“Can I use my mobile phone in Mauritius?”, is a very common question from visitors to the island.
Mobile communication in Mauritius is well developed, and there is an island wide coverage of GSM/GPRS and UMTS/HSDPA technologies, including the island of Rodrigues.
The major mobile phone and internet service providers in Mauritius are France Télécom with their renowned brand Orange, and Currimjee and Millicom joint venture Emtel – both providing their services through infrastructure largely controlled by the parastatal company Mauritius Telecom.
The services from both Emtel and Orange are similar, with both companies offering international roaming through partnership networks as well as local 3G services for wireless internet access across the island.
Mobile phone rates for calling Europe from Mauritius vary greatly according to the choice of service provider, time of day and call plan, however most visitors to the island will undoubtedly get in touch with the prepaid solutions for both mobile phone and internet access.
As of 2012, the rate per minute for a call from a Mauritian mobile, from Mauritius to the UK, Germany, France or other EU country is approximately Rs 10-12 per minute from a mobile prepaid account, regardless of the provider. This is approximately equivalent to £0,20 / $0,35 / €0,25.
Mauritian prepaid SIM cards or “pay-as-you-go”, are available from Rs 100 (£2,00 / $3,50 / €2,50) and can be bought in hundreds of locations across the island.
International rates to most other popular destinations are similar, such as South Africa and Australia.
Mobile phone rates from Mauritius to India, China and the Middle East vary greatly depending on service provider and call plan, and it is a good idea to evaluate several options if one is intending to call any of these locations on a regular basis. Several smaller phone companies in Mauritius offer scratch card solutions for calling many Middle East and Asian countries at low rates – but the quality vary greatly.
It should be noted that the above rates are based on local SIM cards for calls made with local service providers. Calls made in Mauritius to international destinations while roaming (using your UK, DE or NL number in Mauritius for example) are typically a lot more expensive, often 10 times the Mauritian rates.
In other words; do bring your mobile phone to Mauritius – but get a local “Prepaid” SIM card as soon as you land, to avoid a costly surprise when you return back home to your mobile phone bill.