Flag of the Channel Islands 1

Basics Edit

This article refers to the Channel Islands, an archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel off the French coast of Normandy. It comprises the two main islands of Jersey and Guernsey. The networks in Jersey and Guernsey are separate, although the same companies now cover both jurisdictions. Guernsey networks cover the smaller inhabited islands of Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou and Brecqhou.

The Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom, despite being British and geographically close to the United Kingdom. Consequently they are not part of the European Union (EU), nor the European Economic Area (EEA), and are therefore not subject to EU roaming price caps, either for visitors from the EU & EEA, or for residents who travel to the EU or EEA.

Providers Edit

All Channel Islands are covered by the same three networks:

  • Sure
  • JT Jersey/Guernsey
  • Airtel-Vodafone

Jersey and Guernsey always operated their own telephone services independently of Britain's national system. Both islands still form part of the British telephone numbering plan, but Ofcom (the UK regulator) doesn't have responsibility for telecommunications regulatory and licensing issues on the islands. This job is done by a local agency called CICRA.

2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz and 3G on 2100 MHz on all three operators. CICRA awarded 4G spectrum in 2014 on 800 and 2600 MHz added by 1800 MHz (bands 3, 7 and 20). All three operators already started in 2015 and give out 4G/LTE to prepaid customers without surcharges on all of their plans. Like in the UK, prepaid is mostly called pay-as-you-go and given out without registration.

EU roaming Edit

No roaming
Be aware that the Channel Islands are not part of the UK, nor the EU or EEA, where from June 2017 new international roaming rules are enforced. So roaming rates on many European SIM cards are not capped or regulated there and can be much higher.

Some providers, mostly from the UK and Ireland, however voluntarily treat the Channel Islands as an EU territory, but others like O2 UK have ceased to do so. Better check your EU/EEA provider first, before use or buy a local SIM card instead.

When roaming in the UK with a SIM card from the Channel Islands, it's important that you turn off your general mobile data as well as data roaming. Because UK networks are also +44, your handset may recognize this as a local network option and could be using data without you knowing, resulting in unexpected bill shock on your return as Channel Islands providers still charge excessively for roaming.

Sure Edit

Sure telecom

Sure is the leading operator on the Channel Islands. It became part of Cable & Wireless Communications in 2010 and was purchased by Bahrain-backed Batelco Islands Ltd. in 2013. 4G/LTE started in 2015 and is given out on prepaid without surcharge. They claim to have 99% 4G/LTE coverage already on both main islands. According to network tests, they offer the fastest network on the islands with average speeds of 40 Mbps in 2018.

Availability Edit

Their pay as you go SIM cards are free of charge, all you need to do is top up £5 to activate. Call in store for your SIM card (nano and micro SIMs available form Sure shops only). Their Guernsey shop is located at High Street, the Jersey store at King St.

Top-up vouchers for £5, £10 or £20 can be found at many outlets throughout the islands. To check balance, type *#100#. To top-up by code, type *#101*<13-digit PIN>#.

They offer two different plans:

  • The Classic Plan: data stays always at 5p per MB without the chance to buy a bundle
  • The Rewards Plan: top-rewards as shown belown can be added, default data outside bonuses is 10p per MB

Data rate Edit

Default data is 5p per MB on the Classic and 10p per MB on the Rewards plan.

These "Rewards" are only given for customers on the Rewards plan:

Top-up Data Voice SMS Validity
£5 5 GB 200 mins 200 7 days
£10 12 GB 500 mins 500 14 days
£20 20 GB 10,000 mins 10,000 30 days

These mentioned allowances are included as "rewards" for free, but valid only for a limited time. On top the recharge value is added that stays valid for 1 year. In contrast to JT Telecom all voice allowances are valid to all local networks, not only on-net.

More info Edit

JT Jersey / Guernsey Edit


JT Jersey and JT Guernsey is the second provider on the islands. It used to be the old state-owned operator in Jersey, but is now privatized, covers the whole Channel Islands as JT Global and is on par with the other two operators.

The network name might be shown as 'Jsy Tel' on some phones. JT covers some parts of the ferry route between Jersey and Guernsey, but speeds, even though shown as 4G+ are slow and random network disconnects are likely.

Availability Edit

Their pay as you go SIM card is available in Jersey in their store at 18 Queen St, St. Helier and in Guernsey at 24 High St. The SIM card is for £3 and comes with £3 of credit. The sim should become active after doing your first topup.

Top-ups can be found at many places on the islands through Payzone terminals or by top-up cards. Check balance by *#133#. Also top-ups can be made online using international credit card, go to website and click to Register.

Data rate Edit

Default data is charged at 19p per MB. Like their competitors, cheaper data is connected to top-ups and given out as 'free' bonus:

Top-up Data Voice SMS Validity
£5 5 GB 500 mins 500 7 days
£10 12 GB 1000 mins 1000 14 days
£20 20 GB 10,000 mins 10,000 30 days

The included allowances are added for free, but are valid only for a limited time. On top the reloaded value stays valid for 1 year. All included voice calls are on-net only. The Shops offer a locked wifi that can be used to make the top-up, ask a staff member to log you in. Please note that there a known issues with Swiftkey Keyboard not working properly in the top-up app making it impossible to top up when using it, switch to stock keyboard for the process. Store clerks reported that some foreign credit cards might not work, but trying it with a foreign MasterCard worked without any problem.

They also offer a PAYG prepaid data-only SIM, but the rate stays at 19p per MB always.

More info Edit

Airtel-Vodafone Edit


Airtel-Vodafone is a mobile phone provider in Jersey and Guernsey and a partnership between Bharti Airtel of India and Vodafone UK. They are the third operator on the islands and started in 2007. Their coverage is on par with its competitors. 4G/LTE has been started and covers most of the islands: coverage map.

Availability Edit

Their pay as you go SIM card called 'Free PAYG Switch' is available free of charge in their stores. The Guernsey store is located at 45 High St., the Jersey store at 26 Queen St. in St. Helier. When you put the SIM card in your phone, dial 123 to activate it, then top-up.

Top-ups can be made through vouchers or Payzone terminals all over the islands or by top-up cards. Check balance by typing *123#. Also top-ups are possible online with international credit cards here

Data rate Edit

Standard rate is 10p per MB. Similar to Sure and JT, Airtel-Vodafone gives out data as bonus or 'freebies' for top-ups:

Top-up Data Voice&Text Validity
£2.50 1 GB 25 mins/SMS 7 days
£5 5 GB 50 mins/SMS 10 days
£10 10 GB 100 mins/SMS 20 days
£20 20 GB 250 mins/SMS 30 days

The mentioned allowances are included for free, but valid only for a very limited time. Top-up face value comes additionally as credit. Credit and SIM card stays valid for 360 days between top-ups.

Data-only SIM Edit

For data-only they give out a free 'Pay as you go data SIM'. It can be topped up with these values that translate directly into data packages:

  • top-up of £5: 4 GB for 90 days
  • top-up of £10: 9 GB for 90 days
  • top-up of £20: 20 GB for 90 days

More info Edit

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