Choosing a mobile provider in the Bahamas isn’t easy with options like BTC and Aliv. In this post, we’ll compare coverage, speeds, pricing and extras to determine which operator offers the best overall value. Stay tuned as we breakdown the key aspects of each major network to help you pick the best mobile service for your needs.

mobile operators in the bahamas

I. Mobile Operators in the Bahamas at a Glance

The two largest mobile operators in the Bahamas are Aliv and BTC

Provider BTC Aliv
Ownership 49% owned by the Government of the Bahamas and 49% owned by Cable & Wireless Communications and 2% economic shares in a national trust Joint venture between Cable Bahamas Ltd. and the Government of the Bahamas.
Year Established 2009 2016
Subscribers in Bahamas ~168,300 subscribers ~170,000 subscribers
Mobile Services Telephone, internet and wireless services, self-service mobile app Mobile devices, plans, broadband, tablets, and accessories.

These two networks have the best population coverage and mobile internet speeds for most visitors and residents. Some smaller providers offer competitive deals in certain regions too.

II. Choosing the Best Mobile Operators in the Bahamas

With two main mobile operators available across most major islands, selecting the right one in the Bahamas involves comprehensively comparing several key factors:

Network Coverage & Technology

BTC and aliv (by NewCo) are the primary operators. BTC has slightly broader 2G/3G coverage while aliv is rapidly expanding its 3G/4G LTE network. Both operators have rolled out 4G LTE to most populated areas, though aliv does not yet offer roaming with BTC in remote islands as mandated by regulators. 5G services are currently not available.

Internet Data Plans

Operators offer both prepaid and postpaid plans. Prepaid options without data bundles charge high per MB rates. Affordable data bundles from a few hundred MB to 15GB are available for 1-30 days, with rollover and auto-renewal. Ensure plans provide sufficient data and speeds for your needs.

Voice & Messaging

Most prepaid plans bundle unlimited local calls and texts with data bundles. International call minutes to countries like the US and Canada are also included in larger bundles. Some plans dedicate portions for voice and texts exclusively.

Value-Added Services

Aliv offers roaming bundles to use your plan in the US, Canada and Caribbean. BTC provides Wifi hotspots. No mobile TV or lounge benefits are included currently by either operator.

Cost of Living

Prices quoted do not include the mandatory 12% VAT. Ensure adequate funds as costs can rack up quickly without a data plan.

Carefully weighing network coverage, data needs, cost and value-added benefits will help identify the most suitable mobile operator to meet your connectivity requirements in the Bahamas.

III. Best Mobile Operators in the Bahamas – Detailed Comparison

Analyzing the major infrastructure-based networks in the Bahamas that have nationwide retail operations:

Coverage & Speeds

Aliv edges ahead for its rapid LTE expansion over the past years, now reaching over 97% of the population. Its network combines low-band, mid-band, and high-band 5G for reliable connectivity indoors and across islands. Average download speeds exceed 90 Mbps on compatible devices.

BTC follows closely with over 90% 4G population coverage and peak 5G availability in New Providence and Grand Bahama. As the pioneer telecom in the region, it has wider service beyond populated areas thanks to its legacy infrastructure. Real-world speeds typically range from 20-60 Mbps.

Mobile Plans

Aliv has very attractively priced premium plans like the $60 40GB Bahamas Unlimited package with lots of extras. It also has the best roaming rates in the Americas. But cheaper limited prepaid packs only have 7-day validity.

In comparison, BTC prepaid bundles carry 30-day validity for light users and visitors. Postpaid plans offer comparable base allowances to Aliv at slightly higher effective per-GB costs due to lower data quotas. But loyalty discounts apply over time.

Perks & Freebies

Aliv customers get treats like free WiFi access at Lynden Pindling International Airport. Postpaid users also enjoy Aliv Rewards points, mobile upgrades, and added regional call minutes.

BTC also provides over 15,000 WiFi hotspots across the Bahamas to mobile subscribers. Postpaid plans qualify for BTC Rewards to redeem local merchant offers and vouchers. Special corporate and government worker deals available.


  • Aliv is the top choice for heavy data users wanting maximum mobile internet speeds, value plans with lots of extras, and extensive LTE coverage.
  • BTC strikes a better balance for moderate usage with wider network reach, long-running loyalty perks, and flexibility to switch between prepaid and postpaid options.

IV. Where to Buy a SIM Card from Mobile Operators in the Bahamas?

The major mobile networks sell various prepaid and postpaid subscription options through multiple channels:

Operator Retail Stores

Aliv and BTC run dedicated customer storefronts in most major shopping centers, downtowns, and travel hubs on islands like New Providence and Grand Bahama. Visit outlets in destinations you frequent to speak with sales representatives and compare tailored plans.

Top-Up Shops

In addition to flagship stores, the operators have authorized dealer networks across neighborhoods and local markets to handle SIM sales, top-ups, and minor troubleshooting. Look for branded dealer signage near your hotel, rental, or residence.

Online Orders & Delivery

You can order Aliv and BTC SIM cards online for delivery in the Bahamas or even collection at airports upon arrival. Some prepaid activation processes may need to be completed after inserting the SIM manually. Verify online ordering terms before the trip.

V. Do Mobile Operators in the Bahamas Offer eSIM?

Yes, digital eSIM profiles are beginning to get adopted as an alternative to physical SIM cards in the country by select operators:

Aliv eSIM Support

Aliv launched eSIM functionality for compatible Apple iPhone and Google Pixel devices in late 2022. It provides flexibility to directly configure Aliv plans on eSIM without needing a store visit. But the process remains manual – you have to email device details for activation.

BTC eSIM Availability

BTC also debuted eSIM packages equivalent to its regular SIM offerings last year. However, it presently only caters to iPhone users officially. Activating BTC eSIM service requires ordering an eSIM QR activation code online for scanning.

As another alternative, travelers can consider purchasing a prepaid Bahamas eSIM from international esim providers like by GIGAGO which offer instant digital SIM activation without visiting a local store.

We provide Bahamas eSIM plans from 1GB to 3GB powered by the BTC network, with 7-day or 14-day validity periods. The eSIM profile is delivered via email within 5 minutes of purchase, allowing users to easily install and activate data service on compatible devices just by scanning the QR code.


Which mobile operator has the best prices in the Bahamas?

Aliv generally offers very cost-effective data-centric plans and the lowest prepaid rates for visitors. BTC promotions with loyalty discounts can match or beat some Aliv deals for moderate postpaid users over the long term.

Do I need to show documentation to get a SIM card?

Visitors normally only require a passport to register new BTC or Aliv prepaid connections. Residents will need approved local ID and documents to start postpaid accounts or get preferential rates.

Can I use my existing US/Canada number on Bahamas networks?

Yes, Aliv and BTC both support porting in foreign numbers to be used in the Bahamas by roaming visitors or expat residents wanting to retain their primary contacts. The process can take 5-7 days.

How long is a SIM card or eSIM valid without use in the Bahamas?

BTC issues prepaid SIMs with 180 days of initial validity. Aliv also provisions 7-day or 30-day expiry periods depending on base recharge value. Unused eSIM profiles get deactivated after 90 days normally.

VI. Final Words

I hope this guide has clarified best mobile operators in the Bahamas, including their plans, outlets, and connectivity considerations to help match you with the right one. Both major networks Aliv and BTC deliver premium services rivalling global destinations. Continuing local investments promise even higher quality and value soon.

Whichever mobile operator you choose, the convenient connectivity, charming islands, and welcoming culture are bound to make your Bahamas visit delightful and memorable!