Nowadays, we are not alone anymore with our smartphones, especially on our trips. They are everywhere with us. We use our cell phones for navigation, banking, shopping, social media and so on.
Tourists, in order to have a more comfortable trip, and to get zero roaming fees, inexpensive internet service and cheap phone calls, are recommended to buy a local SIM card in every country they visit, especially if they intend to stay for a while.
Iran, as a tourist destination, allows foreigners to buy local SIM cards, too. It’s easy for tourists in Iran to buy and use a local SIM card. If you are considering buying and using an Iranian local SIM card while in Iran, here is some information you need to know.
There are different mobile network providers in Iran. The main and the most popular companies are MTN-Irancell and MCI (Hamrahe Aval), with the best coverage, speeds, and prepaid packages. These operators offer SIM card services to the foreign travelers to Iran, with an English language online platform.
Where to Buy a SIM Card?
As a visitor to Iran, you can get a registered prepaid SIM card. You can buy a “Visitor SIM” on your arrival at Imam Khomeini airport, or at one of the Hamrah-e Aval service centers or Irancell shops in the cities.
How to Buy a SIM card?
You need your passport with valid visa for registration, to activate your SIM card. It may take several hours for the SIM card to be activated.
Don’t worry if you regularly receive text messages from Irancell in Farsi; they are just service advertisement messages.
How about the Prices?
The SIM card price varies between 10000 to 50000 rials. Irancell, for instance, offers 3G and 4G packages with good coverage all over Iran. The packages are at the following prices:
- 1.5 GB for two weeks validity = 160.000 rials
- 3 GB for one month validity = 310.000 rials
- 5 GB for one month validity = 460.000 rials
Make sure you have enough credit left on your SIM card. In case you run out of credit, you need to recharge it. Just download the English language apps of “MyIrancell” for Irancell and “MyMCI” for MCI on your phone.
It is also possible for you to charge your SIM card online in a couple of minutes. However, you can do so only if you have an Iranian credit card to proceed to the payment.
Ask your tour guide at Iranviva Group to help you with that.
Cell Phone Registration
According to the new legislation in Iran, tourists who have brought their cell phones from outside of Iran must register their devices with the country’s telecommunications user database, in case their stay in Iran exceed one month. So, as a tourist, whose stay won’t exceed thirty days, you do not need to worry about anything.
However, in case you intend to stay in Iran for more than thirty days, you will require to register your cell phone. We recommend you register your phones at the airport for your convenience. Otherwise, after this length of time, your mobile phone would be unusable in Iran. The registration fee is about 17% to 18% of your cellphone price. The process is a little bit complicated and must be done online on a Persian-only website. It may be possible to have it done in some operators’ shops. Iranviva Group is with you again to help you in this process.
If you intend to extend your Iran visa and stay in Iran for more than one month, we recommend you to bring a second cell phone with you. You may want to put your Iranian SIM card in a cheaper phone, and use your smartphone for connecting Internet only.
For your convenience and to make the process easier for you,