Reduce your roaming rates by using a local telco deal.
Using your home phone network in Guyana could work out to be costly. A top tip for saving money and reducing roaming rates is to switch to a local SIM card. Guyana has some reasonably priced SIM card options available, and you can get 1GB of data for GYD1,700 (AUD$9.34). You can also use its SIM cards in other South American countries, which could save you even more if you plan to travel. So, cut down your costs by comparing SIM card options on finder.com.au.
Telco providers in Guyana
There are two main telco providers in Guyana: GTT+ and Digicel. Both networks have been tried and tested by locals and tourists, and can be trusted. However, network coverage is only good along the coast and in some river valleys up to Linden and Bartica. The farther inland you head, the worse the coverage becomes, and a satellite telephone is required if you plan to venture into the depths of the countryside.
About Guyana’s telco operators
Both GTT+ and Digicel offer prepaid SIM cards, and they can be bought from shops, supermarkets, kiosks, pharmacies, official stores, as well as at Cheddi Jagan International Airport. There are 2G, 3G and 4G wireless plans available on all networks for unlocked GSM phones. Speeds are reasonably good on 3G, according to OpenSignal’s coverage reports. SIM cards can be bought by showing your passport and giving your hotel address, and your telephone number is already active when purchased. Below, we have explained what each provider can offer you during your stay in Guyana.
Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT/GTT+) is the biggest and best provider in Guyana, with good coverage and low prices. It offers customers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services. SIM cards can be purchased from GTT shops and approved resellers. SIMs can be purchased for GYD2,000, but credit must be added to use. Top-ups can be purchased from the GTT stores or ordered online through the official website.
The standard data rate is GYD10 per MB. The following add-ons can be purchased:
|Daily+||GYD449||15 minutes of voice||200MB||30 SMS|
|3 Days||GYD749||25 minutes of voice||500MB||50 SMS|
|Weekly||GYD1,499||40 minutes of voice||1,000MB||80 SMS|
|Monthly||GYD3,499||100 minutes of voice||3,000MB||200 SMS|
|Monthly+||GYD5,199||150 minutes of voice||4,200MB||250 SMS|
Calls to Canada and the USA are included in all the bundles listed above.
|Daily Plan Extended||GYD349||140MB|
|3 Day Plan||GYD569||300MB + free Facebook and WhatsApp|
|Weekly Plan||GYD1,149||800MB + free Facebook and WhatsApp|
|Monthly Plan||GYD2,629||2,048MB + free Facebook and WhatsApp|
|Monthly Plan Extended||GYD3,419||3,072MB + free Facebook and WhatsApp|
Dial *100# to purchase the bundle you want.
GTT+ APN: portal.cellinkgy.com (username and password: gtt), and website: http://gtt.co.gy/
Digicel Guyana is the only other provider. It offers 2G, 3G and 4G services, but its 4G offering is a super 3G+ service repackaged as a 4G network. SIM cards can be purchased from official stores or approved resellers. It’s probably better to purchase your SIM card at Cheddi Jagan International Airport once you arrive. The airport store is open Monday-Saturday, 7am to 11pm. SIMs can be purchased for GYD2,000, but credit will have to be added before you can use it.
Top-ups can be purchased in Digicel stores, approved resellers and supermarkets. Stores are also able to top up your SIM by using a credit card machine. The credit uploads automatically onto your number.
Digicel also offers data add-on packs:
|1 Day SIM||GYD280||120MB||Valid for 1 day|
|2 Days SIM||GYD570||300MB||Valid for 2 days|
|1 Week SIM||GYD1,250||900MB||Valid for 7 days|
|1 Month SIM||GYD3,200||2,355MB||Valid for 30 days|
|Quarterly SIM||GYD9,100||6,144MB||Valid for 90 days|
To purchase the above plans, check in the stores or dial *136# or *100# and follow instructions. Dial *123# to check your balance.
The following 2G data add-ons are also available:
- 15MB – GYD110
- 50MB – GYD340
- 100MB – GYD570
Dial *136# and select the option you want in order to add extra data.
The following 3G and 4G packs are also available:
|Daily||GYD370||150MB||Valid for 1 day|
|Daily plus||GYD450||250MB||10 minutes, 10 SMS||Valid for 1 day|
|3 Days||GYD770||550MB||20 minutes, 20 SMS||Valid for 3 days|
|Weekly||GYD1,600||1,300MB||30 minutes, 30 SMS||Valid for 7 days|
|Monthly||GYD3,800||3,584MB||80 minutes, 80 SMS||Valid for 30 days|
|Monthly Plus||GYD5,500||4,608MB||150 minutes, 150 SMS||Valid for 30 days|
- 50MB – GYD230
- 200MB – GYD560
- 500MB – GYD1,200
- 1GB – GYD1,700
To purchase the add-on, dial *136# and select the relevant option.
Some top tips from finder.com.au staff:
- English is spoken in Guyana.
- Locals call a SIM card a “SIM” or “chip”.
- Ask the retailer to set up the SIM for you. This will save you a lot of time and trouble, and it also covers anything you might not understand.
- Make sure you get to the stores early before the crowds build.
TripAdvisor tips for the best SIM cards and where to buy them
TripAdvisor reviews can help guide you through the SIM cards that have been tried and tested in Guyana.
“It's pretty easy to pick up a Digicel SIM card in GT, but last time I tried, they only had standard sized SIMs. If your phone uses a Micro-Sim (as the iPhone 4 and 4s do) or a Nano SIM (iPhone 5) you'll need to cut the SIM card to make it fit.”
“I always relied on Wi-Fi at the hotels and restaurants I visited. You might want to consider using Skype over hotel Wi-Fi as an easier way to communicate with overseas family and friends. It will be considerably less expensive.”
Pros and cons of Guyana’s top telco providers
- Good value for money.
- Prepaid credit when required.
- No in-store contract needed.
- Can be used in other South American countries.
- SIM cards could be compatible with your current phone.
- No new devices offered with the SIM card plans.
- Can only be used on SIM-unlocked GSM phones.
- Poor coverage can be found on all networks in country areas.
- Avoid street sellers.
A final important question
Q: What do I do if I lose my phone in Guyana?
A: Your phone is your lifeline, especially when travelling around South America. Make sure you keep it safe and always make a note of where it is. If you lose your phone, then retrace your steps and ask around. If you still have no luck, then cancel any plans or payment methods associated with the phone, report it missing and make a note of the crime number to claim on insurance. Finally, find a cheap replacement to keep in touch with the outside world, and don’t let the new one out of your sight!