Practical Life in Kingston


Mobile Phone in Kingston


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Penetration and Coverage

Using ITU (International Telecommunications Union) data, on average the mobile telephone density in Jamaica is more than four times a fixed line per every 100 households. The full range of mobile service is available in Jamaica from the existing providers. Network service is almost available everywhere in the island and even on the near seas according to some providers.

Service

Providers

There is a choice between two network carriers, and for pre- and post-paid service. Most people (about 80%) use prepaid cell phone. Service contract requirements include a valid ID and a sim card. If the sim card you have was inactive for the previous six months, you may be required to buy a new one or reactivate it. The providers are

Roaming

It is possible to roam with a number from an overseas carrier when in Jamaica. An alternative is to fit your phone with a locally supplied SIM. The latter should be a lesser expensive option but the utility of choice depends on the need to be in touch through your regular number.

Contracts

Contracts can be established easily with local providers. Often, it just requires a short visit to a retail shop. Some packages include preferable rates for long distance phone calls and higher internet usage. There are some basic points you need to consider for choosing the right deal.

  • Personal Use: Evaluate how much you use the phone, when, where you are calling, how often you use short message services (SMS), if you use the phone abroad, etc.
  • Coverage: Most important if you live in a remote place or regularly using the mobile while traveling in the countryside as most companies offer decent coverage.
  • Fees & Rates: Each operator offers several different plans and options. Investigate the plans carefully and evaluate your needs.

When you subscribe to some call plans, calls within network are cheaper than across it. Some plans target frequent callers to overseas parties; other plans makes it cheaper to call people you are frequently in touch with. In general, price competition makes the cost of calls cheaper, by as much as 82% based on certain call plans. However, there is tax on phone calls that erode some of that price value.

Buying credit

Most people (about 80%) use prepaid cell phone. Prepaid accounts are also available for fixed lines. Vendors of talk time credit (airtime) for the two major carriers can be found everywhere in Jamaica. You can purchase airtime and load directly onto your phone. Loading airtime on your phone will give you access to both calls and internet data and can be used across network and for overseas call.

Call rates

Rates vary by plan and by whether calls are within or across network. View online the rates for

You can purchase talk time credit (airtime) for the two major carriers at price points of JMD $100 upwards plus tax. The GCT rate on telephone calls is 25%. (This compares unfavourably with the standard GCT rate of 16.5%). Customers of FLOW and Digicel on mobile pay $0.50 per minute in taxes, and those on FLOW and Digicel landline pay $1.25 and $0.06 per minute in taxes, respectively.

When you subscribe to some call plans, calls within network are cheaper than across it. Some plans target frequent callers to overseas parties; other plans makes it cheaper to call people you are frequently in touch with. In general, price competition makes the cost of calls cheaper, by as much as 82% based on certain call plans. However, there is tax on phone calls that erode some of that price value.

Update 13/02/2016


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