When travelling to South Africa, there are various cellular options which can be provided. These options include purchasing a sim card, renting out a cellular device, using a phone that is provided at the place in which you are staying as well as using cellular roaming.
A local sim card can be purchased at any of South Africa’s service providers. The sim card can be inserted into your own cellular device and you will be able to control exactly how much is spent on calls, text messages and internet usage. Airtime and data can be loaded onto the sim card at any time. B4IGO is a service provider that allows you to purchase a sim card that is already loaded with airtime and data. You will receive the sim card prior to your arrival to South Africa and can therefore notify your friends and family of your “South African” cell phone number before your departure.
South Africa has four leading cellular network providers. These include: Vodacom, Cell C, MTN and 8ta. Although Vodacom is the largest cellular network and provides the most coverage, all four networks will provide you with the appropriate cellular usage that you require during your travels. It is important to find out which cellular network works best in the areas in which you will be travelling.
Another option is to rent a cellular device. A mobile device can be collected from the service provider that you have selected once you have arrived in South Africa. The mobile device already contains a sim card. A security deposit is paid upon pickup and all mobile charges are paid when the device is sent back at the end of the person’s travels. This option is convenient as you do not need to understand how the prepaid system operates and you will never run out of credit. Because you will not be using your own cellular device, you will not risk loss or theft of your own device during your travels.
You may opt to put your own mobile device on roam if you only intend on making a few short phone calls during your travels. This option is costly and you will risk having limited communication.
If you are staying in a hotel, you will have the option of using the hotel’s pone. Although this is convenient, it is very costly and you will have limited talking time.
Lastly, if you are staying at a family member or friend, they may provide you with their personal internet or WIFI connection which you will be able to connect to from your personal mobile device.