The topic “Internet and surfing” is quickly and easily described with relation to Cambodia! Internet is present everywhere in the country for little money! Even in remote areas you have LTE without problems!
For this you need a SIM card. At the same time, you have to decide whether you only want to surf or also make phone calls within the country! You should say this right away when buying the card so that the salesperson can choose the right card for you.
SIM card sellers are everywhere. I (Rüdiger) always buy mine on a street corner opposite the Sorya Centre near the Central Market in Phnom Penh. But as I said, where you see mobile phones or mobile phone cases on display, you can usually also get SIM cards.
There are several providers. The “right” one cannot be named. It always seems to be a personal preference!
Prepaid card providers
The following is an introduction to the various prepaid providers in Cambodia. Let’s go!
The largest network operator in Cambodia with currently 9 million customers. SIM cards are available in different sizes.
The card costs 1 dollar and you simply add the desired credit. From 1 day validity for 0.10 US$, to 2 US$, 3 US$, 5, 10 and 20 US$ with 15 Gigabyte data volume and 30 days validity, there is a wide choice.
Is in the same league as Metfone. Also has 8 million subscribers in the country and launched the first LTE networks in the country in 2014. The card costs US$1 and can be bought at any smart store or booth. The credits that can be activated are similar to Metfone.
The “biggest” card offers 25 gigabytes of data and 30 days validity period. Phone calls are possible and cost 3 cents per minute.
Cellcard is also known as Mobitel. Network coverage with LTE is not quite as good as with the first two. Credit cards are available from 1 day for 25 dollar cents up to 40 GB and 30 days validity.
Cellcard also offers “Tourist SIM”, a card with unlimited data volume. The best choice for frequent surfers. But only valid for 7 days, local calls possible. Price currently USD 6.
Special feature of SIM cards in Cambodia
All cards use numerical codes – as was common in Germany many years ago. To activate the SIM card, you type into your mobile phone, for example:
13310# SIM card number.
This way you can also recharge the SIM card with refill cards when the credit is used up. You can also check the credit balance. By entering the code, you immediately receive a message telling you how much credit you have left. The codes differ depending on the SIM card provider!
The prepaid cards have a field with a longer number that has to be typed in together with * and # and numbers. The numbers are printed on the cards in scratch fields. All vendors are happy to help with this if you ask them politely. Usually there is also a handwritten card with the codes, e.g. to check the credit balance. This is then sent by SMS by return of post.
In earlier years, anyone could simply buy a SIM card anywhere. Today, for security reasons, proof of identity is required. When buying a SIM card, you have to show your passport and a valid visa.
This is always required in official stores. The small shopkeeper on the street corner often “forgets” this. You are in Cambodia ;-)
Other international providers
In addition to Cambodian providers, there are other telecommunications companies that have cross-border offers. In Cambodia, for example, there is AIS, a Thai provider that offers its products throughout Southeast Asia.
Another provider is Three UK Holdings. For 39.90 US dollars, there is a data-only card with 12 gigabytes for 30 days.
Of course, the Chinese are also getting involved in this booming and hotly contested market. CUniq SIM is an offer from the Chinese telecommunications company CUG, based in Hong Kong. The card also works in around 20 Asian and Southeast Asian countries.
True Move Travel SIM Asia offers a card that currently covers 20 Southeast Asian and Asian countries, Australia, Japan, Mongolia, Sri Lanka. 6 GB high-speed with validity period of 7 days.
Tip: Fandom provides an overview of the current conditions and further information about prepaid cards in Cambodia. For example, “ThomMorng”, a special exchange promotion by Smart that increases the data volume many times over. The site also introduces another card, “yes 018”.
For the sake of completeness, we would like to mention the SIM card that is actually the first card to cover all countries in the world. The French company ISP Orange offers this card with up to 10 gigabytes of data volume for 39.90 US dollars. Valid for 7 days!
But: no calls, no SMS – in other words, a pure surf card. For 7 days, of course, this can be quite expensive.
International or Cambodian SIM card providers?
For holidays of a few weeks only in Cambodia, local SIM card providers are always recommended. Simple, uncomplicated, cheap!
If, on the other hand, you want to travel to several countries in Southeast Asia, always have the same number and don’t want to get a new card every time, it makes sense to buy a SIM card from an international provider. But you also have to bear in mind that these cards are always much more expensive!
What are your experiences with telephony and WiFi in Cambodia? Write us in the comments!
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