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Old 30-07-2016, 17:13   #1
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Bahamas cell phone roaming, or not :(

Would be happy to roam the Bahamas phone company, $2 or $3 per minute, whatever.
May 2016 I was not able to connect, roam or log in.
(Got an expensive US Verizon account, but still no cigar.)
Got WIFI in Bimini and Cat Cay then used SKYPE to call last time, but now I need a cellular network next week.
Question: How to connect and roam if the National cell system don't give a darn?
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Old 30-07-2016, 17:19   #2
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Re: Bahamas cell phone roaming, or not :(

My knowledge is dated. When I did work down there we were told our phones would not work and they gave us cell phones that would work.

Today, you may just need a SIM card but check.
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Old 06-08-2016, 06:59   #3
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Re: Bahamas cell phone roaming, or not :(

We just returned from the Bahamas. Our Verizon phone worked fine, almost everywhere the BTC phone did, only at 10 times the price. Use the Verizon until you can pull in and get a BTC phone, then cut the Verizon off or prepare for monstrous phone bills.
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:25   #4
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Re: Bahamas cell phone roaming, or not :(

don't need a BTC phone, just an unlocked GSM phone and put in a BTC SIMM card.
Other option, slower data rates, but good solution for short term stay is T Mobile has a free roaming option that works in Bahamas, 0.20/min call and 3G data.
Verizon sucks for international travel.
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:47   #5
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Re: Bahamas cell phone roaming, or not :(

Thx, good info.
I had a BATELCO SIM card 10 years ago, bought it on the Internet for my next Bahamas trip, then the trip got delayed and the card expired, hence I hesitate to go that route again
Do they sell the SIM cards in local stores in Bimini?
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:51   #6
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Re: Bahamas cell phone roaming, or not :(

local stores do sell, but better to walk North along Queens Hwy to the BTC store north end of Alicetown and get it there, then can set up data and register card which allows you to top up online.

Other option is DrSimm.com, can buy a card online and get before you even leave.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:37   #7
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Re: Bahamas cell phone roaming, or not :(

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Originally Posted by bvander View Post
local stores do sell, but better to walk North along Queens Hwy to the BTC store north end of Alicetown and get it there, then can set up data and register card which allows you to top up online.

Other option is DrSimm.com, can buy a card online and get before you even leave.

Thx, will look for the BTC store next time, did not even know there was one.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:41   #8
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Re: Bahamas cell phone roaming, or not :(

The BTC phones are pretty reasonable. I didn't even bother looking for an unlocked GSM phone.
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Old 06-08-2016, 19:23   #9
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Re: Bahamas cell phone roaming, or not :(

If you are willing to pay $2 or $3 a minute then just get a satphone.
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Old 06-08-2016, 20:12   #10
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Re: Bahamas cell phone roaming, or not :(

FYI if you have a US Verizon smartphone they are already unlocked. Just go down to the BTC office and buy a SIM card and put some money on the account. I bought my SIM card from the shanty/store in Fox Town - if they have them most everywhere will.

When you get back to US, put your Verizon SIM in and return to normal. Also, Verizon will pause your account for up to 90 days no fees no penalty if you do so through theit website.
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Old 06-08-2016, 20:20   #11
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Re: Bahamas cell phone roaming, or not :(

We spent two months there earlier this year. Had Sprint service in the States. Used their global roaming service in the Bahamas which tied into all of the BTC antennas. Voice calls were $0.20 per-minute. Text service and 3G data was free. Of course in addition to our standard US program. No sim cards or messing with unlocked phones.
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Old 07-08-2016, 04:46   #12
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Re: Bahamas cell phone roaming, or not :(

Thx again for more replies.
Yes, will look for a local SIM card.
Now that I switched to power boats I hardly stay more than 3-4 days in the Bahamas each trip, hence roaming on Verizon would not cost much. If within Internet range I use SKYPE anyways, but roaming would only be for family emergencies at home, etc.
The problem was that the Bahamian cell towers did not latch on to my phone, or offer roaming like in the past when I have been cruising there with Sprint and ATT. (Had more options on the sailboat: Phone patches using the SSB radio)
Yup, the Verizon phone is un-locked, flying to Europe for work or vacation I stuff a local SIM card in the phone and become a local.
Need to get me a Bahamain SIM card, but last time I tried that, the chip expired before I had a chance to use it.
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:48   #13
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Re: Bahamas cell phone roaming, or not :(

You need to update the cell file. The batelco store can do that for you. It'll help locking onto towers.


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Old 08-08-2016, 07:11   #14
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Re: Bahamas cell phone roaming, or not :(

Quote:
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You need to update the cell file. The batelco store can do that for you. It'll help locking onto towers.


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Uh, ok.
Never heard of updating the cell file bit I will give it a go.
Thx
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:22   #15
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Re: Bahamas cell phone roaming, or not :(

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Uh, ok.
Never heard of updating the cell file bit I will give it a go.
Thx
Phone companies typically send them out once or twice a year. It'll pop up on your phone and say "you have received a file update from such and such - do you want to install?".

They do that manually when you take your phone into batelco. They add their tower specifics to the existing file.
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