State-owned Telecom Egypt (TE) holds the monopoly on landlines in Egypt. Competition in the mobile market has prompted TE to launch a aggressive promotional campaign.
Telephone service is typically handled by the landlord since telephone service providers prefer to provide service to an entire building. Telephone service can be unreliable with frequent outages, even daily.
When calling a phone number in Egypt, you will hear a ring, but a series of beeps.
To set-up a landline, applicants need to fill out an application from Telecom Egypt's website. You will also need to submit a copy of your identification. Once an application is received, TE will contact you to arrange the installation of your phone line.
The landlord sends out bills every six months for telephone usage. If you are using your telephone line for dial up internet service, a typical phone bill will be about 1000 EGP every six months.
If you must handle the bills yourself, you will need to contact the community telephone service branch. Local newspapers will publish when telephone bills are due. Copy of the telephone bill can be obtained from your landlord and you should keep a copy of the invoice to submit to the landlord, so you are not double charged for your telephone service.
Average bills are around 120 EGP for 6 months.
The major landline provider is Telecom Egypt.
To call internationally from Egypt:
Dial exit code (00) followed by country code, area code and number. In some countries, the leading zero of the area code must not be dialed. For example:
00 + country code + area code + tel number
To call internationally to Egypt:
Dial the International access code, 011
then dial the country code, 20 for Egypt
then the city code, 2 for Cairo (mostly two-digits)
then the seven-digit phone number.
There are many public phone booths, but some may not be in operation. The purple telephone cabins labeled "Ringo" belong to NileTel while the yellow-green ones belong to MenaTel. A minimum of 20 EGP card is recommended for making international calls.
A prepaid card can be the easiest way to make international calls and the only way to use public phones. In fact, many expatriates opt to use phone cards at local pay phones rather than deal with outages and the uncertain charges.
Phone cards are readily accessible at supermarkets and some small stores and stalls.
The Magic Jack is a USB device that can be purchased at electronic stores. It allows it's users to make cheap Internet phone calls through the computer. It works by assigning your computer a local number in your country of choice and making a call that way.
Various sites offer the ability to "chat" with other users. Originally this meant typed messages that would instantly pop up on each others screens. In recent years, this has expanded to being able to voice and video chat. With service through the Internet, it is cheap, easy, and even better then a phone call.
Unfortunately, in Egypt use of voice over Internet protocols (VOIP) is now technically illegal in Egypt. Popular services like Skype have been blocked, but access may be found through lesser-known VOIP services.
Egypt Phone directory:
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