Iranian Cell Phone Carriers

Iranian Cell Phone Carriers

One of the requirements of traveling these days is having access to Internet!
Posting all the memories to Instagram and Facebook is inevitable! Finding your path on where to go just can’t be done without having access to Google Maps.
Other than the hotel and some restaurants and cafe’s you won’t have WIFI access to Internet in the majority of places you visit. So you’ll have to buy a sim card from one of the Iranian cell phone carriers. In this article we’ve introduced three of the major players in this field and compared the services and different plans which can be most suitable for a tourist.

Iranian cell phone carriers

Note: Each 1 Toman is equal to 10 Rials. And on the date this blog was written, each 1 euro is equal to 5000 Tomans or 50,000 IRR.

1) MCI (Hamrahe Aval):

The oldest and first cellular carrier which was at first owned by the government is named Hamrah-e-Aval (MCI) (which means the first comrade). It has 2G-3G-4G-4.5G mobile broadband network.
This company provides two type of sim cards like most in the world.
-Prepaid
-Postpaid
Postpaid sim cards are more expensive and payments are made based on usage and billed at the end of the month. So it’s obvious that prepaid sim cards fit better with a tourist’s needs. You can charge your sim card whatever amount you like, starting from 1000 tomans, and the first time you charge a prepaid sim card, you will be given 5000 toman of free charge as well.
Some useful USSD commands:
Check credit: *140*11#
Charge for more credit: *1# (requires a valid iranian debit card)
Talking with Iranian lines (per minute): 67 tomans
Texting (per text message): 27.5 tomans
There are two general types of prepaid sim cards:
a) 5000 toman sim card, which has 500 toman worth of using
b) 10000 toman sim card, which has 5000 toman worth of using

There are different data packages offered by Hamrah-e-Aval.
1 day, a week, 30 days, three months, six months and one year.
Half of the data provided in these packages are to be used at night between 2am to 7am and the rest for the remaining of the day.

 

2) Irancell:

The second cellular carrier which started working in 2006 is named Irancell. It has 2G-3G-4G-4.5G mobile broadband network.
This company also provides two type of sim cards.
-Prepaid
-Postpaid
Postpaid sim cards are more expensive and payments are made based on usage and billed at the end of the month. So it’s obvious that prepaid sim cards fit better with a tourist’s needs. You can charge your sim card whatever amount you like, starting from 1000 tomans.
Some useful USSD commands:
Check credit: *141*1#
Charge for more credit: *7# (requires a valid iranian debit card)
Talking with Iranian lines (per minute): 115 tomans
Texting (per text message): 20.9 tomans
The price of a prepaid Irancell sim card is 1000 tomans.

There are different data packages offered by Irancell.
1 day, three days, a week, 15 days, 30 days, three months, six months and one year.

 

3) Rightel:

The third cellular carrier which started working in 2011 is named Rightel. It has 3G and 4G mobile broadband network.
This company also provides two type of sim cards.
-Prepaid
-Postpaid
Postpaid sim cards are more expensive and payments are made based on usage and billed at the end of the month. So it’s obvious that prepaid sim cards fit better with a tourist’s needs. You can charge your sim card whatever amount you like, starting from 1000 tomans.
Some useful USSD commands:
Check credit: *140*1#
Talking with Iranian lines (per minute): 62 tomans
Texting (per text message): 23 tomans
The price of a prepaid Irancell sim card is 1000 tomans.

There are different data packages offered by Rightel.
1 day, three days, a week, 15 days, 30 days, three months, six months and one year.

Regarding service quality comparison, there isn’t a better company. Hamrahe Aval (MCI) and Irancell stand out higher compared to Rightel. Since it’s newer in the competition, it doesn’t have as much base stations around the country. With Hamrahe Aval you basically have reception all around the country, but in some places Irancell might have better Internet coverage.
To buy the following packages you need an Iranian debit card to pay the money required for it. Or you can buy charging coupons from all stores around the country, and after charging it, you can buy the package.

 

Comparison Table:

The following table has compared all the different packages offered by each company.

Carrier Name MCI (Hamrahe Aval) Irancell Rightel
Talking other carriers in Iran(toman per minute) 93.7 92.9 85.2
Talking the same carrier(toman per minute) 67 67 62
Text Message 27.4 20.9 23
7 day package 6GB (3GB daytime & 3GB nighttime), Price: 13500 tomans (USSD code: *100*224#) 6GB, Price: 18000 tomans (USSD code: *555*5*2*13#) 13GB (3GB daytime & 10GB nighttime), Price: 17000 tomans (USSD code: *142*1*1*1*20#)
15 day package Not offered 4GB, Price: 15000 tomans (USSD code: *555*5*13*5#) Not offered
30 day package 8GB (7GB daytime & 1GB nighttime), Price: 21900 tomans (USSD code: *100*236*123#) 16GB (8GB daytime & 8GB nighttime), Price: 32000 tomans (USSD code: *555*5*3*12#) 21GB (7GB daytime & 21GB nighttime), Price: 24000 tomans (USSD code: *142*1*1*3*28#)

 

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