July 2018 update: Big update due to many changes with Telikom’s plans. Article heavily modified.
Sept 2018 update: fixed up some new “features” aka things that make Telikom less great but still the cheapest.
Getting set up with Telikom
After my recent update on my Papua New Guinea internet guide, I have had quite a bit of feedback about the new Telikom PNG internet plans. Here is my foray into their plans and the best way to get the most out of them.
You can use your data via your mobile phone (4G SIM card), a mobile broadband modem (4G SIM card), a modem router (ADSL2+) or a router compatible with a fibre optic connection. In all cases you simply add kina (money) to your account and then choose data bundles to use.
I am only going to explain the process of getting the most out of a SIM card based connection at this time. I have heard of multiple issues from people with ADLS2+ connections which is not surprising considering how much PNG loves to neglect regular maintenance jobs; the copper wires are corroding away.
Regardless, the plans and pricing are all the same across all connections. ADSL is substantially cheaper if you have access to their copper or fibre; and it works.
First, get a new 4G LTE SIM card which will cost you about K20, you will need to go into an office and give photo ID and fill out a form. When you top up with large amounts of kina (up to K100) you get bonus data but it’s hardly worth mentioning as it is max 250MB with 2 day expiry.
Put the SIM in your phone, wait about 2 minutes and call 1500 to activate it. If the SIM does not work it may not compatible with Telikom’s frequency bands (3G 850MHz, 4G 1800Mhz); see below for more information.
After activation, go to https://sc.telikompng.com.pg/login and login with your phone number (written on the SIM packaging) and default password 123456. Immediately change your password as anyone can access you account in the time between activation and changing your password.
The most important thing to remember, and this goes for all PNG mobile providers, use data bundles at all time. If you don’t you will use your wallet balance at a ridiculously high rate and waste a lot of money. Don’t let this happen, monitor your data bundles levels and expiry dates regularly and buy new bundles when you are about to run out of bundle data. Don’t rely on Telikom SMSing you to remind you that a bundle is about to expire or you are about to use up the data. Their whole SMS system rarely works.
The expiry dates seem to be:
312 months for main wallet credit.
- 2 days for bonus data for topping up kina
- Regular data bundles have their validity posted next to them.
What’s great is, the entire main data bundle has it’s expiry date refreshed whenever you buy a new bundle. E.g. you buy a 7GB bundle and 13 days later you have 2GB remaining. You can buy a K9 400MB bundle and you will now have another 14 days to use 2.4GB as your main data.
Buying a new bundle will not extend the life of an existing bundle. It’s best to buy the new bundle and use up the expiring bundle before midnight of the date it is due to expire. You will use up old bundles before new bundles.
When you use the credit card facility on sc.telikom.com.pg, you get taken to an ANZ payment screen and you enter your credit card details. I haven’t tried with my Westpac PNG Visa card but my Australian Citibank Plus Visa works fine. Once you have kina in your Telikom wallet, you can use this credit to buy bundles. Until you have worked out how much data you use on average, I would not put a lot of money in your wallet, see bold writing above.
Like I mentioned in my other post, Telikom is cheaper but it requires more maintenance and monitoring to effectively use the data you buy.
A high data plan would cost you K250 per month and get you 14GB which is slightly more expensive than some of Datec’s Home Plans (albeit they are frustratingly slow between 08:00-18:00 Mon-Fri).
Telikom PNG APN Settings
Create a new APN (Access Point Name) profile and put the following settings in, leave all other settings as their default setting.
Name: Telikom Mobile Internet
APN Protocol: IPv4
APN Roaming: IPv4
APN type: default (if you have issues, try default,supl. Adding dun sometimes helps when you are trying to hotspot your phone.)
Telikom Speed Tests (thanks to a friendly reader)
I live closer to Konedobu overlooking the Yachtie and get slightly slower speeds throughout the day…
Telikom Frequency Bands in PNG
3G – 850MHz (Band 5. Telstra uses this frequency so if your phone works with Telstra, it will work on 3G here.)
4G – 1800MHz (Band 3. Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all use this frequency in Australia.)
As provided by a “senior” employee at Telikom via email. Australian frequency data from Whirlpool.
Digicel Frequency Bands in PNG
3G – 900MHz (Band 8. Used by Optus and Vodafone in Australia.)
4G – 700Mhz (Band 28. Telstra and Optus use this in Australia.)
If you have issues with your iPhone, update your iPhone to iOS 10.3 and you should be OK, see comments below for more info. I have been told that plugging it into iTunes is an easy way to update the APN/SIM settings.