Vanuatu Mobile phones
GSM and 3G Mobile Phones in Vanuatu
Mobile Phone Coverage in Vanuatu
TVL does not give a coverage map on their website but claims to reach 75% of the population with GSM from the Banks Islands down to Aneityum. I've seen a map showing coverage and we have it on the cruising guide to Vanuatu - but I have no idea how much you can rely on it. Apparently service varies considerably from day to day in some areas.
If you want the best chance to have a working mobile phone and Internet while cruising in Vanuatu consider getting both a DigiCel and a TVL SIM card. In both cases you pay as you use the service so the additional cost of having both is about 500 VT for the DigiCell SIM because the TVL SIM card is free.
What you'll need to have.
To use your existing phone in Vanuatu you will need:
1. An UNLOCKED Android or IPhone smart phone, tablet, WiFi modem or USB key.
2. The smartphone, tablet or USB key must have the 3G WCDMA Band 8 (900 MHz E-GSM) (Normal for Australia, New Zealand and Europe - not for US or Japanese phones).
If you want to make sure your phone will work in Vanuatu (providing it is unlocked) visit http://willmyphonework.net/
The phone or tablet or WiFi hotspot has to be unlocked or you won't be able to use it in Vanuatu.
Some American or Japanese mobile phones won't work in Vanuatu. Only ulocked phones will be able to use a Vanuatu SIM card so if you bought your phone from a telecom or mobile service you will probably have a phone locked to their service and you can forget about using it in Vanuatu except on roaming. Some services, like Vodaphone, will unlock your phone or modem for a fee but you need to do it while still in the country where the phone is registered. They can't change the frequencies, however.
You can actually buy a phone in Vanuatu for a reasonable price. But you can also buy an unlocked Android smart phone with the correct frequencies from eBay or one of the big online discount stores before you leave - then you can use it anywhere.
Stop your computer uploading and downloading in the background
Windows 10 and several programs constantly upload and download data without your knowing about it or letting you stop this abuse of your expensive mobile data limits.
Mac computers also do Gigabytes of downloads automatically. In addition to slowing up your browsing the end result will often require updating lots of other apps. Here's how to stop your Mac from downloading and uploading in the background while you are cruising.