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Prepaid SIMs

Beirut, Lebanon
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17 posts
6 reviews
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Prepaid SIMs

I am staying in Istanbul for 6 months. What are the options for a prepaid cellular phone card with 3G/4G internet connection? How much is the average cost and what is the best company in your opinion?

Istanbul
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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37,131 posts
66 reviews
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1. Re: Prepaid SIMs

Omar M, The options are simply too numerous to mention. Go to the websites of Vodafone, Turkcell and Avea (they all have English versions) and find them out and see which suits you best. All those are good companies and have equally good coverage. Turkcell is the most popular. They all have sales points at the airport when you arrive.

enigma...

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Barcelona
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24,262 posts
298 reviews
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2. Re: Prepaid SIMs

Dear enigma,

I'll need a SIM card with data too. If I arrive too late at the airport and the shops are closed, can you suggest a shop where I can go the next day? My apt is near the Pera Palace. Many thanks.

Istanbul, Turkey
3 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Prepaid SIMs

I was sold a sim card by turkcell but my sim became unregistered after ten days. It is on my to do list to get thus sorted but turkcell staff would not help me.

New York City, New...
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12 posts
13 reviews
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4. Re: Prepaid SIMs

enigma,

For people from US who have locked phones , is it possible to buy a cheap phone @ airport to use for 10days?

aam001

Istanbul, Turkey
3 posts
2 reviews
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5. Re: Prepaid SIMs

I didn't notice a phone shop in the airport but you can buy phones around Turkey.

Istanbul
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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37,131 posts
66 reviews
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6. Re: Prepaid SIMs

am001_10, As "Don" says, not at the airport but all over the city you can buy cheap phones and/or used older style phones.

enigma...

Melbourne, Australia
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4,599 posts
52 reviews
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7. Re: Prepaid SIMs

Don R the Turkish simcard you got from the airport unregistered because you are using it in a non registered foreign phone.

The Turkcell staff will not be able to help you unless you get your phone registered.

Getting your phone registered for permanent use in Turkey isn't as straight forward as it may seem.

am001_10 as enigma says don't buy a phone from the airport as there are plenty of cheap & 2nd hand phone shops all over the city.

If you guys want to continue using your smart phones whilst in Turkey I have a contact that can assist in getting your phones registered for 300 lira. If interested send me a private message.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Barcelona
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24,262 posts
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8. Re: Prepaid SIMs

Resme,

Thank you for posting on this topic. I had asked a question above but didn't get a reply and didn't realize how difficult it is to use a foreign smartphone with a Turkish SIM card. On Turkey Travel Planner, Tom Brosnahan's useful website, he mentions the idea of buying a phone and SIM card from a company like Telestial or Mobal. I wonder if these phones would work in Istanbul for a week or two, without registration.

turkeytravelplanner.com/details/Communicatio…

Regarding my question from post #2, I've already found the Turkcell store on Istiklal Cad so I have answered my own question there. Resme, if you could share your thoughts on the use of Telestial or Mobal travel phones, it would really help a lot of people.

Edited: 18 June 2014, 18:10
Melbourne, Australia
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4,599 posts
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9. Re: Prepaid SIMs

Gigis_mum, the thing with websites such as the one you make mention of is often the information can quickly get outdated and becomes misleading as is it in this case. Also unless the person themselves have actually gone through the whole registration process can you trust their information based on here say? The legislation regarding mobile phones changes in Turkey 4 years ago and then again last year. It may change again in the near future so any old information posted on the internet quickly becomes irrelevant.

I have personally gone through the registration process on countless occasions over the years with the most recent being 6 months ago. I have registered phones as a foreign tourist as well as a local (am a Turkish citizen).

Technically you can buy a simcard from any of Avea, Turkcell or Vodafone once you get here as it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct device to put it in to and not the store selling you the sim card. The onus is on you.

What you suggest will not work in Istanbul for a week or two. It will work for a day or two or three before the network is disconnected by the operator due to the simcard being in a foreign device which is not registered for use in Turkey.

I'm not following you on Telestial or Mobal travel phones.

The registration process is each but also hard at the same time as it takes time. Time most travellers can't afford to be running around the phone store, tax office, bank to complete the registration process.

I have posted some links in to this recent thread discussing the same topic that will be of help to you

tripadvisor.com/…59105899

Not sure how things work in Spain but this is Turkey which is a different country with its own differents of rules.

New York City, New...
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12 posts
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10. Re: Prepaid SIMs

thanks Resmen,

so if sim card is disconnected in 3 days , the best option for someone visiting Turkey 10 days is to buy a cheap new or second hand phone. Also we have ipads. Besides using them at hotels that have wifi, how else can we use them while traveling on the road and touring in big cities ,