Ivory Coast is officially known as Côte d'Ivoire, which is the French name of the country. Ivory Coast is a French-speaking country in West Africa.
Ivory Coast is one of the few countries to have more than 1 capital. Yamoussoukro and Adidjan. Yamoussoukro is the administrative and political capital, while Abidjan is the economic capital.
Abidjan has the famous La Pyramida and is close to Banco National Park. Yamoussoukro has the impressive Yamoussoukro Basilica, which is a must see. Grand-Bassam is known as a resort city with many cool beaches, and Pleateau has many cathedrals. There is no reason to be bored in Ivory Coast.
In fact, you should be sharing your Ivory Coast experience with your friends and family to show how lovely the country is. Unfortunately, roaming with your provider in Ivory Coast can be costly because roaming can be expensive in many cases. That is why a Ivorian SIM card, a local SIM card, is a much more affordable option.
Mobile data rates are low compared to the world average, which is 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 Ivory Coast. Let's get started.
Original publication: 11th of May 2020. Last updated: 20th of October 2022.
Table of Contents
Telecom Providers in Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast has 3 telecom operators: Orange Ivory Coast, MTN Ivory Coast, and Moov Ivory Coast. All these operators have 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks.
There is, or was, a 4th operator called YooMee, which was a 4G/LTE-only operator that is/was active in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast. However, their website is down, their Facebook has been inactive for ages, and nothing practical can be found about them online. I believe they shut down or got their license revoked. As a result, YooMee will not be discussed in this article until more information about them is known.
Best SIM Card in Ivory Coast
If you want to buy a SIM card in Ivory Coast, I would recommend going with either Orange or MTN. Both operators have great coverage throughout Ivory Coast, and their coverage is on par. Orange is, however, the fastest operator in the country. Orange offers more data than MTN if you spend less than 5000 XOF on a data pack, while MTN starts offering more data for the same price compared to Orange if you spend more than 5000 XOF on data.
SIM Card Registration Regulations in Ivory Coast
Like most countries in West Africa, and Africa in general, you have to register yourself when buying a SIM card in Ivory Coast. And SIM cards can only be purchased in the official operator stores or from authorized resellers. Before 2017, you could buy your SIM cards on the streets. Top-up cards can, in contrast, still be purchased from street vendors.
- Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
There is not much more to say about Ivory Coast, so let’s see what they have to offer to us.
Orange Ivory Coast
Orange Ivory Coast, just Orange, is the largest operator in Ivory Coast with a market share of around 45%. They also have the best coverage, together with MTN Ivory Coast, and the fastest speeds.
SIM Card Price – Orange Ivory Coast
You can buy an Orange SIM card for 500 XOF ($0.85) with 500 XOF in credit in Orange stores and from authorized resellers. Recharge cards are sold almost everywhere in Ivory Coast. To top-up, dial *123*VoucherCode#. For example, if your voucher code is 123456, then you would dial *123*123456#. Dial #122# to check your Orange balance.
Orange sells combo packs and data-only packs. Let’s go through each of them.
Orange Pass Mix
Orange has several Pass Mix plans which come with data, minutes, and SMS, ranging from 24 hours to 30 days. The following 8 Pass Mix bundles are available:
- 150 XOF: 15 MB, 10 minutes, and 15 SMS for 24 hours. Activation: dial #111*111#
- 300 XOF: 50 MB, 30 minutes, and 30 SMS for 24 hours. Activation: dial #111*112#
- 500 XOF: 200 MB, 40 minutes, and 50 SMS for 24 hours. Activation: dial #111*113#
- 1000 XOF: 400 MB, 100 minutes, and 100 SMS for 2 days. Activation: dial #111*114#
- 3000 XOF: 2.5 GB, 200 minutes, and 200 SMS for 7 days. Activation: dial #111*115#
- 5000 XOF: 4 GB, 350 minutes, and 500 SMS for 7 days. Activation: dial #111*116#
- 10 000 XOF: 9 GB, 480 minutes, and 650 SMS for 15 days. Activation: dial #111*117#
- 20 000 XOF: 20 GB, 1000 minutes, and 1000 SMS for 30 days. Activation: dial #111*118#
Orange Pass Réseaux Sociaux
Are you a fan of Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube, and Dailymotion? Orange has 2 Pass Réseaux Sociaux bundles that come with data for those apps specifically (no voice- or video calls with Facebook and WhatsApp). All these plans can be activated by dialing Activation: dial #111*121#:
- 100 XOF: 65 MB for social apps for 24 hours
- 300 XOF: 225 MB for social apps for 24 hours
Are you active during the night? Orange has Orange Pass Nuit, which is a 100 MB data plan, for 100 XOF, that can be used only between 12 AM and 6 PM.
Orange Pass Jour, Semaine, and Mois
Do you only need data? Orange has 10 data-only plans that are valid for a day (pass jour), a week (pass semaine), or month (pass mois):
- 100 XOF: 40 MB for 24 hours. Activation: dial #111*122#
- 200 XOF: 85 MB for 24 hours. Activation: dial #111*122#
- 500 XOF: 280 MB for 24 hours. Activation: dial #111*122#
- 600 XOF: 350 MB for 24 hours. Activation: dial #111*122#
- 1500 XOF: 750 MB for 7 days. Activation: dial #111*123#
- 2500 XOF: 1500 MB for 7 days. Activation: dial #111*123#
- 5000 XOF: 2.5 GB for 30 days. Activation: dial #111*124#
- 10 000 XOF: 6 GB for 30 days. Activation: dial #111*124#
- 15 000 XOF: 10 GB for 30 days. Activation: dial #111*124#
- 20 000 XOF: 15 GB for 30 days. Activation: dial #111*124#
MTN Ivory Coast
MTN Ivory Coast, just MTN, is the second-largest operator in Ivory Coast with a market share of around 35%. MTN’ coverage is on par with Orange’s coverage, but MTN is slightly slower.
SIM Card Price – MTN Ivory Coast
MTN is cheaper in some way because if you spend at least 5000 XOF on a data plan, you will get 0.5 GB to 1 GB more than what Orange would offer. On the other hand, if you spend less than 5000 XOF on data, then Orange provides more data, but we are only talking about a handful of MB.
MTN SIM cards can be bought for 500 XOF in MTN stores. To check your MTN balance, dial #100#.
MTN has 9 internet packages, called Offer Internet mobile, which all can be activated by dialing *105*2#:
- 500 XOF: 250 MB for 3 days
- 1000 XOF: 530 MB for 7 days
- 1900 XOF: 980 MB for 7 days
- 2500 XOF: 1450 MB for 1 month
- 5000 XOF: 3 GB for 1 month
- 10 000 XOF: 7 GB for 1 month
- 15 000 XOF: 11 GB for 1 month
- 20 000 XOF: 16 GB for 1 month
- 30 000 XOF: 25 GB for 1 month
Moov Ivory Coast
Moov Ivory Coast, just Moov, is the smallest operator in Ivory Coast. They have the worst coverage throughout Ivory Coast, but calling and texting on 2G should be fine because their 2G network is as extensive as Orange and MTN. But 2G is useless for data usage.
SIM Card Price – Moov Ivory Coast
Moov SIM cards are called Kit IZY and are sold for 500 XOF in Moov stores and at authorized resellers. The Kit IZY SIM Card comes with 100 MB, 2500 XOF in credit, and 200 SMS for 7 days. Ask for the 4G Kit IZY SIM card if planning on using Moov’s 4G/LTE network.
To top-up, dial *101*VoucherCode#. For example, if your voucher code is 123456, then you would dial *101*123456#. Dial #100# to check your Moov balance.
Moov has 9 data packages, called Internet Mobile, which can be activated by dialing *303*3*1#. Dial *303*3*2*1# to check your data balance:
- 100 XOF: 100 MB between 12 AM and 6 AM
- 200 XOF: 30 MB for 1 hour
- 450 XOF: 100 MB for 24 hours
- 550 XOF: 250 MB for a weekend (Saturday and Sunday)
- 1500 XOF: 500 MB for 7 days
- 4900 XOF: 1 GB for 30 days
- 9900 XOF: 3 GB for 30 days
- 14 900 XOF: 5 GB for 30 days
- 19 000 XOF: 10 GB for 30 days
Need a plan for social media apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Viber? Moov has 2 social bundles:
- 200 XOF: 150 MB for social apps for 1 day
- 500 XOF: 450 MB for social apps for 7 days
Dial *303*3*1# to activate a Moov social bundle.
The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Ivory Coast
Getting a SIM card from Orange or MTN would do you well when considering an Ivorian SIM card.
Local Prepaid SIM Card in Other African Countries
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