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Wi-Fi or Data Plan Options While on Vacation in Jamaica
by Tina Cole
I am planning on a four (4) month winter stay in Negril. It would be helpful to understand the process of getting a phone. I was here 3 weeks last year and my bill upon return home was $600. I thought I was only using it when WIFI was free. Want to avoid that from happening again. Recommendation please.RESPONSE: by Deon Clarke EDITED: by Sheree-Anita Shearer
Thank you for stopping by the website and for your request. It’s great to know that you have once again considered Jamaica for your winter retreat! I am truly sorry to hear about your misfortune regarding that exorbitant phone bill you received but I will be happy to provide you with some options to avoid a future recurrence. You said you were billed for $600 after your three (3) week stay. I assume that this is US dollars. So, let’s look at some options for you and how you can go about it.
Make Arrangements for Personal Wi-Fi
You did not disclose the nature of your living arrangements but assuming you are staying at a guest house or you are using a short term rental property, you could possibly speak to the property owner or manager and make arrangements for you to have your own Wi-Fi service. They could request from the internet service provider to have one installed just for you and you pay your bill monthly.
A basic Wi-Fi package monthly charge including cable can be estimated at about $7,000 Jamaican Dollars or $47 US dollars. For internet only, you could be looking at about $30 US dollars. You could choose a package that works best for you. So for example, if you were even to pay $50 per month for a package, you would be looking at $200 for the duration of your 4 month stay. As you can see, this would work out to be significantly less than what you had paid in the past.
If you decide to go with this option, more than likely, the property owner would be responsible for getting the necessary installation done. So, all you would have to do is to ensure that you pay your bill monthly, whether to the property owner or directly to the service provider. That would be dependent on your arrangements.
Mobile Data Plans
Mobile data plans could be another option for you. You did not indicate the purpose of your internet usage, whether it’s for business, personal or even both. However, depending on your needs, if you do not require too much, mobile data plans could work perfectly for you, especially if it is for casual use. The two major internet service providers, Flow and Digicel, have a wide range of options for data plans, from daily plans to monthly plans.
Considering that you are planning to spend four months, I would suggest you select a monthly plan. The cost for this could range from $15 to $35 depending on your preference. You might have to also consider purchasing a cell phone if your cell phone cannot be unlocked, but the advantages still far outweigh the disadvantages as you could get a phone as little as $50. You could also take one with you that is already unlocked! Of course, you would only need to purchase a chip for about $3. One factor to consider as well is that with the data plan, you will have internet access on your phone wherever you are.
However, if you will be purchasing a phone in Jamaica, these are the steps that you should take:
- Review the data plans ahead of time if possible (information available online)
- Go to any outlet of your choice
- Select the phone of your choice
- Provide your ID
- Make payment, including cost of chip
- The representative will do the necessary setup and provide instructions on how to activate your plan.
So, Tina, as you can see, you would most definitely be able to find a phone and plan that would work best for you or to suit your needs without any hassle. I think the hardest part would be to find a service provider outlet and believe me that’s quite easy and they are located at least within a five-minute drive radius! Possibly even walking distance depending on where you’re staying. So, no worries there!
At the end of the day, it all boils down to your needs and preference. I hope the information provided was helpful and I do hope you will have a wonderful and worry-free stay!
I also recommend you read Can I use my US Cell Phone in Jamaica?
- "Digicel Bundles", Digicel Jamaica, https://www.digicelgroup.com/gy/en/bundles.html/
- "Flow Prepaid Plans and Bundles", Flow Jamaica, https://discoverflow.co/jamaica/mobile/plans/prepaid/
- "Can I use my US cell phone in Jamaica?" , https://www.my-island-jamaica.com/can-i-use-my-us-cell-phone-in-jamaica.html/
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A patriotic Jamaican who adore its culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.
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