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2 Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Benin: Buying Guide

Benin is a French-speaking nation in West Africa. Albeit being known as the birthplace of voodoo, there is much more about this country. From the Royal Palaces in Abomey to the must-visit market in Dantokpa Market. Do not forget about the Pythons Temple or the Royal Palace in Porto-Novo. There is enough to see and to do in Benin.

What you may not want to do, however, is to roam with your provider in Benin. Roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why many travelers want to buy local SIM cards, including in Benin. In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Benin. Let's do this.

Telecom Providers in Benin

Benin has 2 telecom providers: MTN Benin and Moov Benin. MTN Benin is run by Spacetel Benin, while Moov Benin is run by Maroc Telecom. Both operators have 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks.

You may have read articles recommending or discussing BBCOM, Libercom, or Globacom Benin (Glo Benin). None of those operators are active in Benin anymore, so the country has only two operators left.

Best SIM Card in Benin

If you want to buy a SIM card in Benin, I would recommend going with either MTN or Moov. Both providers have similar coverage in the country, and speeds are comparable. The same counts for the prices for packages.

Just like other countries in Africa, you have to show your passport when buying a SIM card in Benin.

Do note that broadband access is still spare in the country and that most of the communications go through cellular antennas. Although access has expended in recent years, it is not prevalent in the Benin yet.

However, the development of broadband access has encouraged the two operators to develop their networks, which is why mobile data is good and relatively cheap compared to other countries in the region.

From 2018, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Benin established free roaming between the nations. When making outgoing calls from any of these countries to Benin, for example, are billed at local rates, and incoming calls are free (max. 300 minutes per month). Unfortunately, there is no free data roaming within those countries, but that may change in the future.

With all of that covered, let’s see what MTN and Moov have to offer to us.

MTN Benin

MTN Logo

MTN Benin, just MTN, is the largest operator in Benin. MTN is a South-African company that is active throughout Africa and the Middle East.

MTN offers 4G in populated areas, such as Cotonou, Abomey, and Ouémé. MTN SIM cards are sold for 200 CFA ($0.35) in MTN stores and at Cotonou Airport. The following data packs, referred to as Forfaits VOLUME, can be added:

  • 100 CFA: 40 MB for 24 hours
  • 150 CFA: 200 MB for 24 hours
  • 200 CFA: 300 MB for 24 hours
  • 250 CFA: 450 MB for 24 hours
  • 400 CFA: 200 MB for 48 hours
  • 500 CFA: 1 GB for 48 hours
  • 500 CFA: 100 MB for 7 days
  • 1000 CFA: 300 MB for 30 days
  • 2000 CFA: 500 MB for 7 days
  • 2000 CFA: 750 MB for 30 days
  • 2500 CFA: 2 GB for 7 days
  • 4000 CFA: 2.4 GB for 30 days
  • 6000 CFA: 4 GB for 30 days
  • 9000 CFA: 6.5 GB for 30 days

You can also get unlimited data with MTN Forfaits ILLIMITÉS that will give you 4G/LTE speeds, where available, until you have reached your monthly quota. Afterward, your speed will be throttled to 256 kbps, which is slow for most modern browsing. The following monthly packs are available:

  • 15 000 CFA: 6 GB high-speed data
  • 25 000 CFA: 30 GB high-speed data
  • 45 000 CFA: 60 GB high-speed data

You can also get MTN packs to be used from midnight to 6 AM called Forfaits NUIT, which are mentioned below:

  • 750 CFA: 1 GB for 1 night
  • 1000 CFA: Unlimited data for 1 night
  • 5000 CFA: Unlimited data for 1 week

Moov Benin

Moov Logo

Moov Benin, just Moov, has always been MTN’s main competitor, even when there were more operators in the country. The operator grew a lot when the regulator moved 1 million former Glo customers to Moov. However, that was not enough for them to become the largest operator in Benin.

Some independent reports claim that Moov has better coverage than MTN. However, the difference is small, meaning that you will not see a major benefit for choosing Moov over MTN if you only take coverage into consideration.

Moov SIM cards are sold for 250 CFA. However, you can get it for cheaper at times when promotions are going on. Sometimes, as low as 100 CFA, even at Cotonou airport.

The following Moov data packages can be added to your plan:

  • 100 CFA: 50 MB for 24 hours
  • 150 CFA: 200 MB for 24 hours
  • 200 CFA: 300 MB for 24 hours
  • 300 CFA: 500 MB for 24 hours
  • 500 CFA: 1 GB for 48 hours
  • 500 CFA: 100 MB for 7 days
  • 1500 CFA: 500 MB for 30 days
  • 5000 CFA: 3 GB for 30 days

You can also get Moov’s Forfaits Ilimites packages, which are data packages that get throttled after going over your allowance. The throttled speeds range from 1 Mbit/s to 3 Mbit/s, which is not fast, but you can still browse the web normally compared to MTN’s 256 kbps. The following Moov unlimited packages can be bought:

  • 750 CFA: 1.5 GB high-speed data (then 2 Mbit/s) from 11 PM to 6 AM (one time)
  • 15 000 CFA: 6 GB high-speed data (then 1 Mbit/s) for 30 days
  • 30 000 CFA: 25 GB high-speed data (then 2 Mbit/s) for 30 days
  • 45 000 CFA: 50 GB high-speed data (then 3 Mbit/s) for 30 days
  • 75 000 CFA: 100 GB high-speed data (then 3 Mbit/s) for 30 days  

Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Benin

Being redone.

The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Benin

Getting a SIM card from either Tigo or Moov would do you well when considering a Beninese SIM card.

Local Prepaid SIM Card in Other African Countries

Visiting other countries in Africa? Check out my Africa SIM card buying guide, covering other African countries, such as:

Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.

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