Telephone and Internet in Tunisia

emergency numbers - mobile network - WLAN - SIM card

What is the country code of Tunisia?
What are the emergency numbers in Tunisia?
How much is a call from Tunisia to abroad?
Can I use my mobile phone (cell phone) in Tunisia?
Does my mobile SIM card work in Tunisia?
Can I buy a Tunisian mobile prepaid SIM card?
Are there any internet cafes in Tunisia?
Are there any cafes with WLAN in Tunisia?
Are there any cafes with WIFI in Tunisia?

The telephone country code of Tunisia is: (+)216

To call from Tunisia to another country, you have to pre-dial 00 (+) and then the country code of that country.

The emergency numbers in Tunisia are:

112 = Emergency number (free)
190 = Ambulance
193 = National Guard
197 = Police
198 = Civil guard

Calls from Tunisia

Calls from the Tunisian fixed network of TunisieTelecom to most countries abroad cost from 250 to 600 Millimes /minute (about  0.07-0.20 EUR/USD or 0.06-0.16 UKP). From a public telephone (Publitel) the prices are about 20% higher.

Calls from the Tunisian mobile networks to countries abroad cost between 105 and 3000 millimes per minute (about 0.03-0.85 EUR/USD or 0.03-0.78 UKP), depending on the tariff used.
Generally said, calls to European countries are less than calls to other destinations, but some tariffs also offer low cost calls to the US or Australia.

Mobile telephony

Mobile phones that were bought in/for Europe, can, technically, be used without problems in Tunisia, but mobile phones of other countries only depending on which network frequencies they are capable of. This obstacle pertains especially to telephones bought in/for North and South America and some asian countries.

In Tunisia, these frequencies are being used for telephone services:

2G GSM: 900 and 1800 MHz
3G UMTS: 2100 and 900 (Ooredoo only) MHz
3.x/4G LTE: 800/B3 and 1800/B20 MHz

For foreign SIM cards, one should ask their provider whether or not their SIM card will function in Tunisia (and what the roaming costs are!).

It is generally not recommended to use a foreign phone card, because the "roaming" prices for Tunisia are quite high.

Tunisian SIM card

It is, therefore, better (less expensive) to buy locally a tunisian prepaid SIM card and to use it for outgoing (and possibly also incoming) calls!
It should be noted, however, that Tunisian SIM cards will only work in mobile phones that are not locked to a specific provider or network ("SIM lock" or "Netlock") AND are technically capable of using the needed frequencies (see above)!

Prepaid Tunisian SIM cards (called "Puce") of the three mobile operators "Ooredoo", "Orange" and "TunisieTelecom" can be obtained by foreigners without problems in the (frequent) outlets of the providers.
All one needs is a passport, which is then photocopied by the seller (or one brings a copy, which is then taken by the seller to his files).

A Tunisian SIM card currently costs about 5 Tunisian dinars (TND), often the card is not sold separately, but as part of a "starter package", which then also includes credit, some free minutes or free-SMs and costs about 20 TND (about 7 EUR/USD or 6 UKP). There are special tourist cards (valid only a few weeks and with plans to call other countries at a lower rate) available with all providers.

Internet access

In all cities and towns, there are public Internet access rooms called "Publinet".
The hourly prices in Publinets are 1.5-3 Dinars/hour. Because of the bandwidth restricted by heavy usage, the publinets are only partially suitable for Internet telephony or throughput-intensive applications.

In addition to the Publinets there are, especially in tourist areas and larger cities, numerous private internet cafes, mainly in hotels. The internet accesses is here realized via a private Internet connection of the hotel/operator and they often also have a WLAN - but the operators charge sometimes high prices. In big hotels, throughput can be a problem.

However, in many cafes in Tunisia there is WLAN access for guests available, often free, sometimes with payment.

In Tunisia, so-called "Internet sticks" (USB dongles), can be bought. They enable internet access via laptop/netbook the easy way (for tethering see below)

For smartphones, all Tunisian mobile operators offer prepaid tariffs that are valid for one month and contain a certain amount of data.
Example: tariff "Flexi55Go" at the provider Ooredoo with 55 GB (fifty-five) for 50 Dinars (about 15 EUR/USD or 13 UKP). The tariff "Flexi25Go" costs and offers half.

The mobile Internet access in Tunisia is cheaper than in many western countries. The connection quality is consistently excellent in the big cities with LTE and UMTS, but in the country often only at the EDGE level.

The Tunisian prepaid tariffs allow tethering, so that no "stick/dongle" is required for computers, if you have a smartphone with you.

Using a VPN does not pose any problems - and it (not only in Tunisia...) strongly recommended for all sensitive data traffic.

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