There are three physical network operators (MNOs) in Greece:
All three MNOs have closely attached MVNOs or subsidiaries that resell their offers: Frog Mobile on Cosmote, Tazamobile on Vodafone and Q on Wind.
2G/GSM is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G mainly on 2100 MHz and some 900 MHz. 4G/LTE has started on 1800 MHz and is now on 800 MHz and 2600 MHz too on all three operators.
Cosmote has the best coverage but often the slowest speed, while Wind has the lowest prices, but the lowest coverage. SIM cards are available in shops, sometimes for a proof of ID like a passport. Be aware that many shops prefer to sell you more expensive bundles (e.g. with 3G USB sticks) stating they ran out of stock of naked prepaid SIM cards. But where there are bundles, there are SIM cards too.
With all the three MNO providers you have the choice between a call, text and data SIM card and a data-only SIM with lower data rates but no calls and SMS possible. Each MNO has its own MVNO which only sells one SIM card and doesn't need to be a better deal. This is a survey of their products:
|Call, text & data||Cosmokarta, What's up||Prepay, CU, International||F2G|
Internet on the go prepaid
Cosmote is the national provider with the most subscribers and the best coverage in 2G and 3G but often very slow speeds compared to the competitors: 2G/3G Cosmote Coverage. 4G/LTE was launched in 2012 and covers 70% of population in 2015: 4G Cosmote Coverage . It is available for prepaid.
Their prepaid SIM for talk, text and data is called Cosmokarta or What's up. They are available for 5.01 EUR without credit in their stores (store locator).
Default rate is the daily tariff of 1 EUR in 24 hours and 20 MB maximum up to 3G speed. If used more, speed will be reduced. Two different bundles can be booked on Cosmokarta or What's up:
- Internet Monthly Pass 60: 60 MB in 31 days: 3 EUR, overuse: 1.03 EUR/MB, up to 3G speed
- Internet Monthly Pass 200: 500 MB (!) in 30 days: 5 EUR, overuse: 1.03 EUR/MB, up to 4G speed
Both packages can be subscribed by calling 1330 free of charge. Some more packages are available for What's up only, but they include domestic texts and data.
Internet on the Go prepaidEdit
Their prepaid SIM for data only has the following starter packs available:
- 15 € for COSMOTE Sim Pack includes SIM card only with 10 € credit.
- 35 € for COSMOTE Full Pack includes 3G USB Stick and SIM with 20 € credit,
- 49 € for COSMOTE Pocket WIFI includes 3G Mifi and SIM with 20 € credt
- 89 € for COSMOTE 4G Full Pack includes 4G USB Stick and SIM with 30€ credit
You can book these packages called "Prepaid Internet on the Go":
|5 €||1 GB||1 day|
|10 €||2 GB||5 days|
|18 €||3 GB||15 days|
|30 €||5 GB||30 days|
Passes can be booked on their website only through cellular connections using the Cosmote SIM, free of charge; their website may allow online payment for passes but only one payment per day may be made.
Both combi micro/regular and nano SIM
- APN: internet
- for expiry rules see Frog Mobile below
Frog Mobile Edit
Frog Mobile is a subsidiary or sub-brand of Cosmote on their network in 2G, 3G and some packages on 4G/LTE.
Their starter called connection pack is sold for 5 € in kiosks and other outlets like Cosmote branded stores (for store locator see Cosmote). It contains 5 € credit, but only 0.04 € are given out from the start. 1.24 € credit are awarded for the next 5 months provided if there is a top-up.
To activate your connection pack, you have to call any number. Once you dial it, you will hear a recorded message welcoming you to Frog mobile saying that your number has been activated.
Top-up vouchers for 5 € or 10 € are available at their oulets, Germanos and Cosmote stores. To top up, text "ANA<blank><16-digit top-up code>" to 1298. Check credit by sending "YP" to 1298 free of charge.
The validity period of the cash balance is 6 months (180 days) from the last recharge. If you spend six months without recharging, you lose any cash balance left on your account. The validity period of your connection is 12 months since the last renewal or the date of activation of the connection. If you spend 12 months without recharging, you cannot make and receive any phone calls. However, they offer you one additional month, in which you have the option to top-up your airtime and renew the validity period of your connection for 12 months. But if 13 months have passed without any recharge, your number is automatically deleted and thus your connection is deactivated.
Data rates Edit
Like other MVNO providers, they award free data as bonus on top-ups:
- for a 5 € top-up, 500 MB are given out for free
- for a 10 € top-up, 1 GB is given out for free
Data bonus is valid for 30 days and is only on the first top-up of every month.
The regular data passes are the same daily or monthly packages as on Cosmokarta of Cosmote. For more info refer to Cosmote above.
Vodafone EditVodafone Greece is the 2nd network in Greece. Coverage and speed is shown here: Vodafone 2G/3G Coverage. 4G Coverage is mostly on 1800 Mhz and limited to Athens, Thessaloniki and a few other places 4G Coverage list. It is not given out for prepaid so far.
The SIM starter pack includes 15 days and a maximum of 2 GB of internet. It supports VoIP like Skype but can not be used for phone calls, meaning there is only data in this offer. It can be ordered online for 15 € to be picked up at a Vodafone store. On location, they may charge you 20 € or more.
|2 €||500 MB||30 minutes|
|5 €||1 GB||1 day|
|10 €||2 GB||3 days|
|20 €||2 GB||15 days|
|40 €||5 GB||30 days|
- The 30 minutes and 3 days packages can only be booked by SMS, all other packages by recharge vouchers too
- Vodafone does not allow tethering on the iPad (throught Carrier settings) but it works with the same SIM card on iPhone (Carrier settings 14.0) as long as you specify the same APN for tethering and regular surf (web.session)
- Once connected, you can check your data balance here
Vodafone Prepay / CUEdit
The voice, text and data SIM are called Vodafone Prepay or CU. The connection set for Prepay is 5 EUR, CU is free. Recharge vouchers are available for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 EUR. Default data option is the daily rate of 1 € for up to 15 MB.
There are two additional packages for phone & data called Surf & Email 60 and Surf & Email 100, good for 120 MB for 3 € and 500 MB for 5 € respectively. They are intended for smart phones and can be purchased by an activation call or SMS from a prepaid Vodafone CU SIM card. The charge is deducted from the previously loaded units.
They ban VoIP and seem to be degrading Skype so it is virtually impossible to Skype with these packages. If you load 5 EUR, you actually get 4,86 EUR net worth because of a 12% telecommunication tax.
Both plans are good for 30 days (The data has to be used up insiede a month from activation) and can be activated by calling 1286 and typing code "55" for S&E 100, or send an SMS with SURF60 or SURF100 to 19109 (you need to put the SIM into a phone to do that).
As a promotion, Vodafone gives out data bonus for top-ups on their CU cards only called "Just Surf Bonus". For top-ups of 10 € 500 MB are awarded, for top-ups of 20 € 1 GB free of charge, valid for one month. This must be activated before top-up.
Vodafone international Edit
For tourists and visitors Vodafone sells their new "international" SIM card. For a top-up of:
- 5 €: you get 500 MB and 300 minutes to other Vodafone internatl. numbers for 30 days as bonus
- 10 € or more: you get 500 MB and 1000 mins to other Vodafone internatl. numbers for 30 days as bonus
You can change from CU or Prepay plans to this tariff line too. It contains heavily discounted international bundles for calls: 50-90 mins in 30 days to landlines and mobiles in the EU or 160 mins to the US for 5 EUR. For more data, you can add the Surf & Email bundles 60 and 100 (see Prepay/CU above). All activations by calling 1252 free of charge. Again, VoIP is blocked on this tariff.
SIM sizes Edit
Combi regular and micro SIM
Balance Check Edit
Free call to 1252, change language, then option 1 from top menu. There does not seem to be an SMS or USSD option for checking balance.
- APN for Kartointernet: web.session
- APN for Prepay and CU: webonly.vodafone.gr / internet.vodafone.gr
Tazamobile is a MVNO on Vodafone network in 2G and 3G.
Mostly the SIMs and top-up vouchers can be purchased at small kiosks which sell magazines and newspapers, found scattered around the city centers. But you can find actual Taza stores: store locator. The SIM is given out for free at kiosks.
Data rates Edit
Data is given for top-ups:
- a 5 € top-up gives you 500 MB as bonus
- a 10 € top-up gives bonus of 1 GB data and 1,500 minutes to other Tazamobile phones, 100 minutes to domestic mobiles and landlines and some free texts.
These bonuses are given only for the first top-up in a month. Bonus credit is valid for 30 days. You can add these regular data bundles valid for 30 days:
- 120 MB: 3 €, activation: text 'SURF60' to 19109
- 500 MB: 5 €, activation: text 'SURF100' to 19109
Tethering, APN Edit
Tethering seems to be blocked: Whilst the SIM worked fine in a hot-spot device, it would not give internet access in an Android phone to a tethered device, although internet on the phone was OK. The APN normally given is “internet.vodafone.gr”, but internet reports suggest “webonly.vodafone.gr” will allow tethering off a smartphone to multiple devices. Another earlier contribution suggested “webcarta.vodafone.gr” does the same thing. Comments from others may be useful on this point. In both cases username and password are left empty.
Wind is the smallest network provider in Greece, but can give good speeds where available at attractive rates: Wind 3G Coverage Map. In 2015 4G/LTE started in major parts of Athens and Thessaloniki. It is now available in other parts of the country too. (Coverage Maps ) It is given out without surcharge to all customers.
F2G is the name of their prepaid talk, text and data line. The connection pack is free, but you have to buy a top-up card for 10, 15, 20 or 30 EUR. You can also buy the SIM card for 5 EUR including 0.55 EUR credit, 60 min, 50 text and 20 MB (valid for 30 days) but without top-up right from the start at their stores: Wind Store Locator. Two different data packages can be booked on the F2G SIM:
- Giga Surf: 1 GB in 30 days for 5 EUR, you can later add 250 MB for 2 EUR
- Absolute Surf. 5 GB in 30 days for 15 EUR
Giga Surf bundle can be activated up to 4 times in a month on www.f2g.gr or the F2G app. Above bundle charge is 1 EUR per 20 MB.
Wind also sells their Mobile Broadband without contract data-only SIM card. The connection pack comes in 3 different varieties:
- SIM only: 3 GB data included in 30 days: 14.90 EUR
- SIM with 3G USB modem: 3 GB included in 30 days: 29.90 EUR
- SIM with 3G WiFI router: 3 GB included in 30 days: 49.90 EUR
Following top ups are available:
- 1 GB in 30 days: 5 EUR
- 5 GB in 30 days: 15 EUR
These SIM cards can be loaded with Wind top up cards. To activate a pack, text the 16 digit number to 1268. To check data balance, text free SMS to 1228 with the word "balance". This SIM is for data only and no SMS but these two service numbers.
- APN: gint.b-online.gr /or/ gnet.b-online.gr
If you register online you can check your balance, add packages and top up (with credit card or PayPal). As of June 2015 there is no possibility to receive a SMS which provides information or offers in English.
Q is a subsidiary or sub-brand of Wind on their 2G and 3G network.
Q starter packs are available for free at some kiosks and most Wind branded stores (store locator).
You can top-up online using an international credit card or PayPal. You will be awarded 1 GB data and 1000 domestic minutes for every first top-up of 10 € or more per month. Alternatively, you can buy a Wind top-up voucher and enter the code. For offline top-ups of 10 € or more you will be awarded 500 MB and 1000 domestic minutes for every first top-up of the month.
Data rates Edit
For data, Q offers two packages:
- 250 MB + online bonus of 150 MB: 2 €
- 500 MB + online bonus of 100 MB: 5 €
Packages are valid for 30 days and can be activated up to 4 times per month. If you activate it online on your account, the online bonus is given for every activation.
Thus, combining top-up and online bonuses with the 250 MB data packages, very good rates for data can be achieved: 2.6 GB for 10 € or 800 MB for 5 € per month. For more info, see Wind above.