Tuvalu is an island nation in the South Pacific in the middle of nowhere. Tuvalu comprises of small islands scattered over 500,000 square miles approx. midway between Hawaii and Australia. Its land area of only 26 sq km is making Tuvalu to one of the smallest countries in the world. It got independence from the UK in 1978. Total population of Tuvalu is around 10,000 with half of the population residing on the main atoll of Funafuti.
There is only one operator:
- Tuvalu Telecom Corporation (TTC)
Tuvalu Telecommunications Corporation (TCC) is the government-owned and sole provider of telecommunication services. While it holds the monopoly in Tuvalu since 1994; in 2012 an amendment to the Telecommunications Act paved the way to license a second operator in the future.
Tuvalu was one of the last countries to start 3G in the world on the main island of Funafuti only. 3G which feels more like 2G is on 900 MHz. For reasonable internet connections rather think of buying WiFi vouchers instead of a SIM card. Because of these restrictions and practically no connection outside of the capital this country is still greylisted and you shouldn't buy a SIM card for data use.
For internet the islands rely solely on satellite communications. For all inter-island and international connectivity there was in 2016 only 21.8 Mbps from NSS9 Satellite by Speedcast and Intelsat and 58 Mbps from ABS (Asia Broadcast Satellite). In 2015 ABS and TTC announced they had signed a contract to improve capacity and offer higher speed internet for schools, hospitals and banks as well increased IP backhaul capacity for the mobile network.
Furthermore TTC signed an agreement with Kacific Broadband Satellites for the supply of high speed bandwidth to the islands of Tuvalu. The service will be provided by the Kacific Ka band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) that is scheduled to be launched in 2017. Kacific will provide TTC with increasing levels of capacity over the period, starting with 80 Mbps and up to 150 Mbps after 4 years.
In 2017 it was announced that Tuvalu is to see its first 4G/LTE services via a partnership between the TTC and US-based provider Blue Arcus Technologies. Services will initially be deployed in the capital Funafuti to be launched in ‘early 2017’. It remains to be seen whether any LTE makes sense, as long as no fast uplinks are available.
Tuvalu Telecom Corporation (TTC) Edit
The state-owned Tuvalu Telecommunications Corporation (TTC) is the only telecommunication provider on the islands. It provides fixed line communications to subscribers on each island and mobile phone services on Funafuti, Vaitupu and Nukulaelae. In 2015 it had about 4000 mobile subscribers and about 44 working as staff.
Mobile Network Edit
TTC launched a new 3G mobile system in 2014, but only in the capital of Funafuti. Their deteriorating 2G/GSM was decommissioned in 2015 due to capacity and coverage problems. TTC's 3G mobile system is only one site with two sector antennas installed in the sole existing tower in Funafuti. Each sector can only handle a maximum of 30 simultaneous calls and 16 data sessions. It operates in the 900 MHz band. Data traffic is routed over their ABS satellite link, while voice is passed through Speedcast satellite link
You can buy a SIM card in the main office of Tuvalu Telecom near the police station, it's just 20 meters from Funafuti International Airport. It costs AU$ 10.00 with AU$ 5.00 credit on it.
There are no data bundles or packages, only one flate price of AU$ 0.10 per MB.
3G is now available all over the island, but internet speed is like on 2G/EDGE, very slow, good only for emails and messaging. That's why it's not recommended to buy a SIM for data.
To recharge your account just buy a scratch voucher and dial *211*<voucher_code>#. To check balance dial *767# or dial 767 and you will get SMS in return.
More Info Edit
- APN: ttc
- username: ttc
- password: ttc
- dial 555 for customer service
- TTC doesn't has a website
WiFi hotspots Edit
If you want faster internet in Funafuti, there is WiFi as a better alternative. TTC provides broadband access through WIFI hotspots in Funafuti. Their WIFI network deploys 5 hotspots and 7 repeaters distributed along the island. They dedicate 3 Mbps for WIFI access (with 2 Mbps in download and 1 Mbps upload).
You can buy a WiFi voucher in the Tuvalu Telecom office. The speed is good for video calls and for sending images and much faster than their mobile network.
- AU$ 5 for 100 MB
- AU$ 10 for 250 MB
- AU$ 20 for 600 MB
TTC WiFi is available in some places on the main island only, e.g in Funafuti Lagoon Hotel.
To connect, find WiFi with "Superwifi" in the title and connect. Open website http://126.96.36.199/24online/webpages/client.jsp and enter your username and password from voucher(very important! username and password all letters are lowercase).