The islands of French Polynesia (including Tahiti and Moorea) have three network operators right now:
- Vini S.A.S.
- Vodafone (Pacific Mobile Telecom)
- Viti Ora, it doesn't offer prepaid, so is not mentioned any further.
In 2013 an operator called Mara Telecom was declared bankrupt.
Vini is the clear market leader on the five archipelagos. It started in 1995 with 2G on 900 MHz and covers already 62 islands and 98% of population. Its 3G started in 2009 on 2100 MHz and is available in a limited area: 3G Coverage. 4G/LTE started with Vini in 2015 and is announced by Vodafone for the end of 2017.
In 2013 Pacific Mobile Telecom formed a partnership with Vodafone. So they sell their 2G and 3G on 900 Mhz under the brand name of Vodafone, but their coverage is much lower than Vini's.
For buying a SIM card you need to present an ID card, passport or drivers license.
Vini EditVini S.A.S. is owned by the state-backed Office des Postes et Telecommunications (OPT) and is the principal provider in the country. 2G/EDGE is on 900 MHz. 3G/HSPA+ is on 900 and 2100 MHz. 4G/LTE started in 2015 on 800 and 2600 MHz bands (7, 20) . 4G/LTE currently is not available for prepaid.
The starter packs are sold at their stores and outlets:
- Vinipack Sales Points
- There are outlets at Papeete Faa airport but opening times are limited: Mon-Fri 7:30-18:00, Sat 7:30-13:00, Sun 7:30-12:00
- Post office OPT sells them but staff is incompetent, so tell them the exact offer you want.
Starter pack is available in two varieties:
- Vinicard: 850 F with 800 F credit which is good for 27 domestic mins, 80 domestic SMS or 160 MB data. After card activation another 200 F good for 20 SMS or 40 MB are given as bonus.
- Vinicard Xtra: 1750 F with 40 donestic mins and 120 domestic SMS, but no data included
The regular Vinicard should be better for data users.
Recharge vouchers are available there for 500, 1000 and 2000 F. Credit will be valid for 3 months after the 500 F recharge and 6 months after the 1000 F or 2000 F recharges.
You can also recharge online in client area with CB/Visa/MasterCard/AmEx.
Every vinicard recharge gives 20% bonus. The bonus both from activation and refill can be used for SMS and data but not calls.
Check credit by texting 'conso' to 7100 or use their ViniConso app
Data feature packs Edit
Default data rate has been lowered from 56.8 F to 5 F per MB on both cards. Their packages don't make sense anymore:
|10 MB||100 F||1 hour||IM10|
|50 MB||350 F||24 hours||IM50|
For activation text code to 7071. Package won't renew automatically.
Data-only SIM Edit
Their data-only card is called Internet Mobile Prépayé. You can't use it for voice and you can only have data and SMS. The start-up price for the data SIM is 2050 F pre-loaded with 500 MB. These are valid for 30 days. It's sold in these stores: Vini Internet Mobile Sales Points. Recharges must be made within 30 days to keep the SIM alive. Data rate stays on 5 F per MB and you can recharge with these vouchers:
- 100 MB for 15 days: 500 F
- 200 MB for 30 days: 1000 F
- 400 MB for 30 days: 2000 F
Each voucher has a 14-digit code. This must be sent to 7010. You may put it a mobile phone for that. You may have to send "GO" to 7010 to get the service started at all. To check data balance text 'conso' to 7100, as you don't get a warning SMS, if you are low on credit.
More info Edit
- APN: internet
- Website in French: http://www.vini.pf/
Vodafone (by Pacific Mobile Telecom) Edit
Since 2013 PMT sells its products under the brand name of Vodafone. If you travel within the archipelago, Vini may be the better choice.
Vodafone is slowly getting better 3G coverage now, but still not as good as Vini. Better make a network scan before you buy a starter kit. 4G/LTE has started at the end of 2017 and is marketed as "4.5G".
2G and 3G are on 900 MHz. LTE is on bands 1 and 20.
They sell three starter packs in their stores (list).
- VodaCard 650: 750 F with 56 MB and another 50 MB bonus when you top-up 200 F or more
- Vodafone Brad: 1450 F with 84 MB and another 50 MB bonus when you top-up 200 F or more
The two plans have slightly different rates for voice and bonuses, but the same rate for data.
SIM plan stays valid for one year after the last reload. The credit validity depends on the top-up value.
Recharge coupons are available for 200, 500 F, 1000 F valid for 30 days, 2000 F valid for 75 days and 5000 F valid for 90 days. To check data balance dial *1122#, you will get SMS in return.
Data feature packages Edit
Default data rate is 11 F per MB on all prepaid plans. All data use stays on this rate. So a recharge of 500 F gives 45 MB, of 1000 F 90 MB and so on.
Additionally, they sell a once-off data-only SIM card/pack called Internet Mobile Prepayé in their shops: They charge 5 F per MB when you open the line, going down to 3 F per MB from the 1st top-up on. They advertise with these prices based on the 3F/MB rate:
- 500 MB: 1950 F
- 1 GB: 3450 F
Tourist SIM Edit
In 2017 they introduced a Tourist SIM for visitors. It's sold for 5000 F and contains 1 GB data, 30 mins of local calls and 30 mins of international calls valid for 15 days. It's sold at the airport and in some of their stores.
More info Edit
- APN: any (e.g. internet)
- Website in French: http://www.vodafone.pf/index.php