Turkish Prepaid Data SIM cards for travellers
While reading the travel forums about Turkey, I just realized that getting a Turkish SIM card is one of the most popular topics that travelers discuss about. Indeed, when thinking the communication, getting directions, online maps and restaurant suggestions, internet access would be crucial while travelling to another country.
When you make a search at the forums and online sources regarding Turkish prepaid SIM card offers, you will notice that there is many different informaton on the forums, because none of this information is up-to-date. Similarly the official websites of mobile operators are mostly for local citizens and contracted customers so you never get what you are looking for as a foreigner.
But don't lose your hope, here is the good news! I, by myself, went to the Ataturk International Airport today and made a comprehensive research to learn the recent offers and deals of mobile operators. Here, what I get at the end of the my little research is:
I first went to the Turkcell office because it is widely known in Turkey and let me say that it was the most crowded one. The SIM Cards they use fit any kind of mobile phone (Standard, Micro, Nano), therefore you don’t need to cut it. They said the SIM Cards get activated within an hour after you buy. I need to say I heard some complaints that it takes longer than promised for SIM Cards to get activated. They offer different prepaid data deals from 1GB to 15GB. Their prices vary between 105TL to 185TL. Check the photo I made while I was talking to representative.
After Turkcell, I went to Vodafone which has a completely different system. They do not publish their prices at the airport. You need to talk to a salesperson. Data only SIMs start from 230TL with 8GB of data. Vodafone also offers local call + text + data packages. You can get the package with 2GB data for 160TL or the package with 9GB for 250TL. The activation of the SIM Cards takes 3 hours and you also need to make your SIM Card cut if your smartphone requires. They do not have ready-to-use nano-SIM like Turkcell.
Turk Telekom (Avea)
The last stop is Avea which has been converted to Turk Telekom on 26th of January 2016. It is the budget friendly option among other operators. Unfortunately, they have also raised their prices at the airport and most of the times they have a limited staff there to help you with documents. There were 2 people in front of me and I have waited like 20 minutes to ask prepaid data prices. Minimum package starts from 100 TL with 3GB. They have also 10GB for 160TL if you need more data during your stay.
|1 GB||95 TL||87 TL|
|2 GB||160 TL||87 TL|
|3 GB||100 TL||87 TL|
|5 GB||125 TL||210 TL||87 TL|
|6 GB||130 TL||87 TL|
|8 GB||145 TL||230 TL||87 TL|
|9 GB||250 TL||87 TL|
|10 GB||160 TL||87 TL|
|15 GB||180 TL||87 TL|
|∞ GB||87 TL|
*The price is calculated for average stay in Istanbul (5 days) and converted in TL with the rate 1TRY = 0,33USD
Finally let’s check the prices at the table above and see how much data you can consume with different prices. As an alternative to SIM Card, you can rent a mobile WiFi and benefit from unlimited data plan for only $5 per day. You can pre-order online at Alldaywifi.com and get your Alldaywifi Kit delivered at the airport. Sharing it with your friends or family will also make you save up to 95% of the mobile internet costs.
Getting a high-speed internet connection during your stay in Turkey is as simple as pushing a button of Alldaywifi. At the end of your trip you can just leave it at the reception of your hotel or hand it to your Airbnb host. The extra battery coming with your Alldaywifi Kit will also make you stay connected for entire day. Lastly, do not forget to check out the extra services like Fast Museum Tickets, Istanbul Card, Museum Pass etc.
Book yourself and your travel partners a pocket WiFi from Alldaywifi.com and start enjoying unlimited internet wherever you go in Turkey.