Telephone, fax, and internet are available in or near most hotels which are used by tourists. International roaming is unpredictable and SMS is not always possible or delivered. Data roaming is not possible, but most tourist hotels offer WiFi services. Although progression is made, connections are often slow and unreliable.

Ethiopia’s only telecom provider is Ethio Telecom. A sim card for your sim-lock-free handset is available in selected shops for 30 birr (USD 1). Your passport details and a photo are taken in the shop. 4G service is only available in Addis Ababa. Usually, the shop is able to cut the sim card to the size you need. Sim cards are not available at the airport.

Recharge vouchers are widely available in different nominations.

Balance inquiry: *804# then dial.

Recharge: *805*thirteen digits pin# then dial.

Mobile data is charged at 0.20 birr per MB (USD 6.5 per GB) ‘out of bundle’. Daily, weekly and monthly bundles are available with roughly a 40-70% discount. Dial *999# and follow the instructions to buy a bundle. You might need to choose option 3 first to change the language.

To configure your mobile for internet access, enter as APN, no username or password is required.

International SMS (unreliable and not possible to every provider) is charged about 2.99 birr (USD 0.10).

International calls to most destinations are between 7 and 11 birr (USD 0.25-0.40). There is a special tariff of 23 birr (USD 0.80) to Diego Garcia, Ascension Islands, St. Helena, Tokelau, Norfolk Island, Sao Tome, Antarctica, Wallis and Futuna, Solomon Islands, East Timor, Nauru, Cuba, Falkland Islands, Niue Island, Maldives, Cook Islands, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, Tuvalu, Kiribati and Comoros.