Internet and Communication in The Maldives
Where to Buy Local Sim Card in Male Airport
WiFi in the Maldives is available in almost all hotels and resort islands. Not infrequently the Internet is only available in the lobby area, in bars and restaurants, and a considerable fee is charged for using wifi (about $ 20 per day). As an alternative, rooms can have wired internet with laptops. The same can be said about some inhabited islands, where tourism is a relatively new phenomenon for the Maldives, and the infrastructure is still developing.
However, you do not need to worry about your Facebook status to tease your friends by sending them photos of swimming with whale sharks and manta rays, selfies with stunning beaches and turquoise water. You can simply buy an affordable local SIM card for mobile internet and use 4G LTE data connection technology.
In Maldives, there are two mobile operators: Ooredoo (formerly Wataniya) and Dhiraagu. Both providers have 99% coverage in the Maldives. You will have an ideal internet connection, even if you are traveling by a public ferry between local islands. We used the services of both names and can honestly tell you that the quality is the same. Both operators offer prepaid and postpaid tariffs.
Postpaid tariffs assume payment of bills once a month and are available only to the lucky Maldivians. Prepaid fares are available to everyone, often not even a passport is required.
You can buy a SIM card from any operator (and you must) right at the Malé airport. The sales office is located in the so-called business center. After the exit the luggage claim area at once turn right and the both the offices of Dhiraagu and Ooreedoo will be on your right-hand side. Also, the operators' offices are on the inhabited islands, and even in the hotel it is not difficult to buy a sim card. The resort's staff actively (though not very legally) is engaged in their sale, from the room-boy you can buy and replenish vouchers (oddly enough at cost).
But if you are not reluctant to intrigue, do not want to lose time, finding out in the hotel "logins and passwords", wait (like at the evening money - at the morning card), then you should take care of the communication issue immediately upon arrival. And at the airport to buy a SIM card, vouchers for replenishment and cards for pay phones.
It is believed that the best quality of communication and a wider coverage area for Dhiraagu. Ooredoo is more intended for local and residents and the best signal is on residential islands.
Sim card Ooredoo costs 30 MRV, while in the account you will have only 20 MRV. The cost of calls depends on the time of day (from 0.49 to 0.89MRV per minute within the network and from 0.69 to 0.99MRV per minute to other Maldivian numbers - after 11pm and Fridays cheaper). The message inside the country costs 0.20 MRV, the international message is 1MRV. For 10 MRV you can connect a package of unlimited calls and messages (to the numbers of national operators) for one day. A package of 500 sms messages will cost 19MRV. Oopedoo offers international IDD calls at a discount. To do this, when you leave for an international connection, instead of the usual "00", you need to dial "011".
Dhiraagu offers quite a large selection of prepaid tariffs. The SIM card is initially sold with the Standard Plan tariff and costs 30MRV (on the account 20MRV). The cost of the call also depends on the time of day (from 0.55 to 0.99MRV per minute within the network and from 0.55 to 1.50MRV per minute to other Maldivian numbers - cheaper after 1am). The message inside the network costs 0.20MRV, within the country 0.50MRV. It is possible to connect five favorite numbers - three Dhiraagu operator numbers, two international numbers - and call them at a discount of 15 and 10 percent respectively.
In addition to the standard tariff, there are various offers focused on specific services. For example, with RED tariff the sms messages inside the network will cost 0.01MRV, and access to Tweeter and FB messenger will be free.
You can change the tariff yourself by sending an SMS with a code word to the number 444.
Dhiraagu also offers to make international calls at a discount, dialing at the international call "019" instead of "00".
As for mobile Internet, Ooredoo offers to connect with packages. All packages are valid for 30 days. The minimum amount of traffic is 500 megabytes for 99MRV, maximum is 12 gigabytes for 899MRV. A package of two gigabytes can be purchased for 199MRV. You can activate the Internet package by calling a special number (* 929 #) or using a top-up card (Data Recharge Cards).
Dhiraagu offers 3 prepaid options for the Internet: the Internet "for the phone" (mobile internet prepaid) and the Internet "for the tablet" (TouchNet prepaid). The difference between the first and second is the amount of traffic and the duration of the action. "For the phone" there are hourly (25 megabytes for 10MRV) and one-day packages (125 megabytes for 25MRV). For 299MRV you can connect a "unlimited" Internet package for 30 days. Unlimited, of course, conditional and is limited to 2.2 gigabytes. After using this traffic, the speed drops, but the fee for additional megabytes is not charged. Mobile internet prepaid is connected by a package to an existing number.
TouchNet prepaid is an independent tariff, that is it is necessary to purchase a starter package for 199MRV, which includes a SIM card and a 100MRV recharge voucher (this amount will be on your account). Next, you need to select and connect the amount of traffic you need (maximum 6 gigabytes per 500MRV). Hereyou can see the list of islands where mobile Internet from Dhiraagu is available.
You can top-up the account at the offices of official dealers (Dhiraagu, Ooredoo), with the help of ATMs of Bank of Maldives. You can also do this using top-up cards. Officially they are sold in the offices of operators, unofficially they are distributed by hotel staff. You will find top-up cards at almost any supermarket on the various local islands. Just tell the cashier your provider and they will help you finding the right top-up card. You can easily check your remaining balance by dialing *123*6*3*1#.
Paid access to their hotspots on many islands offers Dhiraagu. To connect, you need to purchase prepaid vouchers. Unlimited wifi use will cost 95MRV per day.
Internet cafes in the usual way we can find in Male and some local islands.
At hotels and resorts, an Internet café may be located in a "business center", or it may be a pair of computers in the lobby area. In most hotels, using computers is a paid service and very expensive (about $ 10 per hour). In an Internet cafe on residential islands the cost of an hour of the Internet is on average $ 3.
Call from the payphone can be paid by Dhiraagu calling card. Officially, cards are sold in the offices of "Dhiraagu shop", unofficially a card can be purchased from hotel staff.
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