Who is the best cell phone provider for the islands? Do I need to get a tri-band international cell phone for St. John? A friend said they couldn't use their cell phone last time they were there. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
Sprint or AT&T/Cingular seem to be the most prevalent.
I'm not on island at the moment, but my understanding of coverage on St. John is that Sprint and AT&T/Cingular both have voice coverage on the east end, many spots are hit or miss, and you might or might not get Sprint coverage depending on where you are in Coral Bay but almost definitely no AT&T. Beware of international roaming charges from the BVI tower if you're on the North Shore. A tri-band phone would probably improve your reception but wallop your wallet.
Check your carrier's coverage map of the islands to find out more; most of them have an online tool to explore this. AT&T's shows basically the above scenario.
My experience having both AT&T hands down. Sprint signal in the USVI is not as strong as AT&T also when you travel to the BVI you can easily roam with cable and wireless with uses GSM as AT&T. Sprint uses CDMA like verizon.
AT&T would be your best choice. They have at least one tower on STJ and I think two, Sprint's signal comes from Red Hook on STT. Sprint does not have coverage in STJ except the Cruz Bay area and high up on Gift Hill. I am a Sprint customer. Sprint has no in plan coverage in the east end. I do have a Roam America plan which allows me to use my Sprint phone most on most of STJ. However there is an area up on Centerline Rd near the clinic and east of there you may pick up a tower on Tortola. That means large international roaming charges. Neither Sprint or At&T have coverage in Fish Bay. It is a big dead spot for the most part. Hope this helps.
The USVI's are included in the normal mainland plan.....that means no roaming charges from the USVI to the U.S. mainland.
Also, good signal strength (my experience on STT & STJ)........additionally, we can reach the tower on STJ from some parts of Tortola, Jost and Norman Island.....so no extra charges from the BVI company.
However, get a quad band - GSM phone....so you can use it anywhere in the world......we have the "Razor".
In regards to picking up signal from Tortola while you are in STJ not at all i was there yesterday in and around cruz bay then i went to Coral Bay had no problem while my boat was anchor in Chocolate whole i go as far as i was able late the afternoon to go in my laptop with my att wireless card had no problems picking up any signal from ATT and i was not roaming with Cable and wireless in tortola?????
Thank you very much for all the helpful information! I currently have AT&T so I will check with them about roaming, quad band, etc. Can't wait to get to the islands! 🙂
Sprint stinks! been using since 2000....started it stateside..
i travel alot so i didnt change it...but it really is lousy in USVI and big time roaming fees in BVI...great in San Juan..