Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki
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Is.png

National Anthem

Basics[]

Iceland has three network operators:

  • Síminn
  • Vodafone
  • Nova

2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz and 3G on 900 and mostly 2100 MHz. 4G/LTE has started on all three providers on 800 (B20) and on 1800 MHz (B3) in the Reykjavik area. It's available on all providers for prepaid without a surcharge.

The island has a very good coverage on 2G and 3G given its topography and low population. Síminn is the market leader with the best coverage, followed by Vodafone (still good) and Nova in 3rd place (mainly in the southwest).

So Síminn is the costliest, but still best for going to remote areas, Vodafone is cheaper and sufficient if you stick mainly to populated areas and Nova the cheapest and good when you stay mostly in the population center around Reykjavik.

Prepaid SIM cards in Iceland are anonymous. You don't need to show any ID when buying a SIM card or do any registration.

EU flag.png
Iceland is not part of the EU, but of the larger EEA, where from June 2017 new international roaming rules are enforced. In most European countries you can now 'roam like at home' at domestic rates rather than excessive roaming rates. Icelandic providers may surcharge or cap free roaming data on larger packages. For specifics about the new regulation check the European Union chapter and every provider below.


Síminn[]

Siminn.gif

Síminn (aka Landssíminn) is the old state telco which still has the best coverage and speeds throughout the country and is market leader in Iceland at slightly higher rates. LTE coverage is at 98% of population in 2017 on band 3 /1800 MHz only: Síminn coverage map

Availability[]

Starter packs are sold:

  • at the duty-free shop close to the baggage claim in Keflavík airport - ask at the cash register.
  • aboard all Icelandair flights
  • in Síminn shops (location list)
  • at N1 petrol stations (leading chain all over the country)

They sell two different starter packs: one with voice & data and another with data-only (see below). The voice & data starter is called Síminn Freedom and sold for ISK 2900. It contains 50 domestic minutes, 50 domestic SMS and 5 GB of data for a start.

Credit expires 6 months after activation. 6 months after the latest top-up, service is blocked, but can be reactivated by a new top-up. After 12 months, the SIM is deactivated completely. A combined three-size (mini-, micro-, nano-SIM) is given out.

Data-only SIM[]

Their data-only SIM is called Síminn Prepaid Data and may be harder to get. It's sold e.g. at the 10/11 convenience store outside Keflavik airport arrival. For ISK 2,900 it includes 10 GB data for a start and no voice nor texts.

Data feature packs[]

Unlike other providers their data packages are not debited from your call credit, but must be purchased separately only onlineby credit card (by international MasterCard or Visa). Outside use is ISK 108 for each 15 MB per day.

These monthly packs are available for both their voice & data and data-only SIM:

  • 500 MB: ISK 800
  • 1 GB: ISK 1,700
  • 5 GB: ISK 2,700
  • 10 GB: ISK 3,700
  • 50 GB: ISK 5,700

All packs last for 31 days, don't renew and can be added ahead of time. If more than 31 days elapse between buying credit, the remaining credit is annulled. If less than 31 days elapse between fill-ups, the remaining credit is added and the duration of validity is prolonged for 31 days.

EU roaming []

Siminn prepaid SIM cards don't work outside Iceland from the start. Before travelling, you need to enlist in their their Frelsi í útlöndum program to enjoy roaming at surcharges at ISK 500 per 500 MB per day without the chance to use any of your domestic allowances.

More information[]

Vodafone[]

Vodafone.svg

Vodafone is the biggest competitor of Síminn in Iceland. Its coverage is still good, even at some place better than Síminn, and it gives out a voice & data SIM and a data-only SIM for a better start-up price and cheaper rates. 4G/LTE is available on 1800 Mhz (band 3) and 800 Mhz (band 20): Coverage map.

Availability[]

Voice and data starter packs are available, combined nano, mini and micro SIMs are sold or given out for free:

  • in Keflavik airport at the 10-11 shop in the arrival hall at Keflavík International Airport and the Elko stores at the airport.
  • at Vodafone stores (list) and many 10-11 stores countrywide
  • at N1 petrol stations (the leading chain all over Iceland), Shell and Olis brands too
  • On Icelandair flights. You may have to request this in advance on their web site. You get a starter kit with local minutes and SMS, overseas minutes, and 2 GB of data.

For voice & data SIM: After 6 months since last top-up, allows incoming services only. After 9 months since last top up, all credit expires. After 12 months since last top up, the SIM expires.

To check credit balance type *113*24#. Alternative numbers to check credit are *113*1# or *120#.

Voice and data SIM: Frelsi[]

Their voice & data prepaid SIM is sold for ISK 1,790 containing unlimited domestic calls plus 1 GB of data for 30 days.

For the 2nd month you can choose to opt in one of 3 combo plans valid for 30 days:

  • Frelsi M: ISK 2,190 - with unlimited calls, SMS, and 5 GB data
  • Frelsi L: ISK 2,990 - with unlimited calls, SMS, and 25 GB data (EU cap: 10 GB)

The initial credit can be used for foreign calls or when the allowances are used up. Outside use is ISK 1 for each 15 MB per day.

You can choose not to subscribe a Frelsi combo pack, but to stay on the base rate and add data packages instead, valid for 90 days. These can be added to combo plans as well for more data:

  • 300 MB: ISK 690
  • 500 MB: ISK 1,090
  • 1 GB: ISK 1,390
  • 5 GB: ISK 2,490

All packages must be booked separately on http://www.vodafone.is/en/topup/+online by credit card (international MasterCard or Visa). Overuse fee is again ISK 170 per 15 MB per day. To check data allowance balance enter *113*24#.

Data-only SIM[]

Like Síminn, they sell a data-only SIM called 4G net or Netfrelsi which comes as prepaid. The starter for ISK 1,790 loaded with 3 GB you may get only in their few own branded Vodafone shops. Take care: you may have to set a different APN manually (see below). It doesn't contain voice or text and is intended for tablet or router use.

These data add-on packages must be activated separately online by credit card (international MasterCard or Visa):

  • 1 GB: ISK 2,190
  • 10 GB: ISK 3,190
  • 25 GB ISK 5,190
  • 50 GB: ISK 6,190
  • 150 GB: ISK 8,190
  • 500 GB: ISK 10,190

EU roaming[]

Unlike Siminn, Vodafone in Iceland has implemented Roam like home on all prepaid plans and packages giving EU/EEA roaming at the domestic rate.

More information[]

  • APN: gprs.is (only for voice & data SIM)
  • APN: vmc.gprs.is (for the data-only SIM, needs to be changed manually)
  • Website partly in English: http://vodafone.is/english

Nova[]

Nova.jpg

Nova is the smallest provider and still reasonable, if you stick mainly the population center around Reykjavik, where it offers 4G/LTE too. It's very popular among exchange students flocking the country, because it gives out 1000 minutes of free calls and 500 free SMS per month among Nova customers: Nova coverage map. 4G/LTE is given out where available on LTE bands 3 (1800 MHz) and 20 (800 MHz).

Availability[]

Their prepaid starter pack called Frelsi is available at their few stores (list) and some other stores where you have to ask around for ISK 1,990 with the same credit included.

Data feature packages[]

Data is billed by default with ISK 59 for 5 MB. So you should buy packages. They have the cheapest data in the country given their limited coverage. These monthly packs are available:

Volume 2 GB 10 GB 25 GB 50 GB 150 GB unlimited
Price 2,190 kr 3,290 kr 4,490 kr 6,190 kr 8,190 kr 9,990 kr
EU cap 2 GB 6 GB 8 GB 11 GB 14 GB 17 GB

EU roaming[]

Domestic allowances are valid in other EU/EEA countries too. Standard rate is the same ISK 59 per 5 MB, but data packages are capped at the domestic without surcharges according to the table above.

More information[]

  • APN: net.nova.is /or/ internet.nova.is (for tethering)
  • Website in Icelandic only: http://www.nova.is
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