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Since Turkey's mobile phone legislation is a pain in the ass, I'm considering renting a 3G hotspot on the two stopovers I will have there in February.

Is there a company which could rent me one at Istanbul airport? If not, maybe I can find such a service in the center of the city?

Technically I could just buy a sim-card and discard it later, but my 24-hour stopovers are over 3 weeks apart so it would be impossible for me to get Internet on the way back, since my IMEI would have been blocked by then.

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Why not just use WiFi instead? –  Karlson Jan 27 '14 at 18:08
WiFi is less convenient since you are dependent on finding free hotspots. –  JonathanReez Jan 27 '14 at 18:35
Such devices are readily available for purchase (more commonly in the form of USB dongles but also hotspots) but I have no idea about renting one. –  Caleb Jan 31 '14 at 18:50
@Caleb If the layover is only 24 hours most internet access would probably be necessary only in the airport which has WiFi. My opinion anyway... –  Karlson Jan 31 '14 at 18:54
@Karlson Your opinion shouldn't dictate other people's travel habits. Just because you feel something isn't necessary doesn't mean others wouldn't prefer them. I noted the availability issue so they can make their own decision. –  Caleb Jan 31 '14 at 18:57

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Even though I still believe that using WiFi at the airport might be a better solution for your data needs you can a MiFi device from places like: Global WiFi Rental, which is available for pick up and return at the airport. And similar discussion on TripAdvisor.

There is also Cell Hire in UK that also offers the MiFi Rental service.

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I wasn't able to locate free WiFi anywhere in the terminal, unfortunately. I will have a look at the rental place next time that I'm there. –  JonathanReez Feb 2 '14 at 9:58
the free wi-fi required you to receive an SMS code first, which failed to work with my foreign SIM card. –  JonathanReez Oct 18 '14 at 21:25

You can check all mobile wifi rental companies by yourself and see the list of companies offering the rental service in Turkey.

As your travel plan suggests, buying a SIM card is not the best option to solve the connection problem. According to the new law of duties, cell phones from outside Turkey will be blocked between 7-10 days if they are not registered with a fee of 115 Turkish Liras (approx. 40 Euros).

I think it is not the most efficient way to pay such a tax to the government for just one time use. Also, you will have to sign some papers, change your SIM card, keep it safe etc. And you will not be able to share your connection with your other devices unless your mobile phone can be used as a hotspot.

Basically, there are some companies to rent a pocket wifi in Turkey. However, I think that the local companies offer more fair prices, and a qualified service than the international companies do.

I hope you enjoy your holiday in Turkey.

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There is a booth at the arrival terminal of Istanbul Atatürk Airport. The company called IUGO. They are renting wifi modems, smartphones, tablets and GPS Navigators. Daily rent prices are approximately 3,9 Euro.

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There is a local company called Rent 'n Connect but as far i know they have no booth at Ataturk Airport however they provide delivering to your hotel and pick up from there. And also they are working with Sabiha Gokcen Airport (booth).

Hope it helps you and other travellers.

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