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Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki

Israel

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BasicsEdit

Israel has a complicated phone market for foreigners. Basically, it has three historical network operators:

  • Cellcom
  • Partner (formerly Orange)
  • Pelephone

In 2012 two further operators were awarded licenses for 3G and later 4G frequencies:

  • Hot Mobile
  • Golan Telecom

Another auction in early 2015 gave a 6th MNO on 1800 MHz LTE: 018 Marathon (Xfone) - but they haven't started yet. In late 2015 they signed a national roaming agreement with Pelephone. And last but not least, MVNOs like Ramy Levy and Home Cellular operate on the historical networks, but some like Your Phone have been purchased by their MNOs now.

After 2012 the market shifted from the historical operators to MVNOs and to the two new arrivals who undercut the rates of the big three. But in November 2015 Golan Mobile has been bought by Cellcom pending approval of the regulatory bodies.

Be aware, that networks are on different frequencies and compare it with those of your device:

Network Cellcom Partner Pele- phone Hot Mobile Golan Telecom
2G 1800 900, 1800 n/a Partner Cellcom
3G 850, 2100 900, 2100 850, 2100 2100 2100
4G/LTE 1800 1800 1800 1800 1800

An Israeli SIM card costs nowadays around NIS 40-50 on prepaid or contract. Israeli regulations permit a line to be disconnected after 12 months of no use.

Cellcom Edit

Cellcom

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". To change your system language, dial *777, followed by 9 and 4 for English. To check your balance, dial *777 and press 2 to hear the balance are 3 to get a SMS with the balance for a NIS 0.35 fee.

Pay as you go rate for data is NIS 3 per day for up to 10 MB or NIS 10 per day for up to 50 MB, so better buy packages.

Data feature packs Edit

  • 5 GB per month: 99 NIS
  • 10 GB per month: 129 NIS
  • "unlimited" (= 15 GB): 149 NIS

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" and still contains some orange.

Availability Edit

99 NIS with no credit if bought directly from Partner (ex Orange) retail outlets. 50 NIS including 40 NIS credit if bought at any participating post office. There's a post office on the upper floor of Terminal 3 in Ben-Gurion International airport where most flights to Israel land. This SIM card can also be bought from merchants on eBay.

It's best to add money to your account using cash or card in person at a post office or phone shop, recharging with a credit card via the phone is only possible for Israeli residents as you need an Israeli ID card number. There is a 7 NIS service charge added to the cost of every top up.

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, type *111#.

Data feature packs Edit

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

Data Price Valid Comments
1 GB 69 NIS 30 days
3 GB 79 NIS 30 days
5 GB 99 NIS 30 days
'unlimited' 99 NIS 14 days FUP: 8 GB
'unlimited' 149 NIS 30 days FUP: 25 GB

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

Combo feature packs Edit

All packages below include unlimited calls and SMS and are for domestic use only to all networks, bonus credit can be used for calling out of Israel.

Price Data Bonus Valid
29 NIS 500 MB - 2 days
50 NIS 1 GB - 7 days
125 NIS 4 GB - 7 days
140 NIS 10 GB - 30 days
160 NIS 14 GB - 30 days
199 NIS 2 GB 60 NIS 30 days
200 NIS 8 GB 60 NIS 14 days

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

More info Edit

  • APN: uinternet

Pelephone Edit

Pelephone

Pelephone used to be a CDMA network and is now a hybrid CDMA / UMTS network. This means only GSM-phones supporting the 3G 850 and 2100 MHz frequency can use it, and it has no 2G coverage or fallback for GSM phones. Check your device to make sure it supports the frequencies mentioned

Pelephone is known to have the worst customer service and messages can't be switched to English. That's why many visitors stay away from them. Anyway, their pay-as-you-go plan is called "Talk & Go".

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.

Data feature packs Edit

For cellphones only:

  • 2 GB : 50 NIS
  • 6 GB : 89 NIS
  • 16 GB : 150 NIS

For modems, tablets and routers only:

  • 3 GB : 39 NIS
  • 8 GB : 70 NIS

Combo feature packs

  • 59 NIS : Unlimited domestic calls and SMS + 3 GB data
  • 79 NIS : Unlimited domestic calls and SMS + 6 GB data

More info Edit

Golan telecom

Golan Telecom Edit

Golan started in 2013 the price war when they offered contracts for a fraction of the traditional providers.

There is a national (within Israel) roaming agreement between Golan Telecom and Cellcom. So you get full coverage, but you may need to enable data roaming on your phone to get stable internet connection all over Israel at no extra cost. In December 2014 they started 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz.

In November 2015 Golan Telecom was sold to Cellcom. The Israeli governement is against this deal and tries to block it. They have even threatened to withdraw all their licenses. As the future looks very unclear, you should better think twice of joining this operator. They are still postpaid contracts and don't really fullfil the requirements for prepaid of this WIKI.

Availability Edit

Initially SIMs for Golan were only available through their website , but they can now be obtained in most malls in "BUG" or "Best Mobile" stores: Full retailers list. SIM card costs a 49 NIS one-time handling fee.

International credit card and PayPal are accepted and since 2013 officially foreign passports too: see here. But we had a user report that Golan stopped accepting foreign passports in the meantime, which couldn't be verified. Anyone staying more than 2 months still seems to be accepted. They even have a subsidiary that sells their SIM cards with internatl. delivery here.

Combo contracts Edit

They offer these monthly contracts which can be terminated anytime:

  • NIS 9.90: 100 dom. mins and to 56 countries, unlimited dom. SMS, 100 MB
  • NIS 29.90: unlimited domestic calls and SMS, 6 GB
  • NIS 39.90: unlimited domestic calls and to 56 countries, unlimited dom. SMS, 10 GB
  • NIS 99: unlimited dom. calls and text and to 56 countries, 20 GB

Customers on the NIS 29.90 and 39.90 plans will be moved to the NIS 99 after one year. Overuse is NIS 0.09 per MB on the NIS 9.90 plan, and speed will be throttled on all other plans.

More info Edit

  • APN: internet.golantelecom.net.il
  • Website in English (change at top right): Golan Telecom

Hot Mobile (Hottalk) Edit

Hot mobile

Hot Mobile started together with Golan the telecom revolution in Israel in 2012. They 3G and 4G only but and there is a national network sharing agreement with Orange, so you get full coverage. You may need to enable data roaming on your phone to get stable internet connection all over Israel, don't worry it won't cost extra. 2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz on orange, 3G on 900 through Orange and on own 2100 MHz and 4G/LTE started on own 1800 MHz just recently.

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 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.

  • Hottalk unlimited: 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:
    • Hottalk unlimited week: 39 NIS - 2 GB for 7 days
    • Hottalk unlimited new: 49.90 NIS - 4 GB for 30 days
    • Hottalk 69: 69 NIS - 6 GB for 30 days
    • Hottalk unlimited: 99 NIS - 10 GB for 30 days
    • Hottalk unlimited plus: 139 NIS - 12 GB plus 100 NIS call credit for 30 days
    • Hottalk unlimited 15GB: 129 NIS - 15 GB for 30 days
  • Hottalk data-only, without voice and text, valid for 30 days:
    • 6 GB: 49 NIS
    • 18 GB: 140 NIS

More info Edit

Rami-Levy Mobile Edit

Ramy levy

Rami-Levy Mobile started in 2011 and has been the first MVNO in Israel and remains the only independent right now. It's using the 3G network of Pelephone (see above for frequencies).

Rami-Levy is a big supermarket chain and can be found in suburban shopping areas. The inconvenience with Rami Levy is that the SIM cards and top ups can be purchased only at the chain's supermarkets, mostly in suburban shopping areas and a handful other networks such as the Ivory computer stores: List in Hebrew

The card costs NIS 49, there is a monthly fee of NIS 4.90 as long as your balance is positive.

Data feature packs Edit

These data packages are valid for one month:

  • Data 1 GB: 19.90 NIS
  • Data 5 GB: 24.90 NIS
  • Data 10 GB: 49.90 NIS
  • Data 20 GB: 89.90 NIS

Data outside ouf packages is 0.29 NIS per MB.

More info Edit

Home Cellular (h mobile)Edit

Home Cellular

Home Cellular was a MVNO that uses the 2G/3G network of Cellcom. In 2015 finally Cellcom acquired Home Cellular.

Home Cellular (or h-mobile) is a brand of Home Center, a DIY store chain that can only be found in suburban shopping areas.

Their "Powercard" SIM is sold for 49 NIS and offers these packages:

  • 1 GB: 9.90 NIS
  • 6 GB: 41 NIS
  • 9 GB: 51 NIS

Though being bought by Cellcom, you will still get their powercards in Home Center branches.

SimVisit Edit

Simvisit

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 can be delivered to your hotel in Tel Aviv on the same day you order or they will send it abroad without further fees. You'll need to set an activation date and give them up to two weeks for delivery. Payment by credit cards or PayPal.

These packages are offered:

  • 1 GB, 1000 domestic mins/SMS for 7 days: US$ 25
  • 2 GB, 2000 domestic mins/SMS for 14 days: US$ 40
  • 5 GB, 3000 domestic mins/SMS for 30 days: US$ 50

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

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

You PhoneEdit

You phone

You Phone was a MVNO that used the 2G/3G network of Orange which offers a prepaid plan called "Pretalk". In 2015 Pelephone has purchased You Phone and customers were migrated to the Pelephone network and You Phone was closed.

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