Communication / Internet in Kurdistan

Internet:

While there may not be an internet connection available everywhere, you’ll have more than enough opportunities to get online while in Iraqi Kurdistan, at least while staying in the main cities. Not only that but the connection speeds are quite decent and the costs quite low as well.

Your best option for getting on the internet in Kurdistan would be to visit one of the internet cafes scattered around cities such as Erbil, Sulamaniyah and Dohuk. Rates are approximately 1500 Iraqi Dinars per hour ($1.30 USD).

Several hotels also offer Wi-fi for their guests (either free or for a small daily fee) and this is not limited to only luxury establishments. The Brcin Hotel in Dohuk (a quality budget hotel) offers Wi-fi cards that cost 1200 Dinars per hour and several budget and mid-range hotels in Sulamaniyah and Erbil offer Wi-fi as well.

Another option is to pay a visit to one of the modern shisha cafes, some of which offer free Wi-fi to patrons as long as you pay for a shisha and tea (which will run you about 8000 ID per hookah which can be shared). Spending some time in Iraqi Kurdistan puffing away on a hookah not only can be an enjoyable cultural experience, but also a way to catch up on work or play around on the internet in comfort (the modern cafes are full of plush chairs and sofas).


Telephone:

Many countries have a roaming agreement with Iraq, allowing mobile phone users to use their phone while traveling in this region. This is great for any traveler who doesn’t plan on making any phone calls and just wants to know that they can make a call if they really need to.

Roaming rates are normally exorbitant, so if you do plan on making some or many phone calls during your stay in Iraqi Kurdistan, especially if you plan to make local calls, you should consider purchasing a local SIM card. These can easily be found in many shops and don’t cost much at all. Once you have the SIM card, you can then purchase cards of varying denominations that will ‘top-up’ your credit.

The two major mobile phone operators in Iraqi Kurdistan are Asiacell and Korek.

To check whether or not your country has a roaming agreement with Iraq, you can visit this website: GSM Roaming Maps