Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki
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Flag of Somalia

Basics[]

In the Federal Republic of Somalia at least 7 different mobile operators cover parts of the country. Some of them started in the autonomous regions of Somaliland and Puntland that used to be not affected by the war, others are based in the center of Somalia and are now expanding.

According to the National Communications Authority (NCA) these companies have been officially licensed in 2022:

  • Hormuud Telecom
  • Golis Telecom
  • Telesom
  • Somtel
  • Amtel
  • SomLink
  • Somnet

Out of all of these, Hormuud, Somnet and Somlink operate in the south exclusively. Telesom operates in the Somaliland region while Golis operates in the Puntland region. Amtel operates in Southern Somalia and Puntland while Somtel operates in all three regions.

In 2023 all of them have completed interconnection of their networks to allow end users to call each other seamlessly across different telecoms networks. An agreement between the operators, which was signed in 2022, was a result of a series of discussions and consultations between the relevant parties that worked out all the fundamental issues necessary for the signing of the deal, including mobile termination rates (MTRs). The interconnection agreement came into force on 10 January 2023 and operators began implementing the interconnection process the following month. The NCA stated that the agreement had been implemented in part by Hormuud Telecom, Somnet, Somtel, Amtel, SomLink, Golis Telecommunications and Telesom.

Frequencies[]

In 2022 mobile spectrum was given to 7 different operators by the NCA on 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2600 MHz and 3.5 GHz bands.

Quality of service[]

The lack of infrastructure after the war meant that the quality of internet service in Somalia was often poor. Connection speeds used to be slow, and frequent power outages still disrupt service. This has made it difficult for Somalis to access online services and resources, and can be particularly frustrating for businesses that rely on the internet for their operations. Another challenge used to be the high cost of internet access in Somalia which has come down significantly within the last years. In 2023 Somalia has the cheapest data in Africa where 1 GB of data costs as little as $0.50 with over 80% of Somalis having access to at least one 4G/LTE network, while 5G hasn't started yet.

Like elsewhere in Africa, mobile networks double as mobile banks. A 2018 World Bank report found that almost three-quarters of the Somali population aged 16 and older use mobile money. In urban areas, mobile money penetration is at around 83% and at about 72% in camps for internally displaced people. Even in rural areas, 55% of the population uses mobile money and it has "become an essential and widespread part of Somalia's economic eco-system" the World Bank said.

Registration[]

According to the National Telecommunications Law of 2017 local telcos shall register all telephone SIM card holders to insure ownership. There is no restriction in applying for a SIM card from any one of the mobile providers in Somalia as long as you are showing your passport or any other form of approved ID document.

Censorship[]

In 2023 all internet service providers in Somalia were ordered to ban access to both TikTok and Telegram, as the Government argues that that these platforms are being used by "terrorists and groups responsible for spreading immorality".

Hormuud new

Hormuud Telecom[]

With more than 4 million subscribers Hormuud is the largest mobile provider in Somalia. It has promised a nationwide coverage (in previously covered 2G areas) with 4G/LTE by 2023. Hormuud is the provider with the most customers and widest coverage in the country, based in the capital of Mogadishu. It may be the best choice for travelling the country, but it's still centered in the southern parts of Somalia and in the capital, while in the northern autonomous provinces other providers are more dominant.

Hormuud has 2G, 3G and 4G networks. A new SIM card is available for $2 in their stores showing a passport. Their sims are also available as an eSim. Their mobile banking system is called EVC Plus and is widely used as payment system.

To recharge your SIM card you need to buy scratch cards from local stores sold at $1, $2, $5 or $10. To top up press *121*<PIN code>#. Top-up balance is valid for only 30 days. You can also use the EVC Plus system by dialling *173* tell number* the amount to be recharged # then enter your unique EVC Plus pin number.

Data feature packages[]

Homuud offers so-called "unlimited" data, but it remains unclear if unlimited is really without limits or any FUP is applied:

  • "unlimited" data:
    • for a week: $6
    • for a month: $20
  • combo packs with data called Anfac Plus:
    • 2 GB data, 100 on-net mins, 50 local SMS for 7 days: $1
    • 5 GB data, 200 on-net mins, 100 local SMS for 30 days: $2
    • 12 GB data, 500 on-net mins, 150 local SMS for 30 days: $5
    • 28 GB data, 1000 on-net mins, 2 internatl. mins, 300 local SMS for 45 days: $10
    • 60 GB data, 2000 on-net mins, 5 internatl. mins, 500 local SMS for 60 days: $20
    • 140 GB data, 5000 on-net mins, 2 internatl. mins, 1500 local SMS for 90 days: $50

To activate a package, dial *127#, choose number 1, select the package you want and select number 2 to confirm.

They also offer a weekend package valid Thursday 6pm until Friday 11.59pm with "unlimited" data at $1. To activate, press *451#.

More info:[]

https://hormuud.com/

Golis

Golis Telecom[]

Golis Telecom Somalia, often shortened to Golis, is the largest telecommunications operator in the Puntland state of northeastern Somalia. It was founded in 2002 with the objective of supplying the country with GSM mobile services, fixed line and internet services. The firm has an extensive network that covers all the major cities and more than 50 districts mostly centered in the autonomous province of Puntland. This is now slowly spreading to the rest of the country.

New SIM cards are available for $2 in their stores, mostly in Puntland. Their mobile payment system is called Sahal. To check balance, press *121#.

Data feature packages[]

Golis offers so-called "unlimited" data, but it remains unclear if unlimited is really without limits or any FUP is applied:

  • "unlimited" data:
    • for a day: $1
    • for a week: $5
    • for a month: $20

Data feature packages:

They offer different daily, weekly and monthly packages:

  • Daily called Maalinle: $0.25: 500 MB, $0.5: 5 GB, $1: Unlimited

To activate, dial *850*Your number*Amount#

  • Weekly called Todobadle: $2: 10 GB, $3: 50 GB, $5: Unlimited

To activate: dial *851*Your number*Amount#

  • Monthly called Bille: $5: 20 GB, $10: 50 GB, $20: Unlimited

To activate: dial *852*Your number*Amount#

More info:[]

https://golistelecom.com/

Telesom

Telesom[]

Telesom is a private telecommunication company established in 2002 by local entrepreneurs in Hargeisa, Somaliland. It's the leading provider of ICT services in the country and offers a wide range of products including voice and mobile broadband, fixed broadband, SMS, mobile money, mobile education, mobile infotainment and cloud offerings. Telesom was the first to introduce 2G, 3G and LTE services to the country, and played a significant role in rebuilding the country after the war by building a robust telecommunication infrastructure and enabling access to digital payments via its flagship mobile money platform ZAAD.

The company concentrates on the province of Somaliland, where it has the widest coverage network, and the company has affiliations with the neighboring countries biggest telecommunication companies and also shares the regional and international roaming service with them.

More info:

https://www.telesom.com

Somtel

Somtel[]

Somtel is a mobile company that operates all through Somalia. It was founded in 2009 with the objective of supplying the country with GSM mobile services, fixed line and internet services. The firm has an extensive network that covers 3 main parts of the country:

  • Somtel Somalia, which covers most of Southern Somalia
  • Somtel Somaliland, which covers the Somaliland region
  • Somtel Puntland, which covers the Puntland region

They all work as different companies with different pricing, and different packages depending on which part of the country you are in. They all work throughout the country however and calls between each are charged regularly.

The following prices are given for the Southern region and are generally lower in other regions.

Data feature packages:

Somtel offers two different unlimited packages: Unlimited data and Dhamays Unlimited. The latter has higher priority data over the former.

  • Unlimited data:
    • for a day: $0.5
    • for two days: $1
    • for a week: $3
    • for a month: $15
  • Dhamays Unlimited:
    • for a week: $5
    • for a month: $20

They also offer data regular packages called Kaafiye Plus, which do not expire:

  • $0.5: 1.5 GB of data, 70 mins and 50 sms
  • $1: 3 GB of data, 140 mins and 50 sms
  • $2: 6 GB of data, 280 mins and 100 sms
  • $5: 13.5 GB of data, 600 mins and 200 sms
  • $10: 30 GB of data, 1200 mins and 300 sms
  • $20: 70 GB of data, 2400 mins and 300 sms
  • $50: 140 GB of data, 6000 mins and 300 sms

To activate from airtime, dial *200# or from E-Dahab, dial *101#.

New SIM cards are available for $2 in their stores. Their mobile payment system is called E-Dahab. To check balance, press *121#.

More info:

https://www.somtelsomalia.com/

Somnet

Somnet Telecom[]

Somnet Telecom is a company that operates in Southern Somalia. It was the first network to bring 4G/LTE to Somalia and currently offers 2G/3G/4G and is in the testing state of 5G. Their sims can be found in any of their stores across Southern Somalia and cost $1. It also comes with a welcome package of 400 MB of data, 70 minutes and 20 sms. Their mobile money system is called Jeeb.

Somnet offers unlimited data:

  • for a day: $0.5
  • for 2 days: $1 with 100 mins
  • for a week: $4
  • for a month: $15

To activate dial *855*Your number*Amount#

Data feature packages:

Somnet also offers two different data packages. Qanciye Plus packages expire and come with minutes and sms while Maqsuud packages are data packages that have no expiry.

Qanciye Plus:

  • $0.5: 1.35 GB data and 15 mins
  • $1: 2.5 GB data, 100 mins and 20 sms: 15 days
  • $2: 5.5 GB data, 150 mins and 35 sms: 15 days
  • $3: 8 GB data, 202 mins and 67 sms: 15 days
  • $5: 13 GB data, 270 mins and 87 sms: 30 days
  • $10: 30 GB data, 405 mins and 175 sms: 30 days

To activate dial *820*Your number*Amount#

Maqsuud:

  • $0.25: 400 MB
  • $0.5: 1 GB
  • $1: 2.5 GB
  • $5: 12 GB
  • $10: 25 GB

To activate dial *850*Your number*Amount#

More info:

https://somnettelecom.com

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