Two mobile service providers operate in the Cayman Islands: 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).
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Plans typically include voice calls and text messaging, and most also include a certain amount of international calls (anywhere minutes) and data allowance.
The MyFLOW and MyDigicel 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.
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, such as 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 and start calling. Credit can be added (also known as topping up) at the same locations, as well as at some gas stations, 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 on 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.
The 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
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, a 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 around CI$100 at FLOW and CI$60 at Digicel, and both include a basic allocation of minutes, text messages and data allowance. Heavier users can select plans at higher monthly allocations.
Contracts often include a discount on handsets (some basic models may even be provided for free) 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 three plans: Essential, Plus and Max. All plans come with a bundle for local voice minutes with the variation occurring in the bundled data allowance. Calls can be made to international destinations at a price per minute or can be bought as a bundle for a much lower cost.
Digicel offers several postpaid plans, available on a 12 month contract. All the plans include an allocation of anywhere minutes, Unlimited Digicel to Digicel calls and SMS, plus varying data allowances, all of which come with Unlimited Rollover, meaning you never lose what you’ve paid for.
Mobile Rates Comparison Tables
Please note rates per month are based on a one year contract.
|FLOW PREPAID MOBILE DATA PLANS|
|250MB||For 1 day $2.99|
|1GB||For 3 days $7.99|
|2GB||For 7 days $14.99|
|FLOW PREPAID MOBILE COMBO PLANS|
|Super 2||0.4GB + 25 mins for 2 days||$5.00|
|Super 7||1GB + 100 mins for 7 days||$15.00|
|Super 30||4GB + 400 mins for 30 days||$50.00|
|FLOW POSTPAID MOBILE DATA PLANS|
|Super Plan 110 (3000 local mins, 3000 local texts, 15GB local data, 2GB SWIFT Allowance)||110|
|Super Plan UNL 120 (Unlimited local mins, 5000 local texts, unlimited local data, 200 International minutes - USA, UK, CAN)||120|
|Super Plan UNL 140 (Unlimited local mins, 5000 local texts, unlimited local data, 200 International minutes - USA, UK, CAN)||140|
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 network charge higher rates for visiting users.
To enable frequent (and not so frequent) travellers to keep using their phones abroad without breaking the bank, both FLOW and Digicel offer roaming plans and bundles starting at CI$15. Roaming bundles give customers free incoming calls and texts, and an allowance of data and minutes to use while roaming. These can be activated just before departure, and are usually valid for three days, seven days or a 30 day bundle. Check with your provider which countries are covered by their roaming plans, as these vary.
Roaming plans are also available for prepaid phones but you will first need to ensure you have topped up with sufficient credit to be able to activate these.
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.
Mobile phones can be unlocked locally at Cellular World, in the Bay Town Plaza, opposite The Wharf Restaurant on West Bay Road. They charge between CI$45-$65 depending on the phone but they cannot unlock FLOW iPhones without a code from FLOW. They can also repair mobile phones and replace cracked screens on iPads. For more information, call them on (345) 943 2355 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FLOW and Digicel sell a wide range of new handsets, some of which will be discounted or even free, depending on the plan you choose. Purchasing a handset from one of the mobile providers on-Island is much more advisable as their selection of phones are setup to work best on the networks here, and you will get a warranty and access to authorised repair services.