Buying a phone

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Purchasing a SIM card is less than a $1 and registration is free, so when you decide on a prepaid plan to try out, you are not committed to them. If you decide to switch to a different provider, you may move your number to the new provider ("port your number"). Note, however, that any device purchased from one provider may be locked and not compatible with another provider's SIM card. This is particularly true with the dongle. However, the dongle is often free or very inexpensive when a bundle of data is purchased at the same time.

By law, every SIM card (CHIP) purchased in Ghana has to be registered with the network operator before that chip can be activated for use. This is done at the time of purchase within the service provider's office by providing them with a copy of your passport (or other valid ID for Ghanaians which may include their Voter's registration card, National and NHIS Cards or Driver's License).

Visitors from North America should be aware that with the exception of the Expresso service, which uses CDM, mobile phones run on a GSM network. If you don't bring your own unlocked phone, you can easily buy a phone here in Ghana, but you will have to watch closely for quality. Importers can bring in imitation brands, which may not last as long and standards are not regulated. Phones can be purchased from service provider retail shops (though these phones are often locked), in department stores or mobile retail shops in the malls, or market stands or container shops (though you are likely to sacrifice quality for price going this route). Expect to spend anywhere from US$15 to US$400 for a phone, depending on the features and quality.

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