Lilongwe - Post Report Question and Answers

Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Some people keep their home country plan. T-mobile works overseas. You can get a local sim but plan to top up often. - Jul 2020

Cheap and readily available. Bring an unlocked phone with you and just swamp in the SIM from a local provider. Two networks currently compete for 99% of the business in Malawi: TNM and Airtel. - Sep 2018

Most people bring an unlocked phone and then get a SIM card with prepaid data and airtime plans. I use Airtel and spend about $10 a month on my phone bill. Most people text. WhatsApp is big too. - Jul 2017

If you work for USG you are provided a work phone but often people bring their own unlocked smart phones for personal use. Its easy to get an Airtel or MTN sim card and you can buy credit scratch cards on most corners in town. You can also get data bundles for the phone. - Oct 2016

Very good Airtel coverage and the data package will give you internet almost anywhere in the country. - Sep 2013

Everyone has a cell phone here. They are cheap pay-as-you-go phones. Zain and TNM are the two carriers. Some people recommend that you have a SIM card for each one since service usually goes out with one or the other. I've just had Zain and it's been fine for me. - Sep 2012

I used Zain and found it to be fairly good and not too expensive; although service could be inconsistent. - Sep 2009

Essential, but the networks are over-subscribed and have frequent blackouts. - Jul 2009

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