Traveling to Egypt? Check out our guide to finding the best prepaid SIM card

Reduce your rates by using a local SIM.

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Egypt is one of the oldest Arab nations, close to Sudan and Libya, with some of the most spectacular tourist attractions in the world. Using your home phone there can be expensive, so consider switching over to a local SIM card to take advantage of better deals and plans. Egypt has some of the best prepaid SIM cards available, with offers that can reduce your bills. You can buy 1GB of data from Egypt’s leading telco provider for as little as EGP25 (less than US$1.40). So, whether you’re planning a short trip, longer stay or tour of the Arab nations, check out the best SIM card deals on finder.com.

Travel Sim Card

Travel Sim Card from SimCorner

SimCorner's prepaid SIM cards let you enjoy local call, text and data rates in dozens of countries around the world.

View details
Updated October 23rd, 2019
Name Product Number of countries Data range Shipment time
150+
1GB-7GB
3-7 business days
Attach the Flexiroam X ultra-thin microchip sticker to your current SIM card to access data roaming in over 140 countries.
80+
1GB-Unlimited
1-12 business days
SimCorner's prepaid SIM cards offer local call, text and data rates in dozens of countries around the world. Choose from a range of data packages, including unlimited data in the USA.

Compare up to 4 providers

Prices last updated 5 Jul 2017

Telco providers in Egypt

There are three main operators in Egypt: Vodafone, Orange and Etisalat. All three providers have been through a strict approval process before being allowed to operate, and each one competes with the others to offer the best deals. Their services have all been tried and tested by both locals and tourists, and can be trusted.According to OpenSignal’s connectivity report, Egypt has below average network coverage with 72.40% 4G wireless availability, but still doing better than countries such as the Ukraine, Iraq and Iran.

About Egypt’s telco providers

Egypt’s operators offer good roaming rates and sell prepaid credit, which allows users to take advantage of cheap local offers and deals. All three providers offer customers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE wireless services. Locals call their SIM cards “SIMs” or “Chips” and they can be purchased by showing your passport and visa stamp. The store might also take a record of your unique IMEI phone identification number to ensure there are no issues with your handset while you are in the country. Below, we have broken down each telco provider to highlight exactly what’s being offered during your visit to Egypt.

About Vodafone Egypt

Vodafone Egypt is the largest operator with a 44% market share. It offers users a good 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE network with broad coverage and great rates. Vodafone offers four different prepaid SIM cards under their el-kart plan: Worry free, 14 Piasters, Maret 10 pt and per Second.

SIM cards can be purchased for EGP20-EGP25 which comes with standard voice and SMS plans. Check stores at the time of purchase for exactly what’s available, because the deals change from time to time. Data is not included with the starter packs so add-ons must be purchased to surf the net and to use social media.

Scratch card top-ups are sold almost anywhere and they can be purchased from most stores or retailers across the country. Top-ups can also be done online.

In addition, there is a tourist SIM on offer called the “Holiday SIM” which can be purchased for EGP20 and comes with EGP5 credit, valid for 40 days. The standard default data rate outside of a plan is EGP0.25 per MB, but check this with the retailer because rates can change.

The following data packs can also be added:

EGP0.7510MBValid for 1 hourDial *2000*01# to activate
EGP1.5030MBValid for 3 hoursDial *2000*03# to activate
EGP2.5060MBValid for 6 hoursDial *2000*06# to activate
EGP250MBValid for 7 daysDial *2000*72# to activate
EGP3100MBValid for 7 daysDial *2000*73# to activate
EGP7350MBValid for 7 daysDial *2000*77# to activate
EGP5150MBValid for 30 daysDial *2000*5# to activate
EGP10500MBValid for 30 daysDial *2000*10# to activate
EGP201.1GBValid for 30 daysDial *2000*25# to activate
EGP301.8GBValid for 30 daysDial *2000*25# to activate
EGP402.5GBValid for 30 daysDial *2000*25# to activate
EGP604GBValid for 30 daysDial *2000*60# to activate
EGP806GBValid for 30 daysDial *2000*60# to activate
EGP1008GBValid for 30 daysDial *2000*100# to activate
EGP15012GBValid for 30 daysDial *2000*150# to activate
EGP25020GBValid for 30 daysDial *2000*200# to activate
EGP40040GBValid for 30 daysDial *2000*200# to activate

The following data add-ons are available:

1) EGP5: 150MB – dial *2000*105# to activate

2) EGP20: 1GB – dial *2000*1020# to activate

Vodafone’s APN: internet.vodafone.net (Password and Username: internet)

Website: http://www.vodafone.com.eg/vodafoneportalWeb/en/myWorld_mainPage

About Orange

Orange is the second largest provider in Egypt with a 33% market share. It offers customers a reliable 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE service with good rates. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased for EGP30, valid for 30 days. There are two different prepaid options: “per second” is a standard SIM with no frills, whereas the “Netwawy” SIM comes with 50MB data per day for an extra EGP1.50, or 400MB for 7 days for EGP7.

All SIM cards are automatically activated on the “pay as you consume” plan which allocates 12MB for EGP1.5 per day; overuse is charged at EGP0.50 per MB. The following data packs can also be added:

Online 1Valid for 24 hrs25MB DataEGP1
Online 7.5Valid for 30 days200MB DataEGP7.5
Online 15Valid for 30 days500MB DataEGP15
Online 30Valid for 30 days1.5GB DataEGP30
Online 45Valid for 30 days2.5GB DataEGP45
Online 60Valid for 30 days3.5GB DataEGP60
Online 75Valid for 30 days5GB DataEGP75
Online 100Valid for 30 days8GB DataEGP100
Online 150Valid for 30 days12GB DataEGP150
Online 250Valid for 30 days20GB DataEGP250
Online 400Valid for 30 days40GB DataEGP400

To activate, dial *#100# and select the relevant plan. An SMS will be sent to your phone for you to confirm your purchase. As an alternative, you can call 110 to speak with a customer service agent.

Data packs can be added: 1.25GB for EGP25, 3GB for EGP50, 7GB for EGP100 or 15GB for EGP200. You can also make the packages “unlimited” for an extra EGP10. Pay EGP5 and you will receive 500MB data on top of your current package for social media use.

Orange APN: mobinilweb

website:www.orange.eg/en

About Etisalat

Although Etisalat is the smallest of the three providers in Egypt, it’s one of the largest operators in the Arab region, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It offers customers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE wireless and has some fantastic prices and good network coverage. However, there can be problems with speed when you go out into the more remote regions. Etisalat allows customers the use of their hotspots with all plans. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores or approved resellers for EGP20 and each comes with EGP10 credit.

The standard default data rate is EGP0.50 per MB on all prepaid plans. The following data packs can be added to all SIM cards:

Connect 7.5250MB DataEGP7.50Dial *566*75# to activate
Connect 15750MB Data750MB WiFiEGP15Dial *566*15# to activate
Connect 301.8GB Data1.8GB WiFiEGP30Dial *566*30# to activate
Connect 452.8GB Data1.5GB WiFiEGP45Dial *566*45# to activate
Connect 604.25GB Data4GB WiFiEGP60Dial *566*60# to activate
Connect 1009GB Data7GB WiFiEGP100Dial *566*100# to activate
Connect 15012GB Data7GB WiFiEGP150Dial *566*150# to activate

The standard default data rate is EGP0.15 per MB, and overuse is also charged at this rate. A Super Social Unlimited pack for social media use can be purchased for EGP15 which allows 1GB data use on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat, plus 100MB for Internet use. Dial *566*15# to activate this social media plan.

Etisalat also has the Mongez Prepaid data pack for modems, tablets and routers:

EGP301.8GB Data0.5GB WiFiValid for 1 monthDial *131# to activate
EGP452.5GB Data0.5GB WiFiValid for 1 monthDial *131# to activate
EGP603.5GB Data1.5GB WiFiValid for 3 monthsDial *132# to activate
EGP1008GB Data4GB WiFiValid for 3 monthsDial *133# to activate
EGP15014GB Data4GB WiFiValid for 3 monthsDial *134# to activate
EGP25025GB Data7GB WiFiValid for 3 monthsDial *137# to activate
EGP40045GB Data7GB WiFiValid for 3 monthsDial *137# to activate
EGP60072GB Data7GB WiFiValid for 6 monthsDial *137# to activate

Dial *130# to speak with customer services.

Etisalat’s APN: Etisalat

Website in English:http://www.etisalat.eg

Some top tips from finder.com staff:

  • Arabic is spoken in Egypt, so if you don’t know the language you may want to download Google Translate onto your phone before you travel. However, English is also spoken as a second language in the Middle East.
  • Egyptians call a SIM card a “SIM” or “chip”.
  • Ask the sellers to set up the SIM for you, because they will know how to do it. If not, follow the instructions we have highlighted above or go to the official operator website to seek advice.
  • Remember, it’s always better to get things done early, before the shops get too busy. That way, you are more likely to receive better assistance and avoid the crowds!

TripAdvisor tips for the best SIM cards and where to buy them

While it’s well known for reviews, booking hotels, flights and holidays, TripAdvisor also has many user comments that can help guide you through what SIM cards have been tried and tested in Egypt.

Here are some top tips from TripAdvisor users:

You can get a SIM card from virtually anywhere. Every major street in Cairo will have a distributor or a dealer for one or more of the three operators, so just ask your hotel for the nearest place to buy a SIM card.”

Price is not an issue at all. Prices at an operator’s shop will be between EGP20-EGP25 for a local Prepaid SIM (and this is what you should get, so avoid the Tourist line). Etisalat’s prepaid card is called “Ahlan”.

You will have to provide your passport so that a copy will be attached to the contract for documentation.

Pros and cons of Egypt’s top telco providers

All networks require you to have a SIM-unlocked GSM compatible international phone. To double check you have this phone, or if it’s possible to unlock your device, contact your provider before you start your travels.

Pros:

  • Good value for money
  • Egypt has good coverage
  • Prepaid credit when required
  • No in-store contract needed
  • Could be compatible with your current phone
  • Cheap handsets are sold in-store

Cons:

  • No devices offered with the SIM card packages
  • Can only be used on SIM-unlocked GSM phones

An important question about finding the best SIM

Can Egyptian SIM cards be used throughout the Middle East region?

Egyptian SIM cards can be used in other Middle Eastern countries, subject to additional roaming charges, but that defeats the object of purchasing a local SIM card. We advise you to only use the Egyptian SIM card in Egypt, to reap the full benefits of what it can offer. If you plan on traveling around the Arab nations, it would be advisable to purchase a SIM card from each country you visit to cut costs.

Switch to a cell phone plan with international calling

Name Product Data Minutes Texts Can I bring my own phone? Cell phone plans starting at:
Starting at 2 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$25
Get unlimited data, calls and text or a customized plan on a 5G network. Eligible plans come with Hulu, Amazon Prime or Tidal subscriptions.
Starting at 2 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$30
30-day phone plans that allow you to cancel your service at anytime. Choose from five different talk, text and data options with the choice to add international calling for $10/month.
Starting at 500 MB
Starting at 200 minutes
Starting at 500 texts
Yes
$0
Bring your own phone for a free plan with 500MB of data, 200 minutes and 500 texts per month using Sprint's CDMA Network. Prepaid plans with more data, talk and text start at $9.99/month.
Starting at 1 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$20
30-day plans with unlimited talk and text and the option to choose how much data is right for you. Add-on rollover data is available starting at $5/500MB.
Starting at 3 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$35
Choose from several different plan options with no contracts, no fees and coverage on the same networks as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

Compare up to 4 providers

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    OmoMarch 19, 2018

    Sometimes in Hughada,one can buy 2x 250 GB cards for iPads for the price of one.
    Where are these sales posted in advance or ongoing?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaMarch 24, 2018Staff

      Hi Omo,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      Regarding your question, if you are looking for discounted prices or promos, you may want to check the website of your desired telco provider. Moreover, you can even get notified of these promos through TVs, radio, and print ads.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  2. Default Gravatar
    TaunkJanuary 23, 2018

    Is mobile coverage with data available en route of Egypt Cruise?

    • Default Gravatar
      johndeguzmanMarch 5, 2018

      Hi Taunk,

      Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      In regard to your question about mobile coverage while on cruise. It would be best to talk to your carrier for packages and services while on cruise to check data and phone service while travelling. You can also take advantage of Wifi coverage that most cruise lines offer.

      Thanks.

      John

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