Citadel Hill Amman Jordan

Buying a SIM Card in Jordan

By Dustin Main Get Connected12 Comments


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We talk a lot about the benefits of using a local SIM when traveling to a new country, and travels to Jordan are no different. Going local instead of roaming will likely save you a lot of money, even if you’re a moderate user.

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Companies


  • We recommend Zain for most travelers

There are three network providers in Jordan. The most popular option is Zain, as it has the best coverage, speeds, and prepaid packages.

Umniah also has reasonable coverage, while Orange has the smallest network of the three.

How to Buy a Prepaid SIM


If you’re flying into Amman, it’s a pretty simple process to take care of your mobile needs right in the airport. On the main floor by the exits is a Zain shop.

There might not be a lot of English happening, but it’s not too tricky to sort it out (and a bystander will probably come to assist in the typical, friendly Jordanian way). This way, you can check your e-mail while making your way to the city.

If you don’t pick your SIM up at the airport, you’re best to go to a dedicated Zain store or a general cellular store. Buying in Amman will give you the best chance of having some English support, so take care of it there if you can. SIM cards are available in all of the standard sizes.

You may need to provide your passport, and you will require an unlocked phone. If your phone isn’t unlocked, you can get it done in many general mobile stores if you don’t mind losing your warranty.

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Prepaid SIM Costs


It’s worth checking out the Zain prepaid plans in advance online in case the pamphlets aren’t available in English. There are several different packages available, which change regularly. You’ll need to buy the SIM separately in most cases, for 5 JOD (~$7 USD).

As an example, you can get the Shahamah 2+ monthly plan for 9.18 JOD including tax (~$13), which includes:

  • 35000 in-network minutes
  • 500 other domestic minutes
  • 8GB standard data, plus 6GB for Facebook
  • 5500 local SMS

Data Only Packages: While data-only packages aren’t particularly expensive in Jordan, the call/text/data packs are typically cheaper.

Still, if you do want a data-only SIM, monthly pricing is:

  • 1GB for 5 JOD
  • 2GB for 8 JOD
  • 4GB for 12 JOD
  • 10GB for 20 JOD

International SMS: You can add packages for international SMS starting at 3.50 JOD for 50 messages.

A tourist SIM (called “Visitors Line”) is also available. It’s relatively expensive at around 29 JOD (~$40), but includes 50GB of data, 50 international minutes, and more domestic calls and texts than you could ever hope to use. The SIM remains active for a maximum of three months.

Topping Up


Adding Zain credit can be done just about anywhere. Look for stores showing the Zain sign and add any amount you want either electronically at the till, or via scratch cards.

A confirmation text message will be sent to you letting you know the credit has been added.

Coverage and Data Speeds


The Zain network in Jordan is modern, with 4G/LTE widely available, and at least 3G/HSPA+ in built-up areas. You can expect decent service just about anywhere in the country, and I had no issues other than when camping and hiking in Wadi Rum.


Check out our guides to buying SIM cards in many other countries here.

Main image via LoggaWiggler

About the Author
Dustin Main

Dustin Main

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Dustin just can't get enough travel or technology, but when he's not directly feeding one of those insatiable habits, you can probably find him at some far away ice cream shop taking pictures of empty cups. That, or on top of a mountain somewhere shooting photos and finding adventures to share on his website "A Skinny Escape".

Comments

  1. Avatar

    Thanks Dustin for this info – but I think you left off the most important part!

    What are the 3G speeds like?

    1. Dustin Main Author

      Unfortunately I don’t have all of the numbers for you because I smashed my phone before I had a chance to run the tests (see here https://toomanyadapters.com/travels-changed-smashed-smartphone/ ), but from experience I can tell you that the speeds were very reasonable, particularly in Amman.

      Outside of Amman, service was OK, but not great. Everyday smartphone work was fine (e-mail, social media) but tethering for laptop access outside of the major centers might be a little frustrating.

  2. Avatar

    I’m heading there in August 2017. I have TMobile, but this isn’t a covered country. When I get a new SIM from Zain, will I get a new phone number? How will I sign into my 2-step authentication required accounts?

    Thanks!

    Zach

    1. Dave Dean

      Hi Zach,

      This page suggested that you can roam with T-Mobile in Jordan, but it’s not free on their ONE / Simple Choice plans. That said, receiving texts is just deducted from your existing domestic text allowance, so probably won’t cost you anything. In that case, I’d suggest doing what I’ve been doing for the last few years — buying a local SIM card (with a new phone number) to keep you connected with data, local phone calls, etc, and just putting your usual SIM back in when you need to receive a text from your bank or other company using two-factor authentication. Just remember to turn off data roaming beforehand!

  3. Avatar

    I just clicked on the link you sent on Zain’s prepaid plans. The link appears to be broken. Did anyone had a chance to have a glimpse of the plans?

    1. Dave Dean

      The link still seems to work for me — it takes me to a page with what looks like an updated list of prepaid plans.

  4. Avatar

    I used Zain last time I was in Jordan and it works perfectly. The staff in the shop in the airport were very helpful. I am going back to Jordan next month and I’ll use Zain again.
    Thanks a lot for this:))

    1. Dave Dean

      Apple’s page for Jordan (https://www.apple.com/jo/) doesn’t list the Apple Watch. Since the cellular features of the Watch 3 don’t roam internationally or work outside the country they were purchased in, if Apple isn’t selling it in Jordan, I guess the answer is no. Ask an authorised Apple reseller in Jordan, though, if you want to be sure.

  5. Avatar

    Hi Dustin if I purchase a SIM in Jordan and and a prepaid account, do the prepaid accounts allow international calls?
    Thanks, Steve

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