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Basics Edit

The Benin mobile market has experienced quite some volatility in 2017, when from 6 operators only 3 are remaining after the dissolution of BBCOM and state-owned Libercom, and the revocation of the license of Globacom Benin (Glo) in 2017.  

As a result only two major operators are competing now for customers with the following new ranking based on their market share: 

  • MTN (by Spacetel Benin)
  • Moov (by Maroc Telecom)

Additionally, the state-owned operator offers WIMAX and CDMA both incompatible to GSM and very limited 4G/LTE:

  • .Be Télécoms (data-only on 4G/LTE) 

Network regulator is ARCEP and currency is CFA Franc (XOF). The country code is +229.

Mobile networks account for almost all internet connections, and also carry most voice traffic. There has been some progress resulting from improved international internet connectivity and the rapidly escalating bandwidth available, which has led to lower access pricing for end-users. This has assisted mobile network operators to expand their networks, and provided the necessary backhaul capacity to support the growing use of mobile data applications and service, including m-commerce and m-banking.

The local mobile phone coverage is quite good and fairly cheap by regional standards. However, the regulator imposed heavy penalties in 2017 against MTN and Glo for its poor quality of service.

2G/GSM is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G/UMTS on 900 and 2100 MHz. 4G/LTE has started on 1800 MHz (band 3) and is added by 800 MHz (band 20).

registration: Benin’s scheme to register all mobile users came into effect in June 2011, under which existing subscribers were told to provide official identification to their operators, or risk the deactivation of their SIMs, whilst ID was also officially required to purchase a new SIM card.

MTN Edit

MTN

MTN used to be the largest operator in number of users. The South-African based MTN is present in Benin since 2006 after acquisition of Spacetel Benin (Areeba). It ended 2017 with a solid share of 57% of the market.

4G is available at no extra cost also for pre-paid users in areas around Cotonou, Ouémé and Abomey.

Availability Edit

200 CFA for SIM at their stores, that are located near the borders, in the malls and in Cotonou Airport as well.

If you intent to keep your SIM for a next visit it is possible to buy extended validity as following:

  • 9 Months extra validity: 300 CFA *201*1#
  • 12 Months extra validity: 400 CFA *201*2#

Data feature packagesEdit

The base rate FORFAIT LIBRE is 10 CFA per MB and can be activated with *130*6#. Without activation of any forfait there is no data active. MTN Benin offers on top social media packages and data packages that in general can be activated via the menu on *130# or via a direct code shown in the descriptions below.  

Social media packages

Forfait MTN XTRA TCHAT gives access to Whatsapp, Twitter and Facebook. The two packages auto-renew after activation. To check the status use USSD *130*5*3#. To cancel the packages use *130*5*4#. 

  • The daily package (journalier) costs 250 CFA and gives 40 MB of usage. Activation with *130*5*5*1#
  • The weekly package (hebdomadaire) costs 1200 CFA and gives 250 MB of usage. Activation with *130*5*5*2#

Forfait MTN NET CALL are special packages aimed at calling via WhatsApp, Tango, Skype and Viber. The packages auto-renew after activation. 

  • The daily package (journalier) costs 500 CFA for 80 MB. Activation with *130*5*1*1#
  • The weekly package (hebdomadaire) costs 2000 CFA for 200 MB. Activation with *130*5*1*2# 
  • The monthly package (mensuel) will set you back 6000 CFA for 1 GB. Activation with *130*5*1*3# 

Data only packages

Forfaits VOLUME are data packages for a specific volume valid for a specific time. You can book them via *130*amount# or via the menu of *130*1#. Once used or expired they do not auto-renew and you will have no data.

Volume Validity Price Activation
10 MB 24 h 100 CFA *130*100#
25 MB 24 h 200 CFA *130*200#
50 MB 24 h 300 CFA *130*300#
40 MB 48 h 250 CFA *130*250#
80 MB 48 h 400 CFA *130*400#
100 MB 7 d 500 CFA *130*500#
500 MB 7 d 2000 CFA *130*2000#
500 MB 15 d 2500 CFA *130*2500#
200 MB 30 d 1000 CFA *130*1000#
1 GB 30 d 4000 CFA *130*4000#
2 GB 30 d 6000 CFA *130*6000#
3 GB 30 d 9000 CFA *130*9000#

The Forfaits ILLIMITÉS provide you data in up to 4G speed (where available) until a fair use threshold is reached and then throttled to 256 kbps for the remaining validity. They auto-renew at expiry and thus need to be disactivated manually. To activate and select in the menu *130*0*1# To check remaining data allowance *130*2#. To disactivate *130*3#

  • 15 000 CFA for up to 6 GB per month
  • 25 000 CFA for up to 30 GB per month.
  • 45 000 CFA for up to 60 GB per month

For night owls, MTN offers the forfaits Nuit (0:00 - 06:00) in both a volume as well as an unlimited package with undeclared FUP with speeds up to 2 Mbps:

  • 750 CFA for 1 GB valid for 1 night, activation via *130*750#
  • 999 CFA for unlimited usage valid 1 night, activation via *130*999#
  • 5000 CFA for unlimted usage valid 1 week, activation via *130*5000#

Additional Information Edit

APN: internet.mtn.bj

Website in French: www.mtn.bj

Moov Edit

Moov was owned by Etisalat and recently sold to Maroc Telecom. It's the major rival of MTN and historically the second operator in the country. In 2018 it has grown after the migration of about 1 million stranded Glo customers in 2018 to its network by decision of the regulator. 
Moov-CI

According to the latest audits of the regulator ARCEP it has the slightly better coverage compared with MTN. coverage

Availability

SIM = 250 CFA

A Basic SIM card costs 250 CFA, in promotions 100 CFA, and there are a the following prepaid plans to choose from. Use *106*1# to activate the plan of choice.

  • MoovVivo offers 30 MB of data usage on Sundays betweem midnight and 6 PM for each usage of 500 CFA between mondays and fridays
  • Epiqnation offers 200 MB data for use at night (between midnight and 6 AM) for each usage of 200 CFA during the preceding day.

MoovFirst

MoovVoyageur+: Extention of SIM validity if you intend to keep your number and SIM with *125#

6 Months for 100 CFA, 9 months for 200 CFA and 12 months for 250 CFA

Forfaits illimités are data packages giving data at 4G/3G speed up to a usage is reached.

Data Roaming offer Edit

Prepaid users can book packages for data roaming on other Moov and Etisalat partner networks in Togo, Niger, Gabon, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Egypt and in the United Arab Emirates by *143*1*volume in MB# and check the remaining data allowance with *143*0#. The following packages are available:

  • 5 MB for 3000 CFA valid 15 days
  • 10 MB for 5000 CFA valid 30 days
  • 15 MB for 7500 CFA valid 15 days
  • 25 MB for 10 000 CFA valid 30 days
  • 50 MB for 20 000 CFA valid 15 days
  • 100 MB for 30 000 CFA valid 30 days

Additional information Edit

APN: moov user: web password: web

Website in French: www.moov.bj

.Be Télécom Edit

State operator for fixed lines and WiMAX + CDMA. Launched 4G in 2015 with coverage in Cotonou, Porto-Novo, Calavi, Ouidah and in Allada.  

☀(rebranded from Benin Telecoms in October 2015

Data only sim card for 500 CFA  Available in their outlets , including one at Cotonou International Airport

Discontinued Offers Edit

Glo Mobile (by Globacom Benin) Edit

Benin’s Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications & Postal Services (ARCEP) has withdrawn the operating licence of Nigerian-owned Globacom Benin (Glo Mobile) in 2017, after negotiations between the two sides broke down over the concession’s renewal terms. The company refused to accept a number of new conditions imposed by the regulator, including an increase of the licence fee.

The regulator banned all sale of SIM cards and top-ups effective December 2017. In January 2018 ARCEP ordered the migration of Glo's about 1 million remaining active subscribers to rival operator Moov.