Planning your South Pacific trip and wondering what is the best way to stay connected when traveling to Samoa? This is the ultimate guide with everything you need to know about sim cards for Samoa. Find out where to buy a prepaid sim card in Samoa, up to date prices as per May 2023, the best 4G/5G network in Samoa, my recommendation and experiences and even info about e-sim cards and international sim cards for Samoa.
As a full time travel blogger who is also trying to visit every country in the world I constantly travel to a new country. The first thing I do to get connected is buying a local prepaid sim card. Therefore on Traveltomtom you can already find more than 200 sim card guides from all over the world: Australia, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, New Zealand, Auckland, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Nadi, Asia, Singapore, Malaysia, Europe, USA, Dubai and many more.
My trip to Samoa was pretty epic and although I only stayed for 4 days I was able to see the most tourist destinations on the main island. We rented a car and drove all around visiting the best places to see in Samoa.
Traveltomtom recommends a Vodafone sim card for Samoa. Based on my own experience they have better coverage around the island and therefore rated as the best sim card for Samoa in 2023.
If you are traveling to several countries on your trip in the South Pacific it is worth looking into buying an international sim card for traveling. Click on the link to read my comparison of the best travel sim cards for 2023.
E-sim cards for Samoa
There are also e-sim cards for Samoa available. You order them online, get a QR-code in your email, follow the instructions and within 3 minutes you are all set. Getting an e-sim card is easy and fast, check out the following e-sim card deals for Samoa:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $9 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $24 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $35 USD
Click here to directly order a Samoa e-sim card or find more info in the link.
Why buying a sim card for Samoa
First of all to avoid high roaming costs. Make sure you turn off data roaming on your phone to not get a shocking bill. Some providers charge up to $3 USD per MB, that means opening Instagram will cost you $100 USD. Not joking!
Also don’t get fooled by overseas data roaming plans with unlimited data as they cap your data speed and you will end up with a 3G signal!
The cheapest way to get data on your phone when traveling abroad is a local prepaid sim card. Although more expensive, you can also choose to stay connected with an e-sim card nowadays or an international sim card.
Traveling to Samoa is simply much more convenient with a working data connection on your phone. Think about looking up cool places to visit, getting directions from Google Maps, using your banking apps, staying in touch with friends, finding a nice restaurant on the road, etc.
Where to buy a sim card for Samoa
The best place to buy a Samoa sim card is at the international airport on arrival in Samoa. The Faleolo Airport of Apia, the capital of Samoa, has two shops that sell prepaid sim cards and they are located in the airport terminal next to the car rental companies.
When you walk into the open-air but covered arrival hall you turn right around the corner and you will see a Vodafone and a Digicel store. These are the places to buy a Samoa sim card on arrival at Apia Airport.
Vodafone and Digicel are also the two main mobile internet providers in Samoa and they both sell prepaid sim cards with data for tourists.
If you missed the change to buy a sim card at the airport then you will need to head into town and find a Digicel or Vodafone store in Apia city center. Near the Mc Donalds in town there is a Digicel store as well as a Vodafone store. Mind you that Apia city center is about 1 hour from Faleolo International Airport.
Prices for prepaid sim card plans in Apia city center are significantly cheaper than when buying a sim card for Samoa at Apia Faleolo International Airport.
Buying a sim card in Samoa is very straight forward. In the phone store they will take a copy of your passport to register your prepaid sim card. This is standard practice in most countries and your new Samoa sim card will be registered on your name and passport number.
There are no known internet censorship issues in Samoa. However, to protect your data it is very much recommended to use a VPN.
Prices Samoa sim cards in 2023
Prepaid sim card deals and packages constantly change. Traveltomtom does its utmost best to keep all the information about Samoa sim cards as up to date as possible. Your help is very much appreciated. So please, if you have updated info leave me a comment below or send me a message on Instagram.
As of May 2023: 1 Tala (WST) = $0.37 USD and $1 USD = 2.72 Tala
A prepaid sim card for Digicel is free when you top up with one of the following data packages:
- 10 GB data for 7 days = $15 Tala
- 15 GB data for 7 days = $20 Tala
- 20 GB data for 14 days = $30 Tala
- 100 GB data for 28 days = $100 Tala
These are some helpful speed dial numbers for Digicel:
- Dial *123# to buy a new data bundle
- Dial *130# to check your remaining data balance
- Dial *120# to check your credit balance
Registering a Vodafone prepaid sim card is also free. They keep it simple and have only one prepaid sim card deal for tourists:
- 20 GB data + 50 minutes for 15 days = $49 Tala
This prepaid tourist sim card also allows you to call 100 minutes to Australia or New Zealand and unlimited calls/sms to Vodafone numbers in Samoa.
These are some helpful speed dial numbers for Vodafone:
- Dial *111# to check your own number
- Dial *888# to check your balance
- Dial *888# to buy a new data bundle
Best 4G/5G network in Samoa
It was pretty difficult to find any reliable information online about the 4G network coverage in Samoa. Normally I compare the 3G/4G/5G coverage maps of the mobile internet providers, but for Samoa these are not available online unfortunately.
Since we were traveling with 4 people on our trip to Samoa we decide to buy 2 Digicel sim cards and 2 Vodafone sim cards on arrival at Apia International Airport. Everyone bought a 20 GB data package and we shared hotspots in case one or the other had no signal.
At the airport I already asked local people which mobile operator they would recommend based on the network strength. Most of them said: Vodafone! All around the airport you could also find Vodafone advertisement saying they are the best 4G network in Samoa.
Based on my experiences I also came to the same conclusion. We stayed 2 nights in the Saletoga Sands Resorts in the southeast of the island and there was NO Digicel signal available at all, Vodafone had a full 4G signal!
Exploring the waterfalls and road tripping around the island we had the same issue. The Digicel sim cards had constantly problems finding a 4G signal, while Vodafone had a pretty solid 4G signal all around.
Is there 5G in Samoa?
No, as of May 2023 there is still no 5G signal in Samoa. However, there is a decent 4G signal available in most tourist destinations in Samoa. The internet speed is not like back home of course, but it is pretty decent still. Streaming YouTube or Netflix works fine whenever you have a 4G signal.
Best sim card for Samoa in 2023
Although Digicel is cheaper than Vodafone, Traveltomtom recommends a Vodafone sim card for Samoa. The Vodafone 3G/4G network is much more extensive and therefore Vodafone is the best sim card in Samoa in 2023.
You pay a little extra, but trust me not having service is very frustrating and it simply makes your prepaid sim card useless.
I am sure all the above info about getting connected with a sim card for Samoa were helpful for your upcoming trip. May you still have any questions then please leave me a comment below.
Also a last reminder that you can arranging everything online within just a couple minutes by ordering an e-sim card for Samoa directly online.
Curious what it looks like trying to visit every country in the world? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow along.
As of May 2023 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go.
Enjoy your trip to Samoa!