The South East African country of Mozambique has three providers:
- Vodacom Mozambique
- mCel (by Mozambique Telecom)
- Movitel (by Viettel)
2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G on 900 and 2100 MHz up to HSDPA on all three operators. In 2018 frequencies on 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz (Band 20, 3 and 7) were auctioned and Vodacom was the first operator to launch 4G/LTE in 2018 to be followed by Movitel in 2019.
Deployment was delayed by the long civil war which ended in 1992. mCel, the incumbent mobile subsidiary of the national telco Mozambique Telecom (Tmcel), previously Telecomunicações de Moçambique (TdM) was the first operator competing with Vodacom from 2003. The entry of a third mobile operator Movitel in 2011 backed by Vietnam shook up the market, leading to lower prices, better voice and data coverage, and higher traffic volumes. Furthermore, the landing of two submarine cables (SEACOM and EASSy) has reduced the cost of bandwidth and led to drastic reductions in broadband retail prices.
A third Mozambique operator is expected to launch a 4G-only network later in 2019. State-backed Mocambique Telecom (TMCEL) will launch LTE-based services by the end of November, joining Vodacom and Movitel which implemented 4G networks in September 2018 and July 2019, respectively. TMCEL will initially launch LTE in Maputo and Matola, before commencing a nationwide rollout.
In Mozambique many people have more than one active SIM card, chiefly as a result of cross-network prices being higher than on-net prices and variable network quality and coverage forcing users to be able to switch between operators.
SIM card registration Edit
Following food riots that took place in Maputo in 2010 which were mainly coordinated via SMS the government decided to introduce SIM card registration. Initially mobile operators were given a deadline of three months to complete the registration process, that was later extended to 2011. In 2012 only about 1/2 of all SIM cards were registered. In 2015 the government set a new deadline and finally in 2016 some million lines were deactivated for not being registered. So bring along your passport when purchasing a SIM card for registration.
All companies have outlets in major towns at which you can buy SIM card starter packs from MT 50, fill out the necessary registration form and buy top-up cards. While it is OK to buy credit from the hundreds of vendors roaming the streets wearing shirts of the providers, you should never buy SIM card starter packs there. In many cases they sell them at hugely inflated prices and are not properly registered. So you can face disconnection.
Vodacom Mozambique Edit
Vodacom has become the market leader in Mozambique. It's owned by their South African parent company Vodacom that is majority-owned by UK-based Vodafone. They have 3G in most towns, but only 2G elsewhere and are considered pretty reliable.
Vodacom has become the first operator in the country to launch 4G/LTE services in October 2018. Their 4G network has been switched on in the cities of Maputo, Matola, Nampula and Beira, and the municipality of Dondo.
Their prepaid SIM cards are simply called pré-pago and are available in different lines that don't make a difference for data. They come with 25 MB, 25 mins and 25 SMS pre-loaded.
Recharges are sold from 10 to 2000 MT valid for 3 to 30 days. The higher vouchers give some bonuses.
Data feature packages Edit
Default rate is 4 MT per MB. These data packages are offered:
|20 MB||1 hour||2 MT|
|70 MB||6 hours||3 MT|
|25 MB||7 days||5 MT|
|50 MB||10 MT|
|100 MB||15 MT|
|200 MB||30 MT|
|500 MB||50 MT|
|1 GB||100 MT|
|2 GB||30 days||200 MT|
|2.5 GB||250 MT|
|5 GB||500 MT|
|10 GB||1000 MT|
|15 GB||1500 MT|
|25 GB||2400 MT|
|45 GB||4300 MT|
To activate a package dial *111# and follow next steps or send a SMS with the desired amount in MT to 84162. To check data balance dial *131# or text 'BALANCE' to 84162.
More info Edit
- APN: internet
- Website in English: http://www.vm.co.mz/en
mCel (by TDM/Tmcel) Edit
mCel short for Moçambique Celular is the incumbent provider in Mozambique. It's owned by the state through Telecomunicações de Moçambique (TDM) that has the monopoly for landlines. In 2019 the mobile and landline businesses were merged under the new name of Mocambique Telecom (Tmcel).
mCel is has fallen to no.2 what customer numbers are concerned, but stays always cash-stricken. That's why mCel's service is not entirely reliable, especially in rural areas and no 4G/LTE has been started so far.
Their prepaid SIM cards are called Giro and sold for around 50 MT in their shops and outlets. To check registration, text "consulta" to 822025.
Recharges are called Giro too and sold for 10 - 2000 MT giving a validity of 2 to 30 days respectively.
Data featured packages Edit
Default rate: 3.50 MT per MB. Their data packages are called Netgiro and offered like in these sizes:
|100 MB||1 hour||2 MT||100MBT|
|25 MB||6 hours||2 MT||25MBT|
|45 MB||1 day||3 MT||45MB1|
|80 MB||10 MT||80MB1|
|150 MB||20 MT||150MB1|
|300 MB||35 MT||300MB1|
|550 MB||7 days||40 MT||550MB7|
|1.3 GB||100 MT||1.3MB7|
|3 GB||200 MT||3MB7|
|6 GB||600 MT||6GB7|
|1.5 GB||30 days||160 MT||1.5GB30|
|5.5 GB||480 MT||3.5GB30|
|7.5 GB||800 MT||7.5GB30|
|17 GB||1500 MT||17GB30|
|24 GB||1800 MT||24GB30|
|36 GB||2800 MT||36GB30|
|50 GB||3800 MT||50GB30|
To activate dial *123# and choose Netgiro or text code from table to 822022. To check consumption dial *123#, choose Netgiro and Saldo da Conta. Overuse is on the default rate. Facebook is not debited for your allowance.
For nightly use (10pm-7am) they offer these night packages:
- 500 MB: 20 MT
- 1.5 GB: 50 MT
- 4 GB: 100 MT
To activate a night pack enter *123# and choose option 5.
More info Edit
- APN: isp.mcel.mz /or/ internet
- Website in Portuguese: http://www.mcel.co.mz/Portal_Website/
Movitel is the third operator which is 70%-owned by Viettel and thus the army of Vietnam. It entered the market in 2012, but gained 4 million users in the first 2 years of operation alone. A key Movitel strategy has been to build out its network into locations uncovered or poorly covered by the other two operators. That's why there are rural areas, where it has the monopoly. Furthermore, Movitel has the lowest rates in the country.
Movitel has launched 4G services in summer 2019 Coverage is initially limited to capital city Maputo.
They sell their starter at 5 MT with 20 MB and some morebonuses in their stores (locator). For their "para todos" plan you need to do a chargeable activity every 90 days.
You can recharge 10 - 500 MT with a validity of 3 to 30 days. The higher recharges involve some bonuses. To top-up, enter *150*<voucher code>#.
Data feature packages Edit
Default data is 1 MT per MB. These data packages are offered:
|55 MB||1 hour||2 MT||H1|
|70 MB||3 MT||H2|
|80 MB||5 hours||5 MT||H5|
|20 MB||1 day||3 MT||D3|
|30 MB||5 MT||D5|
|70 MB||10 MT||D10|
|120 MB||15 MT||D15|
|360 MB||40 MT||D40|
|400 MB||7 days||30 MT||S30|
|650 MB||50 MT||S50|
|1.3 GB||100 MT||S100|
|2.5 GB||200 MT||S200|
|2 GB||30 days||200 MT||M200|
|3 GB||300 MT||M300|
|6 GB||500 MT||M500|
|12 GB||1000 MT||M1000|
|25 GB||2000 MT||M2000|
|38 GB||3000 MT||M3000|
To activate a package enter *155# and choose pack or text code to 155.
More info Edit
- APN: internet
- Website in English: http://movitel.co.mz/en