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Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki

Israel

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BasicsEdit

Operators Edit

Israel has three historical network operators:

  • Cellcom
  • Partner (formerly Orange)
  • Pelephone

While there are several additional MVNOs, only 2 of them offer prepaid options:

  • Hot Mobile (rebranding in Altice)
  • 019

Frequencies and Coverage Edit

2G and 3G: GSM is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G is on 2100 MHz like in most of Europe with additional 850/900 MHZ. Most of the country is covered aside from parts in the unsettled north of the desert in the south, but mostly there is full coverage of the country, currently there is no coverage map available.

4G/LTE: LTE works in most big cities on 1800 MHz (band 3) and there are plans to add 2600 MHz (band 7) to all networks in the future.

The following table contains the frequencies of the local operators. Be advised to check if your device is compatable to them or use the website Will My Phone Work?

Network Cellcom Partner Pelephone Hot Mobile

(Altice)

019
2G 1800 900, 1800 n/a Partner Partner
3G 850, 2100 900, 2100 850, 2100 2100 Partner
4G/LTE 1800 1800 1800 1800 Partner

Availability and Legal requirements Edit

Prepaid SIM cards are available in most cellphone shops (with many of them in every city) and in some kiosks. While you can find the 3 historical operators (Partner, Cellcom and Pelephone) in almost any store, the 2 MVNOs are a bit harder to find and not always available in all the stores. You can spot a sticker on the store front indicating, that they sell HotMobile or 019 SIM cards.

All Israeli prepaid SIM cards are anonymous and do not require any registration, ID checks or activation.

Israeli SIM cards cost nowadays around NIS 30-50 and come without any balance, needing a top-up when you buy them. Israeli regulations permit a line to be disconnected after 12 months of no use.

Currently only sell special tourist SIM cards are sold at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and not any regular SIM cards. It's very recommended to avoid buying these SIM cards in the airport as they are very overpriced compared to normal SIM cards you can buy all over the country.

Recharges Edit

You can go to any cellphone shop, post office and some kiosks in the country and ask to add credit to your phone number, but currently there is no online option from any "official" site. As there are no credit card recharge options from out of the country, it's hard to maintain an Israeli SIM card from abroad. A possible solution is to use 3rd party agencies mentioned at the end of the article.

Cellcom Edit

Cellcom

Cellcom logo with Hebrew

Cellcom is one of the historical providers. Shops and reloads can be found everywhere. They still have the most customers in the country on their network. Cellcom's prepaid plan is called "TalkMan" and referred as the generic word for prepaid cards in Israel.

Cellcom

Cellcom English text logo

To change your system language, dial *777, followed by 9 and 4 for English.

To check balance, dial *11777#.

Data and Talk packages Edit

Pay as you go rate for data 10 NIS per day for up to 50 MB, so better buy packages.

Price Data

Dom. Calls / SMS

Valid Extras

Data & Calls

29 NIS 150 MB 1000 mins 2 days
49 NIS 1 GB 1500 mins + 1500 SMS 7 days
70 NIS 1 GB unlimited calls within operator 30 days + 70 NIS for dom. and

70 NIS intern. calls

139 NIS 15 GB 5000 mins + 5000 SMS 30 days
150 NIS 20 GB unlimited calls within operator 30 days + 250 NIS for dom. and

150 NIS intern. calls

159 NIS 20 GB 5000 mins + 5000 SMS 30 days
Data-only
99 NIS 5 GB - 30 days
129 NIS 10 GB - 30 days
149 NIS 25 GB - 30 days

More info Edit

Partner (formerly Orange) Edit

Partner logo.svg

Partner, formerly known as Orange, is another historical provider. They are owned by local Partner Communications, who used the Orange brand under license until 2016, but have rebranded getting rid of the orange color.

Their pay-as-you-go plan is called "BigTalk".

Availability Edit

You can also buy Partner (ex Orange) SIM cards in many cellphones shops and retailers around Israel for 30~40 NIS without any credit on them.

To change system language dial *111 and press 7 and then 4 for English.

To check balance, dial *111#.

New SIM cards are enabled for 2G/3G networks only. To activate LTE/4G, dial *454 and follow voice instructions. Available languages: Hebrew, Russian, Arabic, English.

Data and Talk packages Edit

Using data without a plan: 4.01 NIS per MB. As this rate is very high, do not use data without a plan.

Price Data

Dom. Calls / SMS

Valid Extras
Data + Calls
29 NIS 1 GB unlimited 2 days
40 NIS 1 GB 25 minutes within operator 7 days + 35 NIS for dom use

+ 10 NIS for dom and intern. use

50 NIS 4 GB unlimited 7 days
70 NIS 5 GB 900 mins + 900 SMS 30 days
75 NIS 5 GB 500 mins + 500 SMS 30 days + 40 NIS for dom and intern. use
125 NIS 4 GB unlimited 7 days + 25 NIS for dom and intern. use
140 NIS 16 GB 5000 mins + 5000 SMS 30 days
150 NIS 20 GB unlimited calls in operator 30 days + 250 NIS for dom use,

+ 100 NIS for dom and intern. use

160 NIS 20 GB 5000 mins + 5000 SMS 30 days

Data-only

59 NIS 4 GB - 30 days
79 NIS 6 GB - 30 days
99 NIS 10 GB - 30 days
149 NIS 29 GB - 30 days Reduced speed after 29 GB

Make sure to tell the person who recharges your credit what package you need. There are several packages at the same price, but without data package, you'll end up with high rate per MB.

More info Edit

  • APN: uinternet
  • Check balance: *11777#.

Pelephone Edit

Pelephone

Hebew logo

Pelephone-0

English logo

Pelephone used to be a CDMA network and has become a GSM network. This means only GSM-phones supporting the 3G on 850 and 2100 MHz or 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz can use it, and it has no 2G coverage or fallback for GSM phones. The old 2G CDMA network that was not compatible to GSM will be shut down by July 2017. Check your device to make sure it supports the GSM frequencies mentioned

Pelephone pay-as-you-go plan is called "Talk & Go".

Data and Talk packages Edit

Using the SIM without a package NIS 3 for the first 10 MB, any additional MB is NIS 2 up to a daily max of NIS 49. So better use data packages. If your balance is below NIS 3, you won't receive any data at all.

  • All "unlimited" plans come with "unlimited" domestic calls and SMS and a FUP of 3000 minutes and 3000 SMS per week or month depending on plan.
Price Data Dom. Calls / SMS Valid Extra
Data-only (for cellphones)
39 NIS 3 GB - 30 days
70 NIS 8 GB - 30 days
135 NIS 25 GB - 30 days
Data & Calls
55 NIS 1 GB 250 mins + 250 SMS 45 days
59 NIS 5 GB unlimited 30 days
72 NIS 2 GB unlimited 30 days + 40 NIS for calls outside Israel
79 NIS 9 GB unlimited 30 days
99 NIS 15 GB unlimited 30 days
140 NIS 7 GB unlimited 30 days + 100 NIS for calls outside Israel

More info Edit

Hot Mobile (Hottalk) by Altice Edit

Hot mobile

Hot Mobile started together with Golan the telecom revolution in Israel in 2012. They are 3G and 4G only but and there is a national network sharing agreement with Partner, so you get full coverage. You may need to enable data roaming on your phone to get stable internet connection all over Israel, without surcharges. 2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz on Partner, 3G on 900 through Partner and on own 2100 MHz and 4G/LTE started on own 1800 MHz just recently.

From 2017 Hot is rebranding as Altice, the name of its parent company. The rebranding will take place gradually, but will be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2018.

Altice

Hottalk Edit

In summer 2015 they started classical prepaid SIM cards called Hottalk. They can be purchased at their sales centers and many post offices and shops for a 49 NIS fee and are valid for 180 days.

For topping up, they accept most international credit cards. Their basic pack has only their default rate at 0.49 NIS per minute, SMS or MB data. They offer these packages, that you need to book at point of purchase or by calling customer service at *6733.

Data and Talk packages Edit

  • All Hottalk "unlimited" plans come with "unlimited" domestic calls and SMS and a FUP of 3000 minutes and 3000 SMS per week or month depending on plan.

Price

Data Dom . Calls / SMS Valid Extra
Data & Calls
29 NIS 1 GB unlimited 7 days
35 NIS 1 GB - 10 days + 50 NIS for dom. and intern. calls
50 NIS 6 GB unlimited 30 days
69 NIS 10 GB unlimited 30 days
89 NIS 15 GB unlimited 30 days
139 NIS 12 GB unlimited 30 days + 100 NIS for intern. calls
Data-only
49 NIS 8 GB - 30 days
140 NIS 25 GB - 30 days

More info Edit

019 mobile Edit

019

019 mobile is operated by 019 Telzar International Telecommunication Services LTD. It's a fairly new Israeli cell phone company that offers various telecommunications services and now offers a mobile prepaid plan. Without any own infrastructure so far, it operates as MVNO on the Partner network in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE under a national roaming agreement.

Availability Edit

You can find 019 SIM cards in many cellphone shops around Israel. While not as common as Partner/Cellcom/Pelephone SIM cards, it isn't difficult to find them. Most stores who sell them will have a 019 sticker in the front of the store.

Expiration policy Edit

019 SIM card is active for 6 months since last recharge. After 6 months of no use, all loaded credits and booked packages will expire.

Roaming Edit

There is no roaming outside Israel for 019 by default. You can't even receive SMS outside Israel.

Possible top-up surcharges warning Edit

It appears that the retail system of 019 allows the re-sellers and shops to adjust the price that is shown on the screen. So some shops might show you higher prices then the official ones. Better double check when adding credit, so you won't pay more then you have to.

Top-up for the next month Edit

Currently 019 is the first and only cellphone company that added an option to top-up in advance for more then one month, meaning you can top-up for longer periods of time without the need to go and add another package to the line after a month has passed. You can select when to start the loaded package in advance.

Data and Talk packages Edit

Pay as you go rate on 019 cards is 4 NIS per MB. So better buy packages. To check balance, type *019.

  • All 019 "unlimited" plans come with "unlimited" domestic calls and SMS and a FUP of 3000 minutes and 3000 SMS per week or month depending on plan.
Price Data

Dom. Calls / SMS

Valid

Extras

Data & Calls
35 NIS 1 GB unlimited 7 days
49 NIS 6 GB unlimited 30 days
69 NIS 11 GB unlimited 30 days
75 NIS 2 GB unlimited 14 days + 500 minutes intern. calls to landline
150 NIS 10 GB unlimited 30 days + 100 NIS for intern. calls
Data-only
29 NIS 1 GB - 30 days
42 NIS 4 GB - 30 days
65 NIS 10 GB - 30 days
149 NIS 20 GB - 30 days

More info Edit

  • APN: netazi (enable data roaming)
  • Website (in Hebrew): http://019mobile.co.il/
  • to check your mobile phone number, dial *725
  • to check balance, dial *019

Israeli SIM resellers Edit

If you need to order the SIM card before your visit to Israel, you can use 3rd party dealers who sell them online with worldwide delivery. Please note that it's usually much more expensive than buying it in Israel (due to the shipping fee, processing fee and dealer surcharge), but if you need it - it can be a solution. eBay is a good platform to look for a SIM card too. Check price and delivery, compare with the offers given here for Israel and if it's worth the surcharge.

Also there is still a problem to recharge Israel SIM cards online. There is no official way to load some credits from outside Israel as no credit card payment and no PayPal are accepted. This makes it very hard to keep a SIM card alive from out of the country. Some vendors offer top-ups for a surcharge.

SIMPATIC Edit

Simpatic.net is a Israeli SIM service provider that offers worldwide delivery and also some pick-up points in USA and Canada.

Please note that this is a 3rd party dealer with worldwide delivery and therefore quite more expensive than local options. They offer 2 plans:

  • LOCAL PLAN: "unlimited" calls, sms and data in Israel. Price starts at $ 2.97 per day with a flat fee when order 18+ days.
  • INTERNATIONAL: same as the LOCAL plan but with calls to USA and Canada included. Price starts at $ 4.97 per day with a flat fee when order 18+ days.

Hidden in their T&Cs that are only displayed when you make an order, is a FUP of 6 GB before they throttle to 3G speeds.

PCWorks Edit

PCWorks based in Tel-Aviv is a reseller of Israeli SIM cards. Through their website they offer SIM cards and top-ups of major providers. Please note that this is a 3rd party dealer with worldwide delivery and therefore quite more expensive than local options.

SimVisit Edit

In 2016 a new service aimed at tourists started from Tel Aviv on the simvisit.com website. They struck a deal with Pelephone (see above) and resell their prepaid SIM cards with special services for a premium. The SIM card can be delivered to your hotel in Tel Aviv on the same day you order or they send it abroad without further fees. You'll need to set an activation date and give them up to two weeks for delivery. Payment is by credit card or PayPal.

These packages are offered:

  • 1 GB, 1000 domestic mins/SMS for 7 days: US$ 24
  • 2 GB, 2000 domestic mins/SMS for 14 days: US$ 34
  • 5 GB, 3000 domestic mins/SMS for 30 days: US$ 39

Data are on 3G and 4G using the Pelephone network. No activation needed. There seems to be no upsize or extension possible. SIM card expires after 3 months.

Note, that you'll pay about a substantial surcharge of 300% or more for their service compared to buying a local SIM card.

Prepaid Israel SIM Edit

PrepaidIsraelSIM sell SIM cards of all Israel operators with free worldwide delivery and also some pick-up points in USA.

Please note that this is not an official service, but a 3rd party dealer and is more expensive then local options.

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