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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Will My iPad Work in Egypt?

Sure! Just swap out the AT&T sim card for an Etisalat sim!

If that answer doesn't make sense to you, it is probably because you live in a country where sim cards aren't sold on every street corner and installed by every teenager. This little chip is the key to using a GSM mobile phone.

GSM is the mobile phone standard used by 212 countries and 80% of the world market according to this article. It allows phone users to easily change carriers. In the U.S. it is used by AT&T and T-Mobile. U.S. users almost never see a sim, but in the rest of the world, carriers compete aggressively to sell you one and put you on their network with your existing telephone or other mobile device.

I wasn't positive that an iPad from home would work here but I saw and tested one the other day. Etisalat, a major carrier here, makes this sim to replace the usual AT&T sim in a 3G iPad. Head to a major Etisalat store - Carrefour in Maadi has excellent people - and you can get fixed right up.

Googling on an iPad while moving on the Ring Road - now that's modern living!

For a look at what is involved in swapping your iPad sim, check out this link.

As for my own Etisalat sim, it can be found inside this USB 3G stick modem.

An "unlimited" data plan costs less than $30 per month here. Oh, and remember to take your passport with you to the Etisalat store.


Ashraf said...

Hi Tom, salamu alekum, my name is Ashraf, I live in Chicago, I am planning on visiting home to see family and friends in Cairo, I am addicted to my IPad, is it that simple to find internet in Egypt for my toy "iPad"? I read your post answering the gentleman about the same matter, I just want to believe how easy and beautiful it will be, thank you so much for your help

T J Sawyer said...

Assuming that you have the GSM model (i.e. AT&T is your 3G network provider) then yes. Etisalat can replace your AT&T Sim card with their iPad Sim and you are good to go.