The Faroe Islands, also called the Faeroes, is an archipelago between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic, about halfway between Norway and Iceland. Its area is about 1,400 km2 with a population of around 50,000. They are an autonomous country within the Danish Realm.
The Faroe Islands have two mobile providers:
- Føroya Tele (ver)
- Hey (by Vodafone Faroe)
Today there is nationwide coverage in the Faroe Islands and even the most remote villages have mobile phone service. 2G is on 900 MHz, 3G on 900 and 2100 MHz, 4G/LTE started in 2014 on 1800 MHz (Band 3).
The GSM mobile network was introduced in 1998 to the Faroe Islands and since 2006 it has been the sole mobile technology in use. The national telephone company was privatized in 1998 and today works under the name Føroya Tele / Faroese Telecom. In 1999, a second telephone company called Kall was formed. Kall was taken over by Vodafone in 2008 and is now marketed as Hey.
Generally you have the choice between a slightly better network with Føroya Tele and their prepaid product ver at higher prices compared with Hey by Vodafone Faroe on a weaker network and lower prices.
The Danish krone (DKK or kr) is the currency in the Faroe Islands. The Faroe Islands use standard DKK coins, but issue their own Faroese DKK banknotes, for which an unofficial FOK code is used in some contexts such as wholesale banknote trading.
Føroya Tele (ver)
Føroya Tele (or Faroese Telecom, FT) is the public telco of the islands owned by the govenment. Since 2014 they branded their mobile products and market them as ver.
It's the market leader and has the best national coverage. It covers the population with 2G and 3G (list of communities with 3G) and reaches 99.7% already by 4G/LTE in 2017. This comes at higher prices than their competitor.
Føroya Tele or ver prepaid starter kit can be purchased at the tourist information centre in Vágar Airport, close to the main entrance and local phone stores. Their starter kit gives you 2 GB of data and 25 kr credit at 97 kr for a month. You can top-up online with their packages below.
Alternatively, you can get a different SIM card online (in Faroese only), in their Teleshops and many supermarkets and petrol stations. All packages include unlimited domestic calls and texts plus a data quota:
- 1 GB per month: 157 kr
- 6 GB for a month: 197 kr
- 16 GB for a month: 247 kr
- 26 GB for a month: 287 kr
- 46 GB for a month: 367 kr
Be aware that these SIM cards are more for locals, as you need to buy at least 2 months of value given for the double price indicated above. For most travelles it's better to buy a SIM card at the airport and add it with allowances shown below.
This local SIM card needs to be activated by sending an SMS message. Instructions are in English and are found at the back of the package.
For a 100 kr surcharge to their monthly plans you can add free roaming in the EU/EEA.
Online you can add credit of 100, 300, 500 or 1000 kr paid by credit card.
Data feature packs
For more data, one of the following add-on packs need to be purchased only online here by international credit card (Visa or MasterCard). Fill in phone number, credit card data and select data package check all boxes and confirm at clicking "Keyp". It automatically converts into a data package valid for 30 days.
- 2 GB: 50 kr
- 5 GB: 100 kr
- 10 GB: 130 kr
International roaming is not included, but can be added with a special package of 1 GB for 200 kr.
- APN, username and password: internet
- Website in Faroese only: http://www.ft.fo/
Hey (by Vodafone Faroe)
Vodafone Faroe took over Kall in 2008 and is now the 2nd operator in the Faroe Islands. They offer 4G/LTE coverage in the capital area and in other major populated areas. The rest of the Faroe Islands is only within 3G or 2G coverage.
In 2018 they partly rebranded and now market their mobile phone products under the Hey lable. Vodafone/Hey has a slightly lower coverage, but much lower prices too.
The prepaid starter kit is offered at petrol stations and grocery stores around the country. You can also get it from the Vodafone stores in SMS (= shopping mall in Tórshavn) or in Saltangará (locator). You can also get their starter pack at the airport and on board the Norrøna ferry.
With your initial SIM card purchase of 250 kr you will be given 229 kr credit and 5 GB data.
Top-ups can be made online by international credit card. Check data and credit balances by texting "sum" to 1990.
Default rate is 0.15 kr per MB. Your data will always stay on this rate.
Top-ups of 50, 100 (with 10 kr bonus) and 250 (with 30 kr bonus) kr are available and valid for 6 months.
There is only one special top-up called Talutíð serkort for 229 kr to get 250 kr credit and 5 GB data extra valid for 1 month for a better data rate.
EU roaming occurs at a higher rate of 5 kr per MB. If you need EU/EEA roaming, go with Føroya Tele instead.
- APN: gprs.fo
- Website in English: https://hey.fo/english
Roaming SIM card
You might think of going to the Faroe Islands using a roaming SIM card instead. Be aware, that this country is not part of the EU or EEA and therefore not included in the surcharge-free European roaming zone.
But a few European providers have included the Faroe Islands anyway to their EU zone:
- Vodafone Iceland, see Iceland
- Vodafone UK (PAYG and bill-pay), see United Kingdom
- Lebara Denmark, see Denmark
So if you are holding a SIM card from these providers above, data in the Faroe Islands will be charged like domestic use.