Can I use my US cell phone in Jamaica?

can_i_use_my_us_cell_phone_in_jamaica

Can I use my US cell phone in Jamaica? || Answered by Aneisha Dobson, Associate Writer

Yes, you can!

Staying connected in this hi-tech era has become easier and simultaneous and cellphone usage the epitome.

The cell phone have been transformed into a high-tech all-in-one device capable of making voice calls, sending text messages, doing video calls, browsing through the web and social media, communicating and connecting friends and family on a more interactive basis.

Once a luxury item, cell phones have now become a daily necessity in every area of our lives.

Jamaican tourists typically use their cell phones for staying in contact with friends and families back home and sharing their vacation moments through social media.

What You Need To Know Before Using Your Phone In Jamaica


If you’re a tourist from the US and you’re wondering whether or not to use your cell phone in Jamaica, here are some key things to consider.

First and foremost though, is how long and how often you expect to speak to friends and family back home. Other key considerations are:

Roaming


Once you begin using your cell phone outside the United States you are officially 'roaming' - that's what it is called.

Just look on your notification bar, there’s usually a symbol displayed to indicate you are roaming, but this symbol differs from phone to phone. It may be prudent to find out what your phone’s unique roaming symbol is.

What exactly is roaming?

Roaming is the ability for cellular users to make and receive voice calls, send and receive SMS, receiving data service and access other services when travelling outside of the geographical coverage area of their home network due to agreements between your service provider and other network operators.

Major US mobile service operators, such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, are known to work reasonably well in Jamaica.

However, before that you jump on the roaming bandwagon, it is important that you inquire from the service provider all the necessary information regarding roaming charges and international roaming plans. Yup it comes at a cost!

Roaming fees are known to be hefty and customers sometimes end up with a massive bill upon returning home! Some mobile service providers have offered special rates and international plan packages for travelers.

Before leaving the US, you should consider purchasing an international plan which usually is a combination of data, SMS and voice calls. This is considered a better alternative compared to the pay as you go option.

Is your cell phone unlocked?


If the answer is yes, then here’s another solution.

An unlocked phone is one that is not restricted to a specific network or carrier. Therefore, you can insert a SIM from any carrier into your unlocked phone.

So, by purchasing a local SIM from one of the two major mobile service providers currently in Jamaica, Digicel and Flow, you will be able to use our network and avoid the high roaming charges. They have some great cheap plans to call back the USA.

This cost-effective option allows you to still use your personal device and utilize services such as call, text and data access on the local network.

It should be noted, that if you plan on purchasing a SIM, you will have to bring some type of identification (Passport, Driver’s license, etc.).

In order to make calls and activate plans, you’ll have to purchase prepaid top-up cards or you can top-up online but the local cost is a lot cheaper than in the US.

If your phone isn’t unlocked, there is still hope, you can purchase a cheap phone and SIM card from one of the local mobile service providers (Digicel or Flow). You can get a smartphone as low as US$30.


What about Wi-Fi?


As I indicated earlier, technology has made communication oh so much easier and instant.

A scroll through the Apps Store or Google Play Store will reveal dozens of applications that facilitate communications.

These mobile apps enable voice calls, video calls and text messaging over the internet.

The following are a few of the popular ones:

  • WhatsApp (Android and iOS)
  • Viber (Android and iOS)
  • Facebook Messenger (Android and iOS)
  • Telegram (Android and iOS)
  • IMO (Android and iOS)


Most hotels and resorts in Jamaica now provides free Wi-Fi access for guests. Just bear in mind though that it is still possible that others may require you to pay for the services.

Note though that the receiving party must also have internet access (Wi-Fi or mobile data) to complete the communication.

What Do I Recommend?



Personally, I am an avid WhatsApp user for quite some time and have found that the service to be very convenient and cost reducing.

At times you may experience some call drops, but the free service out-shadows these tiny glitches which I see getting less.

Phone Rentals


Another trend that has become an increasingly popular business venture is cell phone rentals.

Yes, many individuals and even local tour companies’ offers tourist cell phones for rental. These phones are accompanied with international minutes and, at times, local minutes.

While every company will have a different price and a different package, the cost are usually way cheaper than roaming charges.

They typically meet you at the airport and deliver your phone but some may even bring it to the hotel! We have a recommendation for phone rental here.

So which option do you plan to use? Share with us in the comments below.

Until next time…
AD

P.S. We've answered hundreds of questions about your Jamaica vaction,

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to JamaicaQuestions.

New! How to find dirt cheap flights to Jamaica? We explore the best options for you here.

Read More ...

Recommended For You ...

And, Before You Go!

Here (below) are some sweet deals on matching products at Amazon that you might have otherwise missed. 

Amazon.com, by the way, is the internet's most reputable retailer and usually showcases only the best products that are related to your search. Be sure to check them out.

Note: If link does not show, please click here to be redirected to our page at Amazon.com.


Great Articles You Might Have Missed

data-matched-content-rows-num="2" data-matched-content-columns-num="3"

Please help me get the message out by sharing this article with your friends on social media (links below). Thnx ;-)

Also connect with My-Island-Jamaica.com on Social Media: 
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

Thank You!

P.S. Didn't find exactly what you were looking for? Still need help?

Click Here to try our dependable and effective Site Search tool. It works!

Or, simply click here and here, to browse my library of over 500 questions and answers! Chances are someone already asked (and got an answer to) your question.


About The Author

wellesley gayle - booking link

A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' - since April 2007.  

To date, he serves over 8,300 unique readers / viewers per day.

His efforts have earned him featured positions in local publications, including the Jamaica Gleaner's Hospitality Jamaica, Carlong Publishers, as well as recognition from numerous prestigious international agencies and universities.

He invites you to join his friends list and stay updated on all the latest. You are also invited to join his exclusive patron community

copyscpe
Top Of Page
Wellesley Gayle

What's New? Click Here And See.

Trending Now

Site Sponsors

jamaica_click_down_here_visit_our_sponsors

Our Preferred Sponsors  & Friends (below)

(Our Sponsorship Policy)

Photographers in Jamaica
Wedding Photographers
Cars For Sale In Jamaica
Cars For Sale

JamaicaSunshine Tours.com

Click Here to Visit Our Sponsors' Page

Top Articles

What's New?

Below is a list of the very latest articles I posted on the site.

Recent Articles

  1. 2018 Ranking Of High Schools In Jamaica

    Mar 24, 19 11:06 PM

    Who's the best in Jamaica? Here is the (latest) 2018 ranking of the best high schools in Jamaica. Get ready to be surprised!

    Read More

  2. How to safely buy weed in Jamaica?

    Mar 24, 19 07:02 PM

    How to safely buy weed in Jamaica? || Answered by Aneisha Dobson If you have done a Google search on Jamaica, I’m almost certain that you may have come

    Read More

  3. Visitors To Jamaica cautioned about road use

    Mar 24, 19 12:01 AM

    JAMAICAN POLICE WARN VISITORS TO BE VIGILANT WHEN USING PUBLIC ROADWAYS By the Jamaican Over the past three weeks, three American visitors lost their

    Read More

  4. American Couple Donates US$50,000 To Community Roadway

    Mar 23, 19 11:44 PM

    BELMONT RESIDENTS SAY THANKS TO AMERICAN COUPLE WHO DONATED US$50,000 TO CONSTRUCTION OF COMMUNITY ROADWAY By the Jamaican There were waves of thank

    Read More

New!  I've created a Welcome Audio. Just click the Play button below to listen.

Please subscribe here to get my latest updates.