Cell Phones in Malawi
The international dialling code for Malawi is +265, with the leading zero being dropped afterwards when calling from abroad.
An unlocked mobile (cell) phone will be useful.
SIM cards can be bought anywhere, even on the streets at MK500 and top-up cards are readily available and inexpensive.
All SIM cards need to be registered for activation at a shop with ID from October 2018. The registration is free of charge and does not take time.
Current Situation in Malawi
There are two cell phone companies in Malawi: Airtel and TNM (Telekom Networks Malawi). Airtel numbers all begin with 099 and TNM with 088, and both are then followed by seven digits.
These companies have progressed well, with at least 3 million subscribers between them. Many Malawians own two SIM cards to avoid paying extra charges when phoning another network.
The cell phone solutions include increased Internet access and availability, and online banking, which has improved access to finances, particularly for those operating in rural areas.
The cost of call has now been offset by Internet alternatives such as WhatsApp and Skype. Almost all Malawians who have smartphone install and use WhatsApp. The best option is to buy data bundles, which are cheaper than pay-as-you-go.