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Internet in Egypt Cheaply


Page update - Aug 20, 2023

How to use the Internet cheaply during a vacation in Egypt? What is more profitable - roaming or local SIM-cards? What SIM to buy, where is better to buy, and what traffic package to choose? Read the answers on this page.

Note. Prices, terms, and other information on this page were updated in August 2023. There were some changes in the last half year, but the situation hasn't changed in general. Orange Holidays Line tariffs have become cheaper, which is already very nice. All details are below on this page.

Option 1 - Wi-Fi in the hotel

The situation with the Internet in hotels varies. Some hotels provide a free of charge Internet through Wi-Fi, some not. Some hotels have Wi-Fi working everywhere on the territory, but some have Wi-Fi only in the lobby. It is impossible to guess in advance. The only way to find out is to read reviews of tourists who have already been in that hotel.

If the hotel has good and free internet, then consider the problem is solved. Of course, this is the case if you are not going out of the hotel. In other cases, read about the other two options below.

Option 2 - Mobile operators in Egypt

There are 4 mobile operators working in Egypt:

- Vodafone Egypt;

- Etisalat Egypt;

- Orange Egypt (until 08.03.2016 it was called Mobinil);

- WE (Telecom Egypt brand).

Vodafone and Orange are competing for market leadership, each with about a third of total mobile subscribers. Note that international operators are in the lead. This is not surprising, because Egypt is a very "tasty" market for telecom operators, since there are more than 100 million people in the country, and almost the entire population is concentrated along the Nile River. The costs of building communication networks are minimal, and the revenues are maximum.

A very important point!

Lately, Egyptian operators have been developing clever mobile Internet tariff schemes. If you buy a SIM-card with 20 gigabytes, it is not always the full-fledged 20 gigabytes.

The concept of "DATA SOCIAL" has appeared. These are special gigabytes (or megabytes) that can only be spent on social networks Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat. Sometimes WhatsApp is included, sometimes not.

In addition, Orange has recently introduced the concept of "SuperMB". It is megabytes, which are counted as 1:1 for certain resources or counted as 2:1 for the rest of the resources. So what's super in this? Nothing good for the subscriber. You buy 20 gigs, but actually get only 10 because most of the traffic will be counted at double the rate.

Therefore. First, ask the seller how many full gigabytes he is selling. Second, be mentally prepared for the fact that the gigabytes will actually be less than advertised.

Which operator is better?

It's hard to say. They all have about the same coverage - all major cities and resort areas are covered. There is a 99% probability that all the four will work in the hotel. But the quality depends on how close to the hotel their towers are. Lottery!

Of course, you can read tourist reviews about the hotel. But experience shows that few tourists in general write about the problem of communication in their reviews. Tourists are more interested in whether a janitor made a swan from a towel when he/she cleaned the room or not.

4G coverage is about the same for all. According to a March 2023 study by OpenSignal, the leader in 4G coverage is Vodafone - 87.2%. The other three operators have about 75-80% each.

We recommend choosing between Vodafone, Etisalat, and Orange. Vodafone has better coverage. Etisalat has lower prices for traffic. Orange has the best app for Internet-traffic control.

How and where to buy a SIM

It is best to buy a SIM immediately in the arrival hall of the airport. To buy, you will need your passport and you need to give your address in Egypt (note: some sale offices demand the address, some not). It's better to give your hotel address, although often the name of the hotel is enough.

Registration and activation of the SIM card takes less than 10 minutes. It is also best to top up your balance on the spot and ask the seller to activate the gigabyte package. Sellers are happy to do all this. It is strongly recommended that you insert the SIM right away and make sure that the Internet is working properly. If something is wrong, you can immediately show the problem to the seller.

How the sales kiosk looks like, watch in the photo near. Click on the photo to enlarge to full screen.

SIM-card vendors are happy to accept US dollars, UK pounds, and Euros. And even if they don't, you can exchange currency in an airport at an ATM, exchange office, or visa office. Read our detailed review "Where and how to change money in Egypt".

An important point!

We strongly recommend that you buy a SIM-card at the airport. Many hotels are located far away from populated areas. It is difficult to buy a SIM-card later.

In Egypt, almost all souvenir stores sell SIM-cards. But first of all, they are three times more expensive. Second, they are half-legal SIM-cards, which are registered to a third persons. Such a SIM-card can stop working at any moment.

Mobile connection tax

In Egypt, all cell phone users are charged a tax of 6.1 Egyptian pounds per year. The tax can be taken immediately when you buy a SIM, or can be charged from the account at 0.51 pounds each month. The amount is not much, just be mentally prepared for it.

Vodafone Egypt

The line of prepaid tariffs is called "el-kart" and there are several tariffs. Take any tariff, as none of them include full-fledged Internet access services. To get internet, you need to top up your balance and activate a traffic package. The price of a SIM-card is from 5 to 25 Egyptian pounds. See the current exchange rates of the Egyptian pound in our review "What is the money in Egypt".

You can top up your SIM-card balance either by direct payment at a Vodafone office, or by using a scratch card. When buying a SIM-card you can top up the balance immediately and ask the seller to activate the traffic package.

Basic bundles have been called "Extreme bundles" since the summer of 2021. The name is loud, but there is nothing extreme about these bundles.

12 gigabytes - 150 Egyptian pounds, 20 gigabytes - 250 pounds, 40 gigabytes - 400 pounds. Activation by SMS, the codes: *2000*150#, *2000*250#, *2000*400#.

There are also mini-bundles: 1.1 gigabyte - 20 pounds, 1.8 gigabyte - 30 pounds, 2.5 gigabytes - 40 pounds. Activation by SMS, the codes: *2000*20#, *2000*30#, *2000*40#.

The validity of all of the above packages is 28 days.

There are also "New Plus" and "Plus Combo" lines of Internet bundles. The prices in these bundles are about the same, but they use super-megabytes, and it is difficult for tourists to navigate.

In 9 out of 10 cases, sellers offer SIM-cards at once with gigabytes. Do not worry, you will not have to puzzle over and choose something. The above prices are just for you to have an accurate understanding of the prices, so you will not be sold overpriced gigabytes.

Vodafone Egypt has a special application, where you can see the remaining minutes and megabytes, activate traffic packages, and do many other useful things. The app is called "Ana Vodafone". But we want to warn you that the application is very buggy.

Orange Egypt

Now Orange has a huge "zoo" of available tariffs. New fares are being introduced, old ones are still on sale. It is difficult to understand.

The main prepaid lines now are El King and PREMIER. All of these tariffs are not suitable for tourists. First, they have super-megabytes, which is inconvenient. Secondly, the packages include local minutes and SMS, and because of that the packages are expensive. For example, the PREMIER 300 package includes 12 gigabytes and costs 300 Egyptian pounds a month. It's expensive.

The most convenient line of Internet packages is called Go Super. The Go Net lines (with common gigabytes) is no more available in 2023.

12 super-gigabytes - 80 Egyptian pounds, 20 super-gigabytes - 120 pounds, 36 super-gigabytes - 200 pounds, 90 super-gigabytes - 400 pounds. Activation by code: #222#.

It is much easier to buy the tariff "Holiday Line", which is designed specifically for tourists. Only tourists can buy it.

The Holidays plan costs 200 pounds and gives you 10 gigabytes, 20 international minutes, and 400 local minutes.

The Holidays Super plan costs 500 pounds and gives you 40 gigabytes, 30 international minutes, 400 local minutes.

If you need international and local minutes, these offers are interesting. If you don't need minutes, there's no point, get Vodafone instead.

In 9 out of 10 cases, sellers offer SIM-cards at once with gigabytes. Do not worry, you will not have to puzzle over and choose something. The above prices are just for you to have an accurate understanding of the prices, so you will not be sold overpriced gigabytes.

Orange Egypt has a special application, where you can check minutes and megabytes left, activate traffic packages, and do many other useful things. The application is called "My Orange Egypt". It's a great app, it works properly.

Etisalat Egypt

There are several prepaid tariffs, the most common is called "Ahlan". Packages are managed by dialing *566#.

You can connect Internet packages (Super Mega Bundles): 10 gigs for 75 pounds, 18 gigs for 100 pounds, 24 gigs for 150 pounds, 40 gigs for 250 pounds, 80 gigs for 400 pounds. Be warned these are super-megabytes, so consider that you'll actually get half as much traffic.

There are mini Super Mega Bundles: 2 gigs for 20 pounds, 4.2 gigs for 35 pounds, 6.8 gigs for 50 pounds.

There is a special tariff line for tourists. The line is called "Traveler".

Traveler 200 - 7 gigabytes, 100 local and 5 international minutes for 200 pounds.

Traveler 300 - 12 gigabytes, 250 local and 10 international minutes for 300 pounds.

Traveler 450 - 25 gigabytes, 250 local and 20 international minutes for 450 pounds.

Traveler 600 - 40 gigabytes, 400 local and 30 international minutes for 600 pounds.

WE

WE has recently opened booths for its SIMs in airports: Hurghada Airport (Terminal 2, arrival area), Sharm Airport, Cairo Airport (Terminals 2 and 3).

WE internet packages are called "Nitro". For 100 pounds you get 10GB + 10GB (social), for 200 pounds you get 23GB + 23GB (social). When the amount of traffic expires you can buy 1 GB for 20 pounds. Packages can be connected by dialing *999*100# or *999*200#. You can top up your balance with WE payment cards.

Option 3 - Roaming

This page is aimed for all English-speaking countries. So we don't have an opportunity to describe all the fares and options of all the operators of English-speaking and European countries.

BUT! In 9 of 10 cases the roaming prices are much worse than at local SIM-cards.

For example, Vodafone UK charges 6 UK pounds daily for Internet usage. You can use up to 4 gigs daily for this fee. Presently, 6 UK pounds = 136 Egyptian pounds.

Obviously, the local SIM prices are much-much better.

There are canches your mobile operator gives the better prices and terms. You need to check and compare.

IMPORTANT!

The vast majority of SIM-cards have roaming enabled by default. Immediately after landing in Egypt, your smartphone may connect to the Internet, start downloading app updates, mail, messages. All of this will cost money, and usually a lot of money.

Therefore, if you are not going to use the Internet while roaming, be sure to turn it off at all. You can turn off the roaming service in your personal account or at the operator's office. You can turn off the "data transfer" function on your smartphone. The first option is better.

Important and useful to know

- It is often convenient to take with you an additional smartphone specifically for the Egyptian SIM-card. What else you should not forget, read our review "What to take to Egypt".

Have a good holiday on Egyptian beaches, and read our interesting pages about Egypt and Egyptians (see the list of the pages below).

TIPS FOR TOURISTS

What Don't Do in Egypt

Cheats of Tourists in Egypt

What to Take to Egypt

Sharks in Egypt

To Egypt With Kids

How NOT to Get Poisoned in Egypt

National Holidays in Egypt

Weather in Egypt by Month

MONEY AND EXPENSES

What Money in Egypt

Money Exchange in Egypt

How Much Money to Take to Egypt

TRANSPORT

Taxi in Egypt

Cairo Metro

From Hurghada to Cairo

From Sharm to Cairo

From Hurghada to Luxor

From Cairo to Ain Sokhna

Intercity Buses - Guide

GIFTS, SOUVENIRS, CUSTOMS LAW

What to Bring from Egypt

What You Can & Not Bring in Egypt

What You Can & Not Take out of Egypt

ABOUT EGYPT

What Language is Spoken in Egypt

Who Are the Modern Egyptians

Friday & Weekends in Egypt

Ramadan in Egypt

TELECOM

Internet in Egypt Cheaply

RESORT REGIONS

Sharm El Sheikh

Naama Bay

Hurghada

Ain Sokhna

Mediterranean Rivera

BAD HABITS

Alcohol in Egypt - Prices & Rules

Local Egyptian Alcohol

Cigarettes & Smoking in Egypt

Vape and iQos in Egypt

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