Reduce your rates by using a local SIM.
Using your home phone network in Tunisia can be expensive, so consider switching over to a local SIM card to take advantage of better deals and plans. Tunisia has some of the best prepaid SIM cards in the world, with deals that could reduce your bills. You can buy 1GB of data from Tunisia’s leading telco provider for as little as TND4 (less than US$1.65). So, whether you’re planning a short trip, longer stay or tour of the Arab nations, check out the best SIM card options on finder.com.Prices up to date: September 2017
Telco providers in Tunisia
There are three main operators in Tunisia: Tunisie Télécom, Ooredoo and Orange. All three operators go 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 travelers, and can be trusted. According to OpenSignal’s coverage map, Tunisia has good network coverage with a modern telecommunications network.
About Tunisia’s operators
Tunisia’s operators offer good roaming rates and sell prepaid credit, so users can take advantage of cheap local offers and deals. All three providers offer customers 2G, 3G and 4G services for unlocked GSM phones. Locals call their SIM cards “SIMs” or “chips”. SIM cards can be purchased from stores, supermarkets, kiosks, drug stores and official outlets, as well as at the Tunis-Carthage International Airport. You can buy a SIM card by showing your passport, and your telephone number is already active when you purchase it. To add credit, there are several prepaid card machines around various towns and cities, and vouchers are stocked in stores and supermarkets.
Tunisie Télécom is the largest operator in Tunisia and offers the best rates, along with Ooredoo. Tunisie Télécom provides customers with 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services on a GSM platform. Network coverage is strong around the main towns and cities, and it’s reliable throughout the rest of the country. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores and approved resellers. Take your passport along for setup and be prepared to fill out a registration form before the SIM card can be activated. Credit can be purchased from most retailers across the country.
The “Mobi” prepaid SIM card is the best option for tourists. Credit can be added for between TND1 and TND20, and is valid from 10 to 180 days depending on the amount purchased.
The following data packs are also available:
Dial *122# to check your balance. Dial *122*2# to check data usage.
There is also a data-only SIM card available. The standard data rate is charged at TND0.01 per 10 KB (on all SIM cards). The following “forfaits dim@net prepayé” SIM cards are available:
- 500MB for 2 days: TND2, *145*4#
- 2GB for 15 days: TND8, *145*2#
- 4GB for 30 days: TND16, *145*5#
- 5GB for 30 days: TND20, *145*6#
Tunisie Télécom’s APN: internet.tn, website: http://www.tunisietelecom.tn/ and http://www.tt4g.tn/
Ooredoo is the main rival of Tunisie Télécom and offers some really good prices and packages. It provides customers with 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services on a GSM platform. Network coverage is strong around the main towns and cities, and it’s reliable throughout the rest of the country. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores and approved resellers. Remember to take your passport along for setup and be prepared to fill out a registration form before the SIM card can be activated. Credit can be purchased from most retailers across the country.
The Awal á la carte prepaid SIM card comes with 800MB of data after spending TND8 on credit. Dial *140# to select prepaid plans.
There is also a tourist “Holiday” SIM card available, valid for 90 days. The Holiday SIM can be purchased for TND10 and comes with TND10 call time credit but has no data included. Credit comes in the following denominations: TND5 (plus 100% bonus), TND10 (plus 200% bonus) and TND25 (plus 400% bonus). After you have spent TND7 on data, you can purchase an additional 1GB of data for TND2.
The standard data rate is charged at TND0.4 per 100 KB. The following data packages are also available:
|30 days||7GB||TND30||30 local minutes|
|30 days||10GB||TND45||120 local minutes|
|60 days||12.5GB||TND55||150 local minutes|
Dial *124# and select the relevant pack to activate.
There is also a data-only SIM card available. The following plans can be purchased
- 500MB for 1 day: TND2
- 750MB for 2 days: TND3
- 1.25GB for 7 days: TND5
- 2GB for 14 days: TND8
- 2.5GB for 30 days: TND10
- 4GB for 30 days: TND16
- 7.5GB for 30 days: TND30
- 10GB + unlimited nighttime data from 10pm-8am for 30 days: TND40
- 15GB + unlimited nighttime data from 10pm-8am for 60 days: TND60
Ooredoo’s APN: internet.ooredoo.tn, and website: http://www.ooredoo.tn/
Orange is the smallest operator in Tunisia, but it still manages to offer some good deals. It provides customers with 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services on a GSM platform. Network coverage is strong around the main towns and cities, and it’s reliable throughout the rest of the country. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores and approved resellers. Take your passport along for setup and be prepared to fill out a registration form before the SIM card can be activated. Credit can be purchased from most retailers across the country.
Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased for TND5, and credit can be uploaded TND5 at a time. Dial *101# to check your balance. The following prepaid plans are available: Zen, Tehabbel, Edawa5, 3ajab, 3alami, Boouj or Connecti.
- Zen and 3alami plans offer 1GB of data after consuming TND10 of credit.
- Tehabbel and 3ajab plans offer 700MB of data as a bonus.
- Boouj offers 2GB of data after consuming TND7 of credit.
- Connecti offers TND5 as a call time bonus.
The following data packs can also be purchased:
Dial *120*5 to check your data usage.
There is also a data-only SIM card available that offers the following packages:
- 500MB for 2 days: TND2
- 1GB for 4 days: TND4
- 2GB for 14 days: TND8
- 3GB for 30 days: TND12
- 4GB for 30 days: TND16
- 5GB (including unlimited data from 2pm-5pm) for 30 days: TND20
- 7.5GB (including unlimited data from 11pm-8am) for 30 days: TND30
Orange’s APN: weborange, and website: http://www.orange.tn/
Some top tips from finder.com staff:
- Arabic is spoken in Tunisia. If you don’t know the language, then consider downloading Google Translate onto your phone before you travel. English is a second language in Tunisia.
- Tunisians 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 get 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 and booking hotels, flights and vacations, TripAdvisor also has many user comments that can help guide you through which SIM cards have been tried and tested in Tunisia.
Here are some top tips from TripAdvisor users:
“Phones need to be fully unlocked, meaning no SIMlock (accepts only a certain SIM card) and no NETlock (accepts only SIM cards of a certain network provider).”
“Just be aware that if you end up planning to visit Tunisia again in the future and keep your SIM card then it may not work if it is longer than 3 months since you first bought it, depending on the type of SIM card they give you.”
“It will take a while to set up your SIM card – they need to copy your passport and put all your information in the computer before they will give you the SIM. You also need to pay in dinars so first you will have to go the ATM.”
Pros and cons of Tunisia’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 for your provider to unlock your device, contact your provider before you leave.
- No devices offered with the SIM card packages
- Can only be used on SIM-unlocked GSM phones
- Tough rules and regulations make buying a SIM card difficult
Q: What about other SIM card providers in Tunisia?
A: Lycamobile is the only mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in the country. Although you may find slightly different deals and plans, we feel it’s always better to stick with the main providers. However, if you do find a better deal on Lycamobile, it can be trusted.
Q: What should I do if I lose my phone?
A: Your phone is your lifeline, especially when traveling around Tunisia. Make sure you keep it safe and always make a note of where it is. The importance of having a direct link to family and friends via social media or through phone services can never be underestimated. If you do lose your phone, then retrace your steps and ask around. If you don’t have any luck, then report it missing. Finally, find a cheap replacement to keep in touch with the outside world, and don’t let this one out of your sight!