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Mg

BasicsEdit

These network operators are on the air covering the country in 2G on 900 MHz and 1800 MHz and 3G on 2100 MHz:

  • Airtel
  • Telma (Telecom Malagasy)
  • Orange
  • bip by Blueline (only 3G, 4G/TD-LTE)

Network coverage is still somewhat patchy in the country. There are areas without any signal. 3G with reasonable speeds can only be expected in towns. 4G/LTE started with Telma in 2015 in 50 cities and Orange and Airtel started in 2017 in a few towns so far.

The first three operators share about 1/3 of the market each. Blueline started in 2014 with 3G and 4G/LTE in the capital of Antananarivo only. In 2016 their mobile brand called bip launched all over the country as 4th operator.

Regulations Edit

You need a copy of your passport to purchase a SIM card. They also may take a picture of you at the place of purchase. All unaccounted SIM cards needed to be registered by 2016. Later they started to deactivate non-registered SIMs. Subscribers had 90 days from SIM deactivation to provide identification details in order to retain their mobile number, otherwise the mobile line was cancelled permanently.

Availability Edit

Once you have passed customs' restricted area at the Antananarivo airport, you can get a prepaid SIM card from the counters of one of the providers: Airtel, Telma or Orange. They are usually open when there is an international flight. Otherwise you need to wait until you get in town. A SIM card costs between 2000 and 4000 Ar.

For top-ups you can buy a scratch card which can be sometimes only obtainable for low values like 1000 Ar or 2000 Ar in remote areas. Or you refill by "tele-charging" via the account of the sales person's phone to yours. Like in other parts of Africa, your prepaid account is used as a payment system too.

Airtel Edit

Airtel

Airtel, run by Indian Bharti Airtel, was called Madacom, Celtel and Zain before and has still the most customers on its net. It's coverage is very variable.

Availability Edit

The SIM card called 'puce' is available for 2000 Ar in their shops (list). There and at a lot of resellers, you can find their top-up vouchers.

Data feature packs Edit

For data you have to activate one of these packages:

Volume Validity Price Activation
5 MB 1 day 200 Ar *114*41#
25 MB 600 Ar *114*47#
50 MB 1 000 Ar *114*4#
125 MB 2 000 Ar *114*48#
125 MB 7 days 3 000 Ar *114*6#
275 MB 6 000 Ar *114*8#
500 MB 10 000 Ar *114*9#
2 GB 30 days 30 000 Ar *114*49#
6 GB 80 000 Ar *114*14#
10 GB 120 000 Ar *114*15#

All data allowances are doubled for nighttime use (10pm-5am) only. Overuse fee: 5 Ar per 10 KB. To check data volume, type *999*114#.

More info Edit

Telma (by Telecom Malagasy) Edit

Telma

Telma short for Telecom Malagasy, is run by the now privatized incumbent operator of the country. They started 4G/LTE as first provider in 2015 in about 50 cities on 2600 MHz (Band 7): 4G coverage map3G coverage map. Coverage can be patchy outside of major towns.

Availability Edit

You need a copy of your passport to purchase the SIM card in one of their stores (store locator) for only 500 Ar.

You can top-up with recharge cards of Ar 1000, 2000, 5000, 15000, 25000, 50000 giving 5-100 days of validity or do it online by a code. Check credit by typing #357# or #358#. Check data balance by typing #358*14#

Data feature packages Edit

For data you need to add one of these packages:

Volume Night Bonus Validity Price Activation
10 MB 10 MB 1 day 100 Ar *322*67#
40 MB 1 night 100 Ar *322*61#
50 MB 1 day 1 000 Ar *322*6#
100 MB 50 MB 7 days 3 000 Ar *322*70#
250 MB 100 MB 6 000 Ar *322*71#
500 MB 250 MB 10 000 Ar *322*72#
1 GB 12 500 Ar *322*73#
250 MB 30 days 10 000 Ar *322*7#
500 MB 15 000 Ar *322*80#
1 GB 25 000 Ar *322*8#
3 GB 50 000 Ar *322*12#
5 GB 75 000 Ar *322*13#
8 GB 99 000 Ar *322*14#
10 GB 125 000 Ar *322*9#
20 GB 149 000 Ar *322*10#
30 GB 175 000 Ar *322*11#
50 GB 195 000 Ar *322*15#
125 GB 429 000 Ar *322*150#
250 MB

per

month

3 months 30 000 Ar *322*81#
6 months 60 000 Ar *322*82#
9 months 90 000 Ar *322*86#
12 months 110 000 Ar *322*83#

Data is up to 4G/LTE and will be cut off having reached the included volume.

More info Edit

Orange Edit

Orange-0

Orange covers 85% of population on 2G and about 150 towns on 3G in 2015. Some call it the best coverage in the country, but this is very variable. A new licence allows the operator to offer 4G services on 1800 MHz, testing for which began taking place in 2016. It was finally launched 2017 in Anatananarivo and 8 other towns: 4G coverage map.

Availability Edit

SIM card costs 1500 Ar or more. You need a copy of your passport to purchase the SIM card called "puce". They are sold in their shops: list (for other locations change at top menu). Their default tariff from the start is called 'IZY' and does not include data.

To top-up, you can use recharge cards sold everywhere or through "tele-charging".

Data feature packsEdit

These packages called BE CONNECT are sold for data:

Volume Validity Price
10 MB 1 day 200 Ar
20 MB 500 Ar
50 MB 1 000 Ar
100 MB 3 days 3 000 Ar
250 MB 5 days 7 200 Ar
500 MB 7 days 13 500 Ar
1 GB 21 days 34 500 Ar
3 GB 30 days 77 500 Ar
5 GB 97 000 Ar
8 GB 148 500 Ar
10 GB 175 000 Ar
20 GB 45 days 220 000 Ar
30 GB 60 days 245 000 Ar
50 GB 275 000 Ar

The first two packages on the list can be booked twice per day, the others only once in the validity period. To activate a package go to the recharge site or type #123#, then go to "offres Orange" and follow instructions in French. Wikipedia traffic is free of charge.

More info Edit

bip (by Blueline) Edit

Bip

In 2016 the 4th operator in Madagascar started called bip. It only offers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE. The coverage is said to be "in all 22 regions" of the country. This is probably archieved through a national roaming agreement between Blueline and Telma.

Availability Edit

Their SIM card called Tongasoa is sold at their stores (click on map) for 1000 Ar including 10 domestic mins. They sold more than 10,000 SIMs within the first months.

To top-up buy a recharge voucher in one of their outlets (list), type *396*<voucher code>#. Check balance by *399#.

Data feature packages Edit

To start data, you need to type *398# and have a default rate of 20 Ar per MB. Thess packages can be added:

Volume Validity Price Activation
10 MB 1 day 100 Ar *340*100#
50 MB 2 days 1 000 Ar *340*1000#
100 MB 7 days 2 500 Ar *340*2500#
250 MB 7 days 5 000 A *340*5000#
500 MB 7 days 10 000 Ar *340*10000#
1 GB 7 days 35 000 Ar *340*35000#
3 GB 30 days 50 000 Ar *340*50000#
5 GB 30 days 75 000 Ar *340*75000#
10 GB 30 days 120 000 Ar *340*120000#

Unlimited Facebook is added for free on bip.

More info Edit

Blueline Edit

Blueline

ISP Gulfsat Madagascar, which operates under the Blueline banner offers 3G and 4G/LTE internet in the capital of Anatanarivo only. This is not so suitable for traveller, but more like a substitute for home ADSL. 3G is probably through their roaming agreement with Telma, 4G/LTE is on their own TD-LTE in 2500 MHz (band 41) which is rather unsual.

Availability Edit

Their 3G SIM is sold at their shops (list) for 15,000 Ar with 500 MB for 7 days. A USB dongle is at 49,000 Ar including a SIM with 1 GB for 30 days.

Their 4G offer is only on a monthly postpaid basis and 3G is only sold within the capital area and not recommended for travelling.

Data feature packages Edit

These data packs are offered on 3G for prepaid:

Data Validity Price Activation
50 MB 2 days 1 000 Ar *139*1#
100 MB 7 days 2 500 Ar *139*2#
250 MB 7 days 5 000 Ar *139*5#
1 GB 7 days 15 000 Ar *139*9#
1 GB 30 days 35 000 Ar *139*10#
3 GB 30 days 60 000 Ar *139*11#
5 GB 30 days 75 000 Ar ?
10 GB 30 days 120 000 Ar *139*12#

More info Edit

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