How To Use Cell Phone In Ireland 2024: Traveler’s Guide To Stay Connected

When traveling to Ireland, tourists will definitely need their phone for necessities such as translation, maps or for entertainment and web surfing needs. This article will provide all the information tourists need to know to be able to use cell phone in Ireland as well as valuable tips for tourists to use cell phones more effectively. Let’s explore together!

I. Highlights of Phone Compatibility, Frequencies and Networks in Ireland

In Ireland, the mobile phone compatibility, frequencies, and networks primarily depend on the type of technology used: 

  • GSM Compatibility: Ireland uses GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) technology, which is compatible with most modern mobile phones worldwide. GSM phones are widely supported by Irish network providers.
  • Frequencies: The primary frequency bands used in Ireland are:

2G: GSM 900MHz

3G: UMTS 900 MHz and 2100 MHz

4G/LTE: Bands 1 (2100 MHz), 3 (1800 MHz), 7 (2600 MHz), 20 (800 MHz), and 40 (2300 MHz)

  • Network Providers: Ireland has several network providers that offer mobile services. Some of the major network providers in Ireland are: Vodafone Ireland, Three Irelands, Eir (formerly known as eirMobile), Tesco Mobile Ireland, Virgin Mobile Ireland…
  • SIM Lock and Unlocking: If you plan to use a local SIM card in Ireland, ensure that your phone is unlocked. Contact your current mobile service provider to check if your phone is unlocked or if it can be unlocked for use with other SIM cards.
  • Coverage and Service Quality: Generally, urban areas and popular tourist destinations have good coverage and reliable service. 

II. Will My Cell Phone Work In Ireland?

There are many ways to connect cell phone with the Internet in Ireland
There are many ways to connect cell phone with the Internet in Ireland

Travelers have to check if their mobile phone is compatible with the frequency bands used in Ireland or with the mobile phone company you plan to use in Ireland: 

All Frequencies of Ireland

Bands 5Gn78 (3500)
Bands 4GB3 (1800), B20 (800)
Bands 3GB1 (2100), B8 (900)
Bands 2GB3 (1800), B8 (900)

III. Do I Need An International Plan In Ireland?

The easiest way to use your cell phone in Ireland is to add an international data plan to your current mobile service. You can contact your carrier by phone or online to upgrade your account. They have agreements with Irish carriers, so your phone should connect automatically.

Using international plan help travelers to save money
Using international plan help travelers to save money

However, there are some downsides. The costs can be very high, and the service may not be great. You might experience slow internet speeds and limited data. For example, some plans charge $15 per day for just 100MB of data at slower speeds. Making calls can still be expensive, around $1 per minute, and texts can cost up to $0.25 per message. So yeah, it’s pretty exorbitant…

IV. What Are Options To Use Cellphones In Ireland For Tourists?

For tourists visiting Ireland, there are several options available to connect to the internet using cellphones. Here are some options:

  • Mobile Data Roaming: If your mobile phone plan includes international data roaming, you can use your existing plan to access the internet while in Ireland. However, it’s important to know that this is the most expensive option
  • International Data Packages: These packages provide a certain amount of data for a fixed price, allowing you to stay connected without incurring high roaming charges.
  • Local SIM Card: If your phone is unlocked, you can buy a prepaid SIM card from various providers such as Three, Vodafone, eirMobile, or Tesco. This allows you to have a local number and access to local data plans at more affordable rates.
  • Portable Wi-Fi Hotspots: These devices allow you to create a personal Wi-Fi network and connect multiple devices, such as your cellphone, tablet, or laptop, to the internet simultaneously.
  • Public Wi-Fi: Ireland has many public places that offer free Wi-Fi access, including hotels, cafes, restaurants, airports, and tourist attractions. Just be cautious when using public Wi-Fi networks and avoid accessing sensitive information or making online transactions on unsecured networks.

V. Will My Local Network Work In Ireland?

Yes, absolutely. Almost all your local/domestic network will work in Ireland, but the downside is that roaming charges are very high.This is the most expensive option of all. And if you don’t strictly control your usage habits/needs, you will have to pay a lot of money at the end of the trip.

Local network can use in Ireland but be caution with the cost
Local network can use in Ireland but be caution with the cost

VI. Gigago eSIM – An Alternative To Get Internet In Ireland With Your Cell Phone

Below we will show you advantages and disadvantages of 2 SIM types: eSIMs and Physical SIM Cards: 

eSIMsPhysical SIM Cards
Pros– Convenience: No need to physically insert or remove SIM card
– Flexibility: Easy to switch between different providers, and plans using device settings.
– Widespread compatibility with most devices
– Widely available and easy to purchase
Cons– Device compatibility: Some older devices may not haveeSIM support.
– Activation process: May require additional steps activation compared to physical SIM cards.
– Risk of losing or damaging physical SIM cards
– Limited flexibility to switch between providers and plans 

Our recommendation: From the comparison table above, we advise that if you have a compatible device which supports eSIMs, use eSIMs for convenience. 

If you want to have a fluent trip without any messy or sophisticated process, you can buy eSIMs before your departure, in your home country on Gigago website. We provide: 

  • Various plans and packages: 
  • Wide and reputation operators
  • Instant Delivery 
  • Easy Activation
  • 24/7 support
Gigago Ireland packages
Gigago Ireland packages

For Ireland, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1 GB for 3 days with $3.50 . What is great about Gigago’s Ireland eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $3.50$125.98 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Ireland, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

VII. Extra Tips To Use Cell Phone in Ireland 

Here are some tips for using your mobile phone in Ireland: 

  • Turn off data or use airplane mode: To avoid excessive roaming charges, it’s recommended to turn off your data when in Ireland or keep your phone in airplane mode. 
  • Buy a cheap prepaid phone: If you don’t need a smartphone, you can purchase a disposable prepaid phone at Tesco locations throughout Ireland. This can be useful for quick calls to B&Bs, making reservations, or emergencies.
Some tips to use cell phones in Ireland
Some tips to use cell phones in Ireland
  • Use free Wi-Fi and calling apps: Ireland has many places offering free Wi-Fi, such as hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, and stores. Keep your Wi-Fi turned on and set to notify you when it’s available. 
  • Manage your data usage: Decide which apps you need and turn off or remove unnecessary ones. Disable instant notifications and app syncing. Sync email, check social media, and browse the internet over a Wi-Fi network whenever possible. You can use data usage counters like My Data Manager to monitor your usage and avoid exceeding your limit.

VIII. FAQs about Use Cell Phone in Ireland

What are the coverage and network quality like in Ireland?

The coverage and network quality in Ireland are generally good, especially in urban areas. However, coverage may vary in more remote or rural locations.

Can I use my existing SIM card in Ireland?

If your existing SIM card has international roaming enabled, you should be able to use it in Ireland. However, be aware that roaming charges can be high. 

Do I need to unlock my phone to use an Irish SIM card?

If your phone is locked to a specific network, you’ll need to contact your service provider to unlock it before using an Irish SIM card. Alternatively, you can purchase an unlocked phone or a SIM-free phone that works with any SIM card.

IX. Conclusion

It can be said that the telecommunications network infrastructure in this country is very developed. Therefore, using a cell phone in Ireland is quite easy and it can be said that most phones today are adapted to the frequencies in Ireland. Use eSIM so your phone can connect to the Internet and become useful for your trip to Ireland