Buying an Iceland SIM card can help you stay connected to your loved ones and also have a safer trip in case you need help or assistance. These are the best options.
Iceland is a wonderful country to visit in any season of the year. Hence, before you board your flight down here, it’s important you check what options phone companies have to offer. There are two things to bear in mind: their coverage and cost.
Getting an Iceland Sim Card is a great idea. This way, you don’t have to incur unnecessary roaming charges that can likely eat into your traveling budget.
Also, keep in mind that using your phone in Iceland can be very expensive. To keep costs on the low side, it's better to switch to a local prepaid option when you enter the country to take advantage of the better deals and tariffs.
Moreover, encountering extreme weather conditions in Iceland is quite possible. Having phone service will warrant you to contact friends and families or in more severe cases call the police if you are in dire need of emergency.
Will my Phone Work in Iceland?
Before we start talking about which is the best sim card or where to buy a sim card in Iceland, we need to establish some premises. Iceland makes use of GSM technology (traditional European frequencies) when it comes to its mobile networks. You then need to make sure whether your phone will actually work on the island.
So, if you have a CDMA (American frequencies) phone, it will not work in Iceland, irrelevant of which local sim card you insert. If you’re not sure how what technology your phone uses, the following are good indicators:
- If your phone has a Sim card slot, the odds of it being a GSMA phone are good.
- If your phone is one of the latest models, the odds of it being a GSMA phone are also good.
- If you come from Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania, or the Middle East, your phone more than likely works on GSM technology.
- If you come from North-South or Central America or the Caribbean, your phone probably works on CDMA technology. You’ll need to get an entirely new phone on the island along with a sim card.
Where to Buy a SIM Card in Iceland?
It is important that you have a prepaid SIM card if you are planning a road trip to Iceland, so you can get around with ease. Also, make sure that your phone is unlocked before you get here, so you won’t have any problems with the prepaid sim cards here.
Getting a SIM card at the Keflavik airport is super easy. In fact, it should take you less than 10 minutes to get your prepaid sim card set up all by yourself and working smoothly before you leave the airport.
All you need is to get to one of the convenience stores within the airport area. Among them, you have the 10/11 store and Eymundsson bookstore both are inside Keflavik airport terminal. There, you can buy the plan that suits you best.
TIP 1: All SIM cards here will likely come in all 3-in-1 fitted package sizes - the standard size, the Micro size, and the Nano size.
TIP 2: All SIM cards here are also likely to have 4G coverage, except in some remote areas where 3G is the norm.
About Iceland’s Telco Providers
There are lots of places you can buy your prepaid mobile SIM cards when you arrive. You can get it from the terminal stores, supermarkets, drugstores, kiosks, and even official outlets.
The good thing about Icelandic phone operators are is that you don’t need any form of ID before you purchase any SIM card. That is because your mobile phone number is already active when purchased. Adding credit is also super easy as there are lots of prepaid card machines, shops, and supermarkets all around Iceland.
Here are some mobile operators you might likely need to know more about:
If you are looking for the widest coverage of mobile phone operators, the Síminn Company easily comes to mind. Not just that they have the widest coverage, but they also stand as the oldest phone company in Iceland. Therefore, they boast better quality in data and voice calls.
The first point of contact when you arrive in Iceland with Siminn is at the Keflavik airport. You can find them either at their SIM kiosk or behind the claim your baggage area at the duty-free shop.
If you are coming in with your smartphone, tablet, or computer, they have you covered with their plans. Siminn packages come with varying prices depending on the deals you prefer. They are the market leader for 3G networks and steadily growing their 4G operation.
Siminn Iceland Prices
Their plans come with 2 options:
- Voice and Data
- Data only
The voice and data go for ISK 2,900 which includes the 50 minutes’ voice call, 50 SMS, and 50GB of data. The data-only SIM card can be purchased at ISK 2,000 with 1GB of data.
You can also get the following data packs added to both SIM cards
- 1GB ISK 1,700
- 5GB ISK 2,700
- 10GB ISK 3,700
- 50GB ISK 5,700
The next best prepaid SIM card operator in Iceland is the Vodafone Company. They are the biggest rivals to Siminn and they also, just like their competitor, offer 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks. Because of their competitive nature, they tend to offer lower prices and great packages to subscribers.
Their SIM cards can be purchased at the Keflavik airport (their official kiosk and at the duty-free shop). Also, at supermarkets, gas stations, kiosks, and drugstores. They also offer varying prices and packages for your computers, smartphones, and tablets. You can also purchase credits from most local retailers, departmental stores, or corner stores.
Vodafone Iceland Prices
For Vodafone, you have the options for prepaid voice and data usage for the sum of ISK 2,000. Unlike their competitors, they offer unlimited local calls including 1GB of data which is valid for 30 days.
After the first 30 days you can activate the following package depending on your preference:
Plan S: ISK 500 credit, 500 local minutes, 1GB of Data, and unlimited local SMS and is sold for ISK 1,100
Plan M: ISK 1, 000 credit, 1,000 local minutes, 5GB of Data, and unlimited local SMS and is sold for ISK2100
Plan L: ISK 3, 500 credit, unlimited local SMS and minutes, 15GB OF Data and is sold for ISK 3,500
Vodafone also has these data packs added to their plan:
- 300MB ISK 690
- 500MB ISK 1,090
- 1GB ISK 1,390
- 5GB ISK 2,490
Nova is essentially the phone service provider of Iceland (unofficially). They have the most extensive network coverage and their prices are very affordable. That’s why many would say that it is the best sim card to get in Iceland.
Nova’s signal works especially well when you’re in the southwestern part of the island (around the capital city of Reykjavík). However, you may run into some trouble in other parts of the country, especially the north and other more remote regions.
Nova Iceland Prices
Nova offers 4 sim card options to choose from in Iceland (and all of these include unlimited calls and texts within Iceland):
- 1 GB data for ISK 1 790 (+/- $12.50) per month
- 10 GB data for ISK 2 490 (+/- $17.40) per month
- 100 GB data for ISK 3 290 (+/- $23.00) per month
- 250 GB data for ISK 6 490 (+/- $45.40) per month
An eSim Card as Alternative
An eSim is another alternative that you can opt for. This is a digital SIM that allows you to use your normal service provider and mobile phone package whilst traveling abroad. By purchasing an eSim Card, you’re never actually receiving a physical sim card.
Since there are many eSim Card service providers, do a proper deep-dive into all the eSim Cards that are available in Iceland. This way, you can see which one suits your needs (and budget) best.
Save on Costs With Your Iceland Sim Card
In conclusion, as you purchase your prepaid SIM card, keep in mind that, you now have a brand-new Icelandic phone number. Therefore, it is highly recommended, if you want to save costs, to use your data mobile for text and calls via your skype or WhatsApp.
Use your Icelandic voice minutes when you are making your restaurant reservations, renting a car in Reykjavík, or a hotel accommodation booking.