Cell Phone Service in Jerusalem
Newly-arrived Olim in the Holy City have many things on their to-do lists, and finding a reliable cell phone carrier is certainly one of them. Israel has several mobile carrier companies that offer affordable packages. But how well do their services work?
This article looks at the performance of different carriers in Jerusalem and seeks to determine an ideal match for Anglos in the city.
Which Carriers Have the Best Cell Phone Reception in Jerusalem?
Although Jerusalem is the largest city in the country, not all carriers offer good cell phone reception. All major network providers have a certain level of coverage for the following networks:
But which carriers offer the best one? According to the Npref coverage map (last updated in March 2022), the network provider with the best coverage of 5G, which is the fastest network at the time, is Pelephone. Most of Jerusalem is covered with 5G with this provider.
Partner Mobile, one of the country's most popular mobile and network service providers, offers 4G+ services in most parts of the city. The 5G is mostly present in the central area.
Cellcom offers 4G, 4G+, and 5G coverage throughout the city. The city's far west has 5G coverage, while the central part and the area towards East Jerusalem are covered with 4G+ and 4G.
HOT Mobile has a very small coverage of 5G points that are almost invisible on the map. They do have a stable 4G+ connection across the whole of Jerusalem.
Golan Telecom is not a good choice for a cell phone network provider in Jerusalem. They offer limited reception in 4G+, while most of the coverage is in 4G and only in limited areas.
All major providers except Golan Telecom offer good coverage in Jerusalem. However, if you’re after fast speed and 5G coverage, go for Pelephone or Partner Mobile.
Which Neighborhoods in Jerusalem Have the Best Cell Phone Service?
Jerusalem is a large city that lies on seven hills, and the same reception levels don’t equally cover its surface. By analyzing the same coverage map we pulled data from in the previous section, it’s safe to say that most of the neighborhoods in Jerusalem (Old City, Yemin Moshe, Talbiya, Kiryat Shmuel, Katamon, City Center, and others) have stable 4G+ or 5G network with most providers.
The further you go from the central neighborhoods, the more the cell phone service can deteriorate.
Here’s a short overview of Jerusalem’s largest neighborhoods in terms of mobile coverage by the largest network providers.
- Pelephone – 3G, 4G, and 4G+ network available
- HOT Mobile – 3G and 4G networks are available
- Partner Mobile – 3G, 4G, and 4G+ available
- Cellcom – mainly 4G and 4G+
- Golan Telecom – limited 4G and 4G+ on the outskirts of Old City
- Golan Telecom – No data
- Cellcom – 3G, 4G, 4G+
- HOT Mobile – Limited 4G and 4G+
- Partner Mobile – Stable 4G, 4G+
- Pelephone – 4G, 4G+
- Golan Telecom – 3G, 4G
- Cellcom – 3G, 4G, 4G+
- HOT Mobile – 4G, 4G+
- Pelephone – 4G+, 5G
- Partner Mobile - 4G, 4G+, 5G
- Golan Telecom – 4G
- Cellcom – 4G, 4G+, 5G
- HOT Mobile – 3G, 4G, 4G+
- Pelephone – 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G
- Partner Mobile – 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G
- Golan Telecom – limited 4G and 4G+
- Cellcom – 4G, but mostly 4G+
- HOT Mobile – dominantly 4G, but also 4G+
- Partner Mobile – 4G+
- Pelephone – 5G, 4G+, 4G
- Golan Telecom – No data
- Cellcom – 3G, 4G, 4G+
- HOT Mobile – 4G and 4G
- Partner Mobile – 3G, 4G, 4G+
- Pelephone – 3G, 4G, 4G+
Is There 5G in Jerusalem?
Since September 2020, Jerusalem has received the fifth generation of cellular networks, or 5G.
Since then, more providers have implemented this service in their plans, and they are constantly working on upgrading their coverage. However, the range and quality of the network mainly depend on the individual provider.
The best providers of 5G networks across Jerusalem are Pelephone, Partner Mobile, and Hot mobile. Other providers have very limited or no 5G connection. Still, you can find good plans offering 4G+ across most Jerusalem neighborhoods.
How Do I Know if My Jerusalem Apartment Will Have Good Reception?
When booking an apartment in Jerusalem, most Olims don’t put mobile reception as their main priority. However, although not as important as rent cost, comfort, and distance from the town, good reception is still necessary to make your stay in Jerusalem as convenient as possible.
Luckily, most neighborhoods around central Jerusalem offer stable mobile and internet connections. If you’re staying around the Old City, Yehuda Mahan, or Yafo Street, you won’t have to worry about the reception, as all providers work well here.
However, if you’re staying in more distant neighborhoods, note that some providers may offer limited reception. The best way to ensure your apartment will have a good reception is to ask your network provider whether they cover the area in which you live. Also, check what type of network they cover (2G isn’t the same as 5G, as we can all agree).
But don’t worry too much, as even if you start experiencing reception issues in your apartment in Jerusalem, there are some quick fixes. Below are some tips that can help boost the signal in your apartment regardless of the network provider.
Do a Signal Map
If you experience poor reception in one part of the room, try looking for spots in the apartment where the connection is better. Move from one room to another and check for changes in the signal. Sometimes, you can force a faster signal by setting your phone into Airplane Mode, then moving to a new location.
Most of the time, the signal is better next to windows and balconies.
Get a Femtocell
For apartments with too low carrier coverage, you can convince your cell carrier to provide you with a microcell or a femtocell. These tiny devices work like small towers that create localized signals in specific apartments.
Use a Signal Booster
Signal boosters work in most spaces that have poor signals. You have to ask your carrier provider to recommend a device and follow simple DIY instructions to set it up.
Switching carriers is the last resort to solving a bad reception issue in Jerusalem. If you have already picked up a provider and aren’t satisfied with the service, you can always change to a better one to make your stay in Jerusalem more pleasant.
Of course, much like anything related to bureaucracy in Israel, switching carriers can be a painful and lengthy process. That’s why it’s best to make the right decision on time.
Want the Best of Both Service and Customer Support Worlds?
TCS Israel is one of the few mobile companies that work with multiple providers to cater to Anglos in terms of quality, customer support, and great deals. Unfortunately, major mobile operators in Israel don’t have English customer support. That’s why TCS excels at assisting non-Hebrew speakers in adjusting to the new environment and benefiting from the best mobile plans with great reception.
A great thing about TCS Israel is that you will always get redirected to the provider that offers the best reception in the area where you are located. This means full coverage with high-speed signal and internet connection in most of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas.