all towns and bigger villages, there are so-called
Publinet internet access is funded by the state, limited to slower
kbit/s) and must use a proxy, which blocks all ports except those for
IRC- and HTTP protocol, in additon, rumours have it (and there is
strong evidence supporting it), that suspicious activities of customers
must be reported to the authorities. The hourly fees in a Publinet is
1.5 - 3 Dinar. Due to the limited speed, a Publinet is not really suited
for internet telephony or applications which require amounts of
from the "offcial" publinets, there are, especially in tourist regions
and bigger towns, as well numerous private Internet cafe's,
some even offering WLAN connections; all these access points are
private access points of this hotel or internet cafe. As such, they are
not speed limited (mostly, they have lines around 1 MBit) required to
use the above mentioned proxy server and are therefore similar to
access points in western countries. The price for that has to be paid
literally - for one hour, the fees will be around 6, but can easily
reach even 12 Dinars.
These access points are suited in most cases for internet telephony
and videophonie and for direct FTP, POP, Telnet and
there are 5 DSL providers in Tunisia.
All of them use the same network (TunisieTelecom), offer identical
specifications and services, so that in the end, only the price makes a
per month, in Dinar (TD)
Payment is due monthly
directly to TunisieTelecom!
= In the table is the downstream speed listed, upstream is usually 1/2
of that, all offers are flatrate offers with unlimited traffic
** = Only when the fee is prepaid for one year
from the above listed "normal tarifs", all providers offer special
plans, eg. access only at night, at night with higher speed or access
during school holidays. Sometimes you can find promotion offers as well.
In addition to DSL access, there is
still an internet access
with an analog modem
possible (ca. 35 kbit/s), for this, only a telephone line and
prepaid internet card of one of the above providers is
hour of analog access costs ca. 1 Dinar, there are cards for multiple
DSL access is using the standard of ADSL2 with PPPoA; in this
regard, not all modems that are used in Europe can be used, but dsl
modems are available with each tunisian provider for
pre-condition to use a DSL access is an existing telephone line
of TunisieTelecom, which must be woned by the same person.
It does not matter whether this line is a postpaid or prepaid line,
just that the line is existing and avctive.
At the office of the TuniseTelecom, a customer will get a form, with
which you can order a dsl line with the dsl providers. It takes then
usually 1-2 weeks until the line is working.
lines are, at least in the population rich areas, almost everywhere
available - a customer should, though, ask explicitly ask the
provider first, whether a dsl line can be offerd for a specific address
and telephone number.
Even when the reply is positive, one should leave the option
(in writing) to skip the contract and get a full payment refund, when
the line is not working at the agreed date!
acess by mobile phone
the coastal regions and the bigger towns, the mobile phone provider
Tunisiana offers for his prepaid customers internet access
This access costs for 30 days 39 Dinars (max 3 GB transfer volume). The
transfer speed for this access is ca.12-25 kbytes, which is similar to
a DSL line of 128-256 kbit. This offer is, though, interesting because
with an "Awal" prepaid card from Tunisian, you get a 50% refund for all
useage of more than 25 Dinar/month, so effectively, with such a card,
the access costs only 20 Dinar/month and is even cheaper than a DSL
line, not to speak about the mobility. Downfall of this solution is the
system immanent high latency, so the access is not suited for eg.
online shooter games, in addition, Tunisian does not offer own SMTP/POP
servers and even blocks the SMTP port in general (all other ports are
However, if one can live with this limitations or has a workaround,
then he will receive an acceptable mobile internet access for a fair
Tunisiana and Tuntel
both offer plans for postpaid (contract) customers as well. But since
postpaid contracts are reserved for official business customers, I do
not mention these options in more detail here (the price is,
internet infrastructure in Tunisia is literally a backbone (and not a
redudant circle), in addition, all traffic in and out of the country is
run through one access point in Tunis. As a result, in case of any
technical problems (even when there is just heavy rain), one can expect
a wide spread slowdown or unaccessability. But even worse is the high
load of the network in peak times (which happens to be the whole day
and night), which is causing slow speed especially between 10:00-01:00,
or, in other words, only in the early morning you can expect to reach
the maximum possible line speed at all.
has a sophisticated internet censorship, which is realized by the
pipelining the whole internet traffic through a central in Tunis ,
which can filter at DNS and IP level. Especially websites with "nude
pictures" (even some European newspapers), websites of human rights
activists/organisations and the political opposition can not be
accessed from Tunisia. Blocked as well is currently the complete access
to YouTube (most probably because of the videos of the uproars in the
southern mining regions).
an internet useage in the same way that one is used to in western
an tunisian internet access is, for multiple reasons, not
above mentioned prices are for private lines. Business lines, which
happen to have the same specifications, cost about 50% more.
Some offer even website hosting, but since the servers for this hosting
are located in Tunisia, their value for international offers/accesses
is quite limited - mainly due to the slow connection to the
international backbones, there
are many network centers in Europe and USA with a bigger bandwidth
available than there there is for the whole of Tunisia, not even to
speak about the traffic concentration/filtering.