Cosmote is the national provider and offers the fastest 2G, 3G and 4G coverage, even in the most isolated parts of the country, but they are also the most expensive provider.
Vodafone also offers 2G, 3G and 4G coverage. The signal is usually good in heavily populated areas such as the cities, but 3G may be faster than 4G.
Wind is the smallest and cheapest provider out of the three. It also has the lowest coverage reach and the slowest speeds. Wind’s 4G coverage works well in cities, but is not great when you head into more rural areas
There are also many smaller providers that are worth looking into as they often offer cheaper deals.
Prepaid SIM card
Prepaid SIM cards offer a lot of flexibility: you can top up your minutes, texts and data whenever you want and do not need to sign a contract. All providers in Greece offer prepaid SIM cards with minutes, texts and data options, but some also have data-only SIM cards. These are cheaper but don't let you make phone calls or send SMS messages.
You can buy a SIM card from a provider’s official store or from a street vendor. This is actually really common in Greece: vendors are official mobile provider employees and can be trusted. They are usually located in metro stations in the cities. To buy a SIM card, you just need to have ID.
It’s not uncommon for phone shops to pretend to have run out of prepaid SIM cards. They do this so they can try and convince you to buy a more expensive billed contract or bundle deal, such as a SIM card with a mobile phone or a modem stick. Billed contracts and bundle packages can be good options, but if you just want a prepaid SIM card, stand your ground and insist this is what you want.
Billed contracts and bundle packages
Most providers offer billed mobile phone contracts. These can be good-value for money, especially if you want to get a new phone in Greece.
It is also quite common to get a bundle package which can include landline, TV, internet and a mobile phone contract in one deal. With a bundle package, you pay a combined monthly bill for all of the services included in your package. If you need to get your TV, internet and mobile phone sorted, bundle packages can offer some very good deals. Not all providers offer bundle packages so you will have to do some research.
To get a billed contract or bundle package, you will need to provide a Greek address.
Thanks to the EU ‘roam like at home’ scheme, if you have a SIM card from another EU member country, you can use it in Greece without paying additional roaming. This is great when you first arrive but is not a long-term solution. When your mobile provider discovers you are using your phone abroad permanently, they might charge you extra roaming charges. These charges are capped but they will make it more expensive than getting a new SIM card in Greece.