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Being able to connect to the internet and make phone calls is a must when visiting another country. While some visitors manage with just the WiFi provided it hotels, cafe’s and restaurants, others prefer to have their own network at all times. Here you can find everything you need to know to buy a SIMcard with data in Iran:
Unfortunately its become increasingly difficult to register a local simcard on your name. Especially first time visitors have difficulties getting their simcard registered. And often need an Iranian friend to do the registration process for them. Because some travelers do manage to get a sim card by their selves it’s still worth a shot! The information about mobile operators, packages, coverage and (re)-charging are still the same.
Hamrah-e Aval and Irancell are the two largest phone operators in Iran. Both companies offer SIM card services to foreign visitors and have an extended network coverage in Iran. I mention extended as most cities, highways and popular tourist destinations are covered, but connection might get lost once you wander deep into the desert, mountains or jungle. Basically, coverage will be guaranteed if you stay within reasonable distance from, and in between large cities.
Visitors to Iran can get a registered prepaid SIM card. Depending on the location the price of the SIM card varies. The SIM card comes with some free data and gives you extra charge when you re-charge for the first time. Airtime and data can be bought separately according to your needs.
Buy the SIM card directly at the Imam Khomeini airport after arrival or at one of the service centers in the cities. In order to activate your SIM card, you need your passport with valid visa for registration. For questions about your SIM card in English, you can also call 9990 (for Hamrah-e Aval customers) or 09129990 (for other numbers).
The SIM card will only expire once it’s unused for three months and has less than 5000 tomans credit on it. So unless you come below this credit, you can keep your SIM card and use it again for your next visit to Iran.