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Communications tower near Pilchard Hole Salina, Salt Cay.

Telephones, Internet and Mobile Phones

An Intelsat satellite ground station located in Cockburn Town, Grand Turk.

Not all phones will automatically function in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Typically, if you're on a plan, you'll need to inform your operator to enable intenational roaming before you arrive. GSM coverage is provided by the two local telecommunications companies (Lime and Digicel), and Lime provides coverage for CDMA (Verizon and Sprint phones).

You have the option to buy a local pre-paid SIM if you're mostly interested in data access and local calls.

Before You Arrive

Decide if you want to roam or buy a local SIM. If you're roaming, contact your provider to set up international roaming. Sometimes it's enabled by default, but not always.

Buying A Local SIM

You'll need an unlocked GSM phone in order to buy a local SIM card. Many new GSM phones are quadband (which means they use all 4 GSM frequencies: 850, 900, 1800, 1900). If you only have a dual band or tri-band phone, choose the appropriate local provider.

You'll need to provide ID in order to purchase a SIM card.

Cell tower on Front Street, Cockburn Town, Grand Turk.

International Dialing

The local area code is +1 (649). Dialling to the Turks and Caicos Islands is the same as dialing to the United States. A local number, such as 946-2801 (the government switchboard) would be dialed as +16499462801. On mobile phones, simply hold the '0' key down to enter a '+'.

Dialling from the Turks and Caicos to a foreign number requires the full international area code.

Internet

Most hotels and villas provide free WiFi wireless internet. Some cafes and restaurants provide free WiFi in addition.

Mobile Internet

Providenciales, Grand Turk, and some areas on the other islands have high-speed 4G coverage. In some less populated and remote areas on the other islands, you'll only be able to access mobile interned via painfully slow EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution, a 2.5G technology).

Free Facebook Usage

Digicel offers free internet and data for limited Facebook use. If you connect through the app, or by visiting the m.facebook.com site, you'll be presented with an option to connect free (videos are external links are not included). It's recommend that you read and understand the privacy concerns, as certain usage data will be shared with the network (Digicel).

Censorship

There is no censorship of the internet in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The internet censorship programme of the United Kingdom is not implemented in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Local Telecom Companies

Cellular Coverage Map