Are you planning a trip to Israel and searching for a trustworthy local SIM card or eSIM? Cellcom Israel should be on your list of top providers to consider. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about buying and using a Cellcom SIM card or eSIM during your visit to Israel.


1. Quick facts about Cellcom

As one of the leading mobile operators in Israel, Cellcom offers strong 4G LTE coverage, fast speeds, and competitive rates for calls, texts, and data. They also offer preloaded SIM cards and eSIM plans specifically for tourists and travelers.

  • Full company name: Cellcom Israel Ltd. (סלקום ישראל בע”מ)
  • Founded in1994
  • Utilize a mix of network technologies including 4G LTE, 3G, and 2G. Over 99% of the population is covered by their 4G LTE network.
  • Over 2.812 million subscribers.
  • Roaming agreements with 170+ networks worldwide allow you to use your SIM internationally.
  • Offer regular prepaid SIM cards, rechargeable SIM cards designed for tourists, and eSIM plans.
  • Prepaid packs and data bundles are available for travelers to top-up their SIMs as needed.
  • Customer support is available in English through a local call center and online chat.

To sum up, Cellcom Israel stands out as a top mobile network company in Israel, prioritizing innovation, excellence, and customer satisfaction.

Israel cellcom mobile operator
Cellcom offcice building in Jerusalem

2. Israel Cellcom Coverage and Speed in Israel

With over two decades of experience, Cellcom has built up an extensive network across Israel. Here are some key facts about their coverage and speeds:

2.1. Cellcom coverage in Israel

Israel Mobile Operators Coverage
Israel Mobile Operators Coverage. Source: nperf

According to the December 2023 Opensignal report, Cellcom has the best overall coverage in Israel while offering high availability, though its 5G coverage is second best behind Pelephone:

  • Cellcom wins the new Coverage Experience award outright with a score of 8.6 points on a 10-point scale. This indicates that Cellcom provides coverage in the places its users live, work and travel better than any other operator in Israel.
  • For the new 5G Coverage Experience metric, Cellcom places second with a score of 2.7 points on a 10-point scale. Pelephone wins this metric with 3.9 points. So while Cellcom’s 5G coverage is among the best, Pelephone extends 5G coverage to a greater proportion of locations.
  • Cellcom has the highest availability at 99.0%, showing it provides a mobile connection to users for the greatest proportion of time. Availability measures uptime rather than geographic coverage area.

In summary, the Openisgnal report shows that Cellcom provides the most consistent coverage experience for users across populated areas of Israel based on Opensignal’s metrics. However, its 5G coverage experience trails Pelephone. Cellcom also leads in terms of having a mobile connection available for its users to use the greatest percentage of time.

2.2. Cellcom Speed

Israel Mobile Operators Speed
Israel Mobile Operators Speed. Source: Opensignal

Here is an analysis of Cellcom’s speeds based on the mobile network experience report for Israel from Opensignal:

  • For overall Download Speed Experience, Cellcom came in third place with an average speed of 31.6 Mbps. This was behind Pelephone (36.1 Mbps) and Partner (33 Mbps). However, Cellcom’s speed result was within the confidence interval of Partner, so it can be considered a statistical tie for second place.
  • When looking specifically at 5G download speeds, Cellcom saw faster speeds than on its overall network, averaging 256.3 Mbps. This placed it in second behind Hot Mobile (299 Mbps) but ahead of Partner (283.9 Mbps). So on 5G downloads, Cellcom can be considered to offer the second fastest speeds.
  • For upload speeds, which are generally slower than downloads, Cellcom averaged 9.6 Mbps for overall Upload Speed Experience placing it third. On 5G upload speeds it achieved 24 Mbps, again positioning it third behind Hot Mobile (26.5 Mbps) and Partner (26.6 Mbps).

In summary, while not the outright fastest, Cellcom can be considered among the speed leaders in Israel based on its performance across download and upload speed metrics for both overall network and 5G-only connections. Its speeds placed it either second or third consistently.

3. Cellcom connectivity options for travelers to Israel

If you’re think of Cellcom mobile services for your upcoming Israel trip, let’s check this table comparing the pros and cons of Cellcom’s connectivity options.

Connectivity Option Pros Cons
Cellcom SIM Card Provides a local Israeli phone number for easy communication within Israel. Requires a compatible unlocked device to use the SIM card.
Offers data packages with high-speed internet access. May involve additional setup and configuration for data and calling features.
Allows for seamless integration with Cellcom's network infrastructure. Limited coverage outside of Israel.
Cellcom eSIM Eliminates the need for a physical SIM card, as the eSIM is embedded in the device.  Requires a device that supports eSIM functionality.
Offers the flexibility to switch between different carriers and plans without changing physical SIM cards. Limited availability of eSIM support across devices.
Can be activated remotely, making it convenient for travelers. May have specific activation and setup processes for eSIM.
Cellcom Roaming Convenient for travelers who want to use their existing phone number and device. Roaming charges can be expensive and add up quickly.
Offers connectivity in multiple countries through international roaming agreements. Data speeds may be slower compared to local SIM card or eSIM usage.
No need to switch SIM cards or change phone numbers. Coverage limitations and availability may vary depending on the destination.
Cellcom Wi-Fi Available in public areas, hotels, and cafes across Israel. Relies on the availability and quality of Wi-Fi networks.
Can be cost-effective for travelers with limited data needs. Limited coverage outside of Wi-Fi hotspots.
Provides a secure connection in trusted locations. May require additional authentication or registration processes.
Cellcom Virtual Network Operator (VNO) Services Offers competitive pricing and data packages. Network performance and coverage may vary depending on the chosen VNO.
Utilizes Cellcom's network infrastructure for reliable coverage. Service and support may be provided by the VNO rather than directly by Cellcom.
Allows for flexibility in choosing a service provider within Cellcom's network. Some VNOs may have limitations on international roaming.

So in summary, free Wi-Fi are available in some popular places. Cellcom offer both SIM Card and eSIM to serve tourist’s demands.

4. Best Cellcom SIM cards for tourists & cost

Based on your expected usage during your Israel visit, here are some of the best Cellcom SIM plans with pricing:

Cellcom Prepaid Plans Data Validity Calling & Texting Price (USD)
7 Days Unlimited Calls & SMS 3 GB 7 Days Unlimited Calls & SMS in Israel $25.00
30 Days Unlimited Calls & SMS 120 GB 30 Days Unlimited Calls, SMS in Israel & Unlimited WhatsApp, Waze, Facebook, Instagram $34.00
30 Days Unlimited Calls & SMS 250 GB 30 Days Unlimited Calls, SMS in Israel & Unlimited WhatsApp, Waze, Facebook, Instagram + 25 Shekel Credit for international $43.00
30 Days Unlimited Calls & SMS 500 GB 30 Days Unlimited Calls, SMS in Israel & Unlimited WhatsApp, Waze, Facebook, Instagram + 40 Shekel Credit for international $49.00

All plans include domestic coverage on Cellcom’s 4G LTE network. Cellcom has wide network availability nationwide making it a reliable choice for travelers. Additional high-speed data bundles or international roaming can also be added as needed.

5. Does Cellcom Israel support eSIM?

Yes, Cellcom launched eSIM support for prepaid plans in 2020. eSIM technology allows you to activate a cellular data plan digitally without needing to insert a physical SIM card.

With an eSIM-compatible device, you can signup for Cellcom’s prepaid data plans entirely digitally when you arrive in Israel. It’s super convenient without visiting a store.

To use eSIM, firstly check the Israel eSIM Compatible Devices List to know if your devices compatible with eSIM or not.

6. Where can you buy a Cellcom SIM card and eSIM?

You have a few options to purchase a Cellcom SIM card and eSIM data plan

6.1. Where to buy Cellcom SIM for Israel

  • Cellcom Stores: They have multiple locations across Israel where you can purchase a Cellcom SIM card.
  • Cellcom Online Store: Visit the official Cellcom Israel website and check if they offer online SIM card purchases. 
  • Authorized Retailers: Cellcom SIM cards may be available for purchase at authorized retailers, such as electronics stores, convenience stores, or tourist shops. 
  • Airport Kiosks: In major airports in Israel, there are often kiosks or stores that sell SIM cards for various providers, including Cellcom.
buy cellcom sim card and esim
Cellcom store in Jerusalem

6.2. Where to buy Cellcom Israel eSIM

  • Cellcom Stores: Visit a Cellcom retail store in Israel to purchase in person.
  • Authorized Retailers: Cellcom eSIMs may be available at authorized retailers, such as electronics stores or mobile phone shops. 

In summary, you can pick up a physical SIM card on arrival at the airport or visit a store during your trip. eSIMs can be purchased completely digitally through the Cellcom app when you are in Israel.

7. How to activate Israel Cellcom SIM and eSIM

To activate an Israel Cellcom SIM and eSIM, you can follow these general steps:

7.1. How to use Israel Cellcom SIM card

You only need to follow these simple steps and everything will be ready.

  1. Insert the SIM card: Locate the SIM card slot on your device
  2. Power on your device: Turn on your device and wait for it to recognize the SIM card
  3. Activate the SIM card: In most cases, the SIM card will be pre-activated
  4. Set up APN settings if you can not use the eSIM.
  5. Check your services.

7.2. How to activate Cellcom Israel eSIM

Getting started with an [operator] eSIM for [country] is quite easy as follows:

  1. Install the eSIM
  2. Activate the eSIM
  3. Set up the eSIM
  4. Start using the eSIM: Once the eSIM is activated and set up, you can start using its services.

No extra steps are required. Both Cellcom SIM card and eSIM activate automatically on the Cellcom network once purchased. You’ll then be ready to start using mobile data and calling.

8. Israel Cellcom Call & SMS rates

Here are the standard pay-as-you-go rates from Cellcom Israel:

Type of Call/SMS Rate
Domestic voice calls (per minute) ~ILS 0.50-1 ($0.15-0.30)
International voice calls (per minute) ~ILS 2-3 ($0.6-0.9)
SMS within Israel ~ILS 0.10-0.20 per text ($0.03-0.06)
Prepaid package: 100 texts ILS 10 ($3)
Prepaid top-up amount ~ILS 20- 100 ($6-30)

Most tourist SIM cards come with bundles of data and minutes to use during your stay. But if you need to top-up, these are the current prepaid rates.

You can significantly reduce these rates by purchasing a bulk data or talk time package from Cellcom instead of using the standard pay-as-you-go pricing.

9. Useful USSD codes for Israel Cellcom SIM card and eSIM

Dialing *777 from your prepaid SIM card (this is a free call), press 2 to hear your balance or press 3 to get your current balance sent to you by SMS

Enter these USSD codes on your Cellcom SIM card and hit call/send. You’ll see your account details on screen without needing the app.

10. How to top-up Israel Cellcom SIM card and eSIM

When your data or minutes run low, you have a few ways to add more credit on your Cellcom SIM card:

  • Online Top-Up: The fastest way to reload your SIM
  • Cellcom App: Download the Cellcom app for iOS/Android. Go to Balance > Top Up Options
  • Cellcom Stores: Find Cellcom stores, top-up your SIM at the cashier or self-service kiosk

Online and through the app are the fastest ways to reload your SIM on the go. But you can also top-up in person at a Cellcom store when needed.

11. Alternatives to Israel Cellcom

The main advantage Cellcom offers is having the most extensive high-speed 4G network across Israel, but there are a few other providers you could consider:

  • Partner – Second largest provider after Cellcom. Offers prepaid tourist SIMs and solid nationwide coverage.
  • Golan Telecom – Low cost Israeli provider with great value prepaid SIM cards for visitors.
  • 0I9 Mobile – Leading Israeli MVNO with cheap rates for calls, text and data. 
  • Pelephone – Multinational telco with a presence across Israel. Competitive rates but a smaller local network than Cellcom.
  • – Provides eSIM data plans that allow you to stay connected in Israel without changing your physical SIM card. 

Partner and Pelephone are reliable alternatives to the Cellcom mobile network, while 0I9 Mobile is a more budget-friendly option. lets you use their eSIM data plans as a pay-as-you-go roaming solution without switching physical SIMs when traveling to Israel. 

Leave your physical SIM behind, travel light with an eSIM from!

12. FAQs about Cellcom in Israel

Do I need to show ID to buy a Cellcom SIM?

Yes, you’ll need to show your passport at stores when purchasing a SIM card to register the service.

Can I use Cellcom SIM in Palestinian Territories?

Cellcom has good coverage in Palestinian Territories but you may need to activate roaming capabilities first. Contact support.

Does Cellcom SIM work in Golan Heights?

Yes, Cellcom has coverage across Golan Heights so you can use your SIM and data plan there.

How can I check Cellcom SIM number?

Dial *101# to display your assigned Cellcom mobile number.

Does Cellcom data work in all of Israel?

With 99% population coverage, Cellcom data works across most of Israel with strong 4G speeds nationwide.

Final words

In summary, a Cellcom SIM card or eSIM plan can provide fast, reliable connectivity across Israel during your trip. Their strong 4G network, competitive rates, and easy signup options make them a leading choice for travelers. With their tourist SIMs or eSIMs, you’ll have the data you need for navigation, transportation, guides, and sharing your Israel experiences. Stay in touch affordably with free calling to Israel numbers as well. So pick up a Cellcom SIM on arrival or pre-order for delivery and enjoy seamless connectivity with the largest network in Israel!