Bundle minutes, texts and data together to cut costs in Seychelles.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, has one of the most prosperous economies in Africa despite its small size and isolation. Picturesque beach resorts, game fishing and spectacular wildlife diversity bring in the tourists at a brisk pace. If your travel plans have you headed to Seychelles, consider buying a local prepaid SIM card to reduce your roaming charges.
finder UK offers the following guide to the nation’s telco operators.
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Mobile network operators in Seychelles
There are two network operators in Seychelles:
- Cable & Wireless Seychelles
Both providers have 2G on 900 MHz and 3G on 2100 MHz. Coverage is good, with 3G on the bigger islands such as La Digue, Praslin and the main island of Mahé. But the farther out you get among the smaller islands, the less reception you’re going to find.
Airtel started its 4G in 2014, but it only covers a small area on the main island, including the airport, the capital city of Victoria and Beau Vallon. Cable & Wireless has a 4G market but has not opened it up to prepaid customers yet. You can get a prepaid SIM card with SCR25 credit on it and 2.5GB of data for 30 days for SCR499 (£27.39).
A service of India’s Bharti Airtel, Airtel is the market leader with 55% of the country’s customers. Its SIM cards are often given out free on international flights. If you don’t get one there, try the Tourist Office that sits just in front of the immigration desk at the airport. If that doesn’t work either, the starter card costs SCR50 and comes with a preloaded credit of SCR25. It’s hard to walk 100 feet without seeing an Airtel sign in most of the cities in Seychelles. Anywhere the logo appears, you can top up. The following data bundles can be added on top of your existing starter plan. Dial *121# to subscribe.
APN: airtelfun.com, and website: http://africa.airtel.com/wps/wcm/connect/africarevamp/Seychelles/
Cable & Wireless Seychelles
Cable & Wireless operates the Seychelles landlines, international phone lines, Internet cafes and the nation’s submarine cable running to mainland Africa. Its 4G network is not open to prepaid customers. Starter packs cost SCR100 and contain SCR25 in credit. They can be purchased at the airport or at its own stores. There are two ways to top up your card, either at the eTopUp outlets or at the Cable Kiosks, which are self-service.
You can add a data bundle to your account by dialling #155#. For bundles of 1GB and greater, you also get free usage of Facebook between 100MB and 1GB. Prices and data terms are listed in the table below:
|Data volume||Facebook volume||Validity|
APN: internet, and website: http:/www.cwseychelles.com
In addition to being an online review platform for hotels and attractions, TripAdvisor has an impressive online community of members. Here’s some advice from recent visitors to Seychelles:
“Airtel and Cable and Wireless are the main network operators in Seychelles.”
“You can buy a SIM card and prepaid airtime when you exit the airport at one of the kiosks located near the exchange offices. You don’t need to sign a contract, but you do need an unlocked phone and your passport. Of course if you stay in a remote area it will be more difficult to find them, but areas like Anse Royale, Beau Vallon, Cote d’Or or Grand Anse have shops that offer SIM cards and prepaid airtime. There is not much difference between Airtel and C&W, so your choice won’t make any difference in price or network coverage.”
Pros and cons of top SIM card operators in Seychelles
Seychelles has two major SIM card providers. Here are some of the positives and negatives about these companies.
- Many international flights offer Airtel starter cards for free.
- Cable & Wireless has free Facebook bonuses when you buy data bundles of at least 1GB.
- Cable & Wireless has not opened its 4G network to prepaid users.
- Airtel’s 4G network covers only a small part of the nation’s geography.