The islands of French Polynesia (including Tahiti and Moorea) have two network operators right now:
- Vini S.A.S.
- Vodafone (Pacific Mobile Telecom)
In 2013 a third operator called Mara Telecom was declared bankrupt.
Vini is the clear market leader on the five archipelagos. It started in 1995 with 2G on 900 MHz and covers already 62 islands and 98% of population. Its 3G started in 2009 on 2100 MHz and is available in a limited area: 3G Coverage. 4G/LTE started with Vini in 2015 and is announced by Vodafone for the end of 2017.
In 2013 Pacific Mobile Telecom formed a partnership with Vodafone. So they sell their 2G and 3G on 900 Mhz under the brand name of Vodafone, but their coverage is much lower than Vini's.
For buying a SIM card you need to present an ID card, passport or drivers license.
Vini S.A.S. is owned by the state-backed Office des Postes et Telecommunications (OPT) and is the principal provider in the country. 4G/LTE started in 2015 on 800 and 2600 MHz bands (7, 20) .
The starter pack called Vinicard Classic for the voice and data SIM is sold at their stores and outlets: Vinipack Sales Points for 850 F. It comes with 17 minutes of domestic voice and 70 domestic SMS. Their Vinicard Extra for 1750 F doesn't contain data as well. So it can be recommeded as starter for data users.
Recharge vouchers are available there for 500, 1000 and 2000 F. Check credit by texting 'conso' to 7100.
Data feature packs
Default data rate outside of packs is 56.8 F per MB. So better buy packages that are offered only very small:
|10 MB||100 F||1 hour||IM10|
|50 MB||350 F||24 hours||IM50|
For activation text code to 7071. Package won't renew automatically. For more volume get a data SIM.
Their data-only card is called Internet Mobile Prépayé. You can't use it for voice and you can only have data and SMS. The start-up price for the data SIM is 2050 F loaded with 500 MB. These are valid for 30 days. It's sold in these stores: Vini Internet Mobile Sales Points. Recharges must be made within 30 days to keep the SIM alive You can recharge them with these vouchers:
- 100 MB for 15 days: 500 F
- 200 MB for 30 days: 1000 F
- 400 MB for 30 days: 2000 F
Each voucher has a 14-digit code. This must be sent to 7010. You may put it a mobile phone for that. You may have to send "GO" to 7010 to get the service started at all. To check data balance text 'conso' to 7100, as you don't get a warning SMS, if you are low on credit. SIM card is valid for 3 months after the 500 F recharge and 6 month after the 1000 F or 2000 F recharges.
- APN: internet
- Website in French: http://www.vini.pf/
Vodafone (by Pacific Mobile Telecom)
Since 2013 PMT sells its products under the brand name of Vodafone. If you travel within the archipelago, Vini may be the better choice.
Vodafone is slowly getting better 3G coverage now, but still not as good as Vini. Better make a network scan before you buy a starter kit. 4G/LTE is announced for the end of 2017.
They sell three starter packs in their stores (list).
- Vodafone 321: 750 F with 36 MB
- Vodafone Brad: 1450 F with 68 MB
- Vodafone Brad API: 2250 F, two SIM cards with 136 MB
The three plans have slightly different rates for voice, but the same rate for data.
Recharge coupons are available for 500 F, 1000 F, 1100 F valid for 30 days, 2100 F valid for 75 days and 5100 F valid for 90 days. To check data balance dial *1122#, you will get SMS in return.
Default data rate is 11 F per MB on all prepaid plans. All data use stays on this rate. So a recharge of 500 F gives 45 MB, of 1000 F 90 MB and so on.
Additionally, they sell two once-off data-only SIM cards called Internet Mobile Prepayé in their shops:
- 500 MB: 1950 F
- 1 GB: 2450 F
They can only be loaded with the same recharge vouchers at their standard rate of 11 F per MB.
In 2017 they introduced a Tourist SIM for visitors. It's sold for 5000 F and contains 1 GB data, 30 mins of local calls and 30 mins of international calls valid for 15 days. It's sold at the airport and in some of their stores.
- APN: any (e.g. internet)
- Website in French: http://www.vodafone.pf/index.php