The Falkland Islands (French: Îles Malouines, Spanish: Islas Malvinas) are an archipelago in the South Atlantic 500 kilometres off the coast of South America. They are a British Overseas Territory of about 12,000 km2 with 3,000 inhabitants.
They are not part of the EU, so EU roaming caps don't apply and providers charge a very high price for roaming. They have roaming agreements with very few providers so far, not even all providers from the UK. That's why it will be much more likely that your device won't roam there at all. Even when it does, there is currently no data roaming, only for voice and SMS.
The islands have no submarine cable link and all communications go through a relatively narrow band satellite channel, which causes high prices. The first and so far only network operator started in 2015:
- Sure South Atlantic Ltd.
Sure operates a 2G/GSM/EDGE on 900 MHz. Note that there is no 3G/UMTS on the islands. 4G/LTE became available for the first time in August 2018, with the introduction of Band 3 (1800 MHz) services on the islands (coverage map).
Sure South Atlantic has partnered with Canada-based vendor Star Solutions to launch LTE services in the Falkland Islands. Sure’s existing GSM network was upgraded with GSM and LTE infrastructure from Star Solutions, and the new network and services were turned on and fully operational in August 2018, the two companies noted in a joint statement.
Higher speed data services are provided via WiMAX fixed wireless services in the 2.4 and 3.5 GHz bands. As an alternative to go online WiFi hotspots are mentioned at the end of the article, but speeds remain low.
Sure by Sure South Atlantic Ltd is a triple player offering landline, broadband, WiFi hotspots and mobile broadband services on the islands. This network is separate from Sure on Ascension Island and St. Helena, subject to roaming fees.
Their new 4G/LTE network has started in 2018 on 1800 MHz (B3). For this you need a 4G-enabled SIM card. Pay As You Go customers were invited to change SIMs and gain access to the 4G network from 3rd September 2018.
A SIM card costs £30.00 with £10 included. It's sold at their service centre in Stanley and RAF Mount Pleasant. To activate the card you need to dial 453.
Top-ups are available there and from independent stores. To top-up send the code to 450. There is also refill by credit card by calling 123.
The SIM card has an initial validity of 60 days and then "every £5 top up extends validity by 30 days".
Data rates Edit
Default data rate is £0.12 per MB (= £120 per GB).
For the start of their new 4G/LTE network new data boosters are offered for prepaid:
- 100 MB for 7 days: £6
- 200 MB for 14 days: £10
- 400 MB for 30 days: £15
WiFi hotspots Edit
In 2009 Sure began to install WiFi hotspots throughout the islands. Around 40 locations are used (list of locations) now. Each site has a coverage radius of 50 meters to a maximum of 300 meters depending on building construction.
To log on, you need a Sure WiFi card which can be purchased at most hotspot locations and retail outlets in Stanley and MPC. WiFi cards are available in £5 and £10 denominations. A £5 card will give you 50 minutes of surfing. Once you’ve switched on WiFi on your laptop or device, you simply search for the Sure Hotspot connection and enter the details on the card. It's important to log out when finished. If you should lose the logout page, you can log out manually by visiting https://wlc.sure.co.fk/logout.html or by completely switching off WiFi on your device and you will be logged out automatically after 5 minutes.