Aliv is the newest mobile operator in the Bahamas, having launched services in 2016. As the third entrant after BTC and Cable Bahamas, Aliv shook up the market with the promise of faster speeds, better coverage and more affordable prices.

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of using Aliv SIM cards in the Bahamas as a visitor. We’ll cover Aliv’s network coverage and speeds, the best SIM card options, where to buy them, how to set them up, call and data rates, top-up options and more. Whether you’re looking for a data-only eSIM or a voice and text bundle, this article has you covered on getting connected with Aliv during your Bahamas trip.

aliv sim card

I. Quick Facts about Aliv

Before diving into the details, here are some quick facts about Aliv in the Bahamas:

  • Aliv launched in 2016 as the 3rd mobile operator after BTC and Cable Bahamas/Aliv
  • Uses 4G LTE network coverage on 700MHz for excellent coverage
  • Top speeds can reach over 100Mbps down on LTE network
  • Range of prepaid SIM cards from data-only to talk & text bundles
  • eSIM support rolled out in late 2022 for certain iPhone models
  • SIM card pickup and top-up available across New Providence and Grand Bahama islands

So in summary – Aliv brings faster speeds through LTE coverage, excellent network reach thanks to low band spectrum, and competitive prepaid bundles to meet any travel connectivity need.

II. Aliv Coverage and Speed in Bahamas

As a relatively new operator, Aliv has focused on maximizing population coverage across the major islands rather than sheer geographic reach. The good news is that both residents and visitors mostly congregate in the same areas that Aliv covers well. Let’s look at their network access and typical speeds:

Aliv Coverage in Bahamas

  • New Providence Island – Excellent 4G LTE coverage across nearly the entire island including Nassau, Cable Beach, downtown and the airport
  • Grand Bahama Island – Solid 4G coverage in Lucaya, Freeport downtown and along the southern coast around West End
  • Abaco Islands – Patchier access limited mostly to Marsh Harbour and surroundings
  • Eleuthera/Harbour Island – Again limited to the key settlements like Rock Sound, Governor’s Harbour and Spanish Wells
  • Paradise Island – Full coverage as part of greater Nassau area
  • Exuma – Decent coverage in George Town but patchier access along the string of cays

Visitors should check local SIM card shops once arriving at any outer island to confirm Aliv's latest reach.

Aliv Speed

The good news is that where Aliv offers service, speeds often match or exceed the competition. Through their exclusive access to 700MHz spectrum, they’ve been able to deploy LTE service that propagates well across urban centers and into buildings.

Here are some typical Aliv 4G download speeds:

  • Nassau – 30 to 100+ Mbps
  • Cable Beach – 25 to 75 Mbps
  • Lucaya/Freeport – 25 to 50 Mbps
  • Marsh Harbour, Abaco – 15 to 30 Mbps

So not only is coverage excellent across New Providence and Grand Bahamas, but data speeds let you easily stream HD video, join video calls or load demanding web pages without delay. For reference, 25 Mbps will support 4K YouTube streaming and multiple people on video calls at once.

Just be prepared for no coverage at all once you get off the highway in the smaller Family Islands. But in terms of population reach, Aliv’s combination of coverage depth and high speeds is a winning formula for most visitors.

III. Aliv Connectivity Options for Travelers to Bahamas

Option Cost (per month) Description
BTC Fiber Ranges from $84.99 to $145.00 +VAT per month depending on the plan. Offers significantly higher speeds up to 1Gbps or more.
Mobile Postpaid Plans start at $65+VAT Nationwide 4G LTE coverage. Unlimited talk, text and data.
Active Roaming Varies by carrier Allows using your home carrier abroad on BTC's network.
MiFi router $75 USB or WiFi hotspot for internet access without a local SIM.
Prepaid SIM Card Ranges from $4.00 to $42.00 (Inc VAT) depending on the plan. Offers several prepaid mobile plans and data only plans.

The prepaid SIM cards offer a cost-effective solution without a long-term commitment. This is preferable for travelers only visiting the Bahamas for a week or two at a time.

IV. Best Aliv SIM cards for Tourists & Cost

Plan Name Duration Data Talk Minutes Text Messages Cost
Freedom4 1 day 1GB 30 (unlimited ALIV to ALIV) 30 (unlimited ALIV to ALIV) $4
Freedom6 7 days 0.6GB 50 (unlimited ALIV to ALIV) 50 (unlimited ALIV to ALIV) $6
Freedom12 7 days 2.5GB 100 (unlimited ALIV to ALIV) 100 (unlimited ALIV to ALIV) $12
Freedom35 7 days Unlimited* Unlimited* Unlimited* $35
Liberty30 30 days 3GB 300 (unlimited ALIV to ALIV) 300 (unlimited ALIV to ALIV) $30
Liberty45 30 days 6GB 400 (unlimited ALIV to ALIV) 400 (unlimited ALIV to ALIV) $45

V. Does Aliv Support eSIM?

Aliv rolled out eSIM support in late 2022, allowing compatible iPhones to activate a data plan digitally without needing to insert a physical SIM card.

Key facts about Aliv Bahamas eSIM:

  • Launched October 2022
  • iPhone XS, XS Max and newer
  • iOS 16.1 minimum
  • Data only (no call or text bundles yet)
  • Same plan allowances as physical Data SIM
  • Setup via Aliv app then activation

But note eSIM still only supports data allotments at this point – no local or regional call bundles exist yet in eSIM form. So it caters best to visitors focused purely on mobile data during their Bahamas travels rather than voice calling needs.

VI. Where Can You Buy a Aliv SIM Card

Aliv makes picking up a SIM card or eSIM reasonably convenient across the well-covered islands of New Providence and Grand Bahamas with multiple official sales outlets:

Where to buy Aliv SIM for Bahamas

On New Providence including Nassau, Cable Beach and the airport area, you’ll easily find Aliv SIM cards for sale at:

  • Nassau Airport – Aliv store right in the arrivals area
  • Downtown Nassau – Multiple Aliv branded stores like on Frederick St and Bay St
  • Cable Beach – Stores nearby the Meliá and Baha Mar hotels
  • Local pharmacies – Common non-Aliv retailers like Seabella and Quality Drug Stores
  • Grocery stores – Often rack displays right inside food stores like SuperValue

And across Grand Bahama in Lucaya and downtown Freeport, shop for SIM cards at:

  • Freeport Airport – Aliv counter right by the domestic arrivals section
  • Port Lucaya Marketplace – Aliv kiosk available right in the open-air market with other shops & restaurants

Between omnipresent official stores, pharmacies, grocers and the airport arrivals halls, your odds are excellent to find an Aliv SIM within minutes of landing on New Providence or Grand Bahama islands. It pays to know exact locations in advance via Google Maps though!

Where to buy Bahamas Aliv eSIM

Since Aliv’s eSIM rollout remains relatively recent, make sure local stores actually support setup before depending on the digital option:

  • Visit official Aliv store locations outlined above
  • Ask if eSIM activation assistance available onsite
  • Have staff guide you through Aliv app signup process
  • Ensure data bundle properly configured and activated

As rollout continues, the odds of seamlessly setting up an Aliv eSIM improve over time across both islands. But do confirm eSIM assistance availability rather than assuming it’ll be smooth. The physical SIM card option works reliably as a backup if eSIM setup falters.

SIM Resellers

A final option exists leveraging SIM reseller partners like KnowRoaming who source local SIM access wholesale on the ground:

  • Often located right inside airports upon arrival
  • Convenient one-stop shop for SIM card
  • Slightly higher pricing than direct Aliv costs
  • But very seamless pickup & activation process

For business travelers less price sensitive or those just needing absolute travel convenience, resellers like KnowRoaming can provide priority access to Bahamas SIMs including helpful activation assistance as part of the premium pricing.

VII. How to Activate Aliv SIM Card

A few quick steps will get your SIM or eSIM quickly up and running on Aliv’s LTE network:

H4 How to use Aliv SIM card

Activating a standard physical Aliv SIM card is straightforward:

  1. Insert SIM and reboot device
  2. Launch web browser on device
  3. It’ll redirect automatically to Aliv’s activation portal
  4. Select your purchased data or call/text bundle
  5. Confirm activation using your device details
  6. Wait a few minutes then confirm mobile data connectivity!

So the handy Aliv SIMs will auto-launch the activation system on first use, prompting you to pick the best matching plan. Within 5 minutes or so you should show LTE reception bars and be ready to use Aliv service!

But do ensure your device supports 700MHz LTE Band 28 specific to Aliv’s mobile spectrum holdings in Bahamas. Nearly all current model iPhones, Samsung’s and Google Pixels will cover you though.

H4 How to activate Aliv Bahamas eSIM

With a compatible iPhone model, you can digitally setup an Aliv eSIM profile:

  1. Install latest Aliv app from App Store
  2. Launch app and select eSIM option
  3. Follow prompts to setup data plan and account
  4. Scan QR code shown on iPhone using Aliv app
  5. Confirm working data connection activated!

So while a few more app-driven steps involved, the eSIM activation remains straightforward thanks to iOS integration. Just ensure you have an iPhone XS or newer running the latest iOS version. Then pickup is as simple as configuring in the Aliv app itself.

If any activation troubles pop up, don’t hesitate to visit an Aliv store for quick assistance getting your SIM or eSIM correctly setup. But you should be up and running in 5-10 minutes without issue.

VIII. Bahamas Aliv Call & SMS rates

While most traveler focus sits on mobile data for maps, messaging and social apps, knowing Aliv’s latest calling and SMS rates helps when considering bundles:

Local calls & texts

Calling or texting locally within the Bahamas offers reasonable included rates:

  • Local call rate – $0.25 per minute
  • Local SMS rate – $0.05 per text

So buying a prepaid SIM with some amount of included local minutes and/or texts makes sense to cover at least minimal calling & coordination needs while visiting locally.

Calls & texts to US/Canada

Where costs climb more swiftly comes calling or messaging friends & family back in North America:

  • Calls to US or Canada – $1.49 per minute
  • Inbound calls – First minute free, then standard per minute rate
  • Texts to US or Canada – $0.65 per message

But without a prepaid allotment bundle, calling back non-locally can run costly at above $1 per minute. Getting a SIM with included value calling bundles makes way more sense than paying outrageous roaming charges from your home carrier!

IX. Useful USSD Codes for Aliv SIM Card

*100# – Check airtime balance *101# – Check data balance *102# – Check rate plan expiry *123# – Aliv customer service *131# – Renew your current plan

So whether you need to quickly see remaining minutes or data, renew an expiring SIM card plan, or contact local support, these easy-to-enter USSD codes deliver that info right from the phone dialer without internet access required!

X. How to Top-up Aliv SIM Cards

Keeping your Aliv SIM card or eSIM topped up requires either visiting local outlets in person or leveraging online recharge options:

In-Store Top-up

Locate official Aliv stores across Nassau, Cable Beach downtown or Freeport to easily add more funds in person. Bring along the SIM card itself when possible to allow scanning its recharge code. Or reference your mobile number when topping up an active eSIM plan.

Online Top-Up

If added remote convenience is needed, Aliv supports online top-up methods:

Credit/debit card – Via Aliv website provide local Bahamas details PayPal – Connect PayPal account to fund Aliv balance International top up – Use recharge service like Ding to send airtime funds

So have your Aliv SIM card number or activated mobile number handy to remotely add more airtime balance via Aliv direct or third party top services. This avoids having to hunt down a store just to renew a plan.

Overall keeping your account active is straightforward either by visiting a conveniently located Aliv store when out and about in the Bahamas or leveraging the online recharge options before balance totally expires.

XI. Alternatives to Aliv SIM Cards

While Aliv makes an excellent connectivity choice thanks to solid LTE speeds and coverage plus handy tourist plan options, a couple alternatives exist:

BTC Bahamas

As the incumbent operator in Bahamas, BTC offers competitive rates and now claims over 97% population coverage across 700+ islands after major network investment. With both prepaid and visitor pass options, BTC remains a safe backup choice if issues activating an Aliv SIM card pop up upon arrival.

Esim from

Alternatively, travelers can consider a digital Bahamas eSIM from by GIGAGO. Plans include high-speed 1GB or 3GB LTE data valid for 7 or 14 days, starting from $29.70. Coverage is provided by the large BTC network.

The eSIM profile is delivered via email within 5 minutes of purchase and activates automatically once connected to BTC in Bahamas, allowing instant connectivity from arrival without vising stores. Hotspot/tethering is supported and 24/7 support is available for installation or use. Unused data simply expires instead of overage fees, providing a hassle-free digital solution for travelers with eSIM phones.

XII. FAQs about Aliv SIM Cards

Does Aliv have good coverage outside Nassau?

Beyond New Providence, coverage gets quite limited. Grand Bahama enjoys strong LTE access thanks to higher population density. But the further outer islands see little to no Aliv reception as network rollout focuses on population versus geography. Visitors aiming to island hop should consider more patchy coverage or outright no service when outside Nassau & Freeport.

What’s needed to setup Aliv eSIM?

Compatible iPhone model – XS and newer running latest iOS 16.1+. Access to App Store for Aliv app install. Since it’s data eSIM only initially, having call capability not strictly required. An iPhone XS provides full eSIM support with solely mobile data activated.

Does Aliv SIM card work in Family Islands?

Beyond New Providence and Grand Bahama, visitors should temper expectations of Aliv coverage when visiting further flung islands within the wider Bahamas archipelago. While steadily improving network reach thanks to 700MHz spectrum, many smaller settlements and cays will get zero reception. Have roaming backup or local SIM as contingency.

Can I use Aliv SIM card in a mobile hotspot?

Definitely! Aliv’s data SIM plans all permit tethering and WiFi hotspot usage without issue or upcharges. Just be sure your hotspot device supports LTE band 28 – nearly all current models will align with Aliv’s 4G frequency range allowing you to route data connectivity to other phones, tablets and laptops as needed on the go.

XIII. Final Words

In closing, Aliv brings excellent connectivity experiences for visitors focused on New Providence opportunities like Nassau, Cable Beach and Paradise Island thanks to solid combination of LTE coverage depth and mobile speeds. Grand Bahama also sees impressive service.

Aliv SIM card options strike a nice balance – short validity periods encourage steady local spending while renewing plans reward returning visitors. And the bundles mix data, calls and texts effectively for moderate usage at reasonable tourist pricing.