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, and in order to activate it you will be asked for an ID or a Passport, as this is required by law since 2011. Children under the age of 18 can not activate a sim card on their own. 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, 3G and 4G. 2G/3G Cosmote Coverage. 4G/LTE was launched in 2012 and covers 70% of population in 2015: 4G Cosmote Coverage . 4G/LTE is given out without surcharge to all customers, including prepaid plans.
Cosmokarta and What's upEdit
Their prepaid SIMs for talk, text and data are called Cosmokarta and What's up. They are both available for 5.01 EUR without credit in their stores (store locator).You can also obtain a SIM from specific kiosks and service stations, but this is not preferred. 4G/LTE is enabled by default, wherever there is coverage.
Both tariff lines have different combined packages, but the same data-only bundles. You can change between the two plans by texting 'ALPAK' to 1314. The first change is free. All subsequent changes incur a fee of 3 EUR.
Topping up can be done by internatl. credit cards online from 5 to 30 EUR or by buying Cosmote Top-up cards at 5, 10, 20 or 30 EUR in their outlets. A top-up of 30 EUR or more gets 10% bonus. But a 12% telecommunication tax is applied to all top ups. So if you load 5 EUR, you'll actually get 4.86 net worth.
Default rate on both plans 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.
These data bundles can be booked both on Cosmokarta and What's up:
- Internet Monthly Pass 60: 120 MB (!) for 30 days: 3 EUR, up to 3G speed
- Internet Monthly Pass 200: 500 MB (!) for 30 days: 5 EUR, up to 4G speed
Both packages can be subscribed by calling 1330 free of charge and can be renewed anytime. Other packages for domestic calls and SMS are offered: see here all the packs for Cosmokarta and here all the packs for What's up (in Greece only).
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 can 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 providers, they award free data as bonus on all 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 calendar month.
The regular data passes are the same daily or monthly packages as on Cosmokarta or What's up of Cosmote. For more info, check Cosmote above.
Vodafone EditVodafone Greece is the 2nd network in Greece. Coverage and speed is shown here: Vodafone 2G/3G Coverage. 4G/LTE Coverage is mostly on 1800 MHz and limited to Athens, Thessaloniki and a few other places 4G Coverage list. 4G is given out without surcharge to all customers, including prepaid plans.
Vodafone Prepay / CUEdit
The voice, text and data SIM are called Vodafone Prepay or Vodafone CU. The connection set for Prepay is 5 EUR, while Vodafone CU is free. Getting the Vodafone CU set is recommended. But you can change both tariff lines once per month by calling 1266.
It is recommended to buy a SIM card directly from a Vodafone store and have it activated there: Store Locator. Although you can by a prepaid SIM from specific kiosks, service stations or supermarkets, it is preferred to do it from a Vodafone store to avoid delays in the activation process of your SIM. A SIM activated from a Vodafone store will be instantly activated.
Recharge vouchers are available for 10, 15, 20 and 30 EUR, and can be obtained from kiosks, service stations and super markets. You can also top-up your account online, with credit card or Paypal. A 12% tax applies. If you load 5 EUR, you'll get 4.86 worth of balance
Default data is at the daily rate of 1 EUR for up to 15 MB. There are two additional packages for phone & data
- Surf & Email 60: 120 MB (!) for 30 days: 3 EUR, activation: text 'SURF60' to 19109
- Surf & Email 100: 500 MB (!) for 30 days: 5 EUR, activation: text 'SURF100' to 191019
They are intended for smartphones and can be purchased by an activation call or SMS from a Prepay Vodafone or CU SIM card. Other packages for voice, text or roaming are shown here for Vodafone CU and here for Vodafone Prepay
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, and online.
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 (like on Prepay/CU shown above). All activations by calling 1252 free of charge.
The SIM starter pack includes 15 days and a maximum of 2 GB of internet. It supports VoIP like Skype, but cannot 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
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.
Supposedly, they ban VoIP according to their terms, but Skype and some others work without a problem. Some other users had problems with certain VoIP apps/software.
- 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. The points of sale to get a sim card are limited, as you can not obtain a SIM card directly from a Vodafone store. Getting a Tazamobile top-up voucher is also more difficult than obtaining one for an MNO, but regular Vodafone scratch cards work too on Taza.
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 too.
Data rates Edit
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
Their data top-up bonuses have been discontinued.
Tethering and 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 low 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: 4G Coverage Maps ) 4G is given out without surcharge to all customers, including prepaid plans.
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. Wind gives high bonuses for online top-ups. They can be done by internatl. credit cards and PayPal, if you have registered online before. For every 1st online top-up of 10 EUR or more per calendar month 1 GB of data is added for free.
So it's a better idea to buy the SIM card for 5 EUR including 0.55 EUR credit, 60 domestic mins , 50 domestic texts and 20 MB (valid for 30 days) but without top-up right from the start at their stores: Wind Store Locator.
Default or above bundle rate is 1 EUR per 20 MB and day. Two different data packages can be booked on the F2G SIM:
- Giga Surf: 1 GB for 30 days at 5 EUR, you can later add 500 MB at 2 EUR for 1 day
- Absolute Surf. 5 GB for 30 days at 15 EUR
A Giga Surf bundle can be activated up to 4 times in a month on www.f2g.gr or the F2G app. They also offer Blender with an allowance of 400 domestic mins, 100 dom. text and/or 1 GB data at 8 EUR valid for 30 days. You can mix all three consumptions, but the value of the others will decrease.
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
- There is no possibility to receive a SMS which provides information or offers in English.
Q is a subsidiary of Wind on their 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE network (for coverage see above). Unlike Cosmote and Vodafone, that have outsourced their sub-brands, Q is sold by Wind in most of their stores and integrated into their own product. They give the highest bonuses for top-ups and lowest rates in the country.
Q starter packs are available for free at some kiosks and most Wind branded stores (store locator) with a scratch card for the top-up value.
You need to register online and top-up online using an international credit card or PayPal. They give you once 500 MB bonus for the registration. Only one of these additional bonuses are given out for the first top-up per calendar month:
- 524 MB for any online top-up
- 1 GB and 1000 Q mins for online top-up of 10 EUR or more
- 524 MB for top-up of 10 EUR or more made in a Wind store
- 500 MB and 1000 Q mins for top-up of 10 EUR or more using scratch cards
Data rates Edit
For data, Q offers three packages:
- 250 MB + online activation bonus of 150 MB: 2 EUR
- 350 MB + online activation bonus of 250 MB: 3 EUR
- 500 MB + online activation bonus of 100 MB: 5 EUR
Packages are valid for 30 days and can be activated up to 4 times per month. If you activate them 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: 2.2 GB for 10 EUR or 1.524 MB for 5 EUR per month.
From December 1st 2015 onwards, WhatsApp data usage will be free for 60 days from every top-up. No FUP policy or limit is enforced and WhatsApp VoIP is included.
More information Edit
- APN: myq