The Bahamas Telecommunications Company, Batelco, offers GSM cellular coverage on Pigeon Cay and in Arthur’s Town to the north and New Bight to the south. In addition, if you have landline phone you can also get high speed internet service using DSL. However, the phone lines at Pigeon Cay are subject to flooding so heavy rains may cause the DSL internet to stop working, so be prepared. If you hear a lot of buzzing on your landline the Internet may not work until the lines are dry. Also, it may be necessary to power cycle your DSL router after a power outage by unplugging the power cord, waiting ten seconds and plugging it back in and waiting for the DSL connection to be restored.
Some US and EU cellular providers have roaming agreements with Batelco, so it’s possible your mobile phone will work here, but be aware some carriers have roaming fees that are very high, up to $3 per minute and similarly as high for broadband data access. T-Mobile in the US now offers customers in the Bahamas free unlimited texting, free unlimited 2G cellular data and 20 cents per minute for calls to the US and within the Bahamas. Verizon Wireless has a similar plan as well, so check with your home wireless carrier.
If your home cellular carrier offers WiFi calling plans you can use your cell phone on a WiFi network in the Bahamas, usually at no additional cost. WhatsApp is another alternative way to make free voice and video calls from Android and iPhones. Carriers and phones differ, so make sure to get details on how to setup your service.
If your mobile phone is ‘unlocked’ you can purchase a Batelco prepaid SIM card at retailers in the Nassau airport, or at the Batelco phone office in Arthur’s Town or New Bight for $15 to $20. Then you can purchase prepaid calling minutes in $5 increments for making local and international calls. If you use the Batelco SIM card at least once every three months, or add credit to it once every three months, you can keep the number active and not lose it,, so you won’t have to keep purchasing a new SIM each trip.
You can add funds to your prepaid BTC calling card by visiting https://www.btcbahamas.com and click on the Yellow “Top Up” button at the top of the page. If you haven’t setup an account you can do so on the Top Up web page as well.