Internet & Mobile Guide

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Although we do not deal with or endorse any one particular operator, we understand that staying connected is important for some travelers. The following is Egyptian Sidekick’s very own Internet & Mobile Guide, to getting affordable internet & talk-time while in Egypt.

If you are just interested in the main points, see the short summary:
INTERNET & MOBILE SUMMARY

EGYPTIAN CARRIERS

Egypt has a competitive telecommunications market, great coverage and rates, as well as lightning-fast 3G-speeds; however, little has been done to inform travellers of that fact.

At present, Etisalat, Mobinil, and Vodafone dominate the telecommunications market in Egypt, each coming with their own unique benefits and drawbacks.

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Vodafone is perhaps the most traveller ‘unfriendly’ carrier, requiring plans, and dedicated devices, something no traveller would ever go for. However, tt may be possible for existing Vodafone customers to use their mobile phones at a discount in Egypt.
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Mobinil is Egypt’s home-grown carrier, and is a far better choice for travellers than the terms of a Vodafone contract. There are no contracts with Mobinil, rates are better than Vodafone‘s, and Mobinil‘s network allows unlocked devices.
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Etisalat is Egypt’s newest entrant; a giant in the United Arab Emirates, it continues to offer the best rates as part of its campaign to convert customers. Etisalat has an array of time/data-specific, unbundled options, and all for unlocked devices.

GETTING THE INTERNET

By following our simple 3-step plan, you will have virtually unlimited WiFi internet at 3G-speeds along the Nile valley, the cities of the Delta, any village oasis, and Mediterranean and Red Sea resort town. Here is what you need to get started.

1Have an unlocked mobile device, either a smartphone with the capability to broadcast a wireless signal for a hotspot, or a wireless WiFi router used for the same purpose. Examples of SIM-compatible devices like these are the Onda WiFi router, or the TP-Link portable modem.

2Purchase and have a sales representative activate a new data SIM card compatible with your unlocked device, from either an Etisalat or Mobinil telecom boutique; make sure to have your passport for ID registration.

3Purchase a pre-paid data charge-up appropriate for your stay, do not even consider plans unless you plan to stay longer; 2-5 GB will usually last over a week – depending on the frequency, and type of usage.

With your device all set to go, you can enjoy all the sightseeing & cultural experience Egypt has to offer without suffering from wireless withdrawal, or feeling disconnected from loved ones or your workplace. We at Egyptian Sidekick understand that for some, an internet blackout just isn’t an option.

Travellers should make sure to have their sales representative test their device, and make certain their wireless hotspot is password-secured to prevent free-riding. It is also a good idea to have it explained what must be done to charge-up your data if you run out.

INTERNET & MOBILE SUMMARY

 Etisalat & Mobinil
  • Etisalat & Mobinil rates
  • No long-term contracts
  • Cheap pre-paid data options
  • Both allow unlocked devices
  • Both support wireless routers

 Vodafone
  • Vodafone rates & contracts
  • Only Vodafone-dedicated devices
  • Poor pre-paid data options
  • Does not use unlocked devices
  • No non-Vodafone devices

 Tips & Reminders
  • Your ‘Egyptian Sidekick’ can manage the entire process, on your behalf.
  • When purchasing a SIM card, have the representative activate it for you.
  • Have a piece of ID, such as a passport when purchasing your SIM card.
  • A data charge-up in the amount of 2-5 GB will last you over a week.
  • Make sure the representative charges-up your SIM card on the spot.
  • A data recharge requires a code input from widely-sold vouchers.
  • Rates are always in Egyptian pounds (EGP), and cash is always preferred.

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