Tigo SIM Cards and eSIM: a Comprehensive Guide for Tourists

Tigo is a major mobile network provider in Paraguay which offers reliable mobile data and calling services. If you wonder how to get Tigo SIM cards or eSIM as a traveler, this guide provides clear instructions on using Tigo’s network while you’re in Paraguay.

How to get and activate a Tigo Paraguay SIM & eSIM

I. Quick facts about Tigo

Tigo stands out as one of the best in Paraguay's mobile network market.
Tigo – one of the best in Paraguay’s mobile network market.

Tigo is Paraguay’s leading mobile network provider with extensive nationwide coverage. Here are some quick facts about Tigo Paraguay:

  • Founded year: Tigo was established in 1992
  • Full company name: Telefónica Celular del Paraguay (Telecel S.A.E)
  • Types of services provided: Cellular telephone services, Internet, Television
  • Coverage: Tigo boasts extensive nationwide coverage in Paraguay, including both urban and rural areas.
  • Network of Stores and Agents: Tigo likely has a vast network of stores and authorized agents across Paraguay.
  • Customer Support: Tigo likely offers customer support through various channels, including on-call phone support, Online chat support and In-store support at their retail locations.
  • Language: Spanish is likely the primary language for customer support, though limited English support might also be available.
  • Support Time: Customer support hours would likely operate during regular Paraguayan business hours. 

II. Paraguay Tigo Coverage and Speed in the Paraguay

Few of the top concerns for travelers are internet access coverage and speed. Below is some information about internet coverage and speed you can expect with Tigo in Paraguay.

1. Tigo coverage in Paraguay

Map showing Tigo's mobile network signal strength in Paraguay (Source: nPerf data)
Map showing Tigo’s mobile network signal strength in Paraguay (Source: nPerf data)

Tigo is a major player in Paraguay’s mobile network scene, offering coverage in most areas. Tigo has the widest coverage, compared to Claro and Personal. 

  • Strong Network: With Tigo’s wide coverage (96.9%), you can stay connected on your phone from almost anywhere. They have different network options like 2G, 3G, and even 4G in some areas, so you can enjoy a fast and reliable experience. Keep in mind that signal strength can be limited in very remote locations.
  • Availability: While Tigo offers coverage in most areas, you might experience slightly less proportion of time compared to its competitors, Claro and Personal. When it comes to staying connected, Claro takes the first place in Paraguay.

2. Tigo speed

Tigo average download and upload speeds (Source: Opensignal)
Tigo average download and upload speeds (Source: Opensignal)

The chart shows Tigo’s specific average download speed is around 15.6 Mbps, with upload speed averaging 5.5 Mbps (data from 2023). This suggests Tigo’s speeds might be slightly below the national average (18 Mbps as of February 2024, data from Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index). Alternatively, Claro is generally considered to have faster and more consistent speeds across Paraguay compared to Tigo.  

Advice: For travelers who stream a lot of videos or download large files, Claro might be the better choice for consistently faster downloads and uploads.

III. Tigo connectivity options for travelers to Paraguay

Here’s a breakdown of three connectivity options for travelers when visiting Paraguay and wanting to use Tigo’s network:

  • Buy SIM from Tigo
  • Use pocket wifi to connect to Tigo
  • Roaming to Tigo

You can refer to the pros and cons comparison table below to choose the most suitable option for your Paraguay trip:

Connectivity optionsTigo SIM Cards/eSIMTigo Pocket wifiRoaming
Pros– Good price.
– Easily shop at Tigo stores, authorized dealers or the airport.
– You can choose packages that suit your needs.
– Share internet connection with multiple devices at the same time.
– Internet speed is fast and stable.
– Use the existing SIM card. No need to buy a new SIM or other device.
Cons– Registration and SIM activation required.
– Must deposit money to use.
– Must rent the device and pay a subscription fee.
– Battery usage may be limited.
– Roaming fees can be high.
– Internet speed and access capacity may be limited.

Advice: If you plan to travel to Paraguay and use a lot of internet, buying a Tigo SIM is the most reasonable choice.

IV. Best Tigo SIM cards for tourists & cost

Tigo’s prepaid options are designed to be customizable, so you can choose the plan that includes the right amount of data for you. Travelers can refer to the following table about Tigo prepaid packages:

11,000 PYG ($1.5 USD)2 GB4 days
13,000 PYG ($2 USD)2 GB5 days
16,000 PYG ($2.3 USD)3 GB (+ unlimited calls)7 days
16,000 PYG ($2.3 USD)4 GB7 days
25,000 PYG ($3.6 USD)4 GB10 days
35,000 PYG ($5 USD)4 GB15 days
65,000 PYG ($9.5 USD)5 GB30 days

Important note: Tourists can't use eSIM with Tigo, only traditional SIM cards are available for purchase.

V. Does Tigo Paraguay support eSIM?

It’s Yes for existing customers like local Paraguayan but No for tourists packages. However, the advantage of eSIM is its ability to hold multiple lines. So, ideally, travelers could use your existing SIM card and add a local eSIM plan while visiting Paraguay, staying connected without needing a physical SIM card.

There are two ways to get an eSIM:

  • Buy directly from a network operator: This might not be an option for tourists yet, as Tigo doesn’t currently offer eSIM service for visitors.
  • Purchase online from a trusted reseller like Gigago: Unfortunately, Gigago doesn’t sell Tigo eSIM at this time. However, Gigago offers eSIM options from Claro, another network provider in Paraguay.

VI. Where can you buy Tigo SIM cards and eSIM? 

This guide details how to get a Tigo SIM cards and eSIM:

1. Where to buy Tigo SIM for Paraguay

To travel easily and stay up to date in Paraguay, you should have a SIM card. Before that, let’s read about frequent ways to purchase physical SIM cards in Paraguay, along with necessary cautions to keep in mind. Listed below explores where to buy Tigo SIM cards in Paraguay, covering 3 options: upon arrival, Tigo stores, and authorized retailers.

1.1. Upon Arrival

You can buy Tigo SIM cards at Silvio Pettirossi International Airport (ASU) in Asunción. They have specific booths or kiosks for selling Tigo SIM cards. This is a quick and easy way to get connected immediately upon arrival.

1.2. Tigo store

Extensive network of Tigo official stores conveniently spread across Paraguay.
Extensive network of Tigo official stores conveniently spread across Paraguay.

Tigo has a huge network of official outlets located throughout Paraguay. Compared to airport kiosks, these stores offer a wider selection of SIM card alternatives and data plans. You can find a Tigo store near you by using search engines or online maps. Below are some addresses of Tigo official store:

  • Calle Palma c/ Ntra. Sra de la Asunción, Asunción, Paraguay
  • Av República Argentina & Av. Mariscal López, Av. República Argentina 201, Asunción, Paraguay
  • Av. Zavalas Cué Esq, Fernando de la Mora 110330, Paraguay

Pro tip: Before your trip, consider browsing Tigo's website  for an overview of their current data plans and pricing. This can help you pick the best option before you land in Paraguay.

1.3. Other authorized retail stores

In addition to Tigo outlets, authorized retailers such as convenience stores, electronics stores, and even some supermarkets regularly sell Tigo SIM cards. This is an easy choice if you want to get a SIM card near your hotel.

When buying Tigo SIM cards, please keep in mind that:

  • Carefully check SIM information: After purchasing the SIM, carefully check that information such as phone number, account balance, and package have been activated correctly.
  • Store the SIM carefully: Avoid dropping or strong impact, which can damage the SIM.
  • Bring your passport: You may be asked to provide your passport and ID to register a physical SIM.

2. Where to buy Paraguay eSIM

There are several online retailers that sell eSIMs for Paraguay. You can search Paraguay eSIM and go to the reseller website to complete every step online. Gigago is a reputable option that sells Paraguay eSIM. However, Gigago offers eSIM from Claro instead of Tigo.

VII. How to activate Tigo Paraguay SIM and eSIM

Getting connected is easy for everyone. Look for the instructions below to activate your Tigo SIM and eSIM in Paraguay.

1. How to use Tigo Paraguay SIM card

Here’s a breakdown on how to use and activate your Tigo Paraguay SIM card:

  1. Insert the SIM: Power off your phone then locate the SIM card slot on your phone and carefully insert the Tigo SIM cards.
  2. Power on: Turn on your phone and wait for it to boot up.
  3. Automatic activation: In most cases, the Tigo SIM cards should activate automatically once the phone recognizes it. You might see a notification on your screen confirming activation.
  4. Turn on Mobile data: Mobile data might not be automatically enabled. Check your phone’s settings to turn on mobile data if you want to use the internet.

2. How to activate Paraguay eSIM

Activating a Paraguay eSIM might be a slightly different process compared to a physical SIM card. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Purchase the eSIM: The mobile operators or resellers might provide you with a QR code during purchase online.
  2. Install the eSIM: Open your phone’s Settings and navigate to the Mobile Network or Cellular section (might vary by phone model). Look for an option to “Add Cellular Plan” or “Add eSIM”. Scan the QR code provided by the seller using your phone’s camera.
  3. Set up to activate the eSIM: Follow any on-screen instructions to complete the activation process.
  4. Start using your eSIM: Once the eSIM is activated, you’re good to go. Now you can browse the internet during your trip in Paraguay.

Please check your detailed instructions below:

VIII. Alternatives to Paraguay Tigo

Gigago offers Claro Paraguay eSIM for travelers.
Claro Paraguay eSIM for travelers by Gigago

When it comes to mobile networks in Paraguay, you have three main choices: Tigo, Claro, and Personal. Tigo offers the widest coverage across the country, keeping you connected almost anywhere. If speed is your priority, Claro boasts the fastest connection. All three providers have competitive prices to fit your budget.

eSIM is convenient and affordable for using mobile data in Paraguay upon arrival. As a worldwide mobile SIM reseller for travelers, Gigago offers data plans for Paraguay on Claro’s network, with Gigago Paraguay eSIM options starting from just $9.50 for 1 GB in 7 days. You can find the perfect fit for your trip length and data needs.

Note: eSIM only works with newer smartphones, not locked phones or older models. Check compatibility before you buy.

IX. FAQs about Tigo in Paraguay

Where can I buy Tigo SIM cards in Paraguay?

Tigo SIM cards are widely available at their official stores, airports, convenience stores, and authorized resellers throughout Paraguay.

Is Tigo eSIM available for travelers?

Currently, it seems Tigo eSIMs are offered only for existing customers. Tourist-specific eSIM packages might not be available yet.

Can I switch my Paraguay eSIM to another phone?

No, eSIM typically locks to the first device it is activated on. The activation QR code is specific to the first device and won’t work on another.

X. Final words

Overall, Tigo SIM cards could be a good option for travelers in Paraguay who need a reliable network at a potentially reasonable cost. However, travelers must consider that Tigo has limitations in speed and availability compared to its competitors in Paraguay. Remember when choosing a mobile network in Paraguay, prioritize your needs and location for the best fit.