Buying a Prepaid SIM Card in Equatorial Guinea Guide

Logos of Mobile Operators in Equatorial Guinea: Getesa & Muni

When planning on visiting Equatorial Guinea, you are probably wondering how to stay connected in the country. Buying a local prepaid SIM card, like an Equatoguinean, is often the most affordable way to stay connected because international roaming has proven to be more expensive in many cases.

You may have heard that mobile data rates are one of the highest in Equatorial Guinea on a continental level. Together with Zimbabwe, Guinea-Bissau, Chad, Libya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Africa, getting 1 GB of data will cost you more than 10 USD.

To some, these are reasonable prices. For African standards, however, this is expensive.

In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Equatorial Guinea. Let’s do this.

Telecom Operators, Networks, and Frequencies in Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial-Guinea has 2 GSM telecom operators:

  • Getesa
  • Muni

Both operators have 2G and 3G networks. 4G/LTE is not available yet, but both operators are planning on launching 4G/LTE soon.

There is also a third operator called Gecomsa. Gecomsa uses CDMA, which is incompatible with GSM phones. Only a handful of countries, such as the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Russia, use CMDA, and most of their operators are planning on shutting down their CDMA network in the near future. Since CDMA phones are not popular nowadays (and incompatible with GSM phones), Gecomsa will not be covered in this article.

The following frequencies are used by the Equatoguinean operators:

  • 2G: 900 MHz & 1800 MHz
  • 3G: 900 MHz & 1800 MHz

The Best Prepaid SIM Card in Equatorial Guinea

If you want to buy a SIM card in Equatorial Guinea, then Getesa is the best option. They have the best coverage throughout the country, and they are, on average, cheaper than Muni.

ALSO: Want to get an excel sheet of the best SIM cards of over 230+ destinations around the world, updated monthly? Sign up for the Phone Travel Wiz Newsletter and get the excel sheet for FREE!

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SIM Card Registration Regulations in Equatorial Guinea

Flag of Equatorial Guinea

Just like most countries in Central Africa, and Africa in general, you have to register your passport details to buy a SIM card in Equatorial Guinea.

The State of the Telecom Market in Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea is next to the ocean, which means it is connected to several submarine cables. This is essential to know because most landlocked African countries have slow speeds and bad connections because the country has to rely on neighboring countries for fiber bandwidth.

The issue is that there is massive inequality in terms of internet access in Equatorial Guinea. Although internet services are widespread throughout the country, the quality of service is lacking due to the lack of proper broadband infrastructure. A country can have access to multiple submarine cables. However, if the domestic internet infrastructure is lacking, then the locals cannot take advantage of the connection.

According to a study done by cable.co.uk, the mean download speed in Equatorial Guinea is less than 1 Mbps. In other words, it would take more than 22 hours to download a 5 GB file. This study focused on broadband speeds. Mobile speeds are often slower than broadband speeds, so one should not expect fast speeds in Equatorial Guinea.

Moreover, (mobile) internet is expensive in Equatorial Guinea. According to a study done by the Alliance 4 Affordable Internet, the average cost of 1 GB of data in Equatorial Guinea is 34.25 USD compared to the Central African average of 8.12 USD. That is much more than the African average of 6.45 USD/GB. Together with Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea is the most expensive African nation to buy data.

In short, mobile data is expensive in Equatorial Guinea. In some cases, it may be worth to roam with your provider if they offer lower rates than offered by the Equatoguinean operators. Do note that if you plan on roaming in the country, you will experience even slower speeds because Getesa and Muni will prioritize the traffic of their customers over roaming traffic.

Currency in Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea uses the Central African CFA France with the symbol XAF (which will be used throughout this article), which should NOT be confused with the West African CFA Franc with the symbol XOF. Prices in Equatorial Guinea are listed in (F)CFA. For example, 25 XAF is 25(F)CFA. For reference, below are some exchange rates between XAF and USD (US Dollars – Rounded):

  • 10 XAF = 0.02 USD
  • 100 XAF = 0.20 USD
  • 1000 XAF = 1.70 USD
  • 10 000 XAF = 17.15USD
  • 100 000 XAF = 171.50 USD
  • 1 000 000 XAF = 1714.80 USD

For up-to-date XAF:USD exchange rates, search XAF to USD on Google, or replace USD with the currency you use.

Equatoguinean Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through Getesa and Muni and go through:

  • Background information
  • SIM card types, prices, and availability
  • Recharge / top-up information
  • Combo plans, data plans, and special packs (such as social media packs)   

With that being said, let’s see what Getesa and Muni have to offer to us.

Getesa

Getesa Logo

Getesa is the largest operator in Equatorial-Guinea. They also have the best coverage throughout the country,

You can buy a Getesa SIM card for 2000 XAF in Getesa stores. The SIM card comes with 2000 XAF in credit. Dial #222# to check your Getesa balance. Call 333 to change the system language.

Getesa Mobile Internet

Getesa has data-only packages called Paquetes de datos de Prepago. The following data packs are available, which can be activated by dialing *100#:

PriceDataValidity
500 XAF30 MB24 hours
900 XAF65 MB24 hours
1800 XAF160 MB24 hours
2500 XAF320 MB24 hours
3300 XAF500 MB24 hours
3000 XAF250 MB7 days
6000 XAF500 MB7 days
9000 XAF1 GB7 days
12 000 XAF2 GB7 days
10 000 XAF1 GB30 days
16 000 XAF2 GB30 days
30 000 XAF4 GB30 days
40 000 XAF6 GB30 days
50 000 XAF8 GB30 days
60 000 XAF10 GB30 days

Getesa APN Settings

In most cases, your phone will retrieve the correct APN settings automatically. If you need to enter it manually, then you need the following details (do not add anything not mentioned below):

  • APN: internet

RELATED GUIDES:

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Muni

Muni Logo

Muni is the other GSM operator in Equatorial Guinea. When excluding Gecomsa, the CDMA operator, Muni is the smallest operator in the country. Muni’s coverage is worse than the one of Getesa.

You can buy a Muni SIM card for 1500 XAF in Muni stores. You may have to call 333 to activate your Muni SIM card after purchase if the salesperson does not do that for you. Top-up vouchers are widely available. To top-up, dial *222# and follow the instructions. Dial *555# to check your Muni balance.

Muni Mobile Internet

Muni has a combo plan called Mi Uno and data-only bundles, which is referred to as internet.

Muni Mi Uno

The Mi Uno plans are short-term combo plans that come with data, minutes, and SMS. The following two options are available, which can be activated by dialing *123# and selecting option 3:

PriceDataMinutesSMSValidity
1000 XAF15 MB5 minutes50 SMS1 day
7500 XAF200 MB25 minutes250 SMS7 days
Muni Tarifas de Internet (Data Packages)

The internet packages are standard data-only packages. The following six options are available:

PriceDataValidity
500 XAF15 MB1 day
2500 XAF100 MB1 day
5000 XAF200 MB7 days
10 000 XAF500 MB7 days
20 000 XAF1 GB30 days
40 000 XAF2.5 GB30 days

Muni APN Settings

In most cases, your phone will retrieve the correct APN settings automatically. If you need to enter it manually, then you need the following details (do not add anything not mentioned below):

  • APN: Muni

Other Ways to Get Online When Traveling in Equatorial Guinea

Getting an Equatoguinean SIM card is probably the cheapest way to connect to the internet when traveling in Equatorial Guinea. However, you can also:

Mobile Hotspots

Mobile hotspots are battery-powered wireless router that allows you to connect your phone, laptop, or tablet without needing multiple SIM cards for those devices to be connected to the internet. They are excellent for those traveling in groups, like friends or family.

You can either buy a mobile hotspot (like the ones I cover in this article) or rent them. As a solo traveler, I barely get a mobile hotspot for myself. When I do, I rent them from Travelwifi, which covers 130+ destinations for as little as $7/day, or Skyroam, which also covers more than 130 destinations, and data starts from $8/day. You can get a discount with Skyroam by using coupon code PHONETRAVELWIZ upon checkout.

Travelwifi banner
Skyroam banner

International SIM Cards & Travel SIM Cards

International SIM cards and travel SIM cards can be a convenient way to stay connected when traveling around multiple countries. Many countries require those buying local prepaid SIM cards to go through a registration procedure, like in Equatorial Guinea.

Although I love to collect SIM cards, many do not. So having one SIM card that covers all the destinations you are visiting can be a blessing. I recommend four companies that sell international SIM cards or travel SIM cards:

  • Surfroam: my go-to SIM card when I arrive in a new destination and do not have a local prepaid SIM card yet. Airport WIFI is usually slow, and I am impatient and need to be connected right away. Data for as little as €0.01/MB (or €10.24/GB) in over 200 destinations. Read my Surfroam review.
  • SimOptions: a travel SIM card reseller that sells AMAZING travel SIM cards, covering multiple destinations, for reasonable prices. I have tried multiple SIM cards from SimOptions and have always been satisfied. Check out my review covering SimOptions SIM cards.
  • SimCorner: a travel SIM card reseller, but they also sell local SIM cards of the destination you are visiting and deliver them to your home, which is rather unique. See my SimCorner review.
  • OneSimCard: the ultimate international SIM card. It works in every corner in the world, and you can even buy multiple numbers from different countries and use them on ONE SIM card. A game-changer! See my article analyzing OneSimCard.

Roaming

Roaming with your provider is the most convenient way to stay connected when traveling because you can keep using your SIM card and do not have to buy a new one. However, roaming often results in expensive bills, but that does not always have to be the case. Your operator may offer attractive roaming packages, but it will most likely be more expensive than buying a local prepaid SIM card and getting a data package from a local operator.

I have an article explaining why roaming is so expensive. I also have many articles covering the roaming options of operators around the world, and make a verdict saying roaming can be worth it or not. Finally, I discuss many phone travel tips to keep your phone bills low when traveling.

Free WIFI Hotspots

Using free WIFI connections is the cheapest way to connect to the internet because you do not have to pay anything. However, free WIFI hotspots can be unsecure and unreliable.

You will not find many hotspots in Equatorial Guinea. Those you will find will be slow. Additionally, public WIFI hotspots are unsecure. They are a prime target for hackers to steal your data and use it for illicit purposes, which is why I ALWAYS use a VPN on open WIFI connections (and even on private ones, even at home).

What a VPN does is creating an encrypted tunnel between your device and the hotspot so that your data will stay private. I use NordVPN, and you can get up to 70% off when you get a NordVPN subscription. Get your subscription now!

The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Equatorial Guinea

Getting a SIM card from Airtel (best coverage and affordable) would do you well considering an Equatoguinean SIM card.

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Local Prepaid SIM Card in Other African Countries

Going to other countries in Central Africa? Check out my Central Africa SIM card buying guide, covering other Central African nations, such as:

  • Angola
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Congo-Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
  • Gabon
  • São Tomé and Príncipe

Be sure to check out this guide covering all African countries, such as these popular African travel destinations:

Otherwise, I have many guides covering countries all over the world. Get my SIM card recommendation sheet by signing up for my newsletter!

What is next?

Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! Save money on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises, and accommodation. Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!

Book Your Flight for Equatorial Guinea

It is time to book your flight. Find cheap flights with AirWander so that you can add free or cheap stopovers in destinations you have not considered yet before going to Equatorial Guinea.

Book Your Accommodation for Equatorial Guinea

I am a huge fan of Airbnb because it allows me to live with a local or get a local place for myself. Staying in someone’s house or apartment feels much different than being in a ho(s)tel, especially in Equatorial Guinea. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in an Equatoguinean hotel.

Get Your Travel Insurance for Equatorial Guinea

You will regret not having travel insurance once you actually need it and “forgot” to get it. Nowadays, travel insurance is cheap and comprehensive unlike back in the days. World Nomads is by far the best travel insurance for adventurous travelers like yourself. You can even get insured WHILE already traveling in Equatorial Guinea, which is not something many insurance companies allow you to do.

Get a Travel Debit Card

Travel Cheques are outdated. Paying with your credit card or debit card can be expensive because of all the exchange commissions banks charge you. TransferWise allows you to convert your main currency to Central African CFA Franc for a small fee (up to 8 times less than with your bank!) Getting a Transferwise Borderless account is FREE, so you will get an instant return on your investment.

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Enjoy your trip!

Ernest Adu

Ernest Adu, going by just Adu, is the founder and editor at Phone Travel Wiz. He has been a traveler for 6 years. Although from Europe, the Netherlands, Adu's favorite region in Asia, in particular, East and Southeast Asia. He currently lives in Tainan, Taiwan, and plans on exploring Oceania and more of East and Southeast Asia.

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