How to call from Egypt to Russia
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All tourists want to cheaply call home from the resort countries, but very few people know the best recipe. In this article we will describe how this problem is best solved in Egypt, so popular with Russian tourists.
First of all, forget about the phone in the hotel, calls from it will cost from 1 US dollar to infinity. The same situation with telephone booths and any other stationary devices.
Also, do not use the usual roaming of Russian operators. If you do not connect special tariff options, then calls will cost 70-80 rubles. If you connect the desired option, then everything becomes more interesting, but more on that later.
The next is uniquely uninteresting way - to buy a local SIM-card. Outwardly, the offer of local operators seems to be quite good, but with detailed consideration it becomes clear that it is terrible. Let us dwell on this in detail.
In Egypt, there are no national cellular operators. There are three companies - Vodafone (European operator), Mobinil (daughter of Orange Corporation from the USA) and Etisalat ( United Arab Emirates ). Egyptians have to choose whom to pay money for mobile communications - Americans, Europeans or Arab brothers from the UAE.
The most popular mobile provider in Egypt is Vodafone, and its SIM-card can be bought freely on the Russian passport. The cost of a call to Russia from the Vodafone number is 4.1 Egyptian pounds , which is quite expensive. But, Vodafone has a special tariff option, making international calls cheaper.
It's called EN-520, and with it the call will already cost 1.99 Egyptian pounds per minute of conversation, which seems quite acceptable figure. Only enable this option is simply not possible, for this you need to pay Vodafone two accounts, that is, to use the SIM-card for two months.
If you just bought a SIM, you need to pay a deposit of 250 Egyptian pounds to activate it. This money can not be used, they will lie "dead weight". They will be returned to you only after two paid bills, that is, in the case of an ordinary tourist - never.
Therefore, to buy a local SIM in Egypt for calls to Russia is meaningless. You just wastes your money. Egyptian SIM-card can be useful for mobile Internet access, but this topic will be covered in a separate article.
When buying a local SIM with tourists, there is another unpleasant incident. In case of payment by credit card, it is registered in the system of the telecommunications operator, and auto payment is included. Imagine that you have already returned home, and Vodafone still charges you with a monthly fee.
Conditions for Mobinil and Etisalat operators are even worse, we will not even talk about them.
The cheapest option is Skype or another messenger
If your hotel has Internet access, then you can call via Skype, Viber, Whatsup or other similar messenger.
If the interlocutor also has a similar program installed in his home country, the conversation will be absolutely free.
If you want to call landlines or mobile phones at home, then Skype has an excellent tariff - for 10.5 Euro you get unlimited international calls.
This method is very cheap, but there are limitations. Firstly, you can call from Skype to a regular phone, but you can not call back. Secondly, for talking through messenger programs you need a good quality of communication.
The quality of the Internet in Egypt is "lame", and on both legs. Our advice is to connect to the Internet at the hotel first and make a test call via Skype. If the quality of communication suits you, then safely pay 10.5 Euro for this tariff. To make a trial call, you can recharge your account for a small amount of 0.5 euros or less.
In any case, Skype will be useful. SMS to Russia costs only 5.3 cents per message. At the same time, good communication quality is not necessary. There are no cheaper SMS from Egypt.
This is a "live" option, but not the most profitable. In Russia and in the world there are many "virtual" mobile operators who do not build their own cellular networks, but use others. International calls are their specialization.
However, calls from Egypt are expensive even from them. The cheapest rate at GoodLine is 0.55 dollars per minute when calling to a Moscow number. The rest are even more expensive.
Some companies try to cheat by hiding the true cost. It often happens that a "virtual" operator calls a price of 0.24 USD a minute, but it is valid only from the second minute of the conversation. About the price of the first minute the operator gently silent, but it is several times more expensive.
We will not call those companies that do that. Let this remain a burden on their conscience. Readers are encouraged to be vigilant and recheck the tariffs.
Advantageous option - roaming with tariff options
Many are surprised, but the services of roaming MTS, Beeline and Megafon in Egypt are the most profitable. The only thing is to choose the right tariff options.
Important warning for MTS subscribers
MTS has a smart option - "Free trip". For 100 rubles a monthly fee per day, you will have 60 minutes of free calls and the price is only 10 rubles per minute starting from the 61st minute of connections.
The offer is extremely advantageous, BUT, in Egypt it does not work. And, if you include it in Egypt, then 100 rubles every day are written off from your balance, but you get nothing in return. Be carefull!
MTS Tariff Options
The option "Zero without Borders" makes incoming calls free of charge until the 11th minute of the conversation. Starting from the 11th minute, the cost is 25 rubles. Subscription fee is 60 rubles per day.
Attention! Incoming calls can only speak 200 minutes per month. As soon as the 201st minute comes, the conversation will cost 25 rubles.
Outgoing calls cost 60 rubles per minute and 25 rubles from 2 to 5, and also 60 rubles starting from the 6th. Simply put - expensive and uninteresting.
The option "Outgoing calls from 11.9 rubles" makes the cost of outgoing calls from Egypt equal to 19.9 rubles.
Tariff options Beeline
The option "PLANET ZERO" gives free incoming up to the 21st minute, then 10 rubles per minute. The outgoing call costs 20 rubles. The cost of using the option is 60 rubles a day.
The option "MY PLANET" does not have a subscription fee. Incoming - 15 rubles per minute, outgoing - 25 rubles per minute.
Tariff Options Megaphone
The option "Whole World" gives completely free incoming calls, but outgoing costs 79 rubles. The subscription fee is 39 rubles per day. You can take free 30 minutes a day.
Option "Around the World" - incoming and outgoing calls for 9 rubles per minute with a monthly fee of 9 rubles a day.
THE MOST PROFITABLE option
Probably, you are already confused in all these tariff options, do not know what to choose. We will help. For profitable calls you need to have two phones.
The first is your usual number, where you connect the option for free incoming - or "Zero without borders" for MTS, or "PLANET ZERO" for Beeline, or "The Whole World" for Megaphone. In the end, you get very cheap incoming and take them to your usual number.
The second one is a phone with any Megafon tariff with the "Around the World" option turned on. Thus, your outgoing calls cost only 9 rubles per minute of communication. If you do not have a Megaphone SIM card, then buy it for your trip.
Find a second phone, usually not difficult. You probably have some old apparatus left. If you did not stay, ask your friends, maybe they have something superfluous. In extreme cases, buy the device for 1000 rubles. It is needed only for calls, and no "bells and whistles" in it are not needed. Use the device with two SIM-cards, we do not recommend not to get confused.
Some tourists go further. They call friends and relatives from Megaphone, and they call back to save these 9 rubles. Please note that the total number of minutes for Megafon and MTS is limited, and only Beeline has no official limit.
Beeline (option "PLANET ZERO") + Megaphone (option "Around the World") - here is the recipe for the cheapest calls from Egypt to Russia . Theoretically, you can talk without restrictions for 69 rubles per day.
Attention! The article was written in June 2015. At the time you read this page, the tariffs and conditions may change. Check prices on MTS, Megafon and Beeline.
Important to remember
If you just turned on the international roaming service, then you will automatically turn on the mobile Internet in roaming, and it is expensive. Many devices themselves without your knowledge "climb" to the Internet, transmit data, download updates and the like. Especially this "sin" devices from Apple.
Do not be surprised if your balance is reset within an hour after arriving at Egypt's airport. Many tourists get into this situation. To prevent this from happening, turn off all applications that can access the Internet, or turn off the mobile Internet on the phone at all.
You have a good connection in Egypt, and read our articles about this country ( links below ).