Tourists may not need an extra SIM card for this small territory, because Spanish antennas cover a major part of it. But in some densely built-up areas of downtown and on the southern tip of the rock 3G coverage is not reached from Spain. So if you stay for longer, you may think of buying a local SIM for the city only.
Although Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and part of the EU by virtue of the UK's EU membership, it's not part of the UK. That's why Gibraltarian networks' rules and policies differ from those of UK networks.
Following a referendum in favour of leaving the EU in June 2016, the British government is taking steps for both the UK and Gibraltar to leave the EU and the EEA in a few years. In the meantime Gibraltarian providers have to obey the same EU regulations for roaming as shown in the European Union chapter.
When using a Spanish SIM card, be sure you are not roaming on Gibraltar’s networks and vice versa as all providers have roaming agreements today charging you high. So always disenable roaming or make a manual network selection, while staying in border areas. This may come to an end when roaming surchages in EU will scrapped in June 2017, but will be an issue again, once Gibraltar and the UK leave the EU.
In 2017 only one network operator is on the air covering every part of the rock in 2G on 900 MHz and 1800 Mhz and 3G on 2100 MHz. 4G/LTE has started on 800 and 2600 MHz bands.
- Gibtelecom (2G, 3G, 4G/LTE)
Shine Mobile (2G, 3G)- out of service
GibtelecomEditThis state owned company has by far the most subscribers and the best coverage around the rock. 4G/LTE+ has been started in 2016 on 800 and 2600 MHz and is open for prepaid, if you have a new 4G+ SIM card. Old SIM cards can be swapped for free in their stores.
The pay-as-you-go SIM card is available from their Customer Service Centre in John Mackintosh Square and further two dozen outlets in the city: list for a whopping £25 which will all be credited to your account.
Reload cards of £10 and £25 are widely available throughout town. Look for the brown sticker on stores saying “Reloadcard”. To top-up by voucher, type: *101*<voucher code>#. To check credit, type *100#.
The validity period of your account is 270 days from the date of your last recharge, after which any outstanding credit will be lost. You then have an extra month in which you will only be able to receive calls and replenish your account. If your account is not replenished, service will be lost for a further 90 days, after wihich your reload account will be disconnected resulting in the loss of your reload mobile number. During these 90 days service will be restricted, but can be restored by replenishing your account.
Data feature packsEdit
The default rate outside the bundle and rate for overuse is £0.14 per MB.
The following monthly (where not stated otherwise) packages are available for 30 days:
- 500 MB: £9, activation: DATA500MB to 8100
- 2 GB: £14, activation: DATA2GB to 8100
- 5 GB: £29, activation: DATA5GB to 8100
- 7 days of data with a FUP of 10 GB: £10, activation: DATA7 to 8100
Their FUP forbids VoIP, continuous streaming, excessive downloading and p2p file sharing! Additional packs may be purchased and added to the existing period. To check data balance, text 'DATACHECK' to 8100 for free.
- APN: www.gibtele.com
- more info in English on their: website
After pressure of the EU to allow competition in the telecom market, Gibraltar’s government issued a second license to Eazitelecom. They started operations in 2012 and were shown as “26609” on a network scan. Their prepaid product was called Shine.
Shine Mobile (suspended)Edit
Their services were suspended at short notice effective 18/05/2016; therefore all Shine lines are not operational since then.
The company attibutes this is to the fact that they are expanding and working on upgrading their infrastructure in order to improve their coverage in Gibraltar, Spain & Africa, as well as offer new services such as 4G. But nothing has happened in the meantime and they might be off forever.
Website in English: www.shinemobile.gi