If you want to get on the internet while in Namibia, then you want to buy a local Namibian prepaid SIM card.
Why? Because SIM cards are affordable in Namibia.
You can get a Namibian SIM card for as low as 6.99 NAD (0.47 USD). An internet package with 1 GB of data can be purchased for 159.85 NAD (10.75 USD).
Mobile data rates in Namibia are cheap, especially looking at the average prices in other African countries.
There are not many international roaming packages that will beat the prices the Namibian operators have to offer, which is the case in most countries – local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected when traveling around the world.
Moreover, mobile coverage throughout Namibia is good, especially compared to neighboring countries and other countries in Africa, which is another reason to get a Namibian SIM card.
In this guide, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a prepaid SIM card in Namibia. Let’s go.
Original publication: 21st of June 2020. Last updated: 28th of October 2020.
Can I Use my Phone in Namibia?
Namibia has GSM networks utilizing frequencies used in many regions around the world (such as Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania), but not in the Americas (North-, Central-, and South America + the Caribbean).
If you purchased your phone in the Americas, if your device has not been unlocked, or the phone does not support Namibia's frequencies, then you cannot use your phone in Namibia.
Mobile Operators, Networks, and Frequencies in Namibia
Namibia has 2 telecom operators:
Both operators have 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks.
The following frequencies are used by the Namibian operators:
- 2G: 900 MHz & 1800 MHz
- 3G: 2100 MHz
- 4G/LTE: 1800 MHz (Band 3) & 2600 MHz (Band 38)
To learn whether your device supports these frequencies or not, go to this site to find out.
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.
A Note About Paratus Telecom
There is also a third operator called Paratus Telecom. Although they offer mobile data, their target the home market (broadband internet in Namibia is not widely available yet). Paratus does not even offer the ability to make voice calls.
However, on average, Paratus Telecom offers the lowest data rates, but their coverage is extremely limited (which is why they will not be covered in this article). You should only consider Paratus Telecom if staying in Windhoek, Kleine Kuppe, Okahandja, Swakopmund, or Walvis Bay.
The Best Prepaid SIM Card in Namibia
If you want to buy a SIM card in Namibia, then both MTC and TN Mobile are good options. MTC has the best coverage throughout the country, but they are the more expensive than TN Mobile. TN Mobile’s coverage is good, but not as extensive as the one of MTC.
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SIM Card Registration Regulations in Namibia
You do not have to show your passport or register your personal details when buying a SIM card in Namibia.
According to Privacy International, the Namibian government is considering implementing a SIM card registration law.
This section will be updated once a clear decision has been made by the Namibian authorities.
The State of the Namibian Telecom Market
Namibia is the second-least densely populated country in the world behind Mongolia (which I have written a SIM card buying guide on as well). This means that coverage is not as extensive as you are used to in other African countries or other countries in general.
Luckily, all cities and towns have at least 3G coverage with both MTC and TN Mobile. However, smaller towns may only have 2G reception, which is too slow for modern data use. 4G/LTE is not widely available yet.
If you are staying in greater Windhoek, coverage should not be a problem. When traveling between towns, you may only have 2G reception or nothing at all.
The average mobile download and upload speeds in Namibia is around 17 Mbps download and above 12 Mbps upload in August 2020, according to Speedtest by Ookla. This places Namibia outside of the top 100 countries with the fastest mobile data speeds..
However, Mobile data prices are reasonably priced for African standards.
The average cost of 1 GB of data in Namibia is 4.78 USD, according to Cable.co.uk. The Sub-Saharan average for 1 GB of data is 6.91 USD.
Currency in Namibia
Namibia uses the Namibian Dollar with the symbol NAD (which will be used throughout this article). Prices in Namibia are listed in N$ or ND. For example, 25 NAD is N$/ND 25. For reference, below are some exchange rates between NAD and USD (US Dollars – Rounded):
- 1 NAD = 0.05 USD
- 10 NAD = 0.65 USD
- 100 NAD = 6.70 USD
- 1000 NAD = 67.15 USD
- 10 000 NAD = 671.55 USD
For up-to-date NAD:USD exchange rates, search NAD 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 Transferwise Borderless Account and Debit Card. Their fees are MUCH lower than banks, and credit card companies charge you (and Transferwise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks). I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Euros, my main currency, when using Transferwise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards. Open a Transferwise account FREE!
Taxes in Namibia
Mobile data in Namibia are often not inclusive of the necessary 15% tax. When the tax is excluded from the price, an additional column of the price with tax (price * 1.15) is added throughout this guide for your convenience.
Namibian Prepaid SIM Cards & Video Guide
- Background information
- SIM card types, prices, and availability
- Recharge / top-up information
- Combo plans, data plans, and special packs (such as social media packs)
If you prefer to watch a video of what the Namibian operators have to offer, be sure to check the video below AND also subscribe to my channel for more local prepaid SIM card guides, SIM card reviews (prepaid and international), mobile hotspots, and international roaming guides. You should still go through the guide after watching the video (I refer to it multiple times throughout the video).
With that being said, let’s see what MTC and TN Mobile have to offer to us.
MTC’ 3G network covers all cities and most large towns in Namibia, while 4G/LTE can be found in a handful of cities and towns, such as:
- Finkenstein Estate/Manor
- Henties Bay
- Hosea Kutako International Airport (Windhoek Airport – WDH)
- Katima Mulilo
- Rosh Pinah
- Walvis Bay
Getting an MTC Prepaid SIM Card & Price
You can buy an MTC SIM card, called Tango, for 6.99 NAD in MTC shops.
You can also buy an MTC SIM card Windhoek Airport (Hosea Kutako International Airport – WDH).
Recharging your MTC SIM Card
MTC recharge vouchers are sold in many retailers throughout Namibia.
To redeem an MTC recharge voucher, dial *13200*VoucherCode#. For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *13200*123456#.
Note that this recharging method has replaced the old process of calling 132.
To check your MTC balance, dial *682# and select option 2.
MTC Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers
MTC has several plans including data, which are:
- Aweh (combo plans)
- Data Bundles with Validity (data-only)
- Other [Data Bundles] (data-only)
- TikTok Bundles (app-specific data-only add-ons)
Let’s go through each of them. Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.
The Aweh plans are combo plans that come with data, social media data, minutes, and SMS.
Depending on the plan, social media data applies to WhatsApp only or WhatsApp and Facebook. WhatsApp calls do not fall under social media data and will be deducted from your regular data allowance.
You have the following five Aweh plans:
|Price||Price with 15% TAX||Plan||Data||Social Media Data||Social Media Apps||Minutes||SMS||Validity||Activation SMS to 13400|
|7 NAD||8.05 NAD||Aweh Oka||20 MB||20 MB||20 minutes||50 SMS||3 days||#OkaAweh#|
|13 NAD||14.95 NAD||Aweh Go||50 MB||50 MB||50 minutes||150 SMS||7 days||#AwehGO#|
|32 NAD||36.80 NAD||Aweh Prime||200 MB||200 MB||350 minutes||700 SMS||7 days||#Aweh#|
|32 NAD||36.80 NAD||Aweh Gig||1 GB||500 MB||100 minutes||700 SMS||7 days||#AwehGig#|
|53 NAD||60.95 NAD||Aweh Super||3 GB*||700 MB||WhatsApp & Facebook||700 minutes||1500 SMS||7 days||#SuperAweh#|
MTC Data Bundles with Validity
The Data Bundles with Validity are standard data-only bundles. All Data Bundles with Validity are valid for 60 days. Data Bundles with Validity can be purchased by dialing *682#.
The following Data Bundles with Validity can be purchased:
|Price||Price with 15% Tax||Data|
|13 NAD||14.95 NAD||40 MB|
|20 NAD||23 NAD||80 MB|
|85 NAD||97.75 NAD||400 MB|
|139 NAD||159.85 NAD||800 MB|
|235 NAD||270.25 NAD||1.5 GB|
|353 NAD||405.95 NAD||3 GB|
|1069 NAD||1229.35 NAD||15 GB|
MTC Other Data Bundles
The Other Data Bundles, which are literally called other data bundles, are data-only bundles valid for 120 days.
You have the following three options:
|Price||Price with 15% Tax||Data||Activation SMS|
|16 NAD||18.40 NAD||60 MB||#N15-60mb# to 12515|
|25 NAD||28.75 NAD||100 MB||#N23-100mb# to 12516|
|38 NAD||43.70 NAD||200 MB||#N35-200mb# to 12517|
MTC TikTok Bundles
The TikTok Bundles are data-only add-ons specifically for TikTok.
The following TikTok Bundles are available:
|Price||Price with 15% Tax||Data||Validity|
|5 NAD||5.75 NAD||60 MB||End of day|
|20 NAD||23 NAD||100 MB||7 days|
|50 NAD||57.50 NAD||200 MB||30 days|
MTC APN Settings
In most cases, your phone will retrieve the correct MTC APN settings automatically. If you need to enter it manually, then you need the following details (do not add anything not mentioned below):
- Name: MTC Namibia
- APN: internet
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TN Mobile (Telecom Namibia)
TN Mobile Coverage
Below is the coverage map of TN Mobile. Just like MTC, all cities and large towns have mobile coverage (which could be 2G coverage).
Getting a TN Mobile Prepaid SIM Card & Price
You can buy a TN Mobile SIM card for less than 10 NAD in TN Mobile stores.
Recharging Your TN Mobile SIM Card
TN Mobile recharge cards are widely available throughout Namibia, sold by many establishments. To top-up, you text the Voucher Code to 124.
For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would text 123456 to 124.
Send a blank SMS to 124 to check your TN Mobile balance. The same can be done by calling 139 or dialing *124#.
TN Mobile Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers
TN Mobile has several combo plans and data-only plans, which are:
- Jiva Family (combo plans)
- Prepaid Data Bundles (data-only plans)
- Unlimited Prepaid Data (unlimited data-only plans)
Let’s go through each of them. Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.
TN Mobile Jiva Family
The Jiva Family bundles are combo bundles with data, social media data, nighttime data, minutes, and SMS, which are all valid for 7 days.
It is unknown which apps fall under social media data. Nighttime data, referred to as Night Surfer, allows you to use “unlimited data” (90 GB) between 00:00-5:59 (12 AM-5:59 AM).
Below are the four Jiva bundles:
|Price||Price with 15% tax||Data||Social Media Data||Night Surfer||Minutes||SMS|
|30 NAD||34.5 NAD||1.5 GB||None||No||130 minutes||700 SMS|
|35 NAD||40.25 NAD||2 GB||500 MB||No||130 minutes||700 SMS|
|40 NAD||46 NAD||2 GB||500 MB||Yes||200 minutes||1000 SMS|
|50 NAD||57.5 NAD||10 GB||2 GB||Yes||200 minutes||1000 SMS|
TN Mobile Prepaid Data Bundles
The Prepaid Data Bundles are standard data-only bundles.
You have the following 12 options:
|Price||Price with 15% Tax||Data||Activation|
|5 NAD||5.75 NAD||20 MB||*130*20#|
|10 NAD||11.5 NAD||40 MB||*130*40#|
|15 NAD||17.25 NAD||60 MB||*130*60#|
|23 NAD||26.45 NAD||100 MB||*130*100#|
|35 NAD||40.25 NAD||300 MB||*130*300#|
|99 NAD||113.85 NAD||600 MB||*130*600#|
|139 NAD||159.85 NAD||1 GB||*130*1000#|
|199 NAD||228.85 NAD||2 GB||*130*2000#|
|399 NAD||458.85 NAD||5 GB||*130*5000#|
|849 NAD||976.35 NAD||10 GB||*130*10000#|
|1049 NAD||1206.35 NAD||20 GB||*130*20000#|
|1599 NAD||1838.85 NAD||40 GB||*130*40000#|
|1999 NAD||2298.85 NAD||50 GB||*130*50000#|
|3299 NAD||3793.85 NAD||100 GB||*130*100000#|
TN Mobile Unlimited Prepaid Data
The Unlimited Prepaid Data bundles are data bundles that come with unlimited data for a day, week, or month.
The following options are available:
|Price||Price with 15% Tax||Validity||Activation|
|49 NAD||56.35 NAD||1 day||*130*49#|
|299 NAD||343.85 NAD||7 days||*130*299#|
|999 NAD||1148.85 NAD||30 days||*130*998#|
TN Mobile APN Settings
In most cases, your phone will retrieve the correct TN Mobile APN settings automatically. If you need to enter it manually, then you need the following details (do not add anything not mentioned below):
- Name: TN Mobile
- APN: internet
Other Ways to Use the Internet When Traveling in Namibia
Getting a Namibian SIM card is probably the cheapest way to connect to the internet when traveling in Namibia. Especially with those mobile data rates.
International SIM Cards or Travel SIM Cards
International SIM cards or Travel SIM cards are made for the traveler in mind – you do not have to buy a local SIM card for every country you visit, and they are cheaper than international roaming.
With such low mobile data rates in Namibia, it will be hard to find an international SIM card or travel SIM card that will offer better rates.
That is why I have no particular international SIM card in mind for those wanting to buy one for Namibia. However, you can still learn more about international SIM cards and travel SIM cards on this page.
They could be useful when traveling in other parts of the world, like the Americas, Europe, or Asia. For Africa – not so much.
Although international roaming can be expensive in many cases, it does not always have to be the case. If you are a SIM card from other Southern African nations, your operator may offer attractive roaming rates or packages for your visit to Namibia. Be sure to check your options.
If you have a SIM card from another country or region, however, you may want to avoid international roaming.
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. They allow you to connect multiple devices to one hotspot without each traveler having to buy a SIM card.
Sadly, the companies that rent out mobile hotspots do not cover Namibia. At least, the ones with reasonable prices.
You can, however, always buy a mobile hotspot and insert a SIM card in it and use it as a personal WIFI connection.
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 – they are not available all the time, especially when on the road.
You can find quite a few free WIFI hotspots throughout Namibia. However, they will be slow. If you manage to find one, however, 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 Namibia
Getting a SIM card from MTC (best coverage) or TN Mobile (cheapest option) would do you well considering a Namibian SIM card.
Local Prepaid SIM Cards 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:
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!
Start Your Own Online Business – Make Money While Traveling
Do you want to learn how I started an online business that allows me to generate income while traveling? 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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