Politically the island of Cyprus is divided into two parts. The Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus in the south which is a member of EU and the Turkish-affiliated part in the north which calls itself KKTC or TRNC in English.
This split is reflected in the phone system as well. In the south different providers operate than in the north and there is no roaming at all between them (even if Vodafone owns a network in every part). A call from north to south is possible, but will be billed as a foreign call to another continent. The sovereign base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia are covered by the same operators as Southern Cyprus.
For a tourist it's very easy nowadays to cross the border at Nicosia and visit the other part. But you should know that you will lose coverage soon. Furthermore, the north is not part of EU, so roaming prices are not regulated.Visiting the entire island, you may think of buying two SIM cards because of the present situation. In the south, the highest rates for data within the EU used to be charged, but now some cheaper packages appeared. Compare EU roaming options to it.
First the networks of the south are shown:
- Cyta Vodafone
Then the networks in the north
- KKTC Turkcell
- KKTC Telsim (Vodafone)
which are associated with the Turkish phone system. The restrictions about registration and taxes for foreign mobile devices enforced in Turkey (see Turkey) don't apply to Northern Cyprus.
2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G on 2100 MHz, 4G/LTE has started in the Republic (South) on all three networks on 1800 MHz (B3) and is available for prepaid. More spectrum on 800 and 2600 MHz (B 20 and 7) is about to follow.To avoid being connected to a KKTC network by mistake, disable automatic network search, make a manual network selection and lock the southern network as long as you are using an European SIM card for roaming in the Rep. of Cyprus under "roam like at home" rules.
Cyta (by Vodafone)Edit
Cyta for CYprus Telecommunication Authority is jointly owned by the government and Vodafone and still the biggest operator in the country giving a good coverage at the highest rates around.
4G/LTE has started in 2015 in the towns of Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos. It's available for prepaid users without a surcharge.
Their prepaid SIM card is called "soeasy". They sell it everywhere (in the airports, supermarkets, kiosks etc.): store locator. Default PIN is 1234.
There are reload cards (vouchers) for €5, €10, €20 and €35 available. A top-up of €10 or more is valid for 365 days. You can recharge online with a non Cyprus-issued credit card, if you ask for an authorization code by email at email@example.com and use it here. Check balance by *110#.
This plan is for smartphones and talk, text and data. The starter pack is sold for €7.50 and contains 5 € credit and 100 domestic SMS valid for 90 days.
Default rate is still at high €0.244 per MB. So use packages. They offer either combo plans or data-only packages.
The combo packs need to be activated by texting "on soeasy plus" to 8000. These three monthly combos are sold:
|€ 10||100 mins||100||500 MB||€ 3|
|€ 20||300 mins||300||1 GB||€ 3|
|€ 35||600 mins||600||2 GB||€ 3|
These data packages are sold:
|soeasy MI day||1 day||100 MB||€ 1.50||MI Day|
|soeasy MI week||1 week||200 MB||€ 3||MI Week|
|soeasy MI month||1 month||1 GB||€ 10||MI Month|
|soeasy MI monthly XL||1 month||2 GB||€ 15||MI XL|
For activation, text activation code to 8000. After you have consumed the internet pack you have purchased, it will charge you a basic rate €0.25 per ΜΒ unless you purchase a new pack. For this reason they will inform you through SMS when your pack has been consumed. You can purchase as many mobile internet packs as you like at any moment. Consumption will take place from the pack you have purchased earlier until it is exhausted.
Vodafone mobile InternetEdit
VMI is their data only SIM which is sold for €14.95 including 200 MB data.
|5 days||500 MB||€ 5|
|10 days||1 GB||€ 10|
|20 days||2.2 GB||€ 20|
|40 days||4.1 GB||€ 35|
The validity period is extended every time you top-up your account. The extension duration in days is shown in the table below. Your service will be deleted 180 days after the expiration of the credit validity period unless you top-up your account before that date.
EU roaming Edit
Cyta generally implements "roam like home" principles with roaming at domestic rates in the EU without restrictions on all their prepaid offers.
- APN: cytamobile
- Website in English: https://www.cyta.com.cy/personal/en
MTN is the second network operator in the Republic: Coverage map. In 2018 it was sold to Monaco Telecom.It gives out data at slightly more competitive rates than Cyta.
4G/LTE started in 2015 on 1800 MHz (B3) in the towns of Nicosia, Larnaca, Paphos and Limassol: 4G coverage and is now available to prepaid users too. In 2017 about 93% of the population are already covered by 4G/LTE.
SIM card is available for €2 with €1 pre-loaded credit. They sell it everywhere (in the airports, supermarkets, kiosks etc.): Store locator.
Top-ups are available through vouchers or electronic recharge (on MTN Pay or JCC Smith). MTN Pay accepts only credit cards issued in Cyprus. Denominations are €5, €10, €20, €35 and €50. Top-ups of €10 or more are valid for 365 days and come with additional airtime, data and SMS bonses. They offer a data top-up card at € 15 with 1.5 GB for 30 days of validity. This data top-up card is only available for electronic top-up.
Alternatively you can top up commission-free online with JCCSmart. (This should work with the other providers as well. Tested with EU issued credit card, Oct. 2017)
Check your balance by dialing *202#.
MTN PayAsYouGo Edit
Their voice and data plan is called MTN PayAsYouGo. Default rate for data is a high €1.02 per MB. You should buy better buy one of these bundles:
|1 day||100 MB||€ 1.5||data on day|
|1 week||300 MB||€ 4||data on week|
|1 month||1000 MB||€ 10||data on month|
|1 month||2000 MB||€ 15||data on month 2000|
Activation is by texting the code to 6040.
By texting the word 'ON' to 6040 you can activate their All in one Bonus Scheme for top-ups of €10 or more valid for 30 days:
|€10 - €19.99||40 mins||100||30 MB|
|€20 - €34.99||120 mins||250||60 MB|
|€35 - €49.99||240 mins||500||90 MB|
|€50+||400 mins||750||150 MB|
Mega Bundle: 1000 minutes of airtime and 1000 SMS to all MTN numbers, as well as 1 GB for € 7. Validity period is 10 days. You can activate it with sending the text '''ON''' to the number 8500. You can activate more times, and you receive the airtime, SMS and MBs again.
Holiday Prepaid Pack Edit
For tourists they have introduced their Holiday Prepaid Pack. It's sold at €2 with €1 credit. While data is on default at the excessive € 1.02/MB rate, you can add all 4 data packages from above to this tourist SIM. It includes reduced internatl. SMS and calls to Sweden, Norway, Russia, Germany and the UK.
The Holiday Prepaid Pack has a non-extendable validity period of 30 days upon activation. Any recharge will not extend the validity period irrespective of the recharge validity period. Upon expiration, the SIM card will become inactive and any unused monetary credit will be lost.
MTN Mobile Broadband PayAsYouGoEdit
Their data-only plan is called MTN Mobile Broadband PayAsYouGo and its SIM card is sold for €10 with 100 MB for 30 days are included. You can add these packages for more data:
|15 days||100 MB||€ 5|
|30 days||200 MB||€ 10|
|60 days||440 MB||€ 22|
|120 days||820 MB||€ 41|
|180 days||1140 MB||€ 57|
Upon the expiration of the validity period of the top-up card, the MTN Mobile Broadband PayAsYouGo service will become inactive but the remaining balance of your account will NOT be lost. If you renew your account within 180 days from the day the service becomes inactive, then your new available balance will be the sum of the two (new top-up data volume + remaining balance). If you do not renew your account within the 180 then your account will be deleted and you will no longer be able to use your SIM card. You can't call from this SIM, it provides only data and SMS sending (can't receive). More info: here (PDF).
MTN Holiday Internet Edit
For tourists MTN gives out their new Holiday Internet. It's sold at €20 containing 2 GB valid for 15 days. Same packages as for MTN Mobile Broadband PayAsYouGo can be added and same rules apply.
EU roaming Edit
MTN has generally implemented "roam like home" principles with roaming at domestic rates in the EU without restrictions on all their prepaid offers.
- APN: internet
- Website in English: http://www.mtn.com.cy/en/mobile/
PrimeTel PLC is a multiservice provider with various fixed broadband and mobile services. It is very popular for ADSL, TV and landline phone service in the South. It's the first MVNO in the Republic of Cyprus too. It started in 2011 using the Cytamobile network. In 2014 they have been granted a license to build own physical network on 3G and 4G/LTE. It has already covered 60% of territory by its own 4G/LTE and 99% on its own 3G since 2015, making Cyta no more needed, but roaming with Cyta is still operational for 2G (GSM/GPRS/EDGE) modes. 4G/LTE is open for prepaid customers without surcharge.
Their starter packs are available at the airports, supermarkets, some kiosks, mobile phone shops and their own stores (shops list) for €2 with €1 credit and 50 MB preloaded.
For top-ups reload cards are sold with heavy bonuses for €5, €10, €20, €35 and €50. You can recharge online using any international Visa/MasterCard credit card on their website
They give the highest bonuses for top-ups. To activate this bonus text 'ON' to 8133. These bonuses are awarded valid for 30 days:
|€ 5||20 mins||20||0|
|€ 10||100 mins||150||100 MB|
|€ 20||250 mins||300||200 MB|
|€ 35||450 mins||600||350 MB|
|€ 50||unlimited||800||500 MB|
Voice minutes are on-net on Primetel only.
Check your account balance by *133#, check how much Internet left by*138*2#, check Super Bundle status and how much left, by *138*3#, check Bonus Balance by *138# and change language by *135*2# for English.
Super Bundle Pack Edit
This is probably the best offer for a short stay in Cyprus (South): you get 1.5 GB, 1000 minutes of calling to Primetel and 1000 SMS to Primetel network for 10 days at €8. To get this package, send SMS with text 'ON8' to 8133.
Regular Pay As You Go rates Edit
For prepaid subscribers, default charge and overuse rate for mobile internet is €0.25 per MB. These packages are offered:
|100 ΜB||€ 1.50||1 day||MB1|
|400 MB||€ 5||7 days||MB7|
|1 GΒ||€ 10||30 days||MB30|
|3 GB||€ 15||30 days||MB30 2500|
For activation text code to 8133.
Travel Internet Pack Edit
This is a special data-only SIM card made for tourists. Similar to MTN, they sell the SIM card at €20 with 2.5 GB pre-loaded valid for 20 days. You can buy this product at the airport arrivals (Larnaca or Pafos) and at selected kiosks all over the island.
To buy more data, you can add one of these packages:
|250 MB||2 days||€ 5|
|500 MB||7 days||€ 10|
|2 GB||14 days||€ 20|
|3.5 GB||20 days||€ 35|
|5 GB||30 days||€ 50|
Purchase of these packages is online through your account. 4G/LTE is supported. A triple size SIM (nano, micro, mini) is given out. Note that it supports only data, neither voice calls nor SMS service.
Check the detailed users guide in English from the official website. After the expiration of the initial data, you can purchase more data for a period of 90 days. After the 90 days of service the SIM card becomes inactive regardless of your loaded credit.
EU roaming Edit
Primetel has generally implemented "roam like home" principles with roaming at domestic rates in the EU without restrictions on all their prepaid offers.
More info Edit
- Tethering is allowed, speed is not limited, but Fair Use Policies (FUP) are active: using torrents or other P2P applications is limited by speed throttling.
- APN: ip.primetel
- Website in English: http://primetel.com.cy/en/
SOUTHERN PART (Republic of Cyprus, Greek) above
NORTHERN PART (KKTC, Turkish) below
Basic information Edit
The Turkish-controlled Northern part of Cyprus (called KKTC or in English Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, short TRNC) is connected to the Turkish phone network, sharing the same country code with Turkey (+90). The prefix for KKTC Turkcell is +90 533 and for KKTC Telsim +90 542.
Dialing from North to South is possible, but is billed as an international long-distance call. In the KKTC prices are often shown as units instead of the local currency TL.
KKTC TurkcellEditKKTC Turkcell is the North Cyprus branch of the leading Turkish network provider Turkcell. Like with Vodafone you can use data in KKTC and Turkey without surcharges.
The rates are still charged in "Kontör" = units. 1 unit is 0.065 TL.
The SIM card is sold in all Turkcell shops (store locator) for 15 TL with 100 units (worth 6.5 TL) of credit.
Data feature packsEdit
Default data rate is 11 units (0.715 TL) per 100 KB. The following packages can be activated:
|100 MB||1 day||77||5||GUNLUK|
|1 GB||7 days||152||9.88||HAFTALIK1|
|500 MB||30 days||340||22.10||500|
|1 GB||30 days||500||32.50||1|
|2 GB||30 days||680||44.20||2|
|4 GB||30 days||1000||65||4|
|10 GB||30 days||1155||75||10|
|15 GB||30 days||1308||85||15|
For activation text code to 1111. Wait until the package is confirmed by text message. To deactivate text "IPTAL" to 1111.
- APN: cepten.kktcell /or/ internet.kktcell
- Website in English: https://www.kktcell.com/en
Telsim Vodafone (KKTC Telsim) Edit
Telsim Vodafone, aka KKTC Telsim is the main competitor of KKTC Turkcell and a branch of Vodafone Turkey, but is not allowed to be called Vodafone for legal reasons as Vodafone has an own network in the south too. Their data packages are valid on Vodafone in Turkey too, but not on the Vodafone network in the south of the island.
The standard SIM is for 10 TL with no credit. Default data rate is 0.12 units per MB.
Data feature packsEdit
They have one daily package of 1 GB at 10 TL that is sold as scratch card called Günlük Internet Paket. It's valid for 24 hours and you have to text the 'GUNLUK' <6-digit code from the card> to 8484. Check your balace by texting 'KALAN' ro 8484.
The following monthly data bundles are available and valid in Northern Cyprus and Turkey:
Packages must be booked calling customer service on 548 (call for 8 units), in Telsim Shops or online on your account. All data packages are valid without roaming surcharges on the Vodafone network in Turkey too. To check consumption, text 'DURUM' to 2121 for free. For Facebook and Twitter use they offer a social bundle with 1 GB for these two apps and 20 MB general data valid for 30 days at 77 units = 5 TL. Activation by *8484#.
- APN: internet
- Website in English: https://www.kktctelsim.com/en/