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Old 07-01-2013, 07:33   #1
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Who are BVI & USVI Cell Phone providers?

I've chartered a power cat for one week from the Moorings in April/13 and would like to use my smartphone for phone service and and a data plan to provide a wifi hot spot for my laptop.
I have 2 smartphones. One is active using the Rogers network in Canada. I can use that phone and then pay the exhorbitant fees Rogers will charge with one of their roaming plans.
Or, I also have an unlocked (not actively used) Sony Xperia X10 smartphone, and could buy a SIM Card and plan from one of the local Cell Phone providers. We're staying at a resort for 3 days on St. Thomas, then pick up the boat on Tortola.
Who are the Cell providers in the BVI & USVI's, and are there any recommendations on who to use (or not) or what those costs may be?

Thanks
Dave
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:39   #2
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Re: Who are BVI & USVI Cell Phone providers?

Sprint has good coverage in the USVI with no roaming charges. So does Verizon I believe. You will lose your connection between the islands though but worked great fo rus at ST John's, and St Thomas.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:05   #3
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Re: Who are BVI & USVI Cell Phone providers?

Sprint & Verizon are the easist ones for me to use to use, since I can pick up a SIM Card in Florida, when there in February.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:39   #4
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Re: Who are BVI & USVI Cell Phone providers?

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Originally Posted by davemorton View Post
Sprint & Verizon are the easist ones for me to use to use, since I can pick up a SIM Card in Florida, when there in February.
A US SIM card from the USA won't work in the BVIs unless you are on Roaming.

Someone else might confirm that. But each country is different roaming charges can be extremely high.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:05   #5
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Re: Who are BVI & USVI Cell Phone providers?

List of Caribbean mobile phone companies, from Wikipedia
List of Caribbean mobile phone companies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

List of mobile network operators of the Americas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

BVIList of mobile network operators of the Americas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

USVI ➥ List of mobile network operators of the Americas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:32   #6
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Re: Who are BVI & USVI Cell Phone providers?

US Carriers will work fine and not roam in USVI. In BVI I would use either Lime or Digicel. Digicel office is in Road Town think Lime has one there too. But unless you really NEED it on the charter boat, pretty much every establishment in the USVI and BVI have free WIFI, at worst you need to just buy a drink to get the password. Talk also to your charter host too as they often have wifi cards for your laptop that will work through out the chain while on board.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:04   #7
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AT&T by far has the best coverage on St Thomas/St John. Sprint is next and Verizon is not that good at all. AT&T can be picked up in the Bight, on the jetty at Nanny Cay and Great Harbour/White Bay Jost.

Free WIFI is widely available in the BVI. If a phone is a necessity then Digicell or Lime are good options. You might also check and see if your carrier has an international calling rate plan that you can enroll in short term while away. That way you keep your same number and less hassle then getting another SIM card/phone.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:29   #8
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Re: Who are BVI & USVI Cell Phone providers?

In the US, Sprint and Verizon are not GSM carriers and normally they do not and cannot use SIM cards. AT&T and T-Mobile are the two major US carriers using SIM cards, although there are also a host of third-party companies offering SIM cards and usually reselling AT&T service at better rates. In the USVI...I'd expect the best bet is to buy a SIM card there, from a local carrier, once you arrive. But many carriers do not allow tethering or hot spots--so you'll need to confirm that ahead of time.

If T-Mob still treat the USVI as "US Domestic" thye may be the best bet, although a Rogers/AT&T phone will probably only get 2G data speeds, because T-Mob only provide high speed data on their own exclusive band. Still, that's enough for a lot of people.
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Old 14-10-2013, 20:38   #9
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Re: Who are BVI & USVI Cell Phone providers?

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In the US, Sprint and Verizon are not GSM carriers and normally they do not and cannot use SIM cards. AT&T and T-Mobile are the two major US carriers using SIM cards, although there are also a host of third-party companies offering SIM cards and usually reselling AT&T service at better rates. In the USVI...I'd expect the best bet is to buy a SIM card there, from a local carrier, once you arrive. But many carriers do not allow tethering or hot spots--so you'll need to confirm that ahead of time.

If T-Mob still treat the USVI as "US Domestic" thye may be the best bet, although a Rogers/AT&T phone will probably only get 2G data speeds, because T-Mob only provide high speed data on their own exclusive band. Still, that's enough for a lot of people.

Sprint and AT&T are the only carriers with native coverage in USVI. Verizon does not offer service at all and T-Mobile only offers roaming service so your bills may be quite high. I have used Sprint in the USVI and never had any issues, AT&T is also supposed to have decent service. I know Sprint is in the process of upgrading the USVI market with 4G LTE so data speeds will be fastest on Sprint.


BTW, Sprint and Verizon are US based CDMA carriers that did not traditionally use SIM cards as the GSM carriers but most of their new phones with 4G LTE technology use SIM cards and many are international unlocked so long as the phone supports the bands. As mentioned above, only Sprint offers coverage in USVI as Verizon does not.
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Old 14-10-2013, 20:48   #10
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AT&T already has 4G LTE on St Thomas. Unless something has improved very recently, Sprint did not have very good coverage around here. I can't speak for St Croix.
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Old 14-10-2013, 21:45   #11
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Re: Who are BVI & USVI Cell Phone providers?

Verizon does have some "world phones" including the Galaxy S4 that are supposed to work with sim cards for folks leaving the continental US. And T-Mobile, bless their little souls, have recently dropped their international rates big time. They're CEP actually came out and said international roaming plans were only so high because the carriers were effectively extorting their users, and that T-Mob didn't want to do that anymore. Apparently their new attitude (lower prices, no subsidy phones, 4G-LTE deployment) apparently has won them a tremendous amount of new business.
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Old 15-10-2013, 06:34   #12
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Re: Who are BVI & USVI Cell Phone providers?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, lsutigers.
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