Iceland has three network operators:
2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz and 3G on 900 and mostly 2100 MHz. 4G/LTE has started on all three providers on 800 and on 1800 MHz in the Reykjavik area. It's available on all providers for prepaid without a surcharge.
The island has a very good coverage on 2G and 3G given its topography and low population. Síminn is the market leader with the best coverage, followed by Vodafone (still good) and Nova in 3rd place (mainly in the southwest).
So Síminn is the costliest, but best for going to remote areas, Vodafone is cheaper and still sufficient if you stick mainly to populated areas and Nova the cheapest and good when you stay mostly in the population center around Reykjavik.
Prepaid SIM cards in Iceland are anonymous. You don't need to show any ID buying a SIM card or do any registration.
SíminnEditSíminn coverage map
They sell a starter pack including voice, text and data for 2,000 ISK. It contains a voucher of 2,000 ISK credit and is available
- at the duty-free shop close to the baggage claim in Keflavík airport - ask at the cash register.
- aboard all Icelandair flights
- in Síminn shops (location list)
- at N1 petrol stations (leading chain all over the country)
They sell two different starter packs: one with voice & data and another with data-only (see below). The voice & data starter is called Síminn Prepaid Starter Pack and sold for 2900 ISK. It contains 100 domestic minutes, 100 domestic SMS and 1 GB of data for a start.
Their data-only SIM is called Síminn Prepaid Data and may be harder to get. It's sold e.g. at the 10/11 convenience store outside Keflavik airport arrival. It includes 1 GB data for a start and no voice nor texts.
Data feature packsEdit
Unlike other providers their data packages are not debited from your call credit, but must be purchased separately only onlineby credit card (by internatl. MasterCard or Visa).
These monthly packs are available for both their voice & data and data-only SIM:
- 500 MB: 800 ISK
- 1 GB: 1,300 ISK
- 5 GB: 2,300 ISK
- 10 GB: 3,300 ISK
- 50 GB: 5,300 ISK
All packs last for 31 days, don't renew and can be added ahead of time. If more than 31 days elapse between buying credit, the remaining credit is annulled. If less than 31 days elapse between fill-ups, the remaining credit is added and the duration of validity is prolonged for 31 days.
Credit expires 6 months after activation. 6 months after the latest top-up, service is blocked, but can be reactivated by a new top-up. After 12 months, the SIM is deactivated completely.
- a combined three-size (mini-, micro-, nano-SIM) is given out
- APN: internet
- Website partly in English: https://www.siminn.is/english/
Vodafone is the biggest competitor of Síminn in Iceland. Its coverage is still good, even at some place better than Síminn, and it gives out a voice & data SIM and a data-only SIM for a better start-up price and cheaper rates. 4G/LTE is available on bands 3 or 1800 Mhz and 20 or 800 Mhz: Coverage map
Voice and data starter packs are available:
- in Keflavik airport at the duty-free shop close to the baggage claim, the 10-11 stores and the Elko store-
- at Vodafone stores (list) and many 10-11 stores countrywide
- at N1 petrol stations (the leading chain all over Iceland), Shell and Olis brands too
Voice and data SIM: Frelsi
Their voice & data prepaid SIM is sold for 2,000 ISK containing unlimited domestic calls plus 1 GB of data for 30 days.
For the 2nd month you can choose to opt in one of 3 combo plans valid for 30 days:
- Frelsi S: 1,100 ISK - with 500 ISK credit, 500 dom. mins, unlimited dom. SMS and 1 GB data
- Frelsi M: 2,100 ISK - with 1000 ISK credit, 1000 dom. mins, unlimited dom. SMS and 5 GB data
- Frelsi L: 3,500 ISK - with 1500 ISK credit, unlimited dom. SMS and mins and 15 GB data
The initial credit can be used for foreign calls or when the allowances are used up. Outside use is 108 ISK for each 15 MB per day.
You can choose not to subscribe a Frelsi combo pack, but to stay on the base rate and add data packages instead, valid for 90 days. These can be added to combo plans as well for more data:
- 300 MB: 690 ISK
- 500 MB: 1,090 ISK,
- 1 GB: 1,390 ISK,
- 5 GB: 2,490 ISK
All packages must be booked seperately online by credit card (internatl. Master- or Visacard).
Like Síminn, they sell a data-only SIM called 4G net which comes as prepaid as well as contracts. The starter you may get only in their few own branded Vodafone shops and includes one of the offered packages shown below. Take care: you may have to set a different APN manually (see below). It doesn't contain voice or text and is intended for tablet or router use.
These data add-on packages must be booked seperately online by credit card (internatl. Master- or Visacard):
- 1 GB: 1,390 ISK, upsize: another 1 GB for 1,390 ISK
- 5 GB: 2,390 ISK, upsize: another 1 GB for 1,390 ISK
- 15 GB 4,290 ISK, upsize: another 10 GB for 1,790 ISK
- 50 GB: 5,390 ISK, upsize: another 10 GB for 1,790 ISK
- 100 GB: 7,290 ISK, upsize: another 50 GB for 2,290 ISK
- 200 GB: 8,890 ISK, upsize: another 50 GB for 2,290 ISK
For voice & data SIM: After 6 months since last top-up, allows incoming services only. After 9 months since last top up, all credit expires. After 12 months since last top up, the SIM expires.
- combined nano, mini and micro SIMs are sold
- APN: gprs.is (only for voice & data SIM)
- APN: vmc.gprs.is (for the data-only SIM, needs to be changed manually)
- Credit balance available via USSD dialing *113*1#
- Data allowance balance available dialing *113*24#
- Website partly in English: http://vodafone.is/english
NovaEditNova is the smallest provider and still reasonable, if you stick mainly the population center around Reykjavik, where it offers 4G/LTE too. It's very popular amongst exchange students flocking the country, because it gives out 1000 minutes of free calls and 500 free SMS per month amongst Nova customers: Nova coverage map. 4G is given out where available on LTE bands 3 (1800 MHz) and 20 (800 MHz).
Their prepaid starter pack called Frelsi 0 kr. Nova í Nova is available at their few stores (list) and some other stores where you have to ask around for 2,000 ISK with the same credit included. You can also buy the SIM onboard WOW air flights.
Data feature packagesEdit
Data is billed by default with 59 ISK for 5 MB. So you should buy packages. They have the cheapest data in the country given their limited coverage. These monthly packs are available:
|Volume||1 GB||5 GB||10 GB||50 GB||100 GB||250 GB|
|Price||1,290 kr||1,990 kr||2,990 kr||4,990 kr||6,990 kr||8,990 kr|
- APN: net.nova.is /or/ internet.nova.is (for tethering)
- Website in Icelandic only: http://www.nova.is