With Digicel leading the way with the lowest data costs it might be handy to know how to sign up to them for bulk data use and how to access secret plans, e.g. 50GB for K549.
Sign up to Digicel prepaid
Go to a Digicel shop/booth, ask for a SIM which will cost you K10.
You will need a photo ID like a driver’s licence or passport. The staff filled out my form for me which seemed to only need name, date of birth, licence number and an address, PO box is fine. They then take a photo of your ID, your form and you. You can keep the form in case you lose your SIM; the form is proof you can get another SIM to replace the lost one.
They will then put the SIM in your phone and immediately send you a message with a “tac” number that they use to validate/activate the SIM.
Initial data bundle
If you want to load up the SIM with a data bundle on the spot, they will help you turn off your mobile data and send your SIM credit to the value you need, e.g. K230. You then use the *777# USSD codes to buy a data bundle, e.g. 20GB. You can then turn mobile data back on.
Why turn mobile data off? If they send you K230 and your phone receives some background data, that will use up your credit before you can buy a data bundle, e.g. your credit goes down to K229. As the *777# menu doesn’t use data, it’s safer to temporarily turn data off.
Download the app
Head to whatever app store you use and grab the “My Digicel” app. Put in your new number and you will get an SMS to verify the app and link your account. You can use the app on any phone, it does not need to have the chosen SIM card in it; handy for dongle use.
WiFi at home
You can either hotspot your smartphone so other devices can connect to your phone or get a device that can share internet via a SIM card; known as a portable modem, internet dongle, USB modem, 4G router or pocket WiFi hub . At present, you can get an Alcatel 4G Mifi Device from Digicel, link, for K159 which includes 20GB of data for 7 days. If you don’t want to use a device Digicel provides, simply find your own that operates on the following frequency bands:
3G – 900MHz (Band 8. Used by Optus and Vodafone in Australia.)
4G – 700Mhz (Band 28. Telstra and Optus use this in Australia.)
Have a read here for some ideas about other brands you can buy: https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum/18
Read here about how mobile broadband works: https://www.whistleout.com.au/Broadband/Guides/mobile-broadband-everything-you-need-to-know
I HIGHLY recommend you get a device that records the total amount of data it uses so when you complain about Digicel stealing your data you can look at your actualdata usage on your device and realise you are actually in the wrong and don’t realise how much background data your devices consume.
Secret ‘gifted’ Mifi plans
At the time of writing this article, Digicel has just pulled its K230 for 20GB plan which means the Mifi plans are back to being the best value. The only problem is you need a second Digicel prepaid SIM card to send the plans from.
- If you already have a Digicel SIM, contact Digicel through live chat, email or call them and tell them you have been given a “Mifi device” and you want to turn the SIM card you already have into a Mifi SIM. Otherwise, when you buy the SIM, tell them it is for a Mifi device you have at home. This is the SIM card that you will put in your modem/dongle and use data from; MifiSIM.
- Activate and register a second Digicel SIM (GiftSIM) with the My Digicel app. This is the SIM you will put money on and send plans from.
- Put enough credit on GiftSIM (see prices below)
- In the My Digicel app go to Menu (3 bars) – Additional Services – Plan Gifting. Type in your MifiSIM number, press Check Additional Plans, minimise keyboard. Scroll all the way down and you should see something like this…
Or just use regular plans..
If you can’t be bothered gifting plans to yourself, I have it on good authority that the K230 for 20GB plan will be back in Jan/Feb 2019. You can put your Digicel SIM in any WiFi sharing device and buy data bundles for it on any phone using the My Digicel app.
If you have trouble with the app, a lot of devices have a web GUI (usually accessed through something like 192.168.1.1 in your browser while on its WiFi). From there you might have an option to send USSD codes (will be near the SMS menu). You can then use your usual *777#, *675#, *120# and *130# codes for credit top ups, data bundle purchasing and credit/balance checks.