Fiji Expats: Choosing Phone and Internet Proivders

Expat in Fiji

Choosing a phone or internet provider in Fiji isn’t too difficult because to my knowledge, there are only two major competitors: Vodafone and Digicel.

 

Phone

I arrived a week after Cyclone Winston and was told that Vodafone was the only phone company that maintained it’s national coverage during and in the short aftermath of the Cyclone. Considering the regular threats of natural disasters in Fiji, Vodafone at this point in time was the right option for me.

Some tips for using Vodafone as a phone provider:

  • Dial *131# to check your phone balance
  • Dial *555# to change your plan.
  • Data is expensive to use and quick to disappear here, so my favourite plan is the one that comes with unlimited Facebook.
  • Turn off your mobile data when you’re not using it to reduce data use. Limit your mobile data to needed applications only, and set other applications as available when linked to wifi only.
  • You may be bombarded with text message advertising. You can opt out of this by contacting Vodafone Fiji via Facebook message.
  • VERY IMPORTANT TIP: When you recharge your data, have the mobile data turned off. Because when you recharge, you need to select your plan for the week or month. During the short time it takes to recharge and then select your plan options, Vodafone can use up all of your data with their ad-hoc standard data charges. They charged me $43 for 4 minutes and the only thing that happened during this period is the background apps on my phone so again, when you recharge have you mobile data turned off until you select your plan.

Recently I considered swapping to Digicel due to their cheaper data plans however I found the download speed to be much slower and returned to Vodafone.

 

Internet

Unwired (Digicel) currently offer the cheapest data plans. I like internet, so I need the most I can get!

Using Digicel as an internet provider:

  • Be aware that Digicel requests a 24 month contract.
  • Modems are plugged into an electric socket only. Therefore if you move house, you can take your modem with you.
  • Unwired provide peak and off-peak periods. A lot of people use up all of their peak data and forget to use their off-peak. Follow Unwired FAQ guide to check your data status regularly to make sure you get the best out of your subscription.

My concern with Unwired is that on sporadic days the internet seems to chew up very quickly for unknown reasons. I’ve noticed there are several people on the Suva Expats Facebook page complaining of the same issue. Considering this, I’m not sure if a Vodafone plan could be preferable. In this case, I’m told that you should buy a low prepaid plan and then wait for the special promotion days where you can charge for double data, etc.

 

Note: This post is personal opinion. Other people will have their own preferences based on their needs.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Dave
    June 15, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Another great phone tip – Vodafone (and I believe Digicel also do this) usually run a recharge bonus every Thursday where you can get a multiplier bonus on the amount you recharge. eg. 2X for $6 recharge, 3X on $11 recharge, 4X on $15 recharge and 5X on $25 recharge. Their promotions vary week to week. Agree with being bombarded by text message advertising, but I only found out about these promotions by one of these annoying messages. LOL

    • Reply
      Emma Margaret
      June 20, 2016 at 11:37 am

      Great tips! Thank-you very much!

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