Do I have access to all social media in Iran? Do my SIM card work in the country? How is Iran’s internet coverage? To find the answers to all these questions, read this article. It is a complete guide about the internet, SIM card, and social media access in Iran.
When you are on a trip, get internet access for your smartphone is just like you have access to a gadget box that facilitates your trip for you. Navigation, location sharing, social media, and ride-hailing apps are some of the features that you can have when your smartphone is connected to the internet.
The internet speed is good in Iran! The Internet has good coverage in almost all cities of Iran. You can check your Instagram, talk with your friends on Whatsapp and email your photos!
Read also: Travel to Iran: Tips for First Travelers
How is internet coverage in Iran?
Wi-Fi is available in hotels, most of the cafés, some shopping centers, and public places. But you don’t have access to Wi-Fi on the streets or the road. Therefore you should have an active the internet on your SIM card. In this way, you always can connect to the internet.
Moreover, mobile data has great coverage in most parts of the country. In most cities, the internet has LTE coverage. But on the roads and deserts, you may have 3G internet.
Ok, it seems that you need a SIM card to have access to the internet all the time. Below you can find how to get an Iranian SIM card.
Read also: Tips You Wish to Know about Iran Culture
How to get SIM card in Iran?
It is possible to use your SIM card in Iran if your operator has a contract with IR-MCI (Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran). However, it may costs hundreds of dollars for you each week. Also, you have other options to save your money and stay connected! You can use Iranian SIM card.
First of all, you should know about mobile operators in Iran. They are Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran (MCI Hamrahe Aval), MTN Irancell, and RighTel.
All three operators have SIM card for tourists. Hamrahe Aval provides a tourism SIM card, while RighTel 3G/4G prepaid SIM card is also for foreign travelers. The Irancell also offer Visitor SIM card to tourists.
Hamrahe Aval, Irancell, and RighTel provide good quality services to Iranian and foreign customers. At Imam Khomeini International Airport, after you pass the security check, you can go upstairs and find a stand with SIM card.
The official stores and resellers are also available across the cities. Besides, most of the time you can ask the front desk at your hotel or hostel to help you with finding a SIM card. Here you can find details about three operators:
- Hamrahe Aval
Hamrahe Aval is the first Iranian mobile operator, working since 1992. You should submit your passport and visa to get a SIM card.
After registration, active MCI internet dialing USSD code *10*231#. Then you can choose an internet package dialing USSD code *100#.
As the second operator, it has also a good coverage in Iran. Note that its Visitor SIM card expires after 30 days automatically. Hence, if you want to stay for more than one month, you can choose another type of Irancell SIM card or buy it from other operators.
Irancell is mostly the tourists’ choice due to its more powerful English service. Your SIM card becomes active after you put it on your cellphone.
RighTel is the smallest operator in Iran with average coverage. After the registration is done, dial *141*1# as soon as you activate the SIM and follow the process to finish the registration process.
There is an easy way to get Iranian SIM card. You can order a SIM card on our website! On Exotigo, we provide you with a SIM card when you arrive Iran.
Some tips you should know about buying SIM card in Iran
Your passport and visa stamp are necessary documents for buying Iranian SIM card. SIM registration is a legal procedure so be sure you complete it properly.
If you want to use the SIM card for more than 30 days, you should register your cellphone’s IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) on the HAMTA website, affiliated to Information and Communications Technology Ministry.
Finally, ask the seller of the SIM card to run it for you. It has different stages, and in this way, you don’t have any problem. Iranians are very welcoming and helpful, therefore it is not a big deal!
Remember that Apple products are not supported in Iran. Many features of your device may do not work in the country.
- How to recharge SIM cards in Iran?
It is easy. Whatever operator you choose, you can buy a recharge voucher from newspaper stands or grocery shops. If you have an Iranian debit card, you can buy it from ATMs or buy it by entering a USSD code on the cellphone. All you should do is that to dial the code written on the voucher and then enter the 16-digit PIN code to connect your phone.
Read also: A Complete Guide to Iran Currency
Social media in Iran
You can easily connect to Whatsapp, Skype, and Instagram in Iran. However, Twitter, Facebook, and Telegram are blocked. You also don’t have access to Youtube.
Some news websites like BBC and CNN and some newspaper websites are also blocked in this country.
So what should you do if you want to be in touch on these social media? Very easy. You can connect to blocked social media and websites using a VPN.
What is VPN?
The VPN is a Virtual Private Network by which you can connect to the internet via an encrypted tunnel. If you want to buy a subscription at one of the websites offering a VPN, it is wise to do this before you enter Iran.
Keep in mind that it is better to have more than one VPN. In this way, you can be sure you always have access to the VPN.
- How does VPN work?
Very easily! Here you can find the process step by step:
- Connect to the internet
- Open your VPN application
- Select a country to connect. Good to know that countries near Iran offer better connections to you.
- You see the connection icon on the top of your screen.
That is all! Remember that a VPN connection drains your phone battery and may disrupt your connection to the sites and applications, which are not blocked. Hence, it is better to disconnect your VPN when you don’t need that.
- What VPNs work in Iran?
The speed and connection quality of VPNs change time by time. For now, you can download NordVPN, Secure VPN, Hotspot shield, or Psiphon for you cellphone.
Last but not the least
The Internet in Iran has good coverage and you can easily get an Iranian SIM card in order to be connected to the internet all the time and save your money! Be sure that there are always kind people around you so there would be no problem in using Iranian SIM card to connecting the internet in this country. Enjoy the beauties of Iran while you are connected!