has hits and misses in delivering smartphone capabilities to this island nation.

Pros:

  • The submarine cable is supposed to come online in December 2017 and will provide faster speeds to all of Palau.

Cons:

  • Speeds are very slow regardless of your network.

An additional question about SIM cards in Palau

Q: What is the status of the submarine cable for Palau?

A: The Belau Cable Corporation is a state-owned company that is building and managing a submarine fiber-optic cable for Palau. It will be a branch of the SEA-US submarine cable system, which will connect the US (California and Hawaii) to Guam. The Palau cable is scheduled for completion in December 2017.

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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