Local SIM cards are a necessary purchase if you’re a US tourist.
Known in US history books as the site of the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II, Solomon Islands is a picturesque, tropical setting for tourists. If you’re visiting the Solomons from the US, consider investing in a local prepaid SIM card to cut down on your roaming charges for data and voice services. You can purchase a prepaid SIM card with 1.1GB valid for 14 days for SBD120 (NZD$22.28).Prices last updated: October 2017
Mobile network operators in Solomon Islands
There are two mobile networks in Solomon Islands. They are:
- Our Telekom
Not surprisingly, islands in the middle of the ocean do not have the best coverage or speeds. A submarine channel to Australia is being built but isn’t expected to be finished until 2018. However, unless you’re from Australia or Papua New Guinea, your mobile phone won’t work at all in the Solomons because the local providers don’t have agreements with American phone companies. There is no 4G/LTE coverage there, and 3G is usually only found in the bigger cities on the main islands.
Our Telekom is 100% locally owned and has reached most of the populated islands – 9 provinces in total. Its SIMs are sold at its own stores for SBD20 and come with a credit of SBD20 as well. You can activate your card by dialling 121.
There are top-up repositories throughout the islands. If you see the logo for “MeTop Up”, you’re in the right place.
Our Telekom has a default data rate of SBD0.99 per MB. However, the following data bundles are all available and are much better deals.
To activate any plan, dial *1155# and follow the prompts.
Bmobile started in 2010 and partnered with Vodafone in 2014. Its serves only the main provinces – Guadalcanal, Malaita, Western Province and Central province right now. Its rates are a bit lower than Our Telekom, but its coverage is a lot less complete. Bmobile’s prepaid card is sold at its own shops and top-ups can be found at outlets across the islands.
The following data packages are available for Bmobile. Dial *444# and follow the prompts to activate them.
Advice from Lonely Planet about SIM cards in Solomon Islands
In addition to being a world leader in travel books, Lonely Planet has an impressive online community of members who share travel tips and hacks. Here’s some advice from recent visitors to Solomon Islands:
“Get the prepaid SIM card, they are fairly cheap, especially with the Solomon currency having gone weak. The coverage on 3G network is pretty good in Honiara, Auki and Gizo. Plus you can always top up your prepaid SIM card at any MeTop-Up agents (they are all over the place).”
Pros and cons of top SIM card operators in Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands has two SIM card providers. Here are some of the positives and negatives about those companies.
- A submarine cable is due to be finished in 2018, improving reception.
- Top-up stores are located conveniently throughout the islands.
- No 4G/LTE networks.
- Reception is slow and spotty outside of the main population centres.