The two mobile service providers operating in the Cayman Islands are Digicel and FLOW. Both companies offer prepaid options (or pay-as-you-go top-up and plans), as well as postpaid plans (billed per month).
Plans typically include voice calls and text messaging, and most also include a certain amount of international calls (anywhere minutes) and data allowance.
Most residents have Android or iOS smartphone devices. Both FLOW and Digicel use 4G LTE technology so mobile internet speeds are as fast as you will find anywhere in the world.
The MyDigicel and MyFlow apps enable customers to view and pay their bills with postpaid, or top-up credit with prepaid phones, as well as activate a number of add-on plans, such as reduced international calling rates, roaming and data plans. The MyDigicel app also grants weekly rewards to users through customer loyalty programmes.
Prepaid Mobile Services
The advantage of prepaid mobile phones is that there is no contract, no monthly fee and no deposit required.
Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from Digicel and FLOW stores, as well as from other retailers, like supermarkets and gas stations. If you have an unlocked phone, all you need to do is purchase the SIM card, put it in your phone, add calling credit with a plan and start calling. Credit can be added (also known as topping-up) at the same locations, as well as at some ATMs, online and through the mobile service providers’ apps.
The disadvantage of prepaid phones is that the per-minute rates are higher than for postpaid plans. Local calls cost 20 to 45 cents per minute depending on the time of day and whether you are calling numbers within your network or fixed and mobile numbers outside the network. You may purchase calling plans for prepaid to save on regular calling rates.
he prepaid credit can be used for making calls, using mobile data or for texting. You will get better value by purchasing data, text and calling plans.
Postpaid Mobile Services
FLOW and Digicel postpaid plans include itemised billing, per second billing, roll over minutes and 4G LTE data.
You will usually be required to sign a contract for 12 or 24 months with a postpaid plan. These are easy to set up – you just need to take along ID, proof of address and a deposit – and there is a choice of plans allowing customers to choose the one that best fits their needs.
Postpaid plans are paid monthly and start at CI$110 at FLOW and CI$65 at Digicel, and both include a basic allocation of minutes, text messages and data allowance. Contracts often include a discount on handsets and the cost of the phone can usually be spread out over the course of the contract.
As there is no such thing as credit rating systems in the Cayman Islands, you will need to put down a deposit, typically CI$100-CI$200, if you choose a postpaid plan.
FLOW currently offers unlimited plans which include limitless data, WhatsApp, local texts and minutes, as well as an allowance of international minutes and free incoming calls whilst roaming. Customers who have broadband receive a discount on their unlimited mobile plan.
Digicel offers several postpaid plans, available on a contract, as well as a variety of prepaid plans on a one, seven or 30-day term. All Digicel plans include an allocation of anywhere minutes, unlimited Digicel to Digicel calls, SMS and free data to use with any of the Digicel apps. Digicel also offers rich data allowances, all of which come with unlimited rollover.
All mobile phone providers offer worldwide roaming so that you can make and receive calls while travelling on your Cayman number. These calls fall outside your monthly plan allocation, meaning that you will be billed at much higher rates than at home for both outgoing and incoming calls and text messages, as overseas networks charge higher rates for visiting users.
To enable frequent (and not so frequent) travelling, both Digicel and FLOW offer roaming plans. Both offer roaming bundles providing customers with valuable features, including roaming to specific countries, an allowance of data and minutes to use while roaming. Bundles can be activated just before departure and are usually valid for a specific period of time. To choose your roaming bundle, review the plans available online.
It is worth noting that if you bring a mobile phone with you from overseas when you move to Cayman, it will not necessarily work here. It all depends on the frequency used: Cayman mobile providers use GSM, HSPA and LTE technology.
It is a good idea to check with your provider prior to moving to find out if your phone will be compatible, if you are free of contract obligations and if your phone is unlocked. As a general rule, European phones will use the same frequency, but phones from CDMA carriers in the US and Canada will not.
FLOW and Digicel ell a wide range of new handsets, some of which will be discounted. Purchasing a handset from one of the mobile providers on-Island is much more advisable as their selection of phones are set up to work best on the networks here, and you will get a warranty as well as access to authorised repair services.