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Cell Phones in Jamaica

Using Cell Phones in Jamaica

There are a few different ways to stay in touch while you vacation in Jamaica. Of course I’m referring to people who don’t stay at all-inclusive resorts and hang with the other tourists. If you want to venture out, get around and see things, having a way to stay in contact is a good idea.

The first suggestion is that you can just use your own cell phone from home. Once you arrive in Jamaica and turn on your phone, it will either pick up the Digicel network or the Cable & Wireless (LIME) network. The extreme downside to this is the roaming charges. If you plan on using your own cell phone for the duration of your vacation MAKE SURE you contact your provider before your trip and find out about roaming charges and hidden charges.

The next suggestion is rent a cell phone for the duration of your trip. There are several places throughout Jamaica who rent vacation cell phones. If you only want to visit Jamaica once, this is probably your best bet. Its convenient and more cost effective than your own cell phone. Just Google “cell phone rental Jamaica”

Digicel Dealer

Digicel Dealer

After my first few trips I decided to invest in a Digicel phone. I went to the nearest Digicel dealer in Jamaica (they are all over the place) and bought the cheapest handset they had. The phone comes with a Digicel chip inside and some free airtime. Most cell phones in Jamaica run on prepaid credit, you buy phone cards and load credit to your phone…similar to prepaid cell phones from back home. When your trip wraps up you take the phone home with you and save it for your next trip.

The last way to do this cell phone thing is to have your own cell phone unlocked. This way you can switch out your chip with a Digicel chip when you arrive in Jamaica. If you’re like me I’m always buying the latest handsets off Ebay and they’re always unlocked. So I can use my handset at home or abroad.

digicel3

FACT: All incoming calls to Digicel, whether local or international, are FREE! So if someone calls your Digicel phone, talk as long as you want!

TIP: If you want to keep your same Digicel number forever you need to load credit on it periodically while you’re home. You can do online top-ups with your credit card through the Digicel website. The benefit of this is by the time you get back to Jamaica on your next trip you have hoards of credit already loaded. If you don’t care about keeping the number you’ll have to buy a new chip every time you go.

TIP: Where do you buy phone cards when in Jamaica? Literally ANYWHERE! Almost every corner store, bar, supermarket, and restaurant sells credit. You will even find random people walking around the street selling it. No problem.

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12 Comments

  1. hi i have never put credit on my sim card when not in ja and it always works

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  2. I`ve never tried not putting credit on because someone told me I had to. Oh well, its cool because then I have like $1000 on when I get there and never have to top up LOL.

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  3. Tip

    You can load 1000j and follow the prompts to get unlimited international calling on your phone.

    Our phone rentals come with them if you like.

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  4. This is right here, in the present, not the future.

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  5. hello can i bring a old cell phone im not using and have my friend in sav la mar use it with your service? if not how much in usd would it be for a phone with renewable chip? im trying to undestand how your network works. i will be there on may 23rd. he calls me in california. tks for any info you can email

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  6. You can bring it but it has to be unlocked for it to work with a Digicel chip in it. Unlocking it can be pricey.

    Otherwise when you get there you can buy a cheap Digicel phone with a chip in it and some credit on it for around $50 USD.

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  7. Wow…I had no idea you could text from e-mail to DigiCel (this coming from a Jamaican! Ha!). This works like a charm…I’ve beet e-texting people all day! This is a huge help, so I’ve deleted the international text feature form my phone…I no longer need it lol. Thanks!!!

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  8. HAH that’s wicked! Glad it helps! For some reason they started bouncing back to my email so I can’t use it anymore. :-(

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  9. Does any unlocked phone from USA work with a Digicel sim card?

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  10. Yes, any phone with a SIM slot will work with a Digicel SIM

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  11. If you are planning to rent a cell phone in Jamaica your best bet is to rent from Island phone Rentals. Their website is http://www.islandphonerentals.com. You get a phone with unlimited international calling and also local calls. They also rent phones with a data plan.

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  12. Budget Rental Car in Jamaica also offers smart phones with data plans for rent when you rent a car from them.

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