Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.

A visitor’s guide to finding the best prepaid SIM cards in Tuvalu

Options are limited for data on this tiny island nation in the South Pacific.

Updated

Fact checked

Tuvalu is a fascinating study in geography: a series of small islands totalling just 10 square miles, but spread out across 500,000 square miles near the midpoint between Hawaii and Australia. Most of the population resides on the atoll of Funafuti where you can purchase a basic SIM card for AUD10 (US$7.63).

Finder.com offers the following guide to the Tuvalu’s mobile networks.

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
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.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Prices last updated November 2017

Tuvalu Telecom

There is only one network operator in Tuvalu at present: Tuvalu Telecom. This is the government-owned entity that has held a monopoly since 1994. Its speeds are notoriously slow, with visitors reporting that 3G seems a lot more like 2G. Anything beyond messaging or checking email will proceed quite slowly.

Tuvalu Telecom’s 3G network began in 2014 but is only available in the capital city of Funafuti. It has two sector antennas which can each handle 30 calls and 16 data sessions at one time.

The island only has satellite communications for Internet access, considerably slowing the speeds. A 4G/LTE network was announced in early 2017 in a partnership with US-based Blue Arcus Technologies. However, because Tuvalu Telecom doesn’t have a website it’s hard to know whether that service has actually started.

Tuvalu Telecom’s main office is the place to buy SIM cards. It’s easy to find, located about 70 feet from the Funafuti International Airport, right next to the police station. The cost is AUD10 and it comes with a AUD5 credit on it. There are no data bundles or special packages available. The flat data rate is AUD0.10 per MB. When you need to recharge your card, buy a scratch voucher and dial *211*<voucher code>#.

Wi-Fi hotspots

If you want to use more data at a quicker rate while in Funafuti, Tuvalu Telecom also provides Wi-Fi hotspots in the city. There are 5 hotspots and 7 repeaters scattered across the island that are much faster than the SIM card speeds.

Wi-Fi vouchers can be purchased in the Tuvalu Telecom office at the following prices:

  • 100MB for AUD5
  • 250MB for AUD10
  • 600MB for AUD20

To get onboard, activate your device’s Wi-Fi connection and selected “Superwifi” to connect. Open this website and enter the username and password provided by the voucher. Make sure to write these words in lowercase or it won’t work.

APN: ttc

Website: Tuvalu Telecom does not have a website.

Pros and cons of Tuvalu’s SIM card operator

Tuvalu has one SIM card provider. Here are some of the positives and negatives about this company.

Pros

  • A 4G/LTE network was announced for 2017.
  • Wi-Fi hotspots allow for more freedom in using data.

Cons

  • Tuvalu Telecom has no website, making it difficult to get updates on its services.
  • Service is limited outside the capital city of Funafuti.

An additional question about SIM cards in Tuvalu

Q: Are more network operators coming to Tuvalu?

A: The legal path is clear for it. In 2012, an amendment to the Telecommunications Act in Tuvalu put into law that a second operator could gain a license. The real question might be: Is it worth it to a company to invest in the market? The nation’s population growth is less than 1%. In 2016, only 2,000 visitors arrived from out of the country, the majority of them in town on business.

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.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site