Not only are our smartphones pretty much essential to everyday life now, but they’re extremely handy for traveling as well! The ability to check a map, search for restaurants, attractions, and other points of interest while visit a new place is extremely useful.
Since you’ll likely be visiting some rural areas while on your visit to Newfoundland, you may be wondering what access to cellular coverage and WiFi is like. This may also be useful if you’re hoping to keep in touch with business activities while on vacation.
All major cellular carriers here have coverage pretty much right across the island, and roaming agreements in place as well. You’ll want to check with your cellular company to find out if your phone is compatible with the network here, and which carrier you can roam on, as that may dictate how good your coverage is. You can find high speed cellular data in all of the major town centers, and for most of the main travel routes across the island as well. If you plan on hiking deep into the woods, you’ll want to bring a GPS and possibly a means of emergency communication. There are some smaller, rural towns still without cellular coverage, although there have been some improvements. For the most part you’ll be connected wherever you go.
For WiFi and high speed internet, you will find a lot of this as well. Of course, in the major centers like St. John’s / the Avalon Peninsula you’ll have no problem. Other towns such as Gander, Corner Brook, etc have coffee shops and public WiFi aplenty.
It’s also quite likely that your hotel will have either WiFi or wired internet access as well. If this is important to you, be sure to check ahead of time while booking your hotel or other accommodations. It may be hit or miss if you’re staying in some of the more unique, secluded accommodations such as Bed & Breakfasts as there are parts of the island without reliable high-speed internet.
There’s a great Newfoundland WiFi database that you may want to bookmark if you expect to be searching for WiFi hot-spots. There’s also an app that will let you look up hot-spots in advance and save them offline, so you can find the locations even without internet. If you’ll only be around St. John’s and the Avalon, you will find WiFi simply by walking down the street. For more remote areas and smaller towns, you’ll want to check the website, as you may have to drop by a restaurant or cafe to find some WiFi. Many Tim Horton’s and McDonald’s locations are a near-certain choice for WiFi anywhere in the province.
If you’re an amateur radio operator, there are a number of repeaters across the island including a linked VHF system. Feel free to bring along a portable radio as a means of communication, just check the Newfoundland repeater frequencies.
If you’re traveling to the province by ferry, you may be wondering if there’s WiFi on Marine Atlantic’s vessels. You can check out their info regarding on-board WiFi and Cellular service. They do have on board WiFi, but both riders and even Marine Atlantic themselves warn that it’s often flaky and unreliable. It’s best to download some content to your device to keep you occupied for the journey, as streaming will be impossible.
Check out our other articles to learn more about visiting Newfoundland!