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Best Prepaid SIM Card in Djibouti: Buying Guide

Djibouti – a small French- and Arabic-speaking country in the Horn of Africa. It used to be known as French Somaliland until 1967.

But is it worth visiting this tiny nation? Absolutely!

You can take a look at the famous Mosquée Al-Hamoudi or spot cheetahs in the Decan Refuge.

Those who like to gamble can go to Aden Bay Casino or chill at the Maskali or Mocha Islands.

Overall, there are plenty of things to do and see in Djibouti, which you probably want to share on social media.

And that is your holiday bragging right! But do know that international roaming can be expensive. In most cases, it is not worth it.

Luckily, local prepaid SIM cards, like a Djiboutian one, are almost always cheaper than international roaming because you can then enjoy local rates.

So, how expensive are SIM cards in Djibouti?

You can get an Evatis by Djibouti Telecom SIM card for 1000 DJF (5.60 USD) in Djibouti Telecom stores. Evatis SIM cards are your only option in the country because Djibouti Telecom has a monopoly. 12 GB valid for 7 days will also cost you 1000 DJF.

Those prices are not too bad, huh? Mobile data used to be crazy expensive in Djibouti. 1 GB would have cost you more than 30 USD back in the day!

Even though there is only one mobile network operator in the country, there are plenty of things to be aware of the telecom situation in Djibouti.

In this guide, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Djibouti. Let's go.

Buying a SIM Card in Djibouti Guide (logo of Djibouti Telecom)

Original publication: 16th of March 2020. Last updated: 31st of October 2021.

Table of Contents

Can You Buy a SIM Card in Djibouti?

Anyone living or visiting Djibouti can buy a Djiboutian SIM card without restrictions.

You do need to be aware that you have to go through a SIM card registration procedure.

Additionally, you need a phone that supports the frequencies used in the country (preferably all of them to have the most optimal experience while in Djibouti).

Finally, you need to have a SIM-lock-free (unlocked) phone to use local SIM cards.

Where Can You Buy a SIM Card in Djibouti?

  • Evatis (Djibouti Telecom): 1000 DJF (regular), 7000 DJF (premium) & 50 000 DJF (premium)

Can You Use Your Phone in Djibouti?

Djibouti uses GSM and CDMA technology for mobile telecommunications services. Although CDMA is still being used actively, you would not be able to Djibouti Telecom's CDMA network unless you buy a phone from them or roam.

Fortunately, there is a 99% chance you have a phone that supports GSM, and the GSM network is becoming superior to Djibouti Telecom's CDMA network.

Traditional European frequencies are used in Djibouti, which are mostly used in ITU Regions 1 & 3 (Africa, Asia (including the Middle East), Europe & Oceania).

The Americas (North-, Central– & South America + the Caribbean – ITU Region 2) use American Frequencies, which differ from the European ones.

ITU Regions Map
By Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) – Own work, using this file by Denelson83, CC BY-SA 2.5

If you bought your phone in Africa, Asia, Europe, or Oceania (ITU regions 1 & 3), you should not experience any issues with using your phone in Djibouti.

If you purchased your phone in the Americas (ITU Region 2) and have a low/medium-end device (without Tri-Band or Quad-Band) support, then there is a possibility you cannot use your phone when in Djibouti or can only on 2G.

If you have a medium/high-end device with Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, you can use your phone in Djibouti (to some extent) – even on 4G/LTE.

Mobile Operator, Networks & Frequencies in Djibouti

Djibouti has one mobile network operator:

  • Djibouti Telecom

The following frequencies are used in Djibouti:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 900 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20) & 1800 MHz (Band 3)

You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.

To check whether your phone will work in Djibouti, check out this page by Will My Phone Work (may be outdated or inaccurate at times).

Again, make sure your phone is unlocked. Otherwise, you will not be able to use any SIM card except the one from your home operator (meaning you have to roam internationally or buy another unlocked phone that does support the frequencies listed above).

If you want to learn how international roaming works, this guide explains it in-depth. If you wonder why it is often so expensive to roam, this article explains the hidden reason they do not want you to know.

5G NR in Djibouti

5G is not available in Djibouti as of 2021, and the Djiboutian government has not made any indications of when they will auction 5G licenses.

Best SIM Card in Djibouti

If you want to buy the best SIM Card in Djibouti, then Evitas (Djibouti Telecom) is your only option. It is the only mobile operator in Djibouti.

SIM Card Registration in Djibouti

SIM card registration, with the use of your passport information, is mandatory in Djibouti. This will be done at the point of sale.

Djibouti Mobile Internet Prices & Insights

Flag of Djibouti

The cost of mobile data in Africa can be a hit or miss. It can be super cheap or criminally expensive.

Djibouti used to be one of the African nations that had criminally expensive mobile data rates. That was in part because Djibouti Telecom has a monopoly on telecommunications in the country.

It still holds this monopoly position. However, things have changed for the better for Djiboutians and travelers.

The average price for 1 GB of data in Djibouti is 1.12 USD, far below the African average of 5.80 USD. The world average is 4.07 USD.

This figure is quite remarkable if you compared it to 2019's numbers. Back then, the average cost for 1 GB of data was a whopping 37.92 USD. The average price has gone down by 97%!

Not only is this nice for travelers, but it is even better for the locals.

But the quality of the network is still poor in Djibouti. Sure, you will be fine when you stay in urban areas, especially Djibouti City, but reception may still be spotty, and the speeds will be slow – even for African standards.

Overall, you should have a decent network experience in Djibouti.

Currency in Djibouti

40 Djiboutian Franc Bank Note
By Rawlan1998 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Djibouti uses the Djibouti Franc with the symbol DJF (which will be used throughout this article).

However, prices in Djibouti are somteimes listed in Fdj. For example, 25 DJF = 25 Fdj.

For reference, below are some exchange rates between DJF and USD (US Dollars – Rounded):

  • 10 DJF = 0.05 USD
  • 100 DJF = 0.55 USD
  • 1000 DJF = 5.60 USD
  • 10 00 DJF = 56.20 USD
  • 100 000 DJD = 562 USD

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

If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Wise Borderless Account and Debit Card.

Their fees are MUCH lower than banks, and credit card companies charge you (and Wise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks).

I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Euros, my main currency, when using Wise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards. Open a Wise account FREE!

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Djiboutian Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through Evatis (Djibouti Telecom) and go through:

  • Background information
  • Mobile coverage
  • 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 Djibouti has to offer to us.

Evatis (Djibouti Telecom)

Djibouti Telecom Logo

Djibouti Telecom is the sole operator in Djibouti. There are currently no other players planning on entering the Djiboutian market. Its GSM mobile brand is called Evatis. Both names will be used throughout this section.

Evatis by Djibouti Telecom Logo

Djibouti Telecom uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 900 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20) & 1800 MHz (Band 3)

This is what you will learn about Djibouti Telecom:

* Coverage
* How to Get a(n) Evatis/Djibouti Telecom SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Evatis (Djibouti Telecom)

Djibouti Telecom has mediocre coverage throughout the country.

There are still plenty of spots with no coverage or slow 2G reception.

Below is Djibouti Telecom's coverage map:

Djibouti Telecom (Evatis) Coverage Ma

SIM Card Price – Evatis (Djibouti Telecom)

You can get a(n) Evatis/Djibouti Telecom SIM card for 1000 DJF with 500 DJI in credit in Djibouti Telecom stores. It is also possible to get premium phone numbers for 7000 DJF or 50 000 DJF.

Dial *123# to see your Evatis/Djibouti Telecom phone number. You may want to dial *161# to change the menu's language from French to English or Arabic.

Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Evatis (Djibouti Telecom)

Evatis/Djibouti Telecom top-up vouchers are sold in Djibouti Telecom stores and other places, such as kiosks, convenience stores, and grocery stores.

The following top-up options are available:

Top-UpTotal Credit
500 DJF500 DJF
1000 DJF1050 DJF
2000 DJF2200 DJF
5000 DJF5500 DJF
10 000 DJF11 500 DJF
Djibouti Telecom - Evatis Top Up Cards

To top up your Evatis/Djibouti Telecom SIM card, dial *166*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *166*VoucherCode#.

Dial *168# to see your Evatis/Djibouti Telecom balance.

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Evatis (Djibouti Telecom)

Evatis/Djibouti Telecom has two data-featured plans: Forfaits Combo/Combo Plans (combo) & Forfait Data/Data Plans (data-only).

All Evatis/Djibouti Telecom plans can be activated by dialing *164#.

Djibouti Telecom (Evatis) Buy Plans
Forfait Combo (Combo Plans) – Evatis (Djibouti Telecom)

The Forfait Combo (Combo Plans) are combo bundles with data, minutes, and SMS.

Forfait Combo can be purchased by dialing *164#:

PricePlanDataLocal MinutesLocal SMSValidity
500 DJFClassic100 MB35 minutes50 SMS30 days
1000 DJFMédiane200 MB70 minutes100 SMS30 days
2000 DJFPremium400 MB155 minutes250 SMS30 days
Forfait Data (Data Plans) – Evatis (Djibouti Telecom)

The forfait Data (Data Plans) are data-only bundles.

You can activate Forfait Data by dialing *164#:

200 DJFExpress1 GB1 day
500 DJFDécouverte5 GB3 days
1000 DJFÉvasion12 GB7 days
3000 DJFConfort20 GB30 days

APN/Internet Settings – Evatis (Djibouti Telecom)

  • Name: Evatis
  • APN: dtinternet

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Djibouti

Getting a Djiboutian SIM card is the best way to stay connected in the country.

However, for some, getting local SIM cards is not an option. For example, if you have a SIM-locked device.

Luckily, there are other ways to get online when in Djibouti.

However, these methods may be more expensive than getting a SIM card from the local operator.

International Roaming

International roaming is the most convenient way to stay connected when traveling in other countries because you do not have to buy a new SIM card, have to deal with SIM card registration regulations, nor have multiple phone numbers to deal with.

However, international roaming has proven to be expensive in many cases, especially compared to buying local SIM cards. That is why many travelers are not fond of international roaming.

International roaming has its pros and cons. However, it is important to know how it works. This in-depth guide explains it all.

Find out whether your mobile operator has attractive roaming rates for Djibouti here.

Using an International SIM Card or Travel SIM Card

International SIM cards are SIM cards made for the traveler in mind. Using them is often cheaper than international roaming. However, they are almost always more expensive than using a local SIM card.

There are many other advantages and disadvantages of getting international SIM cards, which you can learn about here.

Using a Mobile Hotspot (Pocket WIFI)

Mobile hotspots, or pocket WIFI, are small devices that connect to the local operators of the country you are visiting. Mobile hotspots are ideal for families or those traveling in a large group, as they allow you to connect multiple devices to one hotspot without the need of each traveler having to buy a SIM card.

You can either buy a mobile hotspot or rent one.

Using Free WIFI Networks

Using free WIFI connections is the cheapest way to stay connected because they are free. The major downside of trying to use WIFI hotspots is that you will have to locate them, and they are not available on every corner in Djibouti.

Make sure to protect your internet traffic with a VPN so that hackers cannot steal your personal data.

The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Djibouti

Getting a SIM card from Evatis by Djibouti Telecom would be your only option when considering a Djiboutian 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.

Next Steps to Enhance Your Travel Experiences

Looking for the next steps to enhance your phone travel experiences? Here is what to do:

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Check Out My Resource Page

Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my travel resources page for the best companies to use when you travel!

Save money with international SIM cards, 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!

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In my starting an online business guide, I tell you which tools, services, and products I have for this site and my YouTube channel.

If I can start a business about something I am passionate about (phone travel), then you can do it too!

Learn About Your Phone Travel Options

You can buy local prepaid SIM cards, international SIM cards, mobile hotspots, or roam internationally.

Each of these options has its pros and cons. Learn more about them, and find the best option for you.

Phone Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks

I have written many articles with tips and hacks to save money on mobile costs while abroad. You surely want to check them out!

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