Asmara - 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?

I kept my home-country plan for use while at home (I have internet), but you will need one on the local provider. Getting a SIM card can be tricky; work with your employer to get it done. The network is terrible and drops calls often. - Apr 2021

I have my old home-country plan, but can only use it as Voice over IP, so I use it at home for calls to the States. You will also need a local provider, and EriTel has a legal monopoly on that. Getting a sim card is difficult, but once you do refilling is easy. - Dec 2019

There is no international mobile phone roaming in Eritrea. None of your American, European or other international cell phone plans function on Eritrea's network. However, I've kept my US. T-Mobile account active, and use their feature to place and receive phone calls over WiFi connection as a way to have a valid U.S. phone number and the ability to call the U.S. like a domestic call. This works well for me. I presume other international providers offer a similar service. The state-owned Eritel monopoly is the sole provider of mobile phone services in Eritrea. There is no data service, only voice and SMS. It takes some weeks after arrival to receive an Eritel sim card. - Feb 2019

Zero. None. There is the government provder, Eritel, which does not give SIM cards easily. My spouse who is not working has been waiting a year and has not received one. SIM cards from outside do not work here. - Sep 2018

There is no data service here, so smart phones only work with wireless networks and wireless networks are rare. That said, I would not invest a lot of money into a smart phone. A good phone that talks, texts and takes pictures is really sufficient.

It is also difficult to get a SIM card. Embassy employees have this done for them through the Embassy. However, SIM cards have to be obtained by providing the Eritrean government information about who you are, where you are staying, etc. Most visitors do not have mobile phones.

Outside SIM cards do not work in Eritrea. - Dec 2016

If you work at the Embassy, you are issued one. If you come here as a tourist, the government will not allow you to have one. - Aug 2007

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