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Montenegro is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world. As such, costs are high for accommodation, dining and other attractions. A great way to save money when visiting Montenegro is to invest in a prepaid local SIM card to reduce your data usage and roaming fees. You can get a starter pack with 1GB of data for EUR9.45 (US$11.10).
You must complete a registration form and show valid identification to purchase a SIM card. There is also an electronic registry of users that began in May 2017. The providers must register every subscriber to fixed, mobile and Internet services.
There are three network operators in Montenegro:
Telenor has 97% coverage on 3G, but only 24% on 4G. 4G became available on prepaid in 2016. Telenor cards are available at both Tivat and Podgorica Airports and at stores across the country. You can find a store closest to your location on the company’s store locator. Their basic pack comes under the name of “Start” or “Sve u 1”. It’s sold for EUR5 with EUR5 credit. The default data rate is EUR0.509/MB with a maximum speed of 21Mbps. The following data packs can be added by accessing “My Menu” on your phone and going to the menus for “Offers” and “Internet Offers”.
|3G Data||4G Data||Validity||Price|
To purchase a package, send an SMS with the original 3G data number to 592. If your phone is set to 4G, you will automatically receive the larger amount. Do not put spaces between the numeral and the GB or MB. For instance, to purchase the 3GB plan, text 3GB to 592. To check your data usage, text “B” to 592.
If you are visiting from another country, there is another intriguing data bundle. This night package is valid from 12am to 8am for seven nights. You get 30GB at a cost of MNT1,500. To purchase, dial S30 to 592.
In recent years, MobiCom has added three Tourist Combo data bundles that have data spread over 15-30 days with more SMS messages and lower international rates. In addition to a set amount of data, there is a credit amount preloaded onto the card that can be used for data (at MNT0.09 per MB), calls or texts. They are:
You can extend your Tourist Combo up to 90 days.
Short for United Telecommunications, Unitel was founded in a joint venture with South Korea in 2005. It became 100% Mongolian-owned in 2010. It covers 88% of the population. Its 3G network launched in 2009 followed by 4G in 2016 for the following cities:
The general consensus is that the Unitel network has better prices but inferior coverage when compared to MobiCom. There are Unitel official stores throughout Ulaanbaatar.The company website has a good map to make it easier to find them. Be forewarned that neither the website, the phone support nor the signage in the stores is in English. English is not a very common language spoken in Mongolia, so it may be difficult to buy a SIM card if it’s your only language. Make sure you bring your ID, passport or a driver’s license to register your new card.
Unitel has all three SIM card sizes available for MNT3,000 with MNT1,000 worth of credit preloaded. You can top-up with vouchers which have PIN numbers attached to them. Dial #1411<PIN># to top-up. To check your account balance, dial *1411#. Unitel offers three different prepaid plans on an a la carte basis. These plans and their rates are:
The following data bundles can be added onto the Smart Data plan to give you more days of unlimited data with additional credits.
Another option is a data-only SIM card that comes as part of a 3G modem stick. The SIM offers 10GB for 30 days for EUR19. There are no voice or text components to this bundle. There’s also a package offering unlimited Internet for 10 days for EUR9.90.
Additional options for the 3G modem stick include:
Website (only in Montenegrin): http://www.telekom.me/
The smallest network in Montenegro, m:tel has limited 2G and 3G coverage and no 4G/LTE coverage. It should be used only as a last resort.
Two starter SIM cards are available at m:tel:
There are a number of packages available for data and voice and for strictly data. Most of these start at EUR4 with EUR4 credit included. The most popular bundle is called “Hello” and is sold for EUR5 with 4GB of data. You can add an additional 5GB of data for 15 days for EUR4.90.
TripAdvisor is well known for its hotel and attraction reviews, but it has forums dedicated just to SIM cards and telco networks as well. Here’s some advice from a recent visitor to Montenegro.
“When you buy Telenor’s sim card and dial *123#, there is a menu where you choose which offer that is best for you. In your case that’s Internet. I just checked on the website it’s 3 euros. Ask salesperson at the shop if you need to fill up some application forms.”
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