Mobinil Paid WiFi for Cafes in Egypt – I want my FREE WiFi back, without bugging

Mobinil, one of the 3 mobile phone networks in Egypt, owned by the same owner of Link dot NET, one of the leading ISPs in Egypt as well have come with a WiFi service for cafes, just like other ISPs provide.

When I’m in a cafe, I just use the Internet connection that the cafe provides via their ISP WiFi, and that’s it. I do NOT have to pay extra money for the Internet service. I do NOT have to register my Email and mobile phone number anywhere. I do NOT have to buy scratchy charge/balance cards like those for mobile phone credit. This is how it has been for years.

Mobinil screwed that all.

To get to the Internet in cafe, you have to do this the first time you connect:

  • Register your Email and mobile phone number
    • Refresh the page (clearly hosted by Link dot NET) if you get this exception
      I’ll not get into the details of how horrible  is getting much detail of an exception. It’s not the first time.
  • Wait for the activation code to come (As SMS to your mobile phone, because you have no email, as you have no Internet yet)
    • MY friend did not get his activation code, in this case you call the customer service land line number to get the code.
  • Activate the service using the code, and then sign in to the service page (although you have just activated your account, they don’t know who you are).
  • Use a promotional free 2-hours card to access the Internet (clearly for only 2 hours).

Every time you want to connect to the Internet from a cafe, you have to:

  • Buy a card similar to the ugly scratchy cards you buy for you mobile phone credit
    • The packages available are:
      • 2 hours for 10 EGP
      • 10 hours for 50 EGP
      • 130 hours for 150 EGP
  • Sign in to the service
  • Enter not only the PIN code hidden under the scratch here part, but also a card serial number that’s even very hard to see.
    • I could not see the serial number for how small it is. My friend read it for me.
    • Here’s how the card looks like. The blue rectangle is the PIN code and the green rectangle is the serial number.
      cardBack - Copy
  • Use the Internet finally with the amount of hours you paid for. In my experience, the speed looked like 256Kb or 384Kb max, but maybe this is different from cafe to another or whatever.

For everybody who reads this, is this normal ? Is it a very popular style in so many countries ? I used to go to a respectable cafe paying certain amount of money for my coffee to get extra customer services. Not only that they get me AC and will not kick me out as soon as I finish the coffee, but also that I can get my FREE Internet.

Clearly Mobinil is able to replace other ISPs for cafe Internet, and has already acquired the big name cafes that I know. This is too bad.


I want my FREE cafe Internet back!! It has been there for years, and there’s no reason I have to let it go now.


Hopefully the other Internet providers will recover this somehow, otherwise, there should be sort of strong petition or stopping going to cafes with this service or such.


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