Boots On Ground - Supporting Our Troops

  Talking to Soldiers

  Ways to Communicate

  Calling Cards: Iraq

  Calling Cards: Afghanistan

  Calling Cards: Kuwait

  Iraq Phone Home Cards

  Afghan Phone Home Cards

  Kuwait Phone Home Cards

  GSM World Cell Phones

  SIM Cards: Iraq

  SIM Cards: Afghanistan

  SIM Cards: Kuwait

Unlocked Cell Phones for
Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan

Best Iraq SIM Cards for Cell Phones

You must have an unlocked GSM cell phone to place and receive calls while in Iraq. Unlocked GSM phones require the purchase of a SIM card, which contains the cell phone number, account settings and personally-saved info.

The best SIM cards to use have free incoming minutes, which usually means getting a local SIM card rather than a global roaming SIM card. The soldier calls home in the U.S. letting family know he is available to talk. The family member can then call the soldier's cell number in Iraq using a cheap prepaid calling card. This can really save money over time.

SIM Vendor Telestial Telestial
SIM card name Buy Explorer
Buy IraqNA
SIM cost $59 $119
Initial airtime credit $10 $31
Works in Afghanistan & Kuwait too? yes no
Phone number location Estonia Iraq
Incoming calls from U.S. 50¢ / min free
Outgoing calls to U.S. 95¢ / min 83¢ / min
Incoming texting from U.S. free free
Outgoing texting to U.S. 59¢ / message 83¢ / message
Local Calls 85¢ / min 9¢ / min
Service life 12 months ** 4 months **
Reload method auto-charge scratch cards ***
Reload denominations $25 $10/$20/$30
Voicemail? yes yes
Buy Now --> Buy Explorer
Buy Now >
Buy IraqNA
Buy Now >

*   Frequently out of stock.
**  Unlimited service life if used within the specified time period.
***  IraqNA scratch cards are purchased at shops on-base in Iraq.

Intallation Note: Your SIM card will arrive in what looks like a credit card. Simply punch out the SIM card, which is the size of the thumbnail, and install it inside the phone, usually underneath the battery. Make sure the SIM card metal contacts are oriented correctly with the contacts in the phone. Read your GSM phone manual for specific instructions.

SIM Card Background Information

There are two types of SIM cards that can be used in cellphones in Iraq:

1. Global roaming SIM cards that can be used in multiple countries. You are typically issued a phone number in a country in Europe and when used in Iraq, it is in roaming mode. The advantage of a roaming SIM card is that it can be used in Kuwait too for example or in locations where the Iraqi cell network may not reach. Many times airtime can be "recharged" or "reloaded" online or by phone, which is convenient. The disadvantage is that the per-minute rates are higher and you are charged for incoming minutes. This can really add up over time.

2. Local Iraq SIM card that is issued by IraqNA, the cellular company in Iraq. You are given a local Iraq phone number. The main advantage of using an IraqNA SIM card is that the per-minute rate is cheaper (especially when calling another local number) and incoming minutes are free. This can really save you big money over time. Airtime must be "recharged" or "reloaded" by purchsing IraqNA scratch cards. For cell coverage areas, see the IraqNA Cell Coverage Map.