Flag of Vanuatu.svg

Basics Edit

The Republic of Vanuatu is a small island nation in the South Pacific. Much of the populated archipelago is covered by two mobile networks: the red Digicel or orange TVL signs are the most ubiquitous form of advertising you’ll see around the islands:

  • Digicel Vanuatu
  • TVL (for Telecom Vanuatu Ltd.) Smile

A 3rd provider called WanTok Network Ltd. launched the first 4G/LTE network in Vanuatu in 2014. It provides wireless 4G-only internet on 2300 MHz TD-LTE (band 40) in Port Vila and surrounding areas for home use. It doesn't offer prepaid and you need to buy own hardware. That's why it isn't mentioned any further in this article.

In 2015 the mobile infrastructure was severely damaged by a cyclone. Rebuilding has been finished now. A new fibre optic cable connects the islands with Fiji making expensive satellite connections redundant. 4G/LTE started in 2014 on WanTok, 2016 on Digicel and 2017 on TVL.

2G/GSM and 3G/UMTS is on 900 MHz and 4G/LTE has started on 700 MHz (band 28) on both operators.

Digicel Vanuatu Edit

Digicel vanuatu

Digicel Vanuatu is the dominant provider on the island. They launched 2G in 2008, 3G in 2011 and 4G/LTE started in 2015 in Port Vila and have spread to Santo since (coverage map). They had almost 90% of all subscribers on their network and were clearly the better choice, but this may have changed with the new TVL network.

Availability Edit

The SIM card is available at the Digicel kiosk in Bauerfield International Airport or in their stores (locator). When you buy the SIM card, make sure you get a 4G/LTE SIM with LTE enabled and not an old one with 3G only. A Digicel SIM card is VUV 1000 with 1000 as credit.

Top-up by vouchers sold locally or by credit card on the international Digicel top-up site. To check money balance dial *120#.

Data feature packages Edit

Out of bundle rate is VUV 50 per MB. These packages can be added for data in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE:

Data Validity Price
100 MB 1 hour VUV 25
50 MB 24 hours VUV 50
100 MB* 24 hours VUV 150
200 MB 7 days VUV 200
500 MB 14 days VUV 500
500 MB* 7 days VUV 700
700 MB 10pm-6am VUV 200
1 GB 30 days VUV 1000
3 GB* 30 days VUV 3500
4.5 GB 30 days VUV 4500
7 GB 30 days VUV 6500

* includes free Facebook traffic

To activate data bundle dial *155#. To check data balance dial *130#

More info Edit

TVL (Telecom Vanuatu Ltd.) Smile Edit

Telecom Vanuatu is the incumbent telco of the archipelago. It still has the monopoly for landlines and ADSL Internet.

In the mobile sector it had previously lost to Digicel. Their market share went down to about 10% only a few years after Digicel entered the market. A few years ago its 2G/GSM coverage reached 75% of the population (list of islands) with only some 3G. Internet on TVL was quite unstable and slow.

This situation has now changed, with the operator launching its 4G+/ LTE-A network on 21 November 2017. 4G/LTE is present in the capital, Port Vila, Luganville on the island of Santo and at some island centers such as on Tanna, Malekula and Pentecost, with plans for more LTE sites. TVL is currently upgrading its 2G network to 3G too.

Availability Edit

SIM cards are available at the TVL kiosk in Bauerfield International Airport or in their stores (list). A TVL SIM-card is 250 VT, including 400 VT of credit. Dial 171 and press CALL to activate your account and follow the instructions.

To top-up purchase a 'RIFIL' card from any TVL reseller, over the counter at a TVL retail shop or as 'ISI Rifil' Etopup through TVL resellers. Dial *184*<voucher code># to top-up. Check your balance by dialing *183#.

Data feature packages Edit

For data these packages can be added:

Data Validity Price Activation Extras
200 MB 3 hours VUV 50 buy 50
150 MB 24 hours VUV 100 buy 100
300 MB 24 hours VUV 200 buy 200 free Facebbok
500 MB 7 days VUV 300 buy 300
2 GB 7 nights VUV 400 buy 400 valid only 8pm-6am
850 MB 7 days VUV 500 buy 500 free Facebook
700 MB 14 days VUV 700 buy 700 free Facebook
1 GB 30 days VUV 1000 buy 1000 free Facebook + 750 MB night bonus
3.5 GB 30 days VUV 2000 buy 2000 free Facebook + 1.75 GB night bonus
Night data bonus can be used between midnight and 6am every night.

To buy a data bundle text activation code to 183 or dial *183#. Excess data outside your package is charged at 10 VT per MB.

More info Edit

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