Armenia has three network operators:
- VivaCell MTS (by MTS Armenia)
- UCOM (formerly Orange)
2G/GSM is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G/UMTS is on 2100 MHz (and 900 MHz on UCOM) like in the rest of Europe. VivaCell MTS started with 4G/LTE in 2012 on the 2600 MHz band and Beeline 2016 on unusual 450 MHz (band 31) and UCOM testing on 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz.
Coverage of all three providers is pretty good. You can get mobile phone service just about anywhere in the country these days, unless you are hiking in the backcountry.
In the Nagorno-Karabakh region, a breakaway independent, but internationally unrecognized state Karabakh Telecom is the only mobile provider. It has been now been moved to the Azerbaijan chapter as we have an article about this country now and this area is de jure internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. All Armenian providers will roam in Nagorno-Karabakh and the currency is AMD.
VivaCell MTS (by MTS Armenia)Edit
VivaCell MTS is the market leader in the country with more than 60% of mobile customers on its network In 2017 it changed the company name from VivaCell MTS to MTS Armenia, but brand name remains.
2G and 3G coverage is at 99.8% and 98.8% of the population, respectively; with 47% of Armenia’s residents served by its 4G/LTE signal in 2017. It has the best coverage and speed: 2G/3G/4G/Coverage map at the most expensive prices.
Voice and data SIM Edit
Their prepaid SIM is available for a minimal fee (like 100 AMD) in their stores: (Service Center Map). SIM card is free when bought in combination with a package. They have three prepaid tariff lines called 'Viva', 'YES' (ԵՍ), 'Dialect' (Բարբառ) .
Default data rate without package is 5 (on YES),15 (on Dialect) and 30 (on Viva) AMD per MB according to tariff line.
At the Sadakhlo-Bagratashen border crossing (the main route between Tbilisi and Yerevan): after Armenian immigration/customs drive a minute or two. On the right-side there's a VivaCell MTS office open 24/7 which will setup a SIM card/account in a few minutes. They seem very used to visitors who don't speak Armenian. Passport is necessary, they'll take a photocopy. You can get some Armenian currency from the nearby small supermarket with a currency exchange booth.
Combo packages Edit
Viva is their new featured combo plan with on-net minutes, domestic mins, SMS and data for 30 days:
|Price||Data||on-net calls||dom. calls||dom. SMS||Activation|
|1500 AMD||1 GB||1500 mins||-||150||*161*1500#|
|2500 AMD||2 GB||2500 mins||50 mins||250||*161*2500#|
|3500 AMD||3 GB||3500 mins||100 mins||250||*161*3500#|
|5500 AMD||5 GB||5500 mins||200 mins||250||*161*5500#|
|7500 AMD||10 GB||7500 mins||350 mins||350||*161*7500#|
Overuse fee is 20 AMD per MB. Packages auto-renew. To stop, enter *161*0#, to check balances *160# and to renew ahead of time *161*4#.
Data feature packs Edit
BIT Service packages allow internet during 1 or 30 days and can be booked on YES and Dialect lines. To change from Viva to Dialect dial *131*707#, to YES *131*555# for 500 AMD fee.
- for 1 day: BIT1: 200 MB, 100 AMD, activation: *777*1#
- for 1 day: SuperBIT 1: 500 MB, 150 AMD, activation: *778*1#
- for 30 days: BIT30: 3 GB, 2,500 AMD, activation: 777*30#
The service status can be checked by sending *777# or *778#.
Data-only SIM Edit
Their data SIM card is called MTS Connect Daily and has SMS too. It's sold for 1000 AMD at their stores. Starter pack includes 1000 AMD credit, 195 days of validity and further 180 days of recharge period
MTS Connect Daily has unlimited data for one calender day at 250 AMD, max speed is only 640/256 kbps. The daily fee is charged based on calendar days. This means, the moment you connect to the Internet for the first time during the day you are charged for the current day. From that moment till the end of the day (23:59h) you have unlimited access to the Internet. In case you stay online after the midnight, at 00:01h you will be charged for the next day.
- APN: inet.vivacell.am
- Website in English: http://www.mts.am/en/individual-customers
Beeline by Armentel is the 2nd operator in the country and has a good coverage in 2G (2G zone) and 3G (3G zone). In September 2016, it started 4G/LTE in Yerevan only so far on the unusual frequency of 450 MHz (band 31).
They have a variety of different prepaid SIM cards available in their stores (locator). For visitors the "Welcome" SIM is sold for 500 AMD including 400 AMD credit. It has a default data rate of 50 AMD per MB.
You can top-up in any of their outlets. The recharge is timeless. The SIM card will be active as long as your balance is positive (and there is money on your balance). Check balance by *102#.
Data feature packs Edit
These data packages are for all voice SIM cards valid for 30 days:
|200 AMD||50 MB||*450#|
|600 AMD||250 MB||*4250#|
|800 AMD||500 MB||*4500#|
|1000 AMD||1 GB||*4401#|
|2500 AMD||3 GB||*4403#|
|6000 AMD||10 GB||*4410#|
To check your data balance, dial *103#
Data-only SIM Edit
Beeline also offers a data-only SIM for tablets and modems with unlimited data in packages:
- By code *110*08057# you can switch for 200 AMD to 'Infinity 512', unlimited data capped at 512 kbps. Daily fee is 83.33 AMD and monthly fee 2583 AMD.
- By code *110*08059# you can switch for 200 AMD to 'Infinity 1024', unlimited data capped at 1024 kbps. Daily fee is 150 AMD and monthly fee 4650 AMD.
- to these 2 plans above you can add these 'turbo packages' for unthrottled speed:
- 1 GB, 7 days, 1500 AMD, activation: *991#
- 2 GB, 14 days, 3000 AMD, activation: *992#
- 5 GB, 20 days, 4000 AMD, activation: *995#
Deactivation is *110*990# and balance check of the bundles *107#
More info Edit
- APN: internet.beeline.am
- Username: internet
- Password: internet
- Website in English:
UCOM (rebranded from Orange)Edit
UCOM is the smallest operator in the country, but has a still good network up to DC-HSPA: coverage map covering 97% at least in 2G at the lowest prices. Their 4G/LTE is in test stage and will be launched in 2017 on 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz.
In 2016 they were acquired by the broadband operator UCOM which has rebranded its network from the Orange label.
Prepaid cards can be purchased at any Ucom service center (locator), all post offices in Yerevan City supermarkets and Carrefour, Zigzag Megastore (Dalma Garden Mall) and others. For activation insert the SIM card into the phone, call to 111 short number, follow the voice menu instructions and select your preferred language. After performing these steps your number will be activated and you will be connected to the number that you are calling.
You will have the number activated for 3 months for access to all the services of Ucom. In case of not recharging the account during that time, you will also receive calls and SMS for another 6 months (inactive period). Top-ups of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10000 AMD giving you 30 days to 6 months of service according to the amount sold in service points and supermarkets. Check balance by *133#.
Voice and data SIM Edit
They offer two prepaid lines U!SIMPLE and their combo plans U!Prepaid:
- U!Simple: this plan without base rate can be activated by *111*11#. Data are at 15 AMD/MB.
- U!Prepaid: monthly combo plan in four sizes
- U!1000: 100 MB, 100 dom. SMS: 1000 AMD, activation: *254#
- U!1500: 1 GB, 150 dom. SMS, 100 dom. mins: 1500 AMD, activation: *251#
- U!2000: 1.5 GB, 200 dom. SMS, 150 dom. mins: 2000 AMD, activation: *252#
- U!3000: 3 GB, 300 dom. SMS, 200 dom. mins: 3000 AMD, activation: *253#
Data outside of allowances are at 15 AMD per MB. You can always change your tariff plan to another by simply typing *255#.
Data feature packsEdit
On top of every U!Prepaid and U!Simple plan, the following data packages can be loaded. After consuming the data allowance, you will fall back on the data tariff according to the prepaid plan. To check remaining data balance *205*20#.
|100 AMD||300 MB||1 day||*205*1#|
|750 AMD||500 MB||30 days||*205*2#|
|1000 AMD||1 GB||30 days||*205*3#|
|1500 AMD||2 GB||30 days||*205*4#|
Data-only SIM Edit
Their "Internet Daily" SIM card is intended for tablets and modems and has data and SMS only. It comes with daily internet for 200 AMD at max. 512/256 kbps. To get higher speeds, you can add one of these packages:
- 1 GB for 10 days: 2000 AMD, activation: 1GB
- 2 GB for 10 days: 2500 AMD, activation: 2GB
- 4 GB for 30 days: 6000 AMD, activation: 4GB
For activation, text code to 111. Overuse is at the throttled daily rate.
- APN: internet
- Website in English: http://www.ucom.am/en