What Is the Best Cell Phone Carrier in Jamaica?

Are you considering a move to Jamaica? Perhaps you are going for an extended stay? If so, you’ll want to stay in touch with your relatives and friends back home. 

But for that, you’ll need a good cell phone service that is adequate for your needs. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending more money than you need or running out of minutes or data.  

“What is the best cell phone carrier in Jamaica, then?” you may be wondering.

You’ll see that Jamaica has two main providers, with several options in terms of payment and available services. But don’t fret. In this guide, we’ll explain everything in detail so that you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your case.

Continue reading to find out!

A graphic showing a heart, colored in the Jamaican flag green, black, and yellow. Under the heart is the word JAMAICA

Things To Consider When Looking for a Cell Phone Carrier

Anywhere you go, not just in Jamaica, there are specific components that you need to take into consideration when shopping around for a Jamaican cell phone company. Some of these include:

  • Cost
  • Limitations
  • Range of Service
  • Additional Fees
  • Equipment Charges
  • Compatible Devices
  • Contractual Obligations

All of these elements will differ according to the company that you get services through. Not only will this vary according to the carrier, but also with the country. Therefore, a plan in one country may not be the same as what you have available in another, even with the same company.

It is best to look at all aspects of a plan and carrier before deciding. It would be a challenge to sign up for service only to realize that you are bound by a two-year contract, and you will be leaving the country in six months.

Additionally, you will probably have various questions about the service in general. You can find the answers to all of these questions and more below. Continue reading to find out all the information you need to know. 

A photo of a hand holding a cell phone. On that cell phone is a green dollar sign

What Cell Phone Carriers Are Available in Jamaica? 

It is important to note that the country of Jamaica is relatively tiny, and as a result, you won’t have as many options for cell phone service as you will in other countries. However, there are two leading providers that are widely used. 

FLOW

As one of the top Jamaica cell phone companies and one that is popular within other countries in the Caribbean, FLOW has many perks and benefits that make it a high-quality choice for those looking to get a long- or short-term plan for their stay in Jamaica. 

While it currently goes by the moniker FLOW, the company has also been known as LIME, Cable and Wireless Jamaica, and BMobile. With a wide range of bundle packages, those needing communication services can choose from various options.

If you’re wondering what are the current cell phone plans available in Jamaica, when you utilize FLOW’s services, you can choose between prepaid and postpaid. 

Prepaid

When selecting the prepaid option, you will pay ahead for the number of minutes and data you want and re-up with a separate transaction once you run out. When it comes to FLOW, what prepaid cell phone options are available in Jamaica? 

One of the great things about FLOW’s prepaid service option is that there are short-term plans that you can take advantage of while in the country. For example, if you were only going to be in Jamaica for a short while, you could select from the following:

  • Two Days (500 MB of data)
  • Five Days (1.5 GB of data)
  • Seven Days (4 GB of data)
  • 28 Days (10 GB of data)
  • 30 Days (Unlimited data)

Each plan comes with unlimited local voice call minutes and texts, so you can easily call as often as you want without worrying about running out of minutes. There are additional fees and restrictions when it comes to placing long-distance and out-of-country phone calls. 

The prices for these plans range between J$285 (less than USD 2) for the two-day option and J$4900 (US 31) for the 30-day unlimited-data option. If you run out of data before the period is up, you can restart your new cycle early or choose an add-on feature that extends your service for up to five days.

The prepaid options allow those staying in the country for an extended time to have cell phone service without constant roaming fees. Having the ability to cease service at any time makes it easy to go between carriers as needed.

Postpaid

Using the postpaid option means you pay for the service charges you incurred after completing the billing cycle. Therefore, if you went over your minutes, that additional fee would be added to your next bill. 

When considering your carrier choice, one of the first things to decide will be which type of data plan you desire. Depending on how frequently you have access to Wi-Fi, you may be able to get a lower amount of data. However, if you find yourself frequently without Wi-Fi, you may want to consider a larger package.

When choosing between the different data options with the postpaid plans, FLOW offers the following limits:

  • 10 GB
  • 20 GB
  • Unlimited

Each level of data will have a cost associated with it that goes higher as the limit rises. While the 10GB plan runs J$2200 plus taxes (equivalent to USD 14), the 20 GB will cost J$3200 plus taxes (USD 20.50), and the unlimited comes out to J$4900 plus tax (USD 31).

In addition to the data amounts, each plan comes with unlimited local voice calls and text. With the larger packages, you can secure roaming data and roaming minutes. Having the roaming features is helpful when traveling and in areas that aren’t directly serviced.

Taking part in the postpaid plan option requires a credit check and a deposit. Additionally, those who sign up will have to sign a one-year contract agreement in order to obtain the service.

FLOW is the most popular cellular carrier in Jamaica due to its low prices and multiple perks. Residents appreciate the unlimited data and voice calls, as well as the excellent reception on the island. 

Digicel

A photo of a young man talking on his cell phone. In his other hand if a coffee

Another one of the popular Jamaica cell phone companies in is Digicel. As a company, Digicel offers many of the same features and plan benefits that FLOW does. However, they have an expanded service menu that includes specialized apps and online support. 

When you choose to go the route of Digicel, you have the option to select from prepaid and postpaid services. For those looking for a short use period and wanting to avoid lengthy contracts, the prepaid option is likely the best route.

Prepaid

What prepaid cell phone options are available in Jamaica? If you choose to take advantage of a prepaid plan, Digicel provides the following options for data:

  • One Day (11 GB of Data)
  • Three Day (30 GB of Data)
  • Seven Day (64 GB of Data)
  • 14 Day (128 GB of Data)
  • 28 Day (208 GB of Data)
  • 30 Day (265 GB of Data)

One thing to keep in mind is that Digicel does not offer unlimited local minutes for voice communication. Each package comes with its own number of minutes that are available to you. 

  • One Day (80 Local Voice Minutes)
  • Three Day (240 Local Voice Minutes)
  • Seven Day (560 Local Voice Minutes)
  • 14 Day (1,120 Local Voice Minutes)
  • 28 Day (3,360 Local Voice Minutes)
  • 30 Day (2,000 Local Voice Minutes)

The prices for the different prepaid plans available range from J$175 (USD 1) for the lowest one-day plan to J$3400 (USD 22) for the 30-day cellular plan. 

Postpaid

When you go the route of the postpaid cellular options, you have additional choices to consider. 

  • Prime Start Plan – 240 GB of Data
  • Prime Core Plan – 260 GB of Data
  • Prime Plus Plan – 310 GB of Data

The amount of local and long-distance minutes associated with each plan varies as well. With the higher-up plans, you will have additional talk minutes to utilize.

  • Prime Start Plan – 3500 Local Minutes
  • Prime Core Plan – 4500 Local Minutes, 60 International Minutes
  • Prime Plus Plan – Unlimited Local Minutes, Unlimited International Minutes

The cost for the plans varies from J$3700 (USD 24) for the Start Plan to J$12,000 (USD 77) for the Plus Plan. To participate in these services, it is necessary to pay a security deposit. Additionally, customers will need to sign a one or two-year contract.

With the features that are available through the Digicel platform, customers are appreciative of the high data limits and the ability to have international voice minutes included in the agreement. 

Due to the island’s small size, there are very few options for cell phone service. However, low-cost providers like Digicel make it feasible to conduct affairs on the island for a reasonable price.

Additional Providers

A photo of a young lady sitting in a chair, looking at her cell phone. She has her hand to her chin implying that she is deep in thought about something

While there are only two local options, it is also possible for visitors to use the carrier that they already have in place.

Although Jamaica does not have certain popular carriers within their country, they do allow the use of their towers so that visitors to the country have service and are able to communicate with their friends and family back home.

Some of the top companies that have appropriate coverage on the island include:

However, before you go using your current cell phone and carrier plan in Jamaica, you must understand that you will be using roaming services while over there. 

What is roaming? When you are using roaming services, you are not currently within the coverage area for your provider but can still utilize the features with your plan. You can still use these features due to the ability to attach to other carriers’ towers. 

When you use roaming, there is an additional charge. Often, this can cause your bill to escalate to a high level when used repeatedly. Therefore, it isn’t ideal to rely on for daily use. 

For most individuals that continue to use their current phone and plan instead of making a move to a local carrier, using the phone in airplane mode and taking advantage of Wi-Fi communication resources. 

Using services like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, etc., can allow you to bypass the additional charges and still have methods of communication. The downfall to that is it only being accessible when you’re connected to Wi-Fi, which could be problematic in a foreign country. 

FAQ

For the extra inquiries that you have regarding Jamaica cell phone companies, please see our list of frequently asked questions below.

What companies offer unlimited data plans in Jamaica?

Both FLOW and Digicel offer unlimited data plans in Jamaica.

What is the cheapest cell phone plan in Jamaica? 

The cheapest cell phone plan would be a pre-paid one day option from Digicel.

How much are cell phones in Jamaica? 

While this will depend on type, you can purchase a standard cell phone without smart features for a minimal amount, typically less than USD 50.

Are cell phones cheaper in Jamaica? 

No, cell phones are generally not cheaper in Jamaica. This is particularly true for the newest models. The cheapest options are for your standard model without smartphone features. Devices with that functionality are available but may come at a higher cost depending on the brand you choose.

Will a US cell phone work in Jamaica? 

Yes, a US cell phone with one of the top carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile) will work in Jamaica.

Are there extra charges for using a US cell phone in Jamaica? 

Yes, you will incur roaming fees when using a US cell phone in Jamaica. 

What carrier has the best cell phone coverage in Jamaica?

Both FLOW and Digicel have excellent cell phone coverage in Jamaica, with no discernible difference between the two carriers.

In Summary

If you find yourself staying in Jamaica for an extended period, you don’t have to worry about having reliable cell phone access. When in the country, you have a variety of options for securing a new plan as well as continuing to use your current phone and plan.

Although you may have additional costs when acquiring service, it is still possible to maintain communication during your time on the island like you would at home. 

When it comes to purchasing a new phone (if that’s the route you choose) or accommodating long-distance or roaming charges, you may have a bit of sticker shock but will also find that there are workarounds to the issue.

Therefore, don’t let the process come across as daunting. Your time in Jamaica will be filled with beautiful experiences and memories, and having an appropriate cell phone carrier during your stay will be the least of your concerns. 

Related: Cost Of Living In Jamaica: Can I Afford to Retire There?
Related: 15 Best Places to Live in Jamaica

Sources
https://discoverflow.co/jamaica/mobile
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g147309-s605/Jamaica:Caribbean:Telephones.html
https://www.digicelgroup.com/jm/en/bundles.html#Postpaid
https://www.my-island-jamaica.com/can-i-use-my-us-cell-phone-in-jamaica.html
https://www.verizon.com/articles/how-to-minimize-and-avoid-roaming-charges/