Buying a Local Sim card & Internet Bundles in Uganda
This is a frequently asked question by foreign visitors. It is mandatory to buy a local Sim card in Uganda, especially if you are to carry out business with a local service provider. You insert this chip in your phone and use it to communicate. The option is cheap and makes things easier.
With an international Sim card, you can only use it to contact someone via WhatsApp or other social media platforms, but you need to have data bundles. While in Uganda, you can only use data bundles provided by telecom companies like MTN or Airtel. You cannot get these bundles if you don’t have a local Sim card or a router.
I think you see the reasons why it is necessary to have one. After deciding to get one, another question maybe which Sim to buy?
There are two reliable telecom companies for you. It is Airtel and MTN Uganda. There are widely spread, and have a fantastic network connectivity in most parts of the country.
Deep in the villages, Airtel has good signals than MTN. When it comes to speed, MTN is better though it is more reliable in the urban areas. Then with the rates for data bundles and airtime, Airtel is cheap than MTN.
If you are visiting Uganda’s different regions, it is perfect to get both cards of the two companies. You can reach an area when Airtel works better than MTN, and go to another place when it is Vice versa. Highlighted below are the points where you can find the company outlets.
At Entebbe Airport
Entebbe Airport is the main gateway for all visitors who go to Uganda by air transport. It has numerous services, including the kiosks that vend local Sim cards. If you don’t expect to stop in Kampala or other cities, make sure to leave the aviation facility with the Sim card and data bundles.
This chimp costs about 5000 Uganda shillings (1.4 USD) without the internet packages. For data, you can choose to load a weekly or monthly bundle. You can ask the agent for the perfect deal. The airtime credit starts from 1000 Uganda shillings.
Kampala & other cities
Kampala and other cities like Jinja, Gulu, Mbale, Mbarara, Masaka and towns have multiple agents who vend these cards and simple phones in case you need to buy one. For those who desire to register the cards in their names, be sure to visit known service centers.
Don’t forget to come with your national ID or passport for foreign visitors. Avoid buying from street vendors. Some of them sell fake products.
Kampala is dotted with a plethora of outlets for these telecom companies. While walking along Kampala road you can’t fail to locate one. It is the same in other cities.