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2000px-Flag of Barbados.svg

Basics Edit

Barbados is a sovereign island country in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean. It's covering an area of 432 km2 and is situated about 168 km east of the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and 400 km north-east of Trinidad and Tobago. Almost 300,000 people live on the island.

Like on many Caribbean islands there are these two usual providers:

  • Digicel Barbados
  • Flow (by Cable & Wireless)
  • Ozone Wireless (4G/LTE-only)

Flow is the incumbent provider and Digicel came to the Caribbean 2001-6 to end this monopoly. A third provider called Sunbeach on CDMA was closed in 2013. Digicel has become market leader and commercially launched its 4G/LTE mobile network in the capital Bridgetown in 2016, Flow in 2017.

Flow is on US frequencies of 1900 MHz for 2G and 850 MHz and 1900 MHz for 3G, while Digicel uses European bands of 900 MHz and 1800 MHz for 2G and 2100 MHz for 3G. Digicel's 4G/LTE has started on 700 MHz and 1900 MHz (bands 17 and 2) while FLOW's 4G/LTE is on bands 1900 MHz and 850 MHz (bands 2 and 5).

SIM card prices are somewhat variable between BDD 10 and 30 with or without some included credit.

Currency of rates in this article is the Barbadian, Bajan or Barbados dollar (BBD, Bds.$, BB$) that is linked to the US$ in ratio BB$ 2 : US$1. The new cellphone tax of 22% is included in the given prices.

Digicel Barbados Edit

Digicel

Digicel started in 2004 to challenge the monopoly of Lime that is called now Flow. They have been so successful in Barbados to reach 57% market share in 2015. In 2016 it launched as first operator 4G/LTE in Bridgetown. For frequencies check Basics section. It has a good coverage all through the island: coverage map.

Availability Edit

SIM cards are sold in their stores (locator). Be prepared to show a passport for purchase. Users report variable charges for the SIM of BBD 25 or 30 for the micro SIM card while standard SIMs come much cheaper. So it may be better to cut them to size.

Top-ups can be made online by credit card without surcharges or by vouchers sold all over the island. Values are BBD 5 to BBD 250. Digitel offers CreditU where you can top-up one number by another: dial *128*<receiving mobile no.>*<top-up amount>#. Wait for confirmation and then dial *128*1# to confirm. BB$ 0.25 is charged for this service.

Dial *120# to check your account balance.

Data feature packages Edit

These data plans called Smart Plans are on 2G, 3G and their new 4G/LTE too:

Volume Time Price
50 MB 1 day BB$ 4
100 MB BB$ 6
500 MB 3 days BB$ 10
500 MB 7 days BB$ 10
1 GB BB$ 14
2 GB BB$ 21
1.25 GB 14 days BB$ 28
1.5 GB 30 days BB$ 30
3 GB BB$ 45
5 GB BB$ 50
10 GB BB$ 60

Activation us by code *246# and choose bundle. To check your data balance on a data plan, dial *120*131#. Taxes (VAT) are included.

These combo plans are offered:

  • for 1 day: 300 MB, unlimited on-net calls and SMS, 10 dom./internatl. mins - BB$ 6
  • for 7 days: 1.2 GB, unlimited on-net calls and SMS, 70 dom./internatl. mins - BB$ 25
  • for 30 days: 2 GB, 70 mins on-net calls and unlimited on-net SMS - BB$ 45
  • for 30 days: 5 GB, unlimited on-net calls and SMS, 300 dom./internatl. mins - BB$ 75

All packages contain zero-rated WhatsApp, but not for calls. Domestic mins are to Digicel Caribbean, USA, Canada and the UK too. Activation is by app, online or *246#. All plans auto-renew and data rolls over.

International roaming Edit

For international roaming you can buy a roaming plan. This service allows Digicel customers travelling to the USA, Canada and all other Digicel Caribbean territories to use service at reduced rates:

  • 100 MB for 1 day: BB$ 12
  • 700 MB for 7 days: BB$ 60
  • 3 GB for 30 days: BB$ 180

Activation is by *246#.

More info Edit

Flow Edit

Flow

Flow, up to 2015 called Lime and rebranded, is the incumbent provider in Barbados. It's operated by Cable & Wireless that has been sold to Liberty Global. In recent years they have fallen back against Digicel, but lowered rates in 2017. They offer a good 2G and 3G coverage, and launched 4G/LTE in 2017 (for their frequencies check Basics section).

Availability Edit

Their SIM card is sold in their stores for BBD 20 with BBD 10 credit. Be prepared to show your passport at the point of purchase.

Top-ups of BDD 5 to BBD 120 can be made online or in top-up kiosks, supermarkets and gas stations all over the island. Any top-up stays valid for 90 days irrespective of the amount. Check your balance by *120#.

Data feature packages Edit

Default rate outside packages is BBD 0.61 per MB. These data packs are offered (VAT included):

Volume Time Price Activation
50 MB 1 day BB$ 5 *146*50#
200 MB BB$ 7 *146*200#
500 MB 3 days BB$ 10 *146*500#
700 MB 7 days BB$ 12 *146*700#
1 GB BB$ 14 *146*1007#
1.5 GB 14 days BB$ 30 *146*1500#
2 GB 30 days BB$ 36 *146*2000#
4 GB BB$ 48 *146*4000#
10 GB BB$ 60 *146*10000#

All plans will automatically renew once the plan expiry date has been reached provided that there is sufficient credit on the account. If you want to disable the auto-renew feature, you dial *363*1#.

These combo plans are offered:

  • XS: 250 MB, unlimited on-net mins, 100 dom. and internatl. mins, 250 on-net SMS, no auto-renew, no roll-over, 250 MB for WhatsApp calls for 1 day: BB$ 5.99 - activation: *244*2501#
  • S: 1 GB, unlimited on-net mins, 150 dom. and internatl. mins, 500 domestic SMS, auto-renew, roll-over, 250 MB for WhatsApp calls for 7 days: BB$ 23.99 - activation: *244*1007#
  • M: 2 GB, unlimited on-net mins, 250 dom. and internatl. mins, 5000 domestic SMS, auto-renew, roll-over, 500 MB for WhatsApp calls for 14 days: BB$ 39.99 - activation: *244*1014#
  • L: 1.5 GB, 100 dom. mins, 100 domestic SMS, auto-renew for 14 days: BB$ 35 - activation: *244*1514#
  • XL: 4 GB, 300 dom. mins, 5000 domestic SMS, auto-renew for 30 days: BB$ 90 - activation: *244*4030#

International roaming Edit

For roaming in the US (on AT&T) and all Flow markets in the Caribbean they sell these roaming plans:

  • 250 MB data + 60 internatl. mins for 3 days: BB$ 41.99, activation: *129#
  • 500 MB data + 150 internatl. mins for 7 days: BB$ 78.99, activation: *129#
  • 500 MB for 7 days: BB$ 30, activation: *134*6#

You need to activate roaming first and choose package. Overuse fee is BB$ 0.61 per MB.

Roaming in Caribbean Edit

Travel Pass Flow Data is a new feature that comes with every prepaid combo plan or data-only plan purchase. Any prepaid data bundle can be used in ANY Flow Mobile Market (Anguilla, Antigua, British Virgin Islands, Cayman, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos). This means customers do not need to purchase a roaming bundle in order to use their data while roaming. No subscription fees or additional steps are necessary for the customers in order to avail to this service. Just purchase locally, and travel!

More info Edit

Ozone Wireless Edit

Ozone

Barbados’ latest mobile licensee Ozone Wireless launched a commercial 4G/LTE network in 2017. It initially spanned 31 cellular sites across the island, using Ozone’s 4G 700 MHz (band 13) licensed frequencies: coverage map sharing space on existing operators’ cell towers.

In 2018 Ozone was debt-stricken and its future looked unclear. The cellco has frozen all debt payments until January 2019, and reduced its staffing from 60 to just 12. Strategy-wise,

Later this year Ozone Wireless has been dealt a major blow by Flow Barbados, which has barred the cash-strapped cellco from using its base transceiver stations because of its failure to pay an outstanding debt. The development meant that Ozone is solely dependent on Digicel’s antennas; the withdrawal of Flow’s more comprehensive network means that customers situated in roughly one-third of the island are no longer afforded service.

In 2019 efforts to restructure the debt accrued by stricken Barbadian start-up Ozone Wireless have failed, prompting Digicel to withdraw access to its network. Back in September 2018 fellow mobile operator Flow barred Ozone from using its base transceiver stations over debts of BB$ 1.5 million.

A statement by the new owner posted on the Ozone website confirms that the company is plotting a possible rebranding and relaunch. It reads: ‘Dear Ozone customers, as the 18-month transition of Ozone by CalaHub to calmer waters nears completion, CalaHub will be undertaking service rebranding and phased network restoration with a deep focus on customer satisfaction. We are currently migrating our support and operations systems and will be experiencing considerable downtime as we rebuild core services to meet our customer expectations.’

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