A guide to finding the best prepaid SIM card when travelling to the Falkland Islands
Buy a local SIM card to roam.
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If you’re a traveller, it’s important to save as much as you can for unexpected expenses that might crop up. So, if you plan on checking out the Falkland Islands, a British overseas territory that uses the Falkland Islands pound (FKP) for currency, consider switching over to a local SIM card to take advantage of the best rates, deals and tariffs. A local SIM will also help when it comes to getting connected in remote regions, like the Falklands, where there may not be roaming partnerships with other networks.
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There is only one phone operator for the Falkland Islands: Sure. It only offers 2G wireless services. Although the Falklands is a British territory, the islands are very cut off from other British colonies in terms of perks. There are no EU roaming caps, no UK telco providers on the islands, and technology is extremely basic. It will be extremely difficult for you to use any international provider in the Falklands because Sure doesn’t having roaming agreements with most networks. Most of the time, the only way to get any kind of signal is to use the Sure prepaid SIM card.
About Sure, the Falkland Islands operator
Sure offers prepaid SIM cards and they can be purchased from shops, supermarkets, kiosks, pharmacies, the official store and at both Port Stanley and Mount Pleasant airports. Services are limited to 2G/EDGE for unlocked GSM phones with limited speeds and data access. There are several Wi-Fi hotspots across the islands but they are quite slow. SIM cards can be purchased by showing your passport, and the number is already active when inserted.
The Falklands Island Sure network is different from others around the globe. For example, Sure on Saint Helena or Ascension Island is run on a different platform so roaming rates will apply there. Falkland Islands SIM cards can be quite costly at FKP30.00 (US$38.40) with FKP10 credit included. However, if it means this is the only way you can use a phone, then it’s worth the money. Dial 453 to activate the SIM card. Credit can be purchased from most independent shops and supermarkets on the islands. Text the voucher code to 450 to activate. You can also call customer services to top-up using your credit card on 123, or purchase top-ups online.
We strongly advise you to use only the Sure network for SMS and voice calls. Data rates are among the highest in the world at FKP0.12 per MB, that’s a whopping FKP120 per GB. If you do need data usage while you are there, Sure sells separate data bundles, and they sometimes have deals and promotions. Check in stores at the time of your arrival because you might get lucky with a good promotion.
There are more than 20 Wi-Fi hotspots dotted around the islands and each reaches a radius of about 300 meters. Two denominations of Sure Wi-Fi cards can be purchased at all hotspots and most stores around the islands. The FKP5 Wi-Fi card will give you 50 minutes of web surfing, while the FKP10 card allows 2 hours of surf time.
Sure’s APN: flkwap Username: flkwap Password: 123456, and website:http://www.sure.co.fk/
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- Dashboard for tracking data usage
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- English, French and Spanish are spoken in the Falklands. Since it’s a British territory, English is the official language.
- Locals call a SIM card a “SIM” or “chip”.
- Ask retailers to set up the SIM for you to save time and hassle.
- We recommend that you purchase your SIM card at the airport when you arrive.
TripAdvisor tips for the best SIM cards and where to buy them
TripAdvisor reviews can help guide you through what SIM cards have been tried and tested in the Falkland Islands. Here are some top tips from TripAdvisor users:
- “There is roaming coverage on some parts of East Falkland with the best signal in Stanley but only for some phone networks”
- “There is no signal on the smaller islands or West Falkland”
- “Short term SIM packages can be purchased from the Cable & Wireless shop on Ross St, Stanley”
- “There is some Wi-Fi in Stanley and access points at the Jetty Centre and Cable and Wireless Shop although the connection is still slower that you will probably be expecting”
Pros and cons of the Falkland Islands telco provider
Sure requires you to have a SIM-unlocked GSM compatible international phone. To double check whether you have this option, contact your service provider before you set off on your travels.
- Prepaid credit when required
- No in-store contract needed
- Could be compatible with your current phone
An additional question about finding the best SIM
Q: What if my usual provider is cheaper?
A: Your phone may very well be a cheaper option. However, it probably won’t work on the islands because Sure doesn’t have roaming agreements with most of the international carriers. If you must use a phone while on the Falklands then we highly recommend that you purchase a Sure prepaid SIM card to keep in touch with the outside world.
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