Guide to finding the best prepaid SIM cards in Micronesia
Find out about the state-owned telco that’s the only provider for tourists.
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The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM or simply Micronesia) is a chain of 607 islands. The current communication system relies largely on satellite technology. This can make coverage spotty and choices limited for tourists visiting Micronesia who are seeking to cut down roaming charges by purchasing a prepaid SIM card.
What follows is an overview of Micronesia’s main telco network and description of its various options and packages, along with some tips and other information that will help you choose a SIM card.
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Federated States of Micronesia Telecommunications Corp. (FSMTC) is the only telco and Internet provider in FSM. Owned by the government, it operates only on 2G/GSM and 3G/UMTS, both at 900 MHz. As 900 MHz is not a common frequency for 3G, check your phone’s capabilities to see if it’s compatible.
Coverage is only available for the islands of Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap. If you’re unfamiliar with the geography of Micronesia, check out the company's coverage map. Also, be forewarned that even on 3G, speeds in 2016 were reported no higher than 2 Mbps for downloads and 1Mbps for uploads.
SIM cards can be bought at FSMTC retail stores. There’s one at the Chuuk International Airport near the Level 5 Hotel and Cafe. SIM cards are called FSMTC Telecards and can be purchased for US$5, US$10 or US$20. The company says that long-distance rates are reduced when using a Telecard, but it doesn’t say by how much. To check your available credit balance, dial *767#. The default data rate is US$0.10 per MB, but data bundles are far more affordable. Unlike many countries, these bundles do not automatically renew, so make sure to reorder before your current one expires. The packages include:
|US$5||1 day||100MB||30 minutes||Unlimited||*438*1#|
|US$30||30 days||2GB||60 minutes||Unlimited||*438*2#|
|US$50||30 days||5GB||120 minutes||Unlimited||*438*3#|
All these allowances are for domestic use only. Details of any fair usage policy are unknown.
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In addition to its prepaid service, FSMTC offers 28 Wi-Fi hotspots. To use the wireless, you must:
- Purchase a prepaid Telecard.
- Connect to the FSMTC wireless network.
- Open an Internet browser.
- Click the link to “Register for a new prepaid user account”.
- Enter the telecard numbers as well as a dollar amount.
Once you’re set up, you will be charged US$0.08 per MB for data downloaded and US$0.08/MB for data transferred. As of 22 September 2017, these locations included:
- FSM Telecom
- Kosrae International Airport
- ASCO Hotel
- FSM Telecom
- ESA Hotel
- Yap International Airport
APN: fsmtc, and website: http://www.fsmtc.fm/
Pros and cons of FSMTC
Being the only SIM card provider in Micronesia is both good and bad for FSMTC. Here’s a look at its positives and negatives.
- Convenient retail location at Chuuk International Airport
- Wi-Fi locations supplement coverage range
- Slow speeds in most spots
- Some US phones may be incompatible with 3G network
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