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Egypt

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BasicsEdit

Egypt is the biggest mobile phone market in Africa and has 3, probably soon 4 network providers:

  • Vodafone Egypt
  • Orange (formerly: Mobinil)
  • Etisalat
  • [Telecom Egypt (soon to be established)]

All three existing providers have a similar footprint and 2G and 3G in the populated areas. Orange, once called Mobinil used to be market leader, but lost this position in recent years to Vodafone. Etisalat is the newest arrival, but almost on par in coverage now. So speed and coverage depend heavily on your local position to the closest antenna.

  • 2G is on 900 MHz (and 1800 Mhz on Etisalat only), 3G up to HSPA+ speed on 2100 MHz.

In 2016 landline operator Telecom Egypt became the first operator to acquire a 4G/LTE concession. It will start with trials by the end of the year. Reportedly, it'll offer 2G and 3G services via other carriers’ networks. That will most likely be Vodafone of which it owns a 43% share. The other providers also received licenses for 4G/LTE.

For 4G/LTE trials started in 2016 on the rather unusual 900 MHz and 2100 MHz bands. These same bands are used for 2G and 3G too what has affected the 2G/3G service. So as of 2017 there is no official 4G/LTE yet.

For buying a prepaid SIM card, you have to visit one of the shops of the providers, show your passport and give them a local address (like your hotel address).

VoIP block Edit

In 2015 operators confirmed reports that the national regulator NTRA had blocked VoIP services on all mobile networks, although this was denied by the regulator. It's technically prohibited to make international calls from mobile networks under Article 72 of the Telecommunications Law, which forbids the “by-passing [of] international telephone calls by any means whatsoever.”

The blocking of VoIP makes international calls from Egypt very expensive. For now, all mobile operators, but not all landline/ADSL providers block VoIP. That's why there might be still a chance to use it on a WiFi, or elsewhere through a VPN tunnel.

Stamp Tax Edit

The Egyptian Stamp Tax is a tax collected for the Egyptian Tax Authority by the providers. It's set at EGP 6.10 annually and imposed on every subscriber. From 2012 every mobile user has to pay this tax. It's divided by 12 months and EGP 0.51 charged monthly on every local prepaid account too.

Vodafone Egypt Edit

Vodafone
Vodafone Egypt, half owned by Telecom Egypt, has become the biggest provider in Egypt with a 44% share of the market. It overtook Mobinil (now branded Orange) in 2011 and offers a good coverage at pretty high rates. For 4G/LTE Vodafone only acquired spectrum on the rather unusual 2100 MHz frequency and is about to start.

Voice and data planEdit

Vodafone in Egypt has a broad variety of different voice prepaid SIM cards called el-kart with various start-up prices, validities and voice and text rates. They are called Worry free, 14 Piasters, Maret 10 pt and per Second. Sales price is LE 20-25 with some credits. Not all brands may be on offer in every store (locator). No data is included in any starter pack, so for data it doesn't matter which plan to choose. A Stamp Tax of LE 0.51 per month applies to every plan

You can top-up by scratch cards sold in 7,000 outlets throughout the country or using a credit card online on your profile.

Tourist SIM Edit

Tourists may prefer their "Holiday SIM" which is sold for fixed LE 20 including LE 5 credit pre-loaded in their stores. They have a validity of 40 days. Top-ups don't prolong this, you have to buy a pricey validity extension. Data is by default at LE 1 per MB on the tourist SIM. You can add the same packages as below. This plan is only recommended when you buy packages and stay for less than 40 days.

Data feature packsEdit

Default rate outside of bundles is LE 0.25 per MB on most local SIM cards. Vodafone offers the following monthly data packages as add-ons to all of their prepaid lines:

Price Data Volume Time Activation
LE 0.75 10 MB 1 hour *2000*01#
LE 1.50 30 MB 3 hours *2000*03#
LE 2.50 60 MB 6 hours *2000*06#
LE 2 50 MB 7 days *2000*72#
LE 3 100 MB *2000*73#
LE 7 350 MB *2000*77#
LE 5 150 MB 30 days *2000*5#
LE 10 400 MB *2000*10#
LE 25 1.25 GB *2000*25#
LE 60 3.5 GB *2000*60#
LE 100 7 GB *2000*100#
LE 150 12 GB *2000*150#
LE 250 20 GB *2000*200#

Activation is online or by calling *2000#. After consuming the bundle quota, your internet access will be blocked. To add more data on monthly bunfles, you can choose between the different add-ons or paying the default rate.

  • LE 5: 150 MB, activation: *2000*105#
  • LE 20: 1 GB, activation: *2000*1020#
  • LE 10: no cut-off, but throttled to 32 kbps

For activation dial *2000# or logon your account.

More information Edit

  • APN: internet.vodafone.net
  • Password and Username: internet

Orange (formerly: Mobinil) Edit

Orange-0

Orange used to be the biggest mobile provider in Egypt when it was called Mobinil. In 2016 they were rebranded to the Orange label. All stores and products are now called Orange. They compete with Vodafone, but are at no.2 position with 33% of customers and a good coverage in the country. LTE is scheduled to start in 2017 on 900 and 2100 MHz and is already marketed.

Availability Edit

Their prepaid card is sold in their stores (Store locator) for up to EGP 30. If you don't top-up within a month, your SIM will be terminated and you lose your credit. They have different prepaid lines: "per second" is without a base rate, 'Netwawy' has 50 MB per day included for EGP 1.50 or 400 MB per week for EGP 7. A Stamp Tax of LE 0.51 per month applies to every plan.

Data feature packsEdit

All customers are on “Pay as you consume” by default. You will be granted 12 MB for EGP 1.5/ day; after which you will be charged around EGP 0.50-0.25 per MB depending on plan. 

Name Validity Data WiFi Price
Online 1 24 hrs 25 MB EGP 1
Online 5 30

days

150 MB EGP 5
Online 10 400 MB 400 MB EGP 10
Online 25 1.25 GB 1.25 GB EGP 25
Online 50 3 GB 3 GB EGP 50
Online 75 5 GB 5 GB EGP 75
Online 100 7 GB 7 GB EGP 100
Online 150 12 GB 12 GB EGP 150
Online 250 20 GB 14 GB EGP 250
Online 400 40 GB 14 GB EGP 400
Online 150 1 year 500 MB/mo. EGP 150
You can activate through your Orange account online or from your phone: dial #100#, select "Internet & BlackBerry", select "Internet Packages", select "subscribe", select the Internet package that suits you best. You will receive a notification SMS to confirm your subscription to your preferred package. Or by calling 110 customer service. All packages automatically renew. The monthly packs contain the same amount to be used on Orange WiFis too.

After finishing the inclusive data of your package, you can choose what happens next:

  • renew your package with the same price and same data volume
  • purchase a package extension of 1.25 GB for EGP 25, 3 GB for EGP 50, 7 GB for EGP 100 or 15 GB for EGP 200 (each add-ons only available for original pack sizes equal or above).
  • continue on the pay as you consume charging EGP 0.25-0.50/MB .

You can unsubscribe from any online package by following the same subscription steps, choose "unsubscribe" instead of "subscribe". You can change between different packages at any time by unsubscribing from the current package and subscribing to the new preferred package and the new package will be added instantly. Orange WiFi is available at these locations: list.

For an extra EGP 10 you can transform a current internet package to "unlimited". After you finish your package inclusive volume, you will still get data at a reduced speed of 64 kbps without extra cost. Activation is made online.

They offer a daily Social Media package with Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Libon and Snapchat included only at EGP 1.

For EGP 5, you can get an additional 500 MB on top of your current package for social media. Upon finishing the extra 500 MBs, you will still be able to continue using social networks at a reduced speed of 64 Kbps with no extra cost even if you finished your main package. Activation is online or by #777#.

More informationEdit

  • APN: mobinilweb

Etisalat Edit

Etisalat
Etisalat is the smallest of the three providers with a market share of 22%. It gives good coverage in some places, but has gaps and slow speeds in others. They combine their own hotspots in their products. You can call *233 for the nearest hotspots. Etisalat is said to have the lowest coverage, but are the only provider that publishes a 2G/3G coverage map. LTE is about to be launched in 2017 on 900 and 2100 MHz.

Ahlan Edit

Etisalat has a variety of prepaid cards and start up packages. The starter pack is LE 20 with LE 10 credit preloaded in their stores (store locator). Their prepaid tariff lines are called Ahlan that come in different varieties. They are sold in their stores (locator) together with recharge cards. A Stamp Tax of LE 0.51 per month applies to every plan.

Data feature packages Edit

The default data rate is at LE 0.50 per MB on all of their prepaid products. These weekly or monthly packs can be booked on the SIM:  

Package Data WiFi Time Price Activation
Connect 5 150 MB - 30 days LE 5 *566*5#
Connect 7 350 MB 7 days LE 7 *566*7#
Connect 10 400 MB 500 MB 30 days LE 10 *566*10#
Connect 25 1.25 GB 1.5 GB 30 days LE 25 *566*25#
Connect 50 3 GB 4 GB 30 days LE 50 *566*50#
Connect 100 7 GB 7 GB 30 days LE 100 *566*100#
Connect 150 12 GB 7 GB 30 days LE 150 *566*150#

Overuse is charged with LE 0.15 per MB. To subscribe call *566# for free. All packages auto-renew, if there is enough credit. To unsubscribe type *566# too. WiFi on Etisalad hotspots only, dial *223# to find the neares hotspot. For overuse you can buy the same package again or an add-on for the same price or surf at the default rate.

For social media they sell a Super Social Unlimited package at LE 15 with 1 GB for Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat & Instagram and 100 MB for other websites. Activation by *566*15#.

Data-only planEdit

Their data-only plan is called Mongez Prepaid and for tablets, routers and modems. The following bundles are available:

Price Data WiFi Validity Activation
LE 25 1.25 GB 0.5 GB 1 month 131
LE 50 3 GB 1.5 GB 3 months 132
LE 100 7 GB 4 GB 3 months 133
LE 150 12 GB 4 GB 3 months 134
LE 250 25 GB 7 GB 3 months 137

Activation is by *130# or texting '1' to the number in the table. WiFi volume applies only to Etisalat hotspots. Dial *223# to find the nearest hotspot. Bundles will renew automatically in case of sufficient balance. To inquire about your usage and renewal date send an empty SMS to 555 or dial *130# for free. In case of full bundle consumption; you will have the choice to renew your bundle, purchase an extra add-on or be charged per LE 0.25 per MB.

More informationEdit

  • APN: etisalat

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