SIM Card in Iran, Which One is Better for Tourists?

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Why Should I Get an Iranian SIM Card When Visiting Iran?

It is necessary to connect to the internet and make phone calls when entering a foreign country. Most travelers prefer to be constantly online and manage their affairs, such as finding directions, access to social networks, access to the online dictionary, etc., through internet services. In this regard, the Iranian SIM card is the best option for foreign tourists in Iran. Besides, by having access to the internet in Iran, you can travel safer and like a local.

On the contrary, if you do not have an Iranian SIM card, you will only benefit from the WiFi Internet in airports, hotels, cafes, and restaurants.

This article provides a complete explanation about the Iranian tourism SIM card, its advantages for tourists, and how to buy, activate, and recharge it. Besides, at the end of this blog, you can find a table in which we have compared different Iranian SIM cards.

Iran Mobile Phone Operators

Using an Iranian tourist SIM card, a temporary prepaid SIM card, you do not have to pay exorbitant fees for calls abroad. Moreover, you can enjoy other services such as SMS and high-speed internet in Iran. Fortunately, it is effortless to get a tourist SIM card in Iran; You can simply get your tourism SIM card from four Iranian mobile operators, Hamrahe Aval (MCI), Irancell, RighTel, and Shuttle Mobile.

Their network coverage supports 4G for big cities, 3G for smaller towns and villages. Notably, these Iranian mobile operators have provided data coverage in most parts of the country. However, you might not access the internet in Iran off-beaten areas, like in the middle of the desert.

Visitor SIM Card in Iran

The mentioned Iranian mobile operators provide temporary prepaid SIM cards for tourists called the Visitor SIM card or the Tourism SIM card. To buy an Iranian sim card, you must go through an easy registration process. Accordingly, you should present your passport and Iran visa to the mentioned operators’ authorized centers and fill in a registration form. Right after, your prepaid Iranian sim card is active, and you can make phone calls or connect to the internet in Iran.

Important Note about the Internet in Iran

In Iran, some websites and social media are blocked. So, you need to use VPN to bypass the filtering and surf them. Notably, the most important blocked social media and websites in Iran include YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram.

Hamrahe Aval (MCI) SIM Card

Hamrahe Aval is Iran’s pioneer mobile operator with good service and extended network coverage. However, its weak point is the inadequate information in English.

This operator provides internet in Iran for three types of trips; tourism, pilgrimage, and commercial.

Besides, it provides services based on the passengers’ demands and their stay duration in Iran.

Please note that to buy a Hamrahe Aval tourism SIM card, you should present your passport, and every user can register for three SIM cards at the same time.

Different Types of Hamrahe Aval Tourism SIM Card

In the table below, you can find the expense of different Hamrah-e Aval SIM cards.

Sim Card Initial Credit (€) Data Traffic (GB) On-Net Calls (Min) On-Net SMS (Persian & English) Price (€) Maximum Validity
Orange Tourism SIM Card 1 0.2€ 1 100 - 1.5€ One Month
Orange Tourism SIM Card 2 1.25€ 5 100 - 2.5€ One Month
Turquoise Tourism SIM Card 1 2.5€ 2 100 100 5€ One Month
Turquoise Tourism SIM Card 2 1.75€ 10 100 100 5€ One Month
Commercial Tourism SIM Card 3.5€ 10 200 200 7.5€ One Month
Commercial Tourism SIM Card (One Year) 3.5€ 10 200 200 10€ One Year

Important note: All the mentioned cards except the Commercial Tourism SIM card are activated upon your arrival in Iran and deactivated upon your departure.

Hamrahe Aval Tourism SIM Card Tariff

Here, you can find the Hamrahe Aval Tourism SIM card tariff, which is almost like other SIM cards in Iran.

Tariff (IRR)
Local Conversation 899
Local SMS 264
International Call Mobile Detail in Below Link:
Https://www.mci.ir/web/international-tariff
International SMS 5450
Internet (Per kB) 0.6
One Day 1GB (Internet Package) 100000 - Activation Code *300*11#
Seven Days 4GB (Internet Package) 250000 - Activation Code *300*12#

How to Make Call with Hamrah-e Aval SIM Card

To make an international call, you should add the international country code at the beginning of your phone number.

Moreover, you can contact 9990 (for Hamrah-e Aval customers) or 09129990 (for other numbers) to ask your questions about your Hamrahe Aval SIM card in English.

The Validity of Hamrahe Aval SIM Card

The Hamrahe Aval SIM card expires when it’s unused for three months and has less than 5000 tomans credit. So, if you travel to Iran again in three months, you can use your present Hamrahe Aval SIM card.

The Validity of Hamrahe Aval SIM Card

To recharge your Hamrahe Aval SIM card, you have three options as per below:

1- If you have purchased your Hamrahe Aval SIM card from an Iranian travel agency or tour operator, you can ask them to recharge your SIM Card.

2- In case you have an Iranian tourist card, you can simply dial  USSD code *1# and follow the instruction menu to recharge your SIM card.

3- If you don’t have an Iran tourist card, you can not connect to the Iranian bank system; (Notably, your international credit card does not work in Iran.) In that case, you can extend your SIM card credit by buying a credit voucher from MCI representatives, supermarkets, or newspaper kiosks. Then to recharge your SIM card, scratch the silver seal on the card, dial the USSD code *300*Fifteen digits code#, and press OK.

Now, you can choose one of the Hamrahe Aval data packages and purchase it.

Data-packages of Hamrah-e Aval SIM Card

Hamrah-e Aval mobile operator offers different data-packages, including one day, one week, one month, three months, six months, and one year. In order to find the data packages, dial *100*2#; then, top your desired data package up with the vouchers, dial *100*2# again, and buy the package. You are now ready to surf the internet in Iran.

Furthermore, to track the remaining credit or the internet package traffic, you can dial the USSD codes in the following table.

Inquiry USSD Code
Credit Inquiry *300*0#
Internet Package Inquiry *300*1#
Welcome Package Inquiry *300*2#

Irancell Visitor SIM Card

Irancell operator, the second Iranian mobile operator, has been working in this field for many years; It is one of the first operators that sells temporary Iran SIM card as Visitor SIM card. Irancell tourist SIM card is currently available with three different tariffs, as described in the table below. Notably, the phone call price is between 67 and 92 tomans per minute.

Visitor SIM 1 Visitor SIM 2 Visitor SIM 3
Package Price 2€ 3€ 4€
Validity Time 1 Month 1 Month 1 Month
Initial Airtime 0.25€ 1€ 1.5€
Data Amount 1.5 GB 3 GB 5 GB

Comparing the three types of Irancell SIM cards, it can be concluded that the SIM card type 3 can be a better option if your internet usage is relatively high.

How to Get an Irancell SIM Card

If you want to buy the Irancell SIM card, you can contact Iranian travel agencies and tour operators, and they will provide it for you online. Or you can buy Irancell Simcard upon your arrival at the airport, at Iran’s border of entry, or Irancell Service Centers in the cities. Notably, as Irancell belongs to the MTN group, you can recognize Irancell Service Centers by the yellow MTN sign.

To register an Irancell visitor SIM card, you should present your passport and fill the application form. Your visitor SIM card will be ready to function right after registration.

Of course, Irancell SIM cards can only be used for one month, and after a month, they will be turned off and will no longer provide service to subscribers. Hence, if you want to stay in Iran for more than a month, you can buy a permanent Irancell SIM card at the airport or at one of the Irancell Service Centers.

Moreover, Irancell has guaranteed the fastest internet in Iran with extended network coverage.

To sum up, the advantages of the Irancell Visitor SIM card include:

  • Affordable price
  • High-speed Internet
  • Extensive coverage areas
  • 24/7 support  (You can contact 09377070000 or 09377000000 and ask your questions about your Irancell SIM card in English.)

How to Recharge Irancell SIM Card in Iran

To recharge Irancell SIM card in Iran, you have three options as per below:

1- If you buy your Irancell SIM card through an Iranian travel agency, you can ask them to recharge your SIM Card.

2- In case you have an Iranian tourist card, you can simply dial  USSD code USSD code *7# and follow the instruction menu to recharge your Irancell SIM card.

3- If you don’t have an Iran tourist card, you can not connect to the Iranian bank system. In that case, you can extend your Iran SIM card credit by buying a credit voucher from Irancell Service Centers, supermarkets, or newspaper kiosks. Then to recharge your SIM card, scratch the silver seal on the card, dial the USSD code *141*15 digit pin number#, and press OK.

Data-packages of Irancell SIM Card

Irancell operator offers different data-packages, including one day, three days, one week, one month, and even several years. To find the data packages, dial *555*5#. Then, top your desired data package up with the voucher, dial *555*5# again, and buy the package. You are now ready to use the internet.

RighTel SIM Card for Iran Visitors

Rightel is the third mobile operator that offers SIM cards in Iran. As its coverage is lower than Hamrahe Aval and Irancell operators, it might disappoint you in small towns and Villages. However, its functionality in big cities is quite well.

Your prepaid SIM card will be active as soon as the registration process has been completed. Dial *141*1# as soon as you activate the SIM card and follow the options to finish the registration process.

Shuttle Tourist Smart SIM Card

Suttle Mobile is the fourth Iran mobile operator. Tourist Smart SIM Card of Shuttle Mobile is a smart credit SIM card that allows tourists to make calls, send SMS, and surf the Internet in Iran. Of course, its network coverage is more limited compared with Hamrahe Aval and Irancell operators.

The Shuttle Mobile SIM card comes with four different packages, tailored to the tourists’ needs as per below.

Basic Package Package 1 Package 2 Package 3 Package 4
Initial Credit Amount 0.2€ 0.4€ 0.5€ 1€ 1.5€
Validity Time 1 Month 1 Month 1 Month 1 Month 1 Month
On-Net Calls (min) 200 1000 1000 1000 1000
Data Traffic 1 GB 2.5 GB 4.5 GB 10 GB 20 GB

To buy a Shuttle Mobile SIM card, you can refer to Shuttle Mobile agencies in Iran cities or its stands at international airports. There, by presenting your passport and filling the registration form, you can buy, register and activate your Iran SIM card.

Notably, the tourist SIM card of the Shuttle Mobile is valid for 30 days after registration.

 

Which Iran SIM Card Is Better to Buy

This blog has introduced four Iranian SIM cards that you can buy and use while you visit Iran. Hence, to sum up, and to help you decide which one suits you better, we have prepared a table for comparing these Iranian SIM cards.

Iran Mobile Operator Hamrah-e Aval Irancell RighTel Shuttle Mobile
Internet Speed Moderate to High The Highest Limited in Some Areas Limited in Some Areas
Quality of Service Good Good Moderate The Poorest
Network Coverage Extended Extended Not Very Extended Not Very Extended
Price Almost Expensive The Most Expensive The Cheapest Expensive
Availability for Tourists Widely Available The Best The Poorest Not Bad
Diversity of the Packages Moderate Moderate The Best Very Good
The Number of Users in Iran The Highest Widely Used Moderate The Lowest
24/7 support in English Poor Good - -

Regarding the mentioned factors in the above table, we can rank the Iranian tourist sim cards as per below.

Irancell
0%
Hamrah-e Aval
0%
RighTel
0%
Shuttle Mobile
0%

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