- 1 Basics
- 2 Cyta (by Vodafone)
- 3 epic (formerly: MTN Cyprus)
- 4 PrimeTel
- 5 Basic information
- 6 KKTC Turkcell
- 7 Telsim Vodafone (KKTC Telsim)
The island of Cyprus is de facto divided into four jurisdictions:
- 5,196 km² comprising the Greek-speaking part controlled by the government of the Republic of Cyprus (hereinafter referred to as "the South")
- 3,355 km² comprising the Turkish-speaking self-proclaimed "Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti" (KKTC) or "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC) (hereinafter referred to as "the North")
- 346 km² comprising the United Nations Buffer Zone (up to 7km wide separating the South and North)
- 254 km² comprising the British Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (for telephony purposes part of the South)
This split is reflected in the phone system as well. In the South different providers operate from in the North, although there is now roaming between the two which wasn't the case in the past. A call between the South and the North is possible, but will be charged as a foreign call to another continent.
For a tourist it's very easy nowadays to cross between the South and North at multiple points and visit the other part. But you should know that you will lose coverage soon after doing so. Furthermore, EU law is suspended in the North, so roaming prices are not regulated. Visiting the entire island, you might consider buying two SIM cards because of the long-running situation. In the South, the highest rates for data within the EU used to be charged, but now some cheaper packages appeared on the local market. EU roaming is often a better option.
The networks in South are:
- Cyta Vodafone
- epic (formerly MTN)
The networks in the North are:
- KKTC Turkcell
- KKTC Telsim (Vodafone)
which are associated with the Turkish phone system. The restrictions about registration and taxes for foreign mobile devices in Turkey don't apply in the North of Cyprus.
2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G on 2100 MHz, 4G/LTE is in the South on all three networks on 1800 MHz (B3) available for prepaid. More spectrum on 800 and 2600 MHz (B20 and B7) followed. There is no 4G/LTE in the North yet.
To avoid being connected to a network in the North by mistake, disable automatic network selection, make a manual network selection and lock the network in the South if you are using a SIM card from the European Economic Area under "roam like at home" rules.
Start with the South, data prices are among the highest in Europe similar to Greece, while network coverage is below par. So you might think of bringing your EEA-issed SIM card with you and roam in the South. The only European SIM card that includes both parts of Cyprus at low domestic rates are those of Vodafone Spain.
Cyta (by Vodafone)
Cyta for CYprus Telecommunication Authority is jointly owned by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and Vodafone and is still the largest operator in the country giving a reasonable coverage at the highest rates around.
4G/LTE started in 2015 in the towns of Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos. It's available for prepaid users without a surcharge.
Their prepaid SIM card is called "soeasy". They sell it everywhere (in the airports, supermarkets, kiosks etc.): store locator. Default PIN is 1234.
There are reload cards (vouchers) for €5, €10, €20 and €35 available. A top-up of €10 or more is valid for 365 days. You can recharge online with a non Cyprus-issued credit card, if you ask for an authorisation code by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and use it here.
They also offer data top-up cards with discounted mobile data:
- €5: 1.2 GB for 30 days
- €10: 3 GB for 30 days
- €15: 6 GB for 30 days
These data top-up cards are only valid on soeasy voice and data plans, not on Vodafone mobile internet plans (see below).
Check balance by *110#.
This plan is for smartphones and talk, text and data. The starter pack is sold for €7.50 and contains €5 credit and 100 domestic SMS valid for 90 days.
Default rate is still at high €0.15 per MB, so it's better to buy packages. They offer either combo plans or data-only packages.
The combo packs need to be activated by texting "on soeasy plus" to 8000. These three monthly combos are sold:
|€ 10||100 mins||100||1 GB||€3|
|€ 20||300 mins||300||2 GB||€3|
|€ 35||600 mins||600||4 GB||€3|
These data packages are sold:
|soeasy MI day||1 day||200 MB||€1.50||MI Day|
|soeasy MI week||1 week||400 MB||€3||MI Week|
|soeasy MI month small||1 month||1.2 GB||€5||MI Small|
|soeasy MI month||1 month||3 GB||€10||MI Month|
|soeasy MI monthly XL||1 month||6 GB||€15||MI XL|
For activation, text activation code to 8000. After you have consumed the internet pack you have purchased, it will charge you a basic rate €0.25 per ΜΒ unless you purchase a new pack. For this reason they will inform you by SMS when your pack has been consumed. You can purchase as many mobile internet packs as you like at any moment. Consumption will take place from the pack you have purchased earlier until it is exhausted.
Vodafone mobile Internet
VMI is their data only SIM which is sold for €14.95 including 1 GB data valid for 15 days.
These packages can be added:
|5 days||500 MB||€5|
|10 days||1 GB||€10|
|20 days||2.2 GB||€20|
|40 days||4.1 GB||€35|
The validity period is extended every time you top-up your account. The extension duration in days is shown in the table below. Your service will be deleted 180 days after expiry of the credit validity period unless you top-up your account before that date.
Cyta generally implements "roam like home" principles with roaming at domestic rates in the EU without restrictions on all its prepaid offers.
- APN: cytamobile
- Website in English: https://www.cyta.com.cy/personal/en
epic (formerly: MTN Cyprus)
Epic is the second network operator in the South: Coverage map. In 2018 it was sold to Monaco Telecom who rebranded it in June 2019 to epic. It offers data at slightly more competitive rates than Cyta at a slightly lower coverage.
4G/LTE started in 2015 on 1800 MHz in major towns and is now available to prepaid users too. In 2017 about 93% of the population of the South is supposed to be covered on 1800 MHz (B3) and 800 MHz (B20).
The SIM card is available for €2 with €1 and 50 MB pre-loaded credit. They sell it everywhere (in the airports, supermarkets, kiosks etc.): Store locator.
Top-ups are available through vouchers or electronic recharge. Denominations are €5, €10, €20, €35 and €50.
By texting the word 'ON' to 6040 you can activate their All in one Bonus Scheme for top-ups of €10 or more valid for 30 days:
|€10||40 mins||100||30 MB|
|€20||120 mins||250||60 MB|
|€35||240 mins||500||90 MB|
|€50||400 mins||750||150 MB|
They also sell data top-up cards in these values:
- €5: 850 MB for 10 days
- €10: 2 GB for 30 days
- €15: 4 GB for 30 days
The Data Top-Up cards are only available for electronic top-up and can only be used within Cyprus.
According to customer care, top-ups with international credit cards are available only through a partner site, which however takes a high commission. Alternatively you can top up commission-free online with JCCSmart. (This should work with the other providers as well.)
Check your balance by dialing *202#. Their prepaid voice and data plan is called Pay As You Go.
Pay As You Go
Default rate for data is a high €1.02 per MB.
You should buy better buy one of these bundles called Pay as you surf:
|1 day||100 MB||€1.50||data on day|
|1 week||300 MB||€4||data on week|
|1 month||1000 MB||€10||data on month|
|1 month||2000 MB||€15||data on month 2000|
Activation is by texting the code to 6040.
Mega Bundle: 1000 minutes of airtime and 1000 SMS to all epic numbers, as well as 1 GB for €7. Validity period is 10 days. You can activate it with sending the text '''ON''' to the number 8500. You can activate more times, and you will receive the airtime, SMS and data again.
Holiday Prepaid Pack
For tourists they have introduced their Holiday Prepaid Pack. It's sold at €20 with 4 GB for 15 days. While data is on default at the excessive € 1.02/MB rate, you can add all 4 data packages from above to this tourist SIM. It includes reduced international. SMS and calls to Sweden, Norway, Russia, Germany and the UK.
The account is valid for 30 days from activation and can be renewed with top-up cards the validity period of which varies based on the value of the top up card. When the validity period of the account expires, any remaining balance will not be lost and can be used when the account is reactivated. The account can be reactivated within 180 days from its expiry. In any other case the SIM card number will be deactivated and may be allocated to another subscriber.
Epic has generally implemented "roam like home" principles with roaming at domestic rates in the EU without restrictions on all their prepaid offers.
- APN: internet
- Website in English: https://www.epic.com.cy/en/page/start/home
PrimeTel PLC is a multiservice provider with various fixed broadband and mobile services. It is very popular for ADSL, TV and landline phone service in the South. It's the first MVNO in the South too.
It started in 2011 using the Cytamobile network. In 2014 they have been granted a license to build own physical network on 3G and 4G/LTE. It has already covered 60% of territory by its own 4G/LTE and 99% on its own 3G since 2015, making Cyta no more needed, but roaming with Cyta is still operational for 2G (GSM/GPRS/EDGE) modes. 4G/LTE is open for prepaid customers without surcharge. Be aware that 4G coverage is still spotty in rural areas.
Their starter packs are available at the airports, supermarkets, some kiosks, mobile phone shops and their own stores (shops list) for €2 with €1 credit and 50 MB preloaded.
For top-ups reload cards are sold with heavy bonuses for €5, €10, €20, €35 and €50. You can recharge online using any international Visa/MasterCard credit card on their website
They give the highest bonuses for top-ups. To activate this bonus text 'ON' to 8133. These bonuses are awarded valid for 30 days:
|€10||100 mins||150||100 MB|
|€20||250 mins||300||200 MB|
|€35||450 mins||600||350 MB|
Voice minutes are on-net on Primetel only.
They also have released special data top-up cards in three denominations:
- €5: 1 MB for 10 days
- €10: 2.5 GB for 30 days
- €15: 5 GB for 30 days
Check your account balance by *133#, check how much Internet left by*138*2#, check Super Bundle status and how much left, by *138*3#, check Bonus Balance by *138# and change language by *135*2# for English.
Super Bundle Pack 
This is probably the best offer for a short stay in Cyprus (South): you get 1.5 GB, 1000 minutes of calling to Primetel and 1000 SMS to Primetel network for 10 days at €8. To get this package, send SMS with text 'ON8' to 8133.
Regular Pay As You Go rates
For prepaid subscribers, default charge and overuse rate for mobile internet is €0.25 per MB. These packages are offered:
|200 ΜB||€1.50||1 day||MB1|
|1 GB||€5||7 days||MB7|
|2.5 GΒ||€10||30 days||MB30|
|5 GB||€15||30 days||MB30 2500|
For activation, text the above code to 8133.
Travel Internet Pack
This is a special data-only SIM card made for tourists. Similar to epic, they sell the SIM card at €20 with 2.5 GB pre-loaded valid for 20 days. You can buy this product at the airport arrivals (Larnaca or Paphos) and at selected kiosks all over the island.
To buy more data, you can add one of these packages:
|250 MB||2 days||€5|
|500 MB||7 days||€10|
|2 GB||14 days||€20|
|3.5 GB||20 days||€35|
|5 GB||30 days||€50|
Purchase of these packages is online through your account. 4G/LTE is supported. A triple size SIM (nano, micro, mini) is given out. Note that it supports only data; neither voice calls nor SMS are supported.
Check the detailed users guide in English from the official website. After the expiry of the initial data, you can purchase more data for a period of 90 days. After the 90 days of service the SIM card becomes inactive regardless of your loaded credit.
Primetel has generally implemented "roam like at home" principles with roaming at domestic rates in the EEA without restrictions on all their prepaid offers.
- Tethering is allowed, speed is not limited, but Fair Use Policies (FUP) are active: using torrents or other P2P applications is limited by speed throttling.
- APN: ip.primetel
- Websites in English: http://primetel.com.cy/en/ and http://www.payasyougo.com.cy/en/
SOUTH OF CYPRUS (Greek-speaking) above
NORTH OF CYPRUS (Turkish-speaking) below
The North is connected to the Turkish phone network, sharing the same country code as Turkey (+90). The prefix for KKTC Turkcell is +90 533 and for Telsim Vodafone +90 542.
Dialing from North to South is possible, but is billed as an international call. Generally it's not advisable to use a SIM from the South in the North or vice versa.
In the KKTC prices are still sometimes shown as units (so-called Kontör) instead of the local currency TL (Turkish Lira). 1 unit equals 0.065 TL.
Coming to the North, you will notice that prices are much lower than in the South. A local SIM card from the North can only be used in mainland Turkey without surcharges, which bypasses Turkey's requirements to register foreign devices.
Note that Vodafone UK used to roam without surcharges in Turkey. This applied to the North as well until May 2020. From then on, it is surcharged. The only remaining SIM to include both the South and the North at domestic EU rates is that of Vodafone Spain.
Furthermore, the North is one of the very few regions in Europe in 2019 when still no 4G/LTE networks are operative. This is due to the lack of connectivity to the mainland. Now, 4G/LTE is finally announced for 2020 on both networks. So far you are confined only to 3G speeds for now in the North.
All prepaid lines in the North must be registered by November 2019 or will be closed. So from now on you need to buy and register your prepaid SIM in a branded store of the operator by showing your ID (or passport).
KKTC Turkcell is the North of Cyprus subsidiary of the leading Turkish network provider Turkcell. Like with Vodafone below you can now use data in KKTC and Turkey without surcharges.
The de facto currency in the North is the Turkish Lira (TRY or ₺). However, the rates are still charged in "Kontör" (units). 1 unit = ₺0.065.
The SIM card is sold in all Turkcell shops (store locator) for ₺15 with 100 units (worth ₺6.50) of credit.
You can recharge online using almost any credit card (Visa/MasterCard) on the following website. The process is pretty straightforward (in English); it recharges your account instantly. Minimal amount to load is 400 units or ₺26.
Data feature packs
Default data rate is 11 units (₺0.715) per 100 KB. The following packages can be activated:
|100 MB||1 day||77||5||GUNLUK|
|1 GB||7 days||291||19||HAFTALIK1|
|500 MB||30 days||538||35||500|
|1 GB||30 days||692||45||1|
|2 GB||30 days||849||55||2|
|4 GB||30 days||1154||75||4|
|10 GB||30 days||1369||89||10|
|20 GB||30 days||1769||115||15|
|30 GB||30 days||2138||139||20|
For activation text code to 1111. Wait until the package is confirmed by text message. To deactivate text "IPTAL" to 1111.
For visiting tourists, they sell special packages:
- Haftalık Turist Surfer Paketi (= weekly Tourist Surfer Package) with 2 GB, 50 internaional mins and 500 international SMS at ₺39. To re-activate, text 'SURFER' to 2966
- Monthly Tourist Flex Package comes in three sizes:
- 2 GB and 50 international mins: ₺50, activation 'FLEX1' to 1001
- 1 GB and 100 international mins: ₺50, activation: 'FLEX2' to 1001
- 500 MB and 150 international mins: ₺50, activation: 'FLEX3' to 1001
Unlimited Lifecell WiFi is added for free.
- APN: cepten.kktcell /or/ internet.kktcell
- Website in English: https://www.kktcell.com/en
Telsim Vodafone (KKTC Telsim)
Telsim Vodafone, a.k.a. KKTC Telsim is the only competitor of KKTC Turkcell and the local subsidiary of Vodafone Turkey. They are not allowed to be called simply "Vodafone" for legal reasons as Vodafone jointly owns a network in South. But it's origin is pretty obvious looking at their branding.
Their data packages are valid on Vodafone network in Turkey too, but not on the Cyta-Vodafone network in the south of the island. Vodafone generally sells data cheaper than KKTC Turkcell and has still a reasonable network. Don't expect high speeds in the absence of 4G/LTE.
Their standard SIM is for ₺10 without any credit. Default data rate is 0.162 units per MB. Like in Turkey, they heavily advertise combo packages as base plans.
Data feature packs
They have one daily package of 1 GB at ₺10 that is sold as scratch card called Günlük Internet Paket. It's valid for 24 hours and you have to text the 'GUNLUK' <6-digit code from the card> to 8484. Check your balace by texting 'KALAN' ro 8484.
The following monthly data bundles are available and valid in the North of Cyprus and Turkey and some are only available through their app MyVodafone:
|1 day||1 GB||18|
|7 days||2 GB||35|
|30 days||3 GB||59||through app|
|6 GB||69||through app|
|12 GB||74||through app|
|18 GB||84||through app|
|24 GB||94||through app|
|35 GB||118||through app|
Packages must be purchased calling customer service on 548 (call for 8 units), in Telsim Shops or online on your account. Cheaper data packs shown in the table must be purchased through the MyVodafone app of the country.
All data packages are valid without roaming surcharges on the Vodafone network in Turkey too. To check consumption, text 'DURUM' to 2121 for free. For Facebook and Twitter use they offer a social bundle with 1 GB for these two apps and 20 MB general data valid for 30 days at 77 units = ₺5. Activation by *8484#.
Telsim sells a special tourist SIM in the streets of Lefkosa and on the nothern coast in tourist places. It goes for ₺60 and includes 10 GB data, 50 international mins and 500 international SMS all valid for 1 week.
- APN: internet
- Website in English: https://www.kktctelsim.com/en/