Buying a Prepaid SIM Card in Guinea Guide

Logos of Telecom Operators in Guinea: Orange Guinea, MTN Guinea & Cellcom Guinea

Guinea, also known as Guinea-Conakry, is often confused with Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea, which is understandable. Guinea-Bissau is a neighboring country in the North-West of Guinea, while Equatorial Guinea is on the west coast of Central Africa. Each of these Guineas have a lot to offer.

Guinea has Fouta Djallon, which is a highland region with a lot of rivers and farks. In Conakry, the capital of Guinea, you can find the Grande Mosquée de Conakry. In Kindia, you can find amazing waterfalls. All of these attractions are social-media-worthy!

In fact, you probably want to share your Guinea experiences online but are worried about roaming costs. Roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why many travelers prefer to buy local SIM cards, like a Guinean one, to take advantage of local rates.

Mobile data rates are low in Guinea, compared to the world average, which is another reason why you should take advantage of it.

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

Telecom Operators, Networks, and Frequencies in Guinea

Guinea has 3 telecom operators:

  • Orange Guinea (Orange Guinée
  • MTN Guinea (MTN Guinée)
  • Cellcom Guinea (Cellcom Guinée)

All operators have 2G and 3G networks. Only Orange Guinea has a 4G/LTE network since 2019. Both MTN Guinea and Cellcom Guinea have not been awarded a 4G/LTE network as of yet.

The following frequencies are used by the Guinean operators:

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

The Best SIM Card in Guinea

If you want to buy a SIM card in Guinea, then Orange is the best option. With the best coverage and the fastest speeds, Orange has the best prepaid offering.  

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SIM Card Registration Regulations in Guinea

Like most countries in West Africa, and Africa in general, you have to register your SIM card with your passport details when buying a SIM card in Guinea.

Currency in Guinea

Guinea uses the Guinean Franc with the symbol GNF (which will be used throughout this article). Prices in Guinea are listed in GNF. For reference, below are some exchange rates between GNF and USD (US Dollars):

  • 100 GNF: 0.01 USD
  • 1000 GNF 0.10 USD
  • 10 000 GNF: 1.04 USD
  • 100 000 GNF: 10.44 USD
  • 1 000 000 GNF: 104.43 USD
  • 10 000 000 GNF: 1044.33 USD

Guinean Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through the Guinean Telecom operators, Orange Guinea, MTN Guinea, and Cellcom Guinea, 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 Guinea has to offer to us.

Orange Guinea

Orange Logo

Orange Guinea, officially called Orange Guinée and will just be referred to as “Orange,” is the largest operator in Guinea, and they have the best coverage in the country. Orange is also the only Guinean operator to have a 4G/LTE network, which, by default, makes them the fastest operator in Guinea.

Orange’s 4G/LTE covers the following cities and regions:

  • Boké
  • Kankan
  • Doko
  • Faranah
  • Kamsar
  • Kindia
  • Labé
  • Mamou
  • N'Zérékoré
  • Siguiri

Orange has several types of prepaid SIM cards, but the SIM Orange, costing 5000 GNF, will give you the best value and will work with all the combo- and data plans. The SIM Orange can be bought in Orange stores and at Conakry Gbessia International Airport (in the arrival hall). Make sure to ask for the USIM if you want to take advantage of Orange’s 4G/LTE network.

The SIM Orange comes with the following perks:

  • 5000 GNF in credit
  • 100 GNF bonus credit for 6 months
  • 100 SMS for 5 days

Orange recharge cards for the SIM Orange start from 5000 GNF all the way up to 250 000 GNF. When you top-up at least 30 000 GNF, you start getting bonus credit (from 3000 GNF – 10% –  to 50 000 GNF – 25%). Orange top-up cards are widely available. To recharge, dial *123*VoucherCode#. For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *123*123456#. Dial *124# to check your Orange balance.

Orange Les Pass Internet

The Les Pass Internet are data-only bundles, although some of the daily passes come with SMS and minutes. The internet passes come in daily, nightly, weekly, and monthly variants. You can activate a Pass Internet by dialing *222#.

Orange Pass Internet Jour (Day)

The Pass Internet Jour, meaning daily internet passes, are available for 24 hours and come in 4 variants:

PriceDataSMSMinutes
980 GNF30 MB30 SMSN/A
1950 GNF100 MB50 SMSN/A
2950 GNF150 MB30 on-net SMS2000 GNF airtime
6400 GNF350 MB50 on-net SMS4000 GNF airtime
Orange Pass Internet Nuit (Night)

The Pass Internet Nuit, meaning night internet passes, can be used between 12 AM and 7 AM. They can be activated online or on the Orange app. They and come in 3 versions:

  • 1000 GNF: 150 MB
  • 2500 GNF: 400 MB
  • 6000 GNF: 1 GB
Orange Pass Internet Semaine (Week)

The Pass Internet Semaine, meaning weekly internet passes, are valid for 7 days and come in 2 variants:

  • 14 000 GNF: 800 MB
  • 31 000 GNF: 1.8 GB
Orange Pass Internet Mois (Month)

The Pass Internet Mois, meaning monthly internet passes, are valid for 30 days and come in 3 variants:

  • 50 000 GNF: 3 GB
  • 105 000 GNF: 6.5 GB
  • 185 000 GNF: 15 GB

Other Types of Orange Data Passes

Orange has 2 other types of data plans:

  • Orange Internet Everywhere
  • Orange Domino

Both Internet Everywhere and Domino require you to purchase equipment (USD stick or a pocket WIFI device). They are priced at 125 000 GNF and 360 000 for the Internet Everywhere and Domino equipment, respectively.

Although they are still affordable, depending on what you are used to at home, the data allowances are less generous compared to Les Pass Internet, which have a small start-up cost of 5000 GNF, the SIM Orange itself. That is why those plans have not been mentioned, but more information about Internet Everywhere and Domino can be found by clicking the links (the site is in French, though).

Orange Guinea 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: internetogn

RELATED GUIDES:

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MTN Guinea

MTN Logo

MTN Guinea, officially called MTN Guinée and will just be referred to as “MTN,” is the second-largest operator in Guinea. Their coverage is slightly worse than the one of Orange, and they do not have a 4G/LTE network (yet). It looks like MTN has not been awarded a 4G/LTE license yet.

MTN SIM cards, called MTN Seconde, are sold for 5000 GNF in MTN stores. The SIM card comes 5000 GNF in credit (4000 GNF for on-net use and 1000 for off-net use), 30 SMS for 30 days, and 30 MB until midnight.

MTN has a combo plan called MTN Cool+ and data plans called Offres Internet.

MTN Cool+

MTN Cool+ are combo plans that come with data and minutes. They come in the following 6 variants, which can be activated by dialing *100*5#:

PriceDataSMSValidity
2500 GNF200 MB10 SMS24 hours
2750 GNF200 MB10 SMS2 days
4000 GNF400 MB10 SMS24 hours
4400 GNF400 MB10 SMS2 days
5000 GNF1 GBN/A1 night (11 PM – 6 AM)
10 000 GNF1 GB10 SMS/day (max. 70 SMS)7 days

MTN Offres Internet

The Offres Internet offers are data-only bundles. They come in 4 variants: daily, 48 hours, weekly, and monthly.

MTN Internet Forfaits Jour (Day)

The Forfaits Jour, meaning daily offers, are valid for 24 hours and come in the following 4 variants:

  • 1000 GNF: 40 MB. Activation: dial *100*3*1000#
  • 2000 GNF: 120 MB. Activation: dial *100*3*2000#
  • 3000 GNF: 250 MB. Activation: dial *100*3*3000#
  • 5000 GNF: 500 MB. Activation: dial *100*3*5000#
MTN Internet Forfaits 48H (48 Hours)

The Forfaits 48H are internet bundles that are valid for 48 hours. They come in 4 versions:

  • 1500 GNF: 60 MB. Activation: dial *100*3*1500#
  • 2500 GNF: 140 MB. Activation: dial *100*3*3500#
  • 4000 GNF: 300 MB. Activation: dial *100*3*4000#
  • 5500 GNF: 500 MB. Activation: dial *100*3*5500#
MTN Internet Forfaits Semaine (Week)

The Forfaits Semaine, meaning weekly offers, are valid for 7 days and come in the following 3 variants:

  • 10 000 GNF: 650 MB. Activation: dial *100*3*10000#
  • 15 000 GNF: 1.3 GB. Activation: dial *100*3*15000#
  • 30 000 GNF: 2.5 GB. Activation: dial *100*3*30000#
MTN Internet Forfaits Mois (Month)

The Forfaits Mois, meaning monthly offers, are valid for 30 days. They come in 5 versions:

  • 40 000 GNF: 2.5 GB. Activation: dial *100*3*40000#
  • 75 000 GNF: 5 GB. Activation: dial *100*3*75000#
  • 110 000 GNF: 7.5 GB. Activation: dial *100*3*110000#
  • 190 000 GNF: 15 GB. Activation: dial *100*3*190000#
  • 335 000 GNF: 30 GB. Activation: dial *100*3*355000#

MTN Guinea 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.areeba.com.gn OR internet

Cellcom Guinea

Cellcom Guinea Logo

Cellcom Guinea, officially called Cellcom Guinée and will just be referred to as “Cellcom,” is the smallest operator in Guinea with the worst coverage in Guinea. However, their coverage does reach all cities and most large towns. Just like MTN, Cellcom does not have a 4G/LTE network (yet).

Cellcom data SIM cards, called 3G+, are sold for 5000 GNF in Cellcom stores. They come with 2000 GNF in credit and 25 SMS.

Cellcom’s data plans are called Internet 3G+ Sans Limites. They come in 3 groups: Cellcom Mini, Celcom Petit, and Cellcom Maxi. The difference between these groups is the data allowances you get:

  • Cellcom Mini plans are plans from 50 MB up to 500 MB
  • Cellcom Petit plans start from 1 GB to 5 GB
  • Cellcom Maxi plans start from 10 GB to 100 GB

All Internet 3G+ Sans Limites plans are valid for 30 days.

The following 11 Internet 3G+ Sans Limites plans are available:

  • 1000 GNF: 50 MB. Activation: dial *777*50#
  • 2000 GNF: 100 MB. Activation: dial *777*100#
  • 10 000 GNF: 500 MB. Activation: dial *777*500#
  • 20 000 GNF: 1 GB. Activation: dial *777*1#
  • 40 000 GNF: 2 GB. Activation: dial *777*2#
  • 60 000 GNF: 3 GB. Activation: dial *777*3#
  • 80 000 GNF: 4 GB. Activation: dial *777*4#
  • 100 000 GNF: 5 GB. Activation: dial *777*5#
  • 200 000 GNF: 10 GB. Activation: dial *777*10#
  • 1 000 000 GNF: 50 GB. Activation: in a Cellcom store
  • 2 000 000 GNF: 100 GB. Activation: in a Cellcom store

Cellcom Guinea 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.cellcom.com

RELATED GUIDES:

Other Ways to Use the Internet When Traveling in Guinea

Getting a Guinean SIM card is probably the cheapest way to connect to the internet when traveling in 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.

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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 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 can find quite some WIFI hotspots in Guinea, but they can be slow at times. 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 Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Guinea

Getting a SIM card from Orange (best coverage and fastest speeds) would do you well when considering a Guinean SIM card.

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Local Prepaid SIM Card in Other African Countries

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

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 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 Guinea.

Book Your Accommodation for 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 Guinea. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in a Guinean hotel.

Get Your Travel Insurance for 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 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 Guinean 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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