Mobile phones

Getting a mobile phone in Kuwait

There are three major mobile phone providers in Kuwait: Viva, Wataniya, and Zain. Each of these companies provides similar services such as voice mail, SMS and mobile internet.

The most common mobile phone plans in Kuwait are prepaid and postpaid. If you have prepaid, you buy a certain number of minutes from a provider.

Under a postpaid plan, you can choose a package with flat rates for every minute you call or a package with a fixed number of free minutes. For every minute you go over, your company will charge anywhere between 20 and 50 fils.

Under plans that charge you buy the minute, you typically pay a few fils more for calling during peak hours (8h to 23h) or to mobiles serviced by other providers. If you use your mobile frequently, you may want to consider getting a “buddy option”, which allows you to make cheap calls to selected friends and family. You can also get an unlimited plan, which costs roughly 50 KD per month.

Many of the providers don't tell you up-front about contract lengths, so be sure to ask before you sign your contract.

Choosing a service

In general, consumers say that Wataniya  has the best service and coverage, followed closely by Zain . Viva  is less reliable, although it is supposed to have good mobile internet coverage. To find a plan that suits you, research the companies and ask your friends in Kuwait what providers they use.

Service providers partner with retailers who may be willing to give you a deal – such as a free phone for signing up for their service.

SIM cards

Prepaid SIM cards cost about 5 KD and are a good option if you're only in Kuwait a short time and want to keep your current GSM mobile phone. Kuwait operates on a 3G network, and you should remember to get your mobile unlocked (if it isn't already). SIM cards are available at the airport and through local retailers.

If you or friends and family are going to be in Kuwait for only a few weeks, you might want to check if your current provider partners with Wataniya. If so, they will give you a discount for using their services while you're in Kuwait.

Further reading

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