Do you want to stay connected while in Cyprus? Are you unfamiliar with the nuances of local networks and where to get a sim-card? Wondering about how to have constant internet access? We’ve tried to find answers to your questions!
Question One — How to make a call from the airport without a Cypriot sim or roaming connection? The answer is very simple — search for any benevolent soul who will gladly lend you their telephone for a quick call. You won’t have any issue with that in Cyprus. The phone will, most likely, turn out to be a Cypriot model — so key in the number without any country calling codes. Local mobile numbers start with a 9…, landlines with a 2… If planning on making a call to a Russian number, you’ll have to begin by entering + 7 or 007.
Question Two — Local networks. The local operators are Cyta, MTN and PrimeTel. It’s more convenient for tourists to use Cyta, but the tariff costs with MTN are no different. Cyta’s local sim (soeasy) is sold in all of the island’s kiosks (Periptero), which can be found on the corner of every street. Sims cost 7.5 Euro. 5 Euro will immediately hit your balance, plus a bonus of 100 free text messages. The standard pin-code for all sims is — 1234. To activate the sim, call 1882. To check your balance, key in *100#.
You can further top up your balance with the help of “soeasy” cards, costing 5, 10, 20 or 35 Euro. The most generous of bonuses from Cyta and MTN! Each time you top up your balance, you will receive gifts in the form of free texts, calls or data. Immediately after topping up your phone, you will be sent a text message with a code and number. In order to reclaim your gift, simply send the code indicated in the message to the number stated. Topping up your balance is very simple — all you need to do is key in the 16-digit code and voila!
Regarding tariffs: 5 Euro will be enough for approximately 40 minutes of calls to Russian landline numbers; calling mobiles will be a little more expensive. Tariff billing operates on a per-second basis. Calls to local numbers will cost 0.076 Euro/minute.
One setback concerns the sim-card being blocked if it isn’t used for 90 days. In addition, these sims are not roaming compatible.
Question Three — Roaming. In an age of high competition throughout all market spheres, network providers in Russia are offering very favourable tariffs to those located abroad. To call a local number, simply key in the number starting with +357 or 00357 and enjoy your chat!
As for the efficiency of local networks and roaming — only you will be able to determine what’s the better option, depending on how much and with whom you’ll be chatting.
Question Four — Internet!
In a nutshell, where do tourists search for hot spots…
1) Wifi in hotels
Cons: slow connection, limited to specific spots
2) Cafes, Internet cafes
Cons: As a rule, you'll need to buy something to get access to the Wifi, or at least out of politeness :)
3) Cyta and MTN internet-cards with data usage can be purchased from any Cyta or MTN branch.
Cons: they’re not cheap, around 10 Euro per 200 Mb.
Where to buy them: in any Cyta or MTN branch.
4) "citycell" wifi, where you will be able to access a “citycell” wifi hotspot for 25 Euro.
Where to buy them: from a kiosk or you can call + 357 25 25 25 20 at any time to enquire about the nearest hot spot.
“Redwifi” essentially operates in the same way as “citycell”, you can find details of their tariffs on the website.
Where to buy them: they are sold in kiosks and "PrimeTel" offices.
Cons: “city-cell” and “redwifi” work just like wifi in that there are places where there won’t be any internet, despite there being sufficient coverage.
5) Mobile internet — this is present on your phone, providing your balance is in credit.
Cons: it’s very expensive, you can find more detailed information about each provider’s billing tariffs on the website of your service provider.
And finally, just in case
Useful and necessary numbers for CYTA and MTN networks:
112 — Emergency Services
1400 — Hospital Information
1442 — Ambulance Services
1460 — Police
1407 — Forest Fires
Stay connected and on favourable terms!