As you can see below, we’ve had queries and responses about cell phones and communications in the Bahamas. At the end of the responses, you will see the latest information we have gathered from BTC.
“What is the current info on cell phone use in Bahamas? I currently have ?Verizon cell phone and Verizon Air Card. I am assuming the cell will be ?over $1/minute to use (And will not work in many areas)and the Air Card ?probably will not work.?Is there anything I should do or buy in the US, or should I get a Batelco ?Cell phone there? Do Batelco cell phones have free incoming calls??Lee Haefele”
“While I do not remember the exact pricing when we inquired into Batelco last year I found it to be unreasonable and never went with them at all. We used Skype to great success and spent under $30 all year. That included our own dedicated number and voice mail. Do not get me wrong it does not work all the time and is dependant upon a good Internet connection, but by paying attention to signal strength and periods when usage was lighter we were always able to complete the necessary calls. The one thing I would invest in is a good wifi antenna system. I did not do so before I left thinking I could find the parts in the Bahamas. This was a mistake. Research and buy what you need stateside. There are many options. Many friends had systems costing just a couple hundred that were simply out of this world compared to the basic USB amplifier box I found in Marsh Harbor. It helped, but not much.
Dave S/V Hullabaloo (Sadly stateside this year)?”
“Verizon coverage in Bahamas is poor. AT&T is much better (thru an arrangement with BATELCO). Typical AT&T charge is $1.99 per min (in one minute increments rounded up to the next min). Get a BATELCO card and its about $.99 per min, rounded up – - still very expensive but you can get coverage where you cannot get the Internet. Skype is the best deal as long as you can get an Internet connection (and a wifi amp will help greatly in this regard)
Bill M/V Easy Riders (be there in Feb + Mar + ??)”
“I do not think your Verizon phone will work. T-Mobile & ATT phones use the same band as Batelco. The best solution is to buy a sim card in the Bahamas. Mine is 3 years old but only cost about $25.00 then. The key is that you need an unlocked cell phone. Buy that before you come. Phones in the Bahamas are very expensive ($100 and up). The Batelco service is good with towers on most islands. Calling the US is about 40% of the cost of using a US phone. Calling within the Bahamas is cheap.
Here’s the latest information that we have from BTC (formerly known as BaTelCo).
For cellular phone use in the Bahamas, you have two choices:
1) When you come to the Bahamas, buy a phone from BTC or a local dealer who sells them. OR
2) Bring with you to the Bahamas an unlocked GSM phone and purchase a SIM card (from BTC or other dealers) and also buy Cybercell Prepaid Wireless Cards for your minutes.
Calls to U.S. are 80 cents/min day (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and 64 cents/min evening. Calling within the Bahamas cell to cell is 33 cents/min day and 17 cents/min evening; cell to Bahamas land line 51 cents/min day and 35 cents/min evening. If you receive a call from the U.S. on your cell phone, you pay only airtime.
We understand that, if you purchase an unlocked aircard before you go to the Bahamas, you can subscribe with a monthly fee with a contract and get pretty good cellular service for internet as well in certain places. You will have to get a SIM card when you get to the Bahamas and they are available in Nassau. We are not sure what other places have them. (If any of our subscribers have more specific information on this unlocked aircard, we’d appreciate details—what companies support this? How much does it cost? What is the contract period? What is the monthly fee?)