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.
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:
- Cytamobile 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 and is available for prepaid. More spectrum on 800 and 2600 MHz is about to follow.
Cytamobile (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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and use it here.
This plan is for smartphones and talk, text and data. The SIM is sold for 7.50 €.
Default rate is still at a very high at 1.015 € 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 two monthly combos are sold:
- for € 20: 150 dom. mins, 150 dom. SMS, 500 MB, 3 € credit
- for € 35: 300 dom. mins, 300 dom. SMS, 1 GB, 3 € credit
|Data package||Validity||Data Volume||Price||Activation|
|soeasy MI day||1 day||30 MB||1.50 €||MI day|
|soeasy MI week||1 week||80 MB (x 3)||3.00 €||MI week|
|soeasy MI month||1 month||300 MB (x 3)||10.00 €||MI month|
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.
(x 3): as a promotion Vodafone offers the 3-fold data amount (x 3) for the same price.
Soeasy Tourist SIM Edit
For tourists Cyta sells a SIM which may not be a so good deal. It's sold for € 2 with € 1 credit. But data stays always on the default rate of 0.25 €/MB. Discounted calls to Russia and the UK are included.
Vodafone mobile InternetEdit
VMI is their data only SIM which is sold for 14.95 € including 200 MB data.
|15 days||100 MB||€ 5|
|30 days||200 MB||€ 10|
|60 days||440 MB||€ 20|
|120 days||820 MB||€ 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.
Vodafone mobile Internet holiday packEdit
Their VMI holiday pack is another data SIM which can be bought for 14.95 € with 500 MB included. When you top up, you get the following data:
|2 days||250 MB||€ 5|
|5 days||500 MB||€ 10|
|12 days||1.1 GB||€ 20|
|20 days||2.05 GB||€ 35|
Your service will be deleted 90 days after the expiration of the credit validity period unless you top-up your account before that date.
- APN: cytamobile
- Cytamobile-Vodafone website in English
MTN is the second network operator in the Republic: Coverage map. It gives out data at slightly more competitive rates than Cyta.
4G/LTE started in 2015 on 1800 MHz in the towns of Nicosia, Larnaca, Paphos and Limassol: 4G coverage and is now available to prepaid users too.
SIM card is available for 7.50 € with 2 € pre-loaded airtime and 20 SMS pack or for 2 € with 1 € pre-loaded. 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 bonuses. 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.
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:
|Validity||Data (x 3)||Price||Activation Code|
|1 day||20 MB||€ 1.52||data on day|
|1 week||80 MB||€ 4.00||data on week|
|1 month||200 MB||€ 10.19||data on month|
|1 month||500 MB||€ 15.13||data on month 500|
Activation is by texting the code to 6040.
(x 3): As a promotion MTN offers "triple data". This means that all data allowances above must be taken 3 times for the same price. This promotion should end in July 2016, but is obviously going on. You don't need to register for this promotion, just send code as shown above.
Mega Bundle: 1000 minutes of airtime and 1000 SMS to all MTN numbers, as well as 1000 MB 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 overpriced € 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 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||€ 20|
|120 days||820 MB||€ 35|
|180 days||1140 MB||€ 50|
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.
- APN: internet
- MTN website in English
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 costumers without any surcharge.
It offers the lowest prices in the South right now.
Their starter packs are available at the airports, supermarkets, some kiosks, mobile phone shops and their own stores (shops list):
- for 5 € with 3 € credit and 50 MB of data
- for 2 € with 1 € credit and 50 MB of data
All packages contain a short user guide in English. PrimeTel service messages (balance, announcements, etc) are available in Greek, English and Russian. You can select a desired language at first activation or any time later.
Top-ups are available for 5, 10, 20, 35 and 50 €. You get bonuses when you send an SMS with the text "BONUS ON" to 8133. All top-ups are valid for 365 days. Bonuses include data on recharges of 10 € and more. Recharge amount x 10 in MB are granted and valid for 30 days.
You can recharge online using any international Visa/MasterCard credit card on their website.
USSD codes Edit
- to check your account balance, dial *133#
- to check how much Internet left, dial *138*2#
- to check Super Bundle status and how much left, dial *138*3#
- to check Bonus Balance, dial *138# or *139#
- to display your mobile number, dial *133*12321#
- to change the language, dial *135*2# for English
Super Bundle Pack ("Ninja") Edit
This is probably the best offer for a short stay in Cyprus (South). You will get 1.5 GB, 1000 minutes of calling to Primetel and 1000 SMS to Primetel network for 10 days for 8 €. To get this package, you should recharge your account first, then send SMS with text ON8 to 8133. Note that this is labeled as a promotion and can be discontinued anytime. More information about this special offer on the official promo website.
Regular Pay As You Go rates Edit
For prepaid subscribers, default charge and overuse rate for mobile internet is € 0.25 per MB charged per KB. These packages are offered:
|60 ΜB||€ 1.50||1 day||data day|
|240 MB||€ 5.00||7 days||data week|
|600 ΜΒ||€ 10.00||30 days||data month|
|1.5 GB||€ 15.00||30 days||data month 500|
For activation text code to 8133.
Travel Internet Pack Edit
It is the special data-only SIM card made for tourists. Similar to MTN, they sell the SIM card at € 20 with 2 GB pre-loaded valid for 20 days. 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.
More info Edit
- Tethering is allowed, speed is not limited, but Fair Use Policies 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
Turkish-controlled Northern part of Cyprus (KKTC) is connected with Turkish phone network, sharing the same country code with Turkey (+90). All phones in Northern Cyprus have the area code 392, so the full numbers start with +90 392. Dialing from North to South is possible, but it is billed as international long-distance call.
In roaming (when using there any other SIM card except Turkish, KKTC and Republic of Cyprus) it will work as in Turkey (without any EU agreements or discounts).
KKTC TurkcellEditKKTC Turkcell is the North Cyprus branch of the leading Turkish network provider Turkcell.
The rates are 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 packets can be booked:
- 50 MB, 7 days, 100 units = 6.50 TL, activation: 50
- 500 MB, 30 days, 340 units = 22.10 TL, activation: 500
- 1 GB, 30 days, 500 units = 32.50 TL, activation: 1
- 2 GB, 30 days, 680 units = 44.20 TL, activation: 2
- 4 GB, 30 days, 1000 units = 65 TL, activation: 4
- 10 GB, 30 days, 1155 units = 75 TL, activation: 10
For activation text code to 1111. Wait until the package is confirmed by text message. To deactivate text "IPTAL" to 1111.
Turkey roaming offer Edit
For discounted roaming in Turkey on Turkcell they offer a Tourist Surfer Pack for 39 TL (or 600 units), valid for 7 days. It includes 50 minutes voice, 2 GB data and 500 interntl. SMS. Activation by texting 'SURFER' to 2966.
- APN: cepten.kktcell /or/ internet.kktcell
- online in Turkish: www.kktcell.com
KKTC Telsim (by Vodafone) EditKKTC 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 one network in the south too. But data packages are valid on Vodafone in Turkey too.
They sell a SIM called Tourist package for 25 TL containing 50 international minutes, 500 text messages and 500 MB internet valid for 7 days only.
The standard SIM is for 10 TL with no credit. Default data rate is 0.1 unit per KB
Data feature packsEdit
The following monthly data bundles are available and can be booked on tourist and standard SIM:
- 250 MB, 246 units = 16 TL
- 500 MB, 338 units = 12 TL
- 1 GB, 492 units = 32 TL
- 3 GB, 769 units = 50 TL
- 5 GB, 1000 units = 65 TL
- 10 GB, 1138 units = 74 TL
- 15 GB, 1292 units = 84 TL
Packages must be booked calling customer service on 548 (call for 8 units) or in the Telsim Shops. All data packages are valid without roaming fees on the Vodafone network in Turkey too. To check consumption text 'DURUM' to 2121 for free.
- APN: internet
- more info online in Turkish only: www.kktctelsim.com