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Using your cell phone abroad can be expensive, so consider switching to a local SIM card to take advantage of better deals, plans and tariffs. Bosnia and Herzegovina has some of the cheapest prepaid SIM cards in the world, deals that can dramatically reduce your bills. You can buy 1GB of data for as little as BAM3 (US$1.6). So, whether you’re planning a holiday to the Balkan nation or a tour around Europe, check out the best SIM card options available on finder.com.
There are three main cell phone operators in Bosnia and Herzegovina: BH Telecom, m:tel and HT Eronet. All operators are trusted providers and go through a strict approval process before being allowed to operate in the country. According to OpenSignal’s connectivity report, Bosnia and Herzegovina offers 3G or better availability in 74.05% of the country, and has a strong cell phone network around the main cities and towns.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s operators offer very good roaming rates and sell prepaid credit, which allow users to take advantage of their cheap offers and deals. Bosnia and Herzegovina is not part of the EU or EAA, so although they provide very good rates inside the country once you venture out things can get expensive. EU roaming rates don’t apply. All networks offer customers 2G and 3G services but 4G is yet to be launched. Locals call their SIM cards SIMs and there are no rules and regulations when purchasing them. Tourists can buy SIM cards from authorized dealers, supermarkets, or at Sarajevo International Airport.
BH Telecom is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s leading network provider with more than a 45% market share. 2G is run on 900 and 1800 MHz, and 3G on 2100/900 MHz. 4G/LTE has not yet received a commercial launch.
BH Telecom offers the Ultra prepaid SIM card. It can be purchased for BAM5 from official stores, supermarkets, post offices, kiosks, newsagents. The SIM includes a starter bonus of 300MB mobile Internet traffic and BAM3 credit for seven days. There are several Ultra plans on offer. If you dial 1204 and switch over to Ultra Surfa, the standard default rate is lower. The standard default data rate on Ultra is BAM0.80 per MB, on Ultra Surfa it drops to BAM0.04-0.10 per MB depending on how much data you have.
As mentioned above, all Internet data is billed at a standard default rate of BAM0.80 per MB. The following Buy & Surf high-speed deals (up to 3.6MBit/s) can be added to the Ultra SIM cards:
|Unlimited||1 hour||BAM1||Dial *108*0*0# to activate|
|200MB||1 day||BAM0.80||Dial *108*1*0# to activate|
|1GB||1 day||BAM1.50||Dial *108*2*0# to activate|
|1GB||7 days||BAM3||Dial *108*3*0# to activate|
|2GB||Friday(16:00 – 24:00)||BAM1||Dial *108*4*0# to activate|
|2GB||Weekend(Saturday 00:00 – Sunday 24:00)||BAM2||Dial *108*5*0# to activate|
|2GB||1 month||BAM10||Text 061 11 18 with keyword PRIJAVA1030 to activate|
|7 GB||1 month||BAM15||Text 061 11 18 with keyword PRIJAVA5030 to activate|
Dial *108*[1-8 activation code]*1# to get balance.
BH Telecom launched the Ultra Tourist SIM to cater especially for people visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina:
The Ultra Internet data-only SIM card can be purchased for BAM5, and only allows data and SMS usage. Upon purchasing, credit of BAM3 for BH Telecom SMS services and 300MB of data valid for seven days is activated. Send an empty SMS to 06111080 to activate. The Ultra Internet Special Edition is also available for BAM10, which includes 2GB of data for 10 days and BAM3 worth of credit, valid for 30 days.
Happy is a well-known MVNO run through the BH Telecom network. Happy’s SIM cards are available for BAM2 and can be purchased at most supermarkets and stores. The standard default rate is BAM0.15 per MB.
Happy offer three data packages:
Dial *101*[2-4 of activation code]*1# to check balance.
m:tel is the second largest provider with a 41% share, but the most popular with younger users due to its good deals and plans. 2G and 3G networks are available but 4G has not yet been launched.
m:tel’s Frend is their prepaid SIM card option. Basic starter packs cost BAM4, which will come with the same amount of credit. The standard default rate is BAM0.88 per MB, but the following packages can be added to boost data:
Dial *100# to activate.
m:tel’s Frend Net SIM is solely meant for Internet usage. It can be purchased for BAM4, which includes BAM4 credit and 200MB data. The standard default rate is BAM0.15 per MB. The following data plans can be added, valid for 30 days:
Dial *100*5# to activate.
m:tel provides special tourist packages specifically designed for visitors to Bosnia and Herzegovina. m:tel’s Tourist Ino Min & Net plan can be purchased for BAM25, which includes 30 bonus minutes for calls to most European countries and Russia (check the countries on offer, they sometimes change), valid for seven days. You also receive BAM1 credit valid for 30 days and 5GB of data. m:tel’s data-only package Tourist Net can also be purchased for BAM10, which comes with BAM1 of credit and is valid for 30 days.
Go! free is a new MVNO run through the m:tel platform. The Go! free starter SIM card is sold for BAM4, which includes the same amount of credit, valid for 30 days. Top-ups can be purchased for BAM2, 3, 5, 10 and 20, valid for 10-90 days. Send an SMS or dial *777# to activate the SIM card.
The standard default data rate is BAM0.12 per MB, and the following plans can be added:
|GO! Net 1GB||1GB||valid for 24 hours||BAM1|
|GO! Net 500MB||500MB||valid for 10 days||BAM5|
|GO! Net 2GB||2GB||Valid for 30 days||BAM10|
Dial *777# to activate.
HT Eronet is the smallest provider in Bosnia and Herzegovina with only a 14% market share. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased in most shops and supermarkets. Data is not automatically activated on the SIM card, so text GPRS to 0633807 to activate.
HT Eronet’s !hej prepaid SIM cards can be purchased for BAM9, which includes BAM5 of credit and another BAM4 after officially registering the card. The standard default rate is BAM0.15 per 100 KB. The following data packs can be added to !hey Zovino, !hey SMSajmo and !hey Ludito SIM cards:
There are also two monthly prepaid packs on the !hej Savršena SIM card. The standard default rate on !hej Savršena is BAM0.09 per 100 KB. Dial *102*0# to activate.
2) BAM20 – 500MB, 300 domestic texts and 200 domestic minutes
The “!hey internet 2GO” data-only SIM can be purchased for BAM10. The standard default rate is BAM0.10 per MB. The following data packages can be added:
Dial *11[number of activation]*2# check balance.
haloo is a MVNO run through the HT Eronet platform. Their starter SIMs can be purchased for BAM4. The default standard data rate is BAM0.50 per MB. Text GPRS to 064 450 0001 to activate, and check to make sure the APN is web.haloo.ba.
haloo have three data packs on offer:
Dial *11[5 to 7 activation code]*2# to check data balance.
While it’s well known for hotel, flights and holiday bookings, TripAdvisor has many user comments that can help guide you through SIM cards that have been tried and tested in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Here are some top tips from TripAdvisor users:
All networks require you to have a SIM-unlocked GSM compatible cell phone. To double check you have this phone or if it can be unlocked, contact your provider before you leave.
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