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Prepaid eSIM Jamaica : the Ultimate Guide (2024)

4G/5G, Networks, Speeds, Price, Hotspot : Discover our selection of prepaid eSIM providers that offer great value for Jamaica

Published: Dec 31, 2023

In Jamaica where mobile data is so expensive, not all eSIMs plans make the grade. With connectivity being a pivotal part of the Jamaican experience for locals and travelers alike, many eSIM options fall short—be it in coverage, speed, or value.

Determined to uncover the true standouts, we put the leading eSIM providers to the test, assessing everything from data packages and network reliability to user-friendliness and cost-effectiveness.

This guide delves into the details of prepaid eSIM options in Jamaica, providing insights into network providers, emerging technologies, and user considerations.

Jamaica eSIM : the "look no further" recommendation

If you're short on time, we recommend you go with Airhub's eSIM for Jamaica. With 25GB of data for $30 ($1.2/GB), It's the most affordable option with a decent amount of mobile data.

Data

25 GB

Validity30 day(s)

🇯đŸ‡Č Jamaica

Data only

$30.00

$1.20/GB
Learn more â€ș

Jamaica eSIM : what to watch before you buy

Local network : Digicel or Flow ?

Digicel Jamaica is a leader in innovation, known for its extensive 4G/LTE services. It offers high-quality voice services and has been pioneering in introducing new network technologies in Jamaica. With its LTE network primarily on Band 17 (700 MHz), complemented by Band 4 (1700 MHz), Digicel has expanded its reach to various parts of the island, including major cities and coastal regions. It's recognized for a strong commitment to internet access for all and offers competitive voice and data bundles.

Flow Jamaica, a subsidiary of Liberty Global, emphasizes high-speed data and network efficiency. It began its 4G/LTE rollout in the Kingston Metropolitan Area in 2016 and now covers significant parts of Jamaica, including major tourist destinations. Flow's LTE network, primarily on Band 4 (1700 MHz) and Band 12 (700 MHz), is particularly noted for its high speed and network capacity. Flow is often recommended for users who prioritize data speed and stability, as it reportedly has the fastest LTE network in the country.

As for the deployment of 5G networks in Jamaica, it's still in the discussion phase, with significant challenges in infrastructure development. Neither Digicel nor Flow currently offers 5G services in Jamaica.

Final Recommendation: If your priority is data speed and efficient network connectivity, especially in urban areas, Flow Jamaica would be the better choice. However, if you prioritize voice services and flexible data plans, Digicel Jamaica might be more suitable for your needs.

Both Digicel and Flow offer postpaid and prepaid SIM + eSIM plans, but you have to go in-store in order to purchase something prepaid. Even for an eSIM ! :(

Read more about Jamaica's local networks here.

Other network aspects factors that could affect your speeds

Beware of Network Prioritization & Distant internet routing.

  • Jamaica Network Prioritization and Throttling: This factor is crucial in determining data speeds, especially during high-traffic periods. Mobile network operators often prioritize their direct subscribers over users connected through third-party eSIM providers. During peak usage times, this can result in slower data speeds for eSIM users. It's vital to understand if an eSIM provider's agreements with network operators may affect your data speed, as this could impact your ability to stream videos, browse efficiently, or use data-intensive applications.

  • Latency Issues Due to Internet Routing: The physical location of the servers used by Jamaica eSIM providers can greatly affect internet latency. If the provider routes your data through servers located far from Jamaica, it can increase the time taken for data to travel back and forth, known as latency. High latency can be particularly problematic for real-time applications like navigation, video calls, or online gaming.

As a conclusion, before you choose an eSIM provider for Jamaica, consider where their servers are located and how that might impact the latency and overall speed of your internet connection, and make sure (you can ask) is they have a prioritization (or de-prioritization) agreement.

Understand what's behind specific plan features

  • Data-Only vs. Data + Voice plans: Many eSIM plans are data-only, which means they don't include a traditional phone number for calls or texts. Some plans come with a phone number, voice and text. In case they do, it's preferable you get a plan with a number that is native with the eSIM, rather than a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) solution number.

  • Hotspot or Not ? The ability to share your eSIM's internet connection with other devices via a hotspot is an essential feature for many users. This feature is particularly useful if you carry multiple devices or want to share your connection with travel companions. However, not all eSIM plans support hot-spotting, so it's important to confirm this functionality before purchasing if it's a requirement for you.

  • Understanding 'Unlimited' Plans and if they have a Fair Usage Policy: The term 'unlimited' can be misleading in the context of eSIM data plans. While it suggests unrestricted data usage, many unlimited plans are subject to a Fair Usage Policy (FUP).

    unlimited FUPs holafly USA

    Read the fine lines: for example, Holafly's unlimited plans are not truly unlimited and limit your speeds after a certain usage has been reached. This policy often caps the amount of high-speed data you can use before your speeds are reduced. It's crucial to read the fine lines and understand the terms of an 'unlimited' plan to avoid surprises with data speed throttling.

Figure out how much data you need before your trip to Jamaica.

Figuring out how much data you "REALLY" need before purchasing an eSIM plan is a no brainer. To estimate your data needs, consider your typical usage patterns. Activities like browsing, emailing, and using social media consume less data compared to high-data activities like streaming video or music, online gaming, and video calls.

A rough guide to data consumption:

  • Browsing and Social Media : Light browsing and social media use typically consume around 1-3 GB per month.

  • Streaming : Video streaming can consume about 1 GB per hour for standard definition and up to 3 GB per hour for high definition. Music streaming uses about 150 MB per hour.

  • Email : Regular email usage without large attachments uses a negligible amount of data.

  • Video Calls : Apps like Skype or Zoom can consume about 900 MB per hour.

It's better to opt for a slightly larger plan than you think you'll need from the outset, rather than topping up multiple times.

Often, larger plans offer more cost-effective rates per GB compared to smaller plans or multiple top-ups.

Additionally, having a bit of extra data can be a safety net for unforeseen needs or usage spikes, especially when traveling in Jamaica.

What are the best eSIM providers and plans for Jamaica ?

Mobile data remains expensive in Jamaica

In Jamaica, the cost of mobile data is notably high, with prices ranging from $1.16 to as much as $30 per GB for eSIMs over 1GB capacity (based on esims.io's listings)

This is mainly due to the challenging geography of the island, which complicates network infrastructure development and maintenance, leading to higher operational costs for providers.

The market is also characterized by limited competition among telecom operators, which tends to keep prices elevated.

Airhub is the best eSIM provider for Jamaica

For those traveling to Jamaica, Airhub, a Singapore-based eSIM provider, emerges as the top recommendation, particularly for its competitive pricing.

Known for offering some of the best price per GB rates for Jamaica, Airhub stands out in the market, making it a cost-effective option.

Additionally, Airhub eSIMs come with the added benefit of providing users with a UK phone number. This is particularly useful for those who need to make or receive calls and texts without relying solely on internet-based communication apps. Having a local number can also be essential for using certain services or making reservations while in Jamaica.

Use the discount code AHEI3 to get 3% off your Airhub eSIM

Here is the best value eSIM plan by Airhub for Jamaica. This Jamaica only data plan comes with 25GB of data valid for 30 days. It also comes with a phone number (UK phone number).

Data

25 GB

Validity30 day(s)

🇯đŸ‡Č Jamaica

Data only

$30.00

$1.20/GB
Learn more â€ș

In case you're travelling to multiple countries, Airhub also provides a Global plan that includes Jamaica, including the United States. This plan is more expensive, yet inclues the same quantity of mobile data for the same duration, while covering 72 countries

Data

25 GB

Validity30 day(s)

72 countries

Data only

$42.00

$1.68/GB
Learn more â€ș

As of today, it is not clear whether Airhub roams on Flow of Digical networks.

Yesim and Airalo are the best eSIM providers for cheap, 1GB options

For travelers to Jamaica looking for the most cost-effective mobile data solutions, Airalo and Yesim emerge as the preferred options.

Both providers offer competitively priced eSIM plans with - what we consider to be the - minimum viable data amount of 1GB, which cater to the essential needs of connectivity without breaking the bank.

Airalo's offer, tailored for Jamaica, includes the Jamcomm 1 GB plan and is backed by Digicel 4G network.

Data

1 GB

Validity7 day(s)

🇯đŸ‡Č Jamaica

Data only

Network(s) : Digicel (4G)

$9.50

$9.50/GB
Learn more â€ș

Yesim also presents an attractive proposition with its Caribbean 1GB plan, extending coverage to Jamaica among other countries in the region, which is ideal for those planning to visit multiple destinations (note that with 1GB, it won't take you too far).

Data

1 GB

Validity30 day(s)

13 countries

Data only

Special Offer : €5 OFF

$5.41

$10.83

$5.41/GB
Learn more â€ș

Globalesim is the best options in between

Lastly, for travelers to Jamaica seeking a balance between cost and "enough" GB, the eSIM plans offered by GlobaleSIM and Yesim are commendable choices.

The GlobaleSIM plan for Jamaica provides 5 GB of data over 30 days at a rate of $5.22/GB, complete with the convenience of a local phone number, all under the attractive price of $29.

Data

5 GB

Validity30 day(s)

🇯đŸ‡Č Jamaica

Data and Phone number*

Special Offer : 10% OFF

$26.10

$29.00

$5.22/GB
Learn more â€ș

Globalesim also offers a smaller and shorter duration eSIM plan valid for $30 days that only costs $23, and that comes with 3GB of data.

Data

3 GB

Validity30 day(s)

🇯đŸ‡Č Jamaica

Data and Phone number*

Special Offer : 10% OFF

$20.70

$23.00

$6.90/GB
Learn more â€ș

Those plan not only include mobile data but also a phone number for calls and texts, as a paying additional option.

Wrapping up

In Jamaica, finding the sweet spot for mobile data is all about dodging those high costs. Jamaica won't be the cheapest country for mobile data, but there are options : Airhub's nailing it with deals that give you enough data to keep the vibes flowing during your trip, plus a UK number to boot.

If you don't ned as much data and will only be sending a few pictures during your trip, Airalo and Yesim have got your back with 1GB plans that won’t leave your wallet empty. And if you're after something that hits just right in the middle, GlobaleSIM is the best option.

So, before you hit up Jamaica, pick an eSIM that’s gonna match your trip and not cost an arm and a leg. Need more info or help picking? Shoot us a message at hello@esims.io or check out esims.io Jamaica eSIM plans.

Happy travels !

Airhublogo

Jamaica 25GB 30Days

Airhub

$30.00

Airhublogo

Global 25GB 30Days

Airhub

$42.00

Yesimlogo

Yesim Global Package 20GB

Yesim

$75.73

GlobaleSIMlogo

Jamaica

GlobaleSIM

$76.50

GlobaleSIMlogo

Jamaica

GlobaleSIM

$63.90

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