International phone calls from AUC flats.
Persons calling from outside Egypt can call a Cairo residence telephone directly.
However, since faculty members do not have, with some exceptions, an international line in their own home, they must use special means to call overseas. This may be done in several ways.
If you have an AT&T calling card, the local access phone numbers from the Cairo area are 2796-0200 or 2510-0200. This will get you a USA Direct operator, so you can make a calling card call or a collect call.
If you have a Sprint phone card, the local access number is 2796-4777.
If you have an MCI (Word Wide Access) card, the local number to call is 2795-5770.
You can reach these numbers from most phones, but the lines are often busy. This will get you a USA Direct operator, so you can make a calling card call or a collect call.
International prepaid calling cards
You may buy a Telecom Egypt calling card (Telecard) and place international calls to any country in the world from any phone booth or from landline phones. The TE calling card also allows you to make calls in Egypt. Their values range from LE 30 – LE 100. The TE cards are usually available, among several places, in the grocery stores and supermarkets, in Maadi at the Egypt Telecom offices opposite the Satellite Station, and in Zamalek on 26th July Street.
If you have an AT&T prepaid phone card purchased in the US, call the AT&T access code for Egypt, 2510-0200, then dial 888-284-8341, and then follow the prompts. This card does not have an expiration date, can be used to call from any country, and is rechargeable.
AUC Telecommunications Office
University telephone operators can place a call to any country 24/7, usually with little or no delay. From AUC flats, you call the AUC switchboard operator at 19282 (19AUC). Request an international call and give your name and your department's name. You will be asked if it is personal or university business. The operator will ask the country and number you are calling, and will have the Cairo International operator ring you back as soon as a line is free. If it is personal, the call charges are usually deducted from your Egyptian pound salary, through the Controller's Office, and will be stated on your Monthly Pay Slip. Keep records of your calls, for the charges will not necessarily be deducted from your monthly pay during the month following your calls. At the time of writing, the rate to call the U.S. and Arab countries was LE 3 per minute during the night (from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am) and LE 4 per minute during the day (from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm). The rate to call Canada and European countries was LE 3.75 per minute during the night (from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am) and LE 4.50 per minute during the day (from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm).
Prepaid local calling cards Prepaid calling cards like Menatel, Ringo and El Nil can be used in the street phone booths. These cards, sold in denominations of LE5 – LE30, can be bought at almost any food store.
Mobile phone (cellular)
Mobile phones are extremely popular in Egypt, and you will find mobile set vendors everywhere. For those who are not familiar with mobile phone services in Egypt, and especially because of a language barrier, we have collected some basic information to help you understand the system.
Buying a mobile phone abroad If you buy a mobile phone in North America (for use in both North America and Egypt) you must make sure that it uses a GSM operating system and that it is a tri or quad-band model; otherwise, you will not be able to use your phone set while you are in Egypt, or when you travel in Europe and the Middle East. The operating system is different in North America.
Buying a mobile phone in Egypt If you buy a mobile phone in Egypt and you want to make international calls while you are in North America, again, you need to buy a tri or quad-band model. The dual-band model will work locally and for international calls in Europe and the Middle East, because they use the same band.
The most popular phone models used in Egypt are Nokia, Sony-Ericsson, Siemens, Motorola, iPhone, Blackberry and Samsung. Depending upon the model and options, the values range between LE 700 – LE 4000. A decent mobile phone with a lot of options may cost around LE 2000.
Mobile operators and type of services
There are three mobile operators in Egypt – Mobinil, Vodafone and Etisalat. You may want to look at their respective websites for information regarding their services and addresses in Cairo and in Egypt www.mobinil.com, www.vodafone.com.eg, and www.etisalat.com. When you get a line (you actually get a SIM card that has an assigned phone number to install in your phone) from one of these operators, you must choose between a prepaid service and a monthly-billed service.
The prepaid service for mobile phones
The Mobinil prepaid service allows you to make and receive local calls. At the time of writing Mobinil doesn’t offer the roaming service with the prepaid service, which allows you to have international service while travelling abroad.
With Vodafone you can have roaming service. You may receive calls in most countries. You may check the Vodafone website for countries in which you can make calls. You must request the roaming service, free of charge, from a Vodafone shop. The international calls made while you are abroad are more expensive because they are routed through Egypt. You may have to put a deposit on your account to make calls when outside of Egypt.
Mobinil and Vodafone prepaid cards may be bought from many shops, grocery stores and supermarkets. Their values range from LE 55 to LE 220, and you can buy a recharging card from many shops. You may also pay your bill or buy minutes for Vodafone at CIB/ATMS.
The monthly bill service for mobile phones
You may apply for the monthly bill service at any of the mobile operators stores. If you apply for the roaming service, make sure that if you plan to make calls in the U.S. your phone set is a tri-band model. You may pay your bills at any CIB bank or CIB/ATM. However, AUC has an agreement with Mobinil (see below) so your monthly bill is deducted from your salary.
The monthly bill service with Mobinil mobile phones through AUC
For the AUC staff and faculty who wish to apply for a monthly bill service, the University has an agreement with Mobinil so the monthly bill of the AUC member will be automatically deducted from his/her Egyptian pound salary. A statement will appear in his/her monthly AUC payroll slip, and a monthly Mobinil statement with details of the calls will be sent to the member’s office. The AUC contact person for those who are wishing to use this facility is Mr. Emad Kandil, phone number 2615-3540 or Ms. Nahla Hassanein Abdel Baki, phone number 2615-3548, University Technology Infrastructure, Room G029, Core Academic Center. To request a line, give her your AUC ID number. Those who wish to add roaming service (which allows you to make and receive international calls while travelling abroad) must request this from Ms. Nahla.
You cannot make collect calls through the Egyptian phone system. The only way to make a collect call is to call the AT&T direct access number, 2796-0200, and press 0 for an operator. Tell the person you would like to make a collect call.
1-800 number Calls (Toll free calls)
You cannot make free 1-800 number calls through the Egyptian phone system.
However, you can make free 1-800 number calls through SKYPE or YAHOO Voice Out.
If you have an AT&T, Sprint or an MCI phone card, you may call their respective local access numbers to make 1-800 phone calls, but these calls are not free:
AT&T = 2796-0200 or 2510-0200
SPRINT = 2796-4777
MCI = 2795-5770.
Vanguard, one of the Pension plan providers that AUC deals with, has an agreement with AT&T, so it is possible to call for free their 1-800 phone number through the AT&T access number in Cairo, even if one doesn’t own an AT&T card.
Cairo Telephone Directory Assistance
The Cairo Telephone Directory Assistance is 140 or 1400. They will answer the phone in Arabic. Just ask for someone who speaks English. You can also do this on-line, only in Arabic, at the following address: http://www.140online.com.
Egypt Yellow Pages on line
You may search for business addresses in the Egypt Yellow Pages on line: http://www.egyptyellowpages.com.eg
AUC Mail Office If you want to send personal mail while on campus, you can go to the AUC Mail Services. They also sell Egyptian stamps.
They are located at the Campus Center, Arnold Pavilion, Plaza level, across from the indoor food court building, where the student mailboxes are located. Its extension telephone number is 3857.
The working hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. excluding Fridays, Saturdays and official holidays.
In addition to pick up and delivery of intra-campus mail the AUC mail services are as follows:
1. Receive and deliver all incoming external mail.
2. Pick up and deliver parcels coming from abroad via Egypt Post Authority and couriers’ agencies without any extra charges. However, in the event that you do have a personal parcel sent to you at your AUC departmental address, you will get a parcel arrival notification from the AUC Mail Office, stating the duties to be paid if applicable. (Note that AUC mail offices do not deal with shipments held at Airports waiting for customs procedures).
3. Process outgoing mail: Rates for local and international shipments, and Egyptian postage stamps, are available at the Mail Office.
A.Regular/express mail (via Egypt Post Authority): Items acceptable for carriage are letters and printed materials only, expected delivery schedule is 5-10 days; can not be tracked; maximum allowed weight is 2 Kg.
B.Registered mail (via Egypt Post): This service is available for business shipments only; not easily traced; delivery schedule is 7 to 10 days.
C.Courier mail: This service allows you to mail almost everything, with no weight limits at the AUC corporate rate. Recommended courier agencies that deal with the AUC mail office are FedEx, DHL and Aramex. The estimated delivery schedule (if there are no customs delay) ranges from 3 to 5 working days.
Courier service through the Faculty Services Office
To facilitate the use of a courier service, the Faculty Services Office (Campus Center, Room 1002, in the Faculty Lounge complex, phone number 2615-3789) offers a mail pouch service twice a month for faculty. Regular letters (paper only), no packages because of custom duties, are sent via DHL from Cairo to the AUC New York Office. Upon its reception an employee deposits the letters in a regular U.S. mailbox. Therefore, you need to put U.S. postage on your letter, as well as paying the courier charges. You must provide your own U.S. stamps, but if at one point you run out of your own stamps you could buy the needed stamps from the Faculty Services Office. The date of the mail pouch is announced to the faculty through email. Please note that this non-sponsored service doesn't work from the AUC New York Office to Cairo.
Courier locations in town
1) Egypt Express (a licensee of Federal Express Corporation), hot line 2268-7888; in Maadi: Federal Express, Wadi El Nil Street, tel 2358-3284
2) DHL, hot line 16345; in Garden City, 8 Rostom Street (next to the Canadian Embassy), or in Mohandessin, 16 Libnan Street, tel. 3302-9801/19
3) Aramex International Courier, 23 Musaddak Street, Dokki, tel. 3338-8466.
There are AUC Telecommunications Office on the AUC New Cairo and AUC Tahrir Square for AUC business. However, you can send and receive personal urgent communications through these offices. Their working hours are from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm every day except Friday and Saturday. You may call them for information on the charge of sending personal messages:
• AUC New Cairo: Administration Building, Room G042 (Garden level). Tel. 2615-2354.
• AUC Tahrir Square: Hill House (first building when you enter through Mohamed Mahmoud Gate), 3rd Floor, Room 307. Tel. 2797-5399.
You can also go to big hotels, and pay a bit more, or to any participating post office . Faxes can also be sent from IBA (International Business Associates) at 3A Road 199, Degla, Maadi (tel. 2755-5000) from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. every day except Friday and Saturday.