- 1 Basics
- 2 Orange
- 3 MTN
- 4 Moov
- 5 YooMee
Côte d'Ivoire, often known by its English translation Ivory Coast, is a West-African country of 30 million users in 2017, the mobile penetration is very high with 122%. So many users have not only one SIM card and more than 99.5% are prepaid SIMs.
ARTCI is the national telecom regulator and provides a list of towns that are covered with 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE signals. The country code is +225 and the official currency given in the article is the West African CFA Franc (XOF).
There are 4 providers in Côte d'Ivoire ranked according to their subscriber numbers:
- Moov (by Maroc Telecom)
- YooMee (LTE data-only)
The following providers had their licenses revoked recently. So their SIM cards may not work anymore: Koz, GreenN, Warid, MobileCafe.
2G/GSM is on 900 MHz and 3G on 2100 MHz with the 3 major providers. For 4G/LTE frequences in 800 Mhz (band 20), 1800 MHz (band 3) and 2600 MHz (band 7) were given out and all three majors have started in the capital and other towns. YooMee runs a LTE-only network for data in the capital of Abidjan on 2300 MHz (TD-LTE band 40).
Quality of service remains an issue. In September 2017 the three operators Orange, MTN and Moov have been fined a total of around 5 billion CFA (US$ 9 million) for providing poor quality of service. The Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications completed its audit for 2016 and found a number of infringements when measuring voice quality, call set-up times, failed calls and other criteria.
Since 2011 the operators have to verify the identity of their subscribers upon activation of a SIM card; this means that you should bring your passport or any other valid ID when buying a SIM card. This rule has been tightened in March 2017, allowing the registration to take place only in the operator's outlets and unregistered SIM cards have a deadline before being blocked. This means that SIM cards are not allowed to be offered by street sellers anymore and you should not buy from there. Meanwhile, children under the age of 16 can no longer buy SIM cards, with registration only to be carried out via a legal guardian. In addition to the legislation, the government has introduced measures to ensure that all cyber-cafe users are identified by their IDs too.
In contrast, top-up vouchers are sold everywhere in the country at street stalls starting from 550 CFA and are OK to buy on the street.
Orange, affiliated to France Télécom, is the largest provider according to user numbers (12.8 million in 2017) and has a market share of 42%.
They broadcast on 900 MHz for 2G and 2100 MHz for 3G with 4G/LTE coverage around Abidjan (coverage list 4G) on 1800 MHz (band 3). Orange has the best coverage in the country that is mostly on par with MTN. In a speed test in 2018 it was the fastest network in the country.
It's possible to recharge the SIM by vouchers and online as well. To enter a voucher type *123*<voucher code>#. Check balance and validity by #122#.
For those staying in Côte d'Ivoire for longer than a month or frequent visitors, Orange gives bonuses including free data based on last month's consumption. For that you can select one of the profiles by dialing #121#. Out of all available profiles, these mentioned here give free data:
- Tigre (Tiger)
- 3000-6999 CFA: 150 MB data (for 3 days), 1000 texts, 7 minutes domestic calls
- 7000-9999 CFA: 250 MB data (for 5 days), 3000 texts, 10 minutes domestic calls
- 10000-14999 CFA: 350 MB data (for 7 days), 5000 texts, 15 minutes domestic calls
- >15000 CFA: 500 MB data (10 days), 10000 texts, 25 minutes domestic calls
- Aigle (Eagle)
- 10000-14999 CFA: 400 MB data (for 7 days), 200 texts, 20 minutes domestic calls
- 15000-24999 CFA: 500 MB Data (10 days), 200 texts, 30 minutes domestic calls
- 25000-39999 CFA: 1 GB data (for 12 days), 300 texts, 40 minutes domestic calls
- >40000 CFA: 1 GB data (for 15 days), 300 texts, 50 minutes domestic calls
- Malife (for: my life):
- 5000-9999 CFA: 500 MB data (for 15 days)
- 10000-14999 CFA: 500 MB data (30 days)
- 15000-24999 CFA: 750 MB data (30 days)
- >25000 CFA: 1 GB data (30 days)
To switch to Tigre last month's consumption needs to have been at least 2500 CFA. To switch to Aigle the last month's consumption needs to have been at least 8000 CFA and to switch to Malife 5000 CFA. To switch between profiles, dial #121#.
Data feature packages
The following data packages can be added:
|100 CFA||20 MB||24 hours||Jour Mini|
|200 CFA||50 MB||24 hours||Jour Lite|
|500 CFA||150 MB||24 hours||Jour Full|
|600 CFA||200 MB *||24 hours||Jour Plus|
|600 CFA||150 MB||7 days||Semaine Mini|
|1 500 CFA||500 MB||7 days||Semaine Half|
|2 500 CFA||1 GB||7 days||Semaine|
|2 000 CFA||800 MB||30 days||Mois Mini|
|5 000 CFA||2.5 GB||30 days||Mois Lite|
|10 000 CFA||6 GB||30 days||Mois Full|
|15 000 CFA||10 GB||30 days||Mois Plus|
|20 00 CFA||15 GB||30 days||Mois Max|
|100 CFA||100 MB||0-6am||Nuit|
|50 CFA||100 MB #||24 hours||Social Mini|
|200 CFA||500 MB #||24 hours||Social Lite|
(*) = plus 100 MB to be used midnight to 6am.
(#) = social passes give data for Facebook, WhatsApp (both without VoIP), Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Dailymotion only.
Activation is by texting the package name to 7878 or by #149#. Packages don't auto-renew. Night use is midnight to 6am. Currently Orange is running promotions doubling, tripling or even quadrupling the volume based on the day the package has been booked. These promotions change day by day and are communicated via their Twitter account.
Data roaming in countries with Orange partners is 2.16 CFA per KB. It's however possible to get a data pass via *124*523# and choose Pass High, being the only pass with data. This pass sells for 15 000 CFA and gives free minutes and text messages and 30 MB of data, which may be good until you've found a prepaid card in the neighbouring country.
- APN: orangeciweb
- Username and password: web , web
- Website in French: http://www.orange.ci
- Twitter Account: CI_Orange
South African based MTN is the 2nd largest operator in Côte d'Ivoire with 8.9 million users in 2017 and a 35% market share.
In 2017 it claims to cover 95% / 83% / 29% of the population by 2G/3G/4G already. It has coverage on 4G in Abidjan, Assiny and in Bassam. 3G on 2100 MHz is available in about 150 towns in Côte d'Ivoire so far.
MTN starter packs are available in their outlets. A MTN SIM card will expire 90 days after last activity (like sending a text message, making a call or recharge). To check balance use #100#. They offer different profiles, but to all of them you can add the same data packages.
Default rate differs according to profile between 7.5 and 15 CFA per MB. Data packages can be activated via *105*2# or by navigating to your personal account. They come as daily, weekly and monthly packages as following:
|10 MB||99 CFA|
|25 MB||199 CFA|
|75 MB||399 CFA|
|100 MB||499 CFA||599 CFA|
|250 MB||999 CFA|
|500 MB||1 799 CFA||2 999 CFA|
|750 MB||2 499 CFA|
|1 GB||4 999 CFA|
|3 GB||9 999 CFA|
|4.5 GB||14 999 CFA|
|10 GB||19 999 CFA|
|15 GB||29 999 CFA|
|20 GB||35 900 CFA|
|30 GB||49 900 CFA|
|40 GB||59 900 CFA|
|50 GB||69 900 CFA|
- APN: web.mtn.ci
- Website in French: http://www.mtn.ci
- Facebook site in French: https://www.facebook.com/MTNCotedIvoire
Moov has been active in Côte d'Ivoire since 2006 and is the brand of Groupe Atlantique Télécom, that changed ownership in 2017 from the Emirati group Etisalat to Maroc Telecom. It's the smallest national operator with 7 million users and 23% market share in 2017.
It's broadcasting on 900 MHz for 2G, 3G with UMTS and HSPA+ on 2100 MHz and since 2016 on 4G/LTE in Abidjan, San Pédro Bouaflé, Bouaké, Daloa, Dimbokro, Gagnoa, Toumodi and in Yamoussoukro. Their coverage in 3G and 4G/LTE is lower than the other two national providers while its 2G is on par: coverage map. That's why Moov may not be so convenient for data users.
The Kit IZY is available in their outlets and authorized resellers for 500 CFA and includes 2500 CFA credit, 100 MB of Data and 200 domestic texts for 7 days. This base tariff also provides bonus credit in the first three months for top-ups. The initial validity of the SIM card is 30 days for outgoing and 90 days for incoming calls.
Recharge by dialling *101*<voucher code>#, check balance by dialling #100# or *100# and check remaining data balance by dialling *303*3*2*1#
If you have an older SIM card that is not 4G, you can swap it for free in Moov outlets. 4G is not enabled by default and you need to contact the call centre or Moov outlet to enable 4G. You can receive configuration messages by dialling *303*6#.
Data feature packages
There is no base rate for data, you need to purchase one of the following packages with USSD *303*3*1# or by texting the name of the plan to 303 to activate the data.
The following 'Internet Mobile' packages are available:
|Heure||30 MB||1 hour||200 CFA|
|Jour||100 MB||24 hours||450 CFA|
|Semaine||500 MB||7 days||1 500 CFA|
|Mois Plus||1 GB||30 days||4 900 CFA|
|Mois Extra||3 GB||30 days||9 900 CFA|
|Mois Maxi||5 GB||30 days||14 900 CFA|
|Mois Premium||10 GB||30 days||19 900 CFA|
|Nuit||100 MB||0:00-6:00||100 CFA|
|Weekend||250 MB||Sat-Sun||550 CFA|
Currently Moov adds extra volume depending on the day of activation of the internet plan as following:
- 100% extra data if booked on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
- 200% extra data if booked on Tuesdays
The Internet Illimité plan for 39 000 CFA grants 100 GB of data at full speed up to 150 Mbps and throttled to 3 Mbps after that for the rest of the month. Use USSD *303*3*1*4# to subscribe.
For access to social media like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber following two packages are available via *303*3*1#:
- Pass 24h: 200 CFA for 150 MB of social media data for 1 day
- Pass Semaine: 500 CFA for 450 MB of social media data for 7 days
- APN: moov
- Username and password: web
- Website in French: http://www.moov.com
- Facebook site in French: https://www.facebook.com/moovcotedivoire
- Twitter Account: Moov_CIV
YooMee was the first to roll-out 4G in the country on the rare 2300 MHz (band 40, in TD-LTE) in 2014. They are aiming at data-only users in Abdidjan and near surroundings. There is neither a fall-back to 2G or 3G nor is there any roaming available on the other networks.
If you intend to stick around the capital and only need data, they can be worth for consideration, because they are the cheapest way to get fast data, but they can't be recommended for travelling or when you need to place voice calls as well.
SIM cards are available from their outlets and also work in smartphones and tablets. The starter pack costs 2000 CFA and includes 1.5 GB of data. Their SIM is data-only, there is also no VoLTE available, so you will need Skype, WhatsApp, Viber or other VoIP for voice calls.
|1.5 GB||7 days||5 000 CFA|
|8.5 GB||30 days||15 000 CFA|
|25 GB||30 days||25 000 CFA|
|50 GB||30 days||35 000 CFA|
|100 GB||30 days||60 000 CFA|
There is also a night package for unlimited surfing between 11pm to 6am for 1000 CFA per night or 5000 CFA for 7 nights at a reduced speed of 1 Mbps.