As you know, some time ago I decided that traveling the way I travel, I would buy a SIM card with data to roam smoothly around every new country I went to. In Gambia and Senegal it was not going to be any less and the truth is that, again, it was a more than wise decision!
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Telephone companies and SIM card activation
There are three major companies sharing the mobile telecommunications market in Senegal. These are Orange, which is by far the largest, and then there are Tigo and Expresso.
After talking to several people in Ziguinchor, they almost all agreed to tell me that Orange was the one that would give me more and better coverage. So I went to the first little Orange shop I found, already in Oussouye, and bought the SIM card.
I had the activation done right there in a moment. The seller had an Orange application on his mobile phone in which he wrote my new number, added my personal data and a photo of my passport, sent it and the minute after, the card was activated. He tried calling me and I already had a signal.
The prices of the card, as well as the calls and the data packages (Pass Internet as it’s called there), are really low.
The SIM card cost me 1,000 CFA (1.5€) and already comes with 1,000 CFA in calls.
To have Internet, you can buy packages that last a day, three days, a week or a month. To give you an idea, a 300Mb 3G pack of one week costs 500 CFA (0,75€) and you still get 100Mb of extra data for social networks.
And the 2.5Gb 3G pack that lasts a month costs 2,000 CFA (3€) and you get 1Gb extra nightly data, which goes from 12 pm to 8 am.
I was going to take this last pack that I just said, but when I finished activating the card and asked them to get it, the seller told me that it was not necessary, since there was an offer in which, just for signing up, you were given 1Gb of 4G and that lasted a month!
Good coverage and very fast network
I always had telephone coverage at all times but as the 4G network was not fully implemented throughout the country, in rather rural areas I did not have Internet since as I said, I had the 4G-only free pack.
Even so, I was very positively surprised because of all the places where I was I only lost the data connection in some of the villages of the country Bassari and in Joal-Fadiouth. And what surprised me not so positively is that in the southernmost part of Dakar… There was no 4G data coverage! And it is curious because even at the airport, which is quite far from the city, there were 4G data.
As for the speed, I have to say that in general the network is very fast!
These codes may be useful during your trip:
#237# : to find out your phone number.
#123# : to find out what balance you have left on your card.
*123*Refill_code : to top-up balance on your card.
#1234# : for everything related to the Internet: to know how much data you have consumed, what packages are available, if there are promotions, etc.