Planning a trip to Tonga and wondering what is the best way to stay connected? There are a couple different options when traveling to Tonga and I will explain them all in this Tonga sim card guide. Find out where to buy a sim card in Tonga, up to date prices as per March 2023, the best 4G/5G network in Tonga, my recommendation and info about international and e-sim cards for Tonga.
When traveling abroad the first thing I do is buying a prepaid sim card on arrival. It is the best best way to stay connected. E-sim cards are a great option too, but more expensive. If you use a lot of data, a local prepaid sim card is the cheapest way to stay connected.
As I also aim to visit every country in the world you can already find more than 200 sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all over the world: Samoa, Vanuatu, New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Asia, Hong Kong, USA, New York, Europe and many more.
Next time you are planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom first. Bookmark this page!
Traveltomtom recommends a UCall sim card for Tonga. Prices for data sim cards are similar to Digicel, but UCall has the better network coverage across the country.
Another great option for travelers is an international sim card that includes Tonga. Also handy when you travel to several countries on your trip in the Pacific. Check out my comparison of the best international sim cards with data in 2023.
E-sim cards for Tonga
The easiest way to stay connected when traveling overseas in 2023 is an e-sim card. No more swapping physical sim cards or visiting a phone shop. You arrange everything online within just a couple minutes. Check out the following e-sim card deals for Tonga:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $9.50 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $24 USD
Click here to order the above Tonga e-sim card deals directly online or find more info in the link.
On another website I found the following Tonga e-sim card offer:
- 6 GB data for 15 days = $39.90 USD
Click here to order this Tonga e-sim card deal.
Why buying a sim card for Tonga
Life simply gets much easier when you are connected to the internet and that also counts for traveling in Tonga. Getting directions from Google Maps, finding nearby restaurants or tourist attractions, keeping in touch with friends and many more reasons to stay connected when traveling.
And of course to avoid high roaming costs or slow overseas data plans that promise you unlimited data for a couple dollars a day, but the data speed is reduced to the bare minimum and hardly works.
Where to buy a sim card for Tonga
The easiest place to buy a prepaid sim card is of course on arrival at the International Airport of Fua'Amotu on the main island of Tongatapu where you can also find the capital of Nuku'Alofa.
This is also where I landed on my trip to Tonga and where I bought my sim card for Tonga. As soon as you walk out of the airport you will see on your right hand side a store of UCall and Digicell, they can't be missed as these are basically the only two shops besides a car rental and money exchange.
A pain in the ass is that the sim card stores do not accept international credit cards, it is cash only. Luckily there is an ATM at Fua'Amotu Airport. The sim card shops are open for all arriving international flights.
You can also buy a sim card for Tonga in the city of Nuku'Alofa at a UCall or Digicel store. They are located in the city center not far from the popular Friends Cafe.
For buying a sim card in Tonga you will need your passport for registration. In the phone shop they will take a copy of your passport and your new Tonga sim card will be registered on your name and passport number.
Prices Tonga sim cards
Data plans and prices constantly change. Traveltomtom tries to keep everything as up to date as possible and your help is appreciated. If you have new info then please leave me a comment below or reach out to me on Instagram.
The currency in Tonga is the Tongan Pa'anga and 1 T$ = 0.43 USD and $1 USD = $2,34 T as per March 2023.
A Digicel prepaid sim card costs T$3 for the registration and they offer the following data plans:
- 3 GB data for 30 days = T$10
- 5 GB data for 30 days = T$15 ($6.4 USD)
- 22 GB data for 30 days = T$50
- 37 GB data for 30 days = T$70 ($30 USD)
A UCall prepaid sim card costs T$5 ($2 USD) for the registration and comes with 500 local minutes/sms and 4 GB data. On top of that they offer the following data plans:
- 2 GB data for 7 days = T$10
- 5 GB data for 14 days = T$15 ($6.4 USD)
- 20 GB data for 30 days = T$50
- 30 GB data for 30 days = T$70 ($30 USD)
See all the data plans above.
Best 4G/5G network in Tonga
Normally I compare the network coverage maps of all the mobile internet operators, but in the case of Tonga that is not possible as there are no network coverage maps available. To determine the best mobile internet network in Tonga I can use my own experiences and the advices from locals.
When we traveled to Tonga we were with 4 people and to find the best sim card for Tonga we decided that 2 people would buy a UCall prepaid sim card and the others a Digicel prepaid sim card, so we could compare.
Unfortunately we only traveled on the main island of Tongatapu as we just had 3 days. We rented a car and drove around the island visiting all the tourist attractions. All 4 of us were constantly connected and enjoyed a 4G signal. Most of the times the data speed was good and there were no major issues for both Digicel and UCall.
So when traveling to Tonga and only exploring the main island of Tongatapu it does not matter which sim card you use.
That said when traveling to Vava’u for the famous whale watching/swimming in the North of Tonga local people all recommend buying a sim card from UCall. As UCall is the prepaid sim card of the state owned TCC (Tonga Communications Corporation) they have the most extensive network across the country. So when traveling to Vava’u a UCall sim card is recommended.
Is there 5G in Tonga?
No, as of March 2023 there is no 5G in Tonga. The data speed on the 4G network in Tonga is reliable and fast enough for streaming and uploading large files. Based on my own experience, everything worked pretty smooth.
Best sim card for Tonga in 2023
As there are no international sim cards available for Tonga, travelers can only choose between a local prepaid sim card for Tonga or an e-sim card. The cheapest e-sim card cost $9.50 USD and only gives you 1 GB data for 7 days. For 6 GB data you already pay $39.90 USD.
A local prepaid sim card for Tonga is much cheaper and for $10 USD you can already 7 GB data for 30 days with a local prepaid sim card.
Comparing the Digicel and UCall prepaid sim card deals we come to the conclusion that there is not much difference in price, however Digicel is a little cheaper or gives you more GB's for the same price.
Based on my own experience there is also not much difference when it comes to the 3G/4G network strength, at least on the main island in Tongatapu.
However, TCC, the mother company of UCall owns the 3G/4G network in Tonga, UCall has better network coverage than Digicel around the country and is therefore the best sim card for Tonga in 2023.
- Dial *120# for getting the (top up, info, balance) menu for UCall prepaid costumers.
- Dial *123# to getting the (top up, info, balance) menu for Digicel prepaid costumers.
I am sure the above tips for getting connected when traveling to Tonga were helpful. I showed what is the best prepaid sim card in Tonga based on the data I found online and my own experiences.
May you still have any questions about traveling to Tonga or Tonga sim cards then pleaze leave me a comment below.
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 March 2023 I have visited more than 150 countries, so still a long way to go.
Enjoy your trip to Tonga!