Using Cell Phones & Calling Cards in Bermuda
While in Bermuda as a tourist, you will most likely make a few calls back home and make some local calls as well. You may be carrying your cell phone (with international dialing and roaming activated), or may decide to take a rental cell phone in Bermuda or alternatively use an international calling card.
All these options work in Bermuda. When dialing an international call from Bermuda, you will need to use the following dialing rules for calling a land line number: For USA and Canada: 1-(Area Code)-(Local Number). Other countries: 011-(Country Code)-(Area Code)-(Local Number).
If you are making an international call from Bermuda to someone's cell phone, then don't dial the Area Code. While using calling cards, follow the instructions as stated in the card. For making calls within Bermuda (i.e. for making local calls) from your international roaming cell phone, note the following:
Bermuda's country code is 441 and the local phone numbers are 7 digits long. So, if you are calling a Bermuda phone number, you will need to dial 1, then 441 as the country code and then the local seven digit number. So for example to call a local taxi, dial 1-441-(7 digit number).
In case you want to make a call to a Bermuda number before you start your travel, that is from your own home country, then use the following rules:
1) USA and Canada, dial 1-441-(seven digit number).
2) Other countries, 001-441-(seven digit number).
Using Cell Phones in Bermuda
Most of the cell phones, particularly ones using GSM technology and having international dialing service activated will work in Bermuda. For example if you are from the U.S. and using a regular cell phone (carrier) service from Verizon/AT&T/Sprint etc, your cell phone will work in Bermuda.
However, make sure that you call up the operator and set up the International Dialing and Roaming in your phone. Otherwise your cell phone won't work. Also be careful. The international roaming rates can be quite high. So check out the rates before you start. Most operators charge even for incoming text messages (on which you really have no control). Some operators charge you for the roaming even if you do not use the phone but only switch it on in Bermuda.
Some of these cell phone service operators (carriers) also have arrangements with cruise ships so that you can use your cell phone even while on a cruise and out of range from Bermuda's mobile towers. Remember that cruise ship rates for cell phone usage are different and much higher. Operators like AT&T offer different plans while you visit another country. For example a $10 plan lets you send up to 50 text messages from Bermuda back home to the US or locally.
Not all cell phones have international capability. So if you want to verify whether your cell phone will work in Bermuda, you can call 1-703-222-7161 in the US, or alternatively visit this link: http://intouchglobal.com/travel.htm and fill up a short form. This is a free service and they will let you know about your cell phone's capability.
The international activation in your cell phone will not cost you much. But the roaming charge while in Bermuda can be substantial - anywhere between $1 to $5 a minute depending on the operator and time of call.
Pre-Paid Local SIM Cards
A good option is to buy a pre-paid SIM card in Bermuda once you arrive. There are various plans offered by the operators including packages with local and international calls, SMS, Data etc (it will be cheaper compared to using international SIM cards with roaming facility).
You will get a Bermuda local number and be able to make both local and international calls and also send text messages. However your cell phone must be unlocked so that such SIM cards can be used.
There are two major Cell Phone operators in Bermuda - Digicel and One Communications (formerly CellOne). You can get prepaid SIM cards at several stores including the following:
Digicel. Boyle Building, corner of Queen and Church Street, Hamilton, open Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm, and until 7pm on some days. They offer several bundled plans (known as Freedom Bundles) such as $10 (100 minutes talk time, 100 SMS, 100MB data, valid for 7 days), $25 (300 minutes talk time, 300 SMS, 300MB data, valid for 14 days) etc. These bundles include unlimited social media use such as facebook, twitter and whatsapp.
One Communications. 18, Church Street, Hamilton. Open Monday to Saturday, 8am to 6pm. They also have stores at St. Georges (36 Water Street, open Monday to Friday, 9am, to 5pm) and Southampton (Heron Bay Plaza, open Monday to Friday, 9am, to 6pm). You can go for pay per use for talks or daily plan of $2.50 for talk and text. Separate data plans are also available such as 500MB data for 14 days is $15.
Renting Cell Phones in Bermuda
You can also rent a cell phone in Bermuda by day and at a very competitive rate like $2 per day. There is usually no extra charge for services like call waiting, voice mails and such. The usual rate for a local call is 50¢ a minute. Calls to US and UK generally cost 110¢ a minute, for other countries it is $1 a minute.
Here are some places from where you can rent cell phones in Bermuda:
Internet Lane, an internet cafe located at Hamilton City.
Call Bermuda Cell Rental 441/232-2355 (24 hrs) in Bermuda.
International calling Cards in Bermuda
International phone cards are available in Bermuda at very competitive rates. You will get pre-paid phone cards all over the island including from dispensing machines. If you are making calls from your hotel using the calling card, check out if the hotel adds any extra charge. Generally the hotels don't charge for making calls using calling cards. You can use the calling card in any public phone as well.
Here are the Bermuda telecom companies that provide calling cards:
Link Bermuda and WoW (World on Wireless) Phone Cards are available at various super markets, medical stores and other departmental stores across the island.
TeleBermuda International (TBI): You can buy the cards for $10, $25 or $50 denominations. These pre-paid cards are rechargeable. A good thing is that if you are going back to the US, Canada or the UK, you can still use the card. TBI rates are generally cheaper than the other operators. The TBI cards are also available at supermarkets, medical stores etc.
You can get the pre-paid TBI phone cards at TBI Customer Care Center located on the ground floor of Victoria Place at 31 Victoria Street, Hamilton City
North Rock Communications Bermuda: Located at Washington Lane, Hamilton City (Phone: 441/540-2700). Pre-paid cards available all across the island for $5, $10, $20 or $50, and can be used back in the US. Update: North Rock no longer issues phone cards.
Logic Communications Bermuda: Located at 10-12 Burnaby Street, Hamilton City (phone: 441/294-8888). Cards available in $5, $10, $20 or $50 denominations in various places including airport, Phoenix Stores, Visitor Information Centers, post offices, and other gift and souvenir stores. Update: Logic no longer offers phone cards.
Bermuda Public Phones
There are many public telephone booths all over Bermuda. These are the traditional British boxes that are red in color. One of the places where you can see such red telephone booths is at Royal Naval Dockyard (cruise port) right next to the store Island Outfitters. Local calls at payphones cost 50¢ and you need to drop two quarters. In most of the public telephone booths, US coins are also accepted.
Photo: John Hoey, cc by-sa 2.0
Useful local phone numbers in Bermuda
911 - Police, Ambulance and fire
411 - Local directory assistance.
Note: You can call the above numbers while in Bermuda only.
Visitors' Comments and Messages
Stephen W. Campbell (February 2020)
We're uncertain about how to obtain cell phone service/access while in Bermuda. Our US based carrier (T-Mobile) does not provide service off-shore. We are staying at a cottage that does not have a local phone. We will need the ability to contact taxis, restaurants for reservations, among others. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for your help.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) February 2020
You can buy a local pre-paid SIM card while in Bermuda or try to get it arranged through your hotel before you arrive. There are various plans for talk time, text and data, for example, Digicel pre-paid plan starts from $10 for 7 days (for 100 minutes talk, 100 texts and 100MB data). But be careful, some of these operators auto-renew the plans and keep charging the credit card... so you must deactivate the card as soon as your intended use is over.
Anne (November 2017)
Hi Raj, GREAT WEBSITE! Quick question. My husband and I are moving to Bermuda from UK. We have the Apple IPhones (5s and 4s). We are with Service Provider O2 in UK. Are we able to take them with us and get them unlocked over there and get a local Bermudian sim card put in by a local cell provider. Phones are pretty expensive to buy there so we would like to know this in advance.
If there is a cell phone you would recommend that we buy here before going over (tied in with cell provider there/same company) which would be easier to unlock and then use same cell provider in Bermuda.? Many thanks for your help in advance.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) November 2017
Hi, there are couple of stores in the island that can help you unlock your O2 phone. I suggest you contact them and confirm before arriving.
1) Audio Visual Electronics Ltd.
They can unlock phones locked with At&t, T-mobile, Verizon, Sprint, Rogers, Bell, Telus, Vodafone, Orange, O2 etc. They have two outlets in Bermuda ... a) 4 Washington Street, Hamilton (near the central bus terminal), Open Monday thru Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM. Phone: 441-292-1354; b) 29 Mangrove Bay Road, Somerset (next to HSBC bank), Open Monday thru Saturday from 10 AM to 9 PM. Phone: 441-234-3305
39 Dundonald St , Hamilton City. Phone: 441-295-7037
Note that Bermuda only has two local cell phone carriers (Digicel and Cellone). None of the overseas carriers directly operate in the island ... so a phone locked with an international carrier won't work here.
Anym (February 2016)
Hi! Can you please tell me if they have pay telephones in Dockyard. Our cell phone service does not have international calling but I do have a phone card.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) February 2016
Hi, Payphones are available at the dockyard, near the cruise terminal as well as several other places in the dockyard.
Ruth (September 2012)
One more question as our vacation draws near, what is the cell phone service like in Bermuda? Verizon is our carrier and was wondering if we should count on being able to use our cell phones to call home.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) September 2012
Yes, Verizon will work in Bermuda provided you have a regular connection (service). Make sure International dialing and roaming is set up before you arrive in Bermuda. You may need to call up the operator to do so. Also check out the current rates (it can be expensive... I understand there is a charge even for receiving text messages while in Bermuda).