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If you’re looking for Turkish and Greek influences at the same time, Cyprus is the answer. Quite literally split down the middle with different telco providers, using your phone on the island can be expensive. So, why not take advantage of local SIM card deals to reduce your bills? You can buy 1GB of data from Cyprus’s leading telco provider for as little as EUR€5 (about £3.10). So, whether you’re planning a week-long holiday or a long-term trip, check out the best SIM card options available on finder.com/uk.Prices last updated 6 Jun 2017
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There are four main operators in Cyprus: Cytamobile-Vodafone, MTN, KKTC Turkcell and KKTC Telsim (Vodafone). KKTC operators are part of Turkey and are not within the European Union. The other two providers are Greek and are classed as being part of the EU. There are no roaming deals between the north or south of the island. All operators go through a strict approval process before being allowed to operate in the country and they all compete with one another to offer the best deals. They have all been tried, tested and trusted by locals and international travellers alike and their deals are competitively priced. According to OpenSignal’s coverage map, Cyprus has great network coverage around the Strovolos area. Other areas can suffer as the network signal becomes weaker.
Operators in Cyprus offer good 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE wireless services. All four operators sell prepaid credit, which allows users to take advantage of cheap offers and deals. The locals call their SIM cards “chips” and “SIMs” and they can only be purchased from official stores and approved resellers by using your passport. Credit can be purchased from supermarkets and at the airport. Top-ups can be purchased online by using your credit card. Below, we’ve described each telco provider and highlighted exactly what they can offer you during your visit to Cyprus.
Cytamobile-Vodafone is a joint venture between the government and Vodafone. It offers 2G, 3G and 4G services. The “soeasy” SIM card can be purchased almost everywhere, including official stores, supermarkets and the airport. SIM cards will need to be activated by entering a PIN code, which is always 1234. Credit can be purchased for EUR€5, EUR€10, EUR€20 and EUR€35. A top-up of EUR€10 or more is valid for 365 days. Dial *110# to check your balance. Cytamobile-Vodafone’s SIM starter pack can be purchased for EUR€7.50 and comes with EUR€5 credit along with 100 SMS and is valid for 90 days.
The standard data rate is very high, charged at EUR€1.015 per MB. We advise you to purchase one of the following data packs, which will help keep costs down (text 8000 and choose the “on soeasy plus” option to select the relevant plan):
The following data packs are also available:
|soeasy MI day||1 day||30MB||EUR€1.50|
|soeasy MI week||1 week||80MB||EUR€3.00|
|soeasy MI month||1 month||300MB||EUR€10.00|
Text the relevant MI code to 8000 to activate. An overuse rate is charged at EUR€0.25 per MB. An SMS will be sent towards the end of the plan to notify you that you’re nearly at the limit. There is also a tourist SIM card on offer with a default rate of EUR€0.25 per MB and discounted calls to the UK and Russia. Cytamobile-Vodafone also offers a data-only SIM called VMI, which comes with 200MB of data for EUR€14.95. Data can be added as follows:
Another variation of the VMI SIM card can be bought for EUR€14.95 with 500MB of data, valid for 7 days. The following data packs can also be added:
MTN is the second largest operator in Cyprus and offers better rates than Cytamobile. 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services are available. SIM cards can be purchased for EUR€7.50, which comes with EUR€2 of call time and 20 SMS. SIMs are available from most retailers and approved resellers. Credit can be purchased at any MTN paypoint, any stores selling vouchers or online. EUR€5, EUR€10, EUR€20, EUR€35 and EUR€50 can be added. Data top-up cards can also be purchased for EUR€15 with 1.5GB of data, valid for 30 days. Dial *202# to check your balance.
The MTN PayAsYouGo voice and data SIM is also a good option. It offers the following packs:
|1 day||20MB||EUR€1.52||Text “data on day” to 6040|
|1 week||80MB||EUR€4.00||Text “data on week” to 6040|
|1 month||200MB||EUR€10.19||Text “data on month” to 6040|
|1 month||500MB||EUR€15.13||Text “data on month 500” to 6040|
There is also a Holiday Prepaid Pack available for tourists. It can be purchased for EUR€2 and comes with EUR€1 of credit. The above-mentioned packs can be added and as well as the following data-only plans:
KKTC Turkcell is the leading telco provider in Northern Cyprus. It can be used in Turkey without incurring roaming charges. Its prices are listed in “Kontör” which means units. 1 unit is TRY0.065. KKTC Turkcell’s prepaid SIM card can be purchased from Turkcell stores for TRY15 with 100 units of credit (worth TRY6.5).
The standard default data rate is 11 units (TRY0.715) per 100KB and the following packs are available:
Text the activation code to 1111 to activate. Text “IPTAL” to 1111 to cancel.
KKTC Telsim is part of Vodafone Turkey and is Turkcell’s main competitor. KKTC Telsim’s SIM cards can also be used in Turkey without incurring any extra roaming charges. Its rates are also sold in units:1 unit is TRY0.065. SIM cards can be purchased from official Telsim stores, supermarkets or approved resellers.
There is a tourist package on offer for TRY25, which contains 50 international minutes, 500 text messages and 500MB of data, valid for 7 days. The standard SIM card can be purchased for TRY10, but credit must be purchased to use it.
The following data-only packs can also be added:
To buy an above-mentioned plan, call customer services at 548, head to a Telsim shop or purchase online. Text “DURUM” to 2121 to check your balance.
While it’s well known for its reviews as well as 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 Cyprus.
Here are some top tips from TripAdvisor users:
All networks require you to have a SIM-unlocked GSM-compatible international phone. To double check that you have this phone, or whether it’s possible for you to unlock your device, contact your provider before you leave.
There are several MVNOs available, including PrimeTel, which offers some good SIM deals. Check the latest deals on offer before purchasing your SIM card. Make sure you buy the correct SIM card for visiting either Northern or Southern Cyprus, as they don’t have roaming partnerships.
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