Cell Service in Puerto Rico, coverage and carriers:
I don’t know about you, but when I travel, cell service is always one of the first things I ask about. I mean international travel is challenging enough as it is, so staying in touch with friends and family or simply being able to call home in case of emergency, are very important to me.
In this post, I will tell you about my experience with cell service in Puerto Rico. I will share my findings on carriers and coverage.
Most often, when I travel to another country, I take an unlocked U.S. phone and buy a local SIM card to put in it. This tends to be the cheapest option overall and allows me stay in touch.
Cell Service in Puerto Rico, however, is a bit different. Since the island is a territory, there is no need for dealing with foreign carriers (although it is an option if you choose) instead you can simply use your existing U.S. cell service provider and phone.
Both Tim and I have AT&T cell phones and we brought them with us on our trip to Puerto Rico. I had some initial concerns about additional or hidden fees but after contacting AT&T, I learned that my worries were unfounded. My U.S. family shared plan simply extended to Puerto Rico. We didn’t have to get an international plan or change anything; we just took our phones and used them.
Other companies that offer cell service in Puerto Rico are: Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Claro, and Open Mobile (local). Each have different degrees of coverage and customer service.
This was actually a nice surprise. It turns out that cell coverage in Puerto Rico is quite good. I even decided to bring my Microsoft Surface 2 tablet with me, which has 4G LTE, and it worked great.
In San Juan, the coverage was excellent – this we expected. But the big question was: how is the coverage outside of the main city?
I have to tell you, it was great! We traveled around, up and down the coast of Puerto Rico and we did not find any spots were we had no phone coverage. There are areas where this was not the case, like in the mountains, but we generally did not have problems in towns or near the coast. In fact, the 4G LTE signal for my Surface tablet was equally good, so we used it for navigation.
So, AT&T came through for us in this regard. Here is the AT&T coverage map:
In comparison, Verizon also offers full coverage for voice and messaging in Puerto Rico. However, their 4G and data coverage on the island are poor, you can check out the Verizon coverage map in Puerto Rico.
In my opinion, it is quite convenient to be able to bring my U.S. plan to Puerto Rico and use it anywhere. It is also quite nice that, when we moved here, I was able to keep my existing phone number. What’s not so nice is that the plans tend to have U.S. prices, i.e. are much more expensive than the plans we saw in Costa Rica, Panama, and even Mexico.
I hope you found this post helpful. Do you have any experience with cell service in Puerto Rico? If so, please share, I’d love to hear about it.