A useful article about mobile communication, roaming, and internet in Maldives. You will learn everything about local mobile operators, where to buy a SIM card, how much it costs, what speeds are available, and what to expect with free internet. After reading, you will be able to decide whether to buy a SIM card here or use roaming, or maybe rely on the Wi-Fi in your hotel.

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Mobile communication in Maldives

Here are the key points you need to know:

  • There are two mobile operators in the country.
    • Ooredoo – is an operator that operates in 17 Middle Eastern and Asian countries. For example, it is the main operator in Qatar, Algeria, Kuwait, and Tunisia.
  • Both operators have the same coverage and 4G network. In terms of call quality, they are also the same, equally poor. However, they have already started implementing 5G.
mobile communications in maldives
SIM cards are universal and can fit any slot: micro, nano, or regular.

About the quality of mobile communication in Maldives:

Overall, it is much worse than ours. This is due to the small size of the islands and low population density. A large island here is considered to be 2 km by 2 km, where 2000 people live, and there are many islands. Building a mobile network under such conditions is very expensive. Therefore, internet speeds are low, and the price of mobile communication in Maldives and internet is high.

By “poor speeds,” I mean something like 10 Mbps. This is enough for Instagram and YouTube. But do not expect speeds and ping like at home.

Internet in Maldives: packages, prices, where to buy

Everything is the same here as with the quality of communication, all the same. I even consider this to be price collusion, and I wonder where the antitrust authorities are, but that’s how it is.

  • Both operators have data packages for tourists, two packages each.
  • The packages are absolutely the same, there is no difference in price either:
    • 20 GB of internet for 30 days for $40
    • 30GB of internet for 30 days for $50. And 70GB for social media (Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp).
    • You can share the internet (use hotspot), meaning that you can buy one SIM card for several people.
    • Detailed information on prices for all goods and services for tourists in the Maldives.


Prices and tariffs are subject to periodic changes, so always check the latest information on the official websites of the operators if it’s important to you. The links were provided at the beginning of the article. Please leave a comment if there are any changes, as I may not always be able to track prices online, but I will update them as quickly as possible.
data plans for internet in maldives
Above are the prices and tariffs of Ooredoo, below are those of Dhiraagu – can you spot the difference? It’s a price conspiracy 🙂 By the time you read this article, prices have already increased 🙁

Let me tell you where to buy a SIM card. There are several options, but the easiest one is at the airport because all the other options require luck, time, and more effort:

  • At the main international airport, Velana, where you will arrive, there are SIM card vending machines for both operators in the arrival area. You can purchase a SIM card there by yourself.
  • There are also service centers for each operator at the airport. It’s easier to sign up there, and it’s more understandable, also you can pay in cash there.
  • There are a few SIM card retail shops in Male as well. There are also main offices for the operators where you can buy a SIM card, but they are not conveniently located, and it’s more than 1 km on foot from the ferry terminal, where the ferry from the airport arrives.
  • There are also dealers selling SIM cards on local islands. However, I wouldn’t count on them at all since their operating hours are unknown. I don’t even remember seeing such a retail shop open.
  • You can buy e-sim online from Ooredoo while still at home. Very convenient, the plane just touched the runway in Male, and you already have local internet. Suitable for those whose phone supports esim. You can buy a SIM card here.
    • For new customers a 15% discount is available until April 30th using the promo code APR15, and for existing customers a 10% discount can be applied with the promo code APR10 (limited to the first 10000 orders).   
where to buy sim maldives
There are two such SIM card vending machines installed at the airport in the arrival area, and you won’t miss them.

Free Wi-Fi in Maldives: All you need to know about Wi-Fi

There is free Wi-Fi at any hotel, resort, or local island. It’s often available even in some small restaurants. The speeds are not great everywhere, but photos load and YouTube works. Overall, you won’t be without the internet in Maldives.

If you don’t need to be online for work all the time and only need internet in your hotel room, then it’s not worth buying a SIM card, and you’ll save $50.

internet in Maldives
Here’s what a dealer’s communication salon looks like on any local island. Need a SIM card? Buy one as soon as you arrive because it can be difficult to do later.

Roaming in the Maldives

Always decide on this before your trip. The most important thing is to find out the roaming prices from your operator, otherwise you could be greatly disappointed with the bill you receive when you return home.

If roaming is important to you, make sure it is even available in the Maldives, and also turn off data transmission before you depart. This action can save you a lot of money:

  • I have two SIM cards from different operators at home.
  • One has no roaming agreement with anyone in the Maldives. The SIM card simply doesn’t work here.
  • The second has roaming in the Maldives through Ooredoo. But the prices are astronomical.

Good to know:

Roaming as a service is slowly dying today. Upon arrival, just find an internet connection and all your messengers, email clients, and social networks will work. Classic communication while traveling is no longer really necessary. Roaming in the Maldives is insanely expensive. But did you really think that roaming would be cheap when internet in Maldives for tourists costs $50? Mobile communication is expensive here for reasons that were explained at the beginning of the article.
where to buy a sim card in the maldives
The main office of one of the operators in Male can tell you everything you need to know about internet in Maldives.

Travel tips

I’ll give you some advice, but I believe you’re smart enough to have already grasped the essence of it and decided whether you need a SIM card or not:

  • Don’t count on roaming in the Maldives, it’s insanely expensive.
  • I only recommend buying a SIM card to those who need to be online constantly.
  • It doesn’t matter which operator you choose: the prices, tariffs, and quality of communication are all the same. Buy from the store you find first.
  • Since both communication stores are located in the same place at the airport, buy from the one with the shorter queue.
  • Remember: the islands are small, and you’ll be spending a lot of time in your room or around it. If you need free internet, it’s easy to reach within 5 minutes at the hotel.
  • You won’t find a SIM card on a local island, so it’s better to buy it at the airport right away.
  • I also recommend reading the article on how and where to buy cheap tickets to the Maldives.

In conclusion, there is internet in Maldives, but it’s expensive. Those who need it will get it, and others can save $50 on a SIM card and use the hotel’s free Wi-Fi instead.

If you enjoyed the article and the content in this guide, you can buy me a coffee ^_^

Resources to help you plan your dream trip to the Maldives

  • Flight tickets and the best deals
  • Tour packages (from budget to luxury): Expedia
  • Hotels and guesthouses on any island:
    • Hotellook compares prices among a dozen other services and platforms and offers to choose the best one.
    • Booking – the most popular service for booking accommodation.
    • Agoda – the main competitor of Booking.
  • 12go is the largest Asian transfer service. It gathers all Maldivian carriers, even the small ones that operate between local islands.
  • Tours and excursions: Viator – a limited selection of excursions, but convenient and reliable.
  • Comprehensive insurance: EKTA
  • eSIM at the same price as in telecom office in Male.