Bulgaria has three main physical network providers in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE:
- Mtel (Мтел): formerly known as Mobitel (Мобилтел), owned by Telekom Austria
- Telenor (Теленор): formerly known as Globul, owned by Telenor Norway
- Vivacom (Виваком): taken over by Russian investors in 2015
This is added by two providers on 4G/LTE only:
- Max Telecom, 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz (3G coverage with national roaming on Mtel starting in 2017)
- Bulsatcom (Булсатком): 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz
All 3 national providers have a good 2G and 3G coverage over 95% of the area. 2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G on 2100 MHz like in most of Europe. Some MVNOs operate on the networks of the three providers but don't offer good data rates. 4G/LTE has been started by Telenor, Max Telecom, Bulsatcom and Mtel, all on 1800 MHz.
SIM cards are available in the shops of the providers and in big supermarkets. You need a valid passport or ID card for registration.
Mtel (Мтел), formerly Mobitel (Мобилтел)Edit
Their prepaid line is called "Prima" (Прима) Mtel Coverage Map Mtel has the best 3G coverage in the country with 99.7% of the population in 2015. In 2016 4G/LTE was commercially launched on 1800 MHz and covers 75% of population for a start. 4G/LTE access is without surcharges on prepaid.
Default data rateEdit
SIM card can be acquired for 8 BGN in Mtel stores (locator in Bulgarian)and partner shops. The package includes 8 BGN balance, 200 minutes to the "family and friends" group, 100 SMS & 100 MMS to Mtel phones. Their default plan without a base rate is called Universal Prima (Универсална Прима).
Data standard rate is 1.54 BGN per MB. The following packages with data can be booked:
Data feature packsEdit
These packages for 30 days with data can be added to the voice and data SIM:
- 200 MB, 5000 mins to Family & Friends, 200 SMS to Mtel: 5.99 BGN, activation: F1
- 200 MB, 200 mins to Mtel, 200 SMS to Mtel: 5.99 BGN, activation: C1
- 500 MB, 5,99 BGN, activation: D1
To activate, text code to 789 or type *123# and choose bundle. They don't renew automatically.
Their data-only SIM called "Prima Data" (Data Прима) has no voice calls. It can be bought 9.90 BGN with 2 GB valid for 8 days. You can add these data packages:
|Prima Free Data 512 MB||19.90 BGN||512 MB||60 days||512 MB|
|Prima Free Data 1500 MB||29.90 BGN||1.5 GB||60 days||1500 MB|
|Prima Free Data 2 GB||9.90 BGN||2 GB||14 days||2 GB|
|Prima Free Data 5 GB||24.90 BGN||5 GB||30 days||5 GB|
Prices outside of the packages are 2.56 BGN per MB. To activate, text code to 1796. Packages will auto-renew. To stop, text 'STOP' to 1796. To check data balance text "Balans" to 1796.
- APN: inet-gprs.mtel.bg
Telenor (Теленор, formerly GloBul)Edit
In 2013 Telenor from Norway acquired Globul from Cosmote in Greece. In 2014 they changed their logo and name from Globul to Telenor. Coverage map. They started 4G/LTE in 2015 on 1800 MHz covering already 75% of population in 2016, open for prepaid as a promotion.
Start up costsEdit
Their prepaid starter pack is sold for 6 BGN in their or in Germanos stores: Telenor.store locator . It comes with 100 Telenor mins and 1 GB, valid for 14 days. Top-ups of 6-9 BGN give another 250 MB and of 10 BGY and more 500 MB, valid for 14 days.
Data feature packsEdit
These data packs are available for prepaid plans. Out of bundle use or overuse is billed with high 2.40 BGN per MB. To check remaining data on pack, type *123#
|150 MB||1 day||1.99 BGN||'D100' to 125|
|1 GB||7 days||3.99 BGN||'D200' to 125|
|2 GB||30 days||9.99 BGN||'D400' to 125|
To activate, text a SMS with the code to 125.
Data SIM Edit
Their new data-only SIM card GoWeb comes in two starter packs:
- GoWeb 500: 2.99 BGN with 500 MB valid for 7 days
- GoWeb 2000: 9.90 BGN with 2 GB valid for 7 days
It is aimed at tablets and modems but has voice and text too. This can be added by two packages:
- 2 GB add-on valid for 7 days: 6.90 BGN
- 3 GB add-on valid for 30 days: 19.90 BGN
The add-ons must be bought online on http://goweb.lp.telenor.bg. Overuse is throttled to 64 kbps.
Tourist SIM Edit
For visitors Telenor sells their Prepaid Starter Pack Telenor Tourist for 6 BGN. It contains 30 mins to most European destinations and 1 GB data, all valid for 7 days. Out of bundle use is 0.19 BGN per MB. These two packages can be added for more data:
- 2 GB for 7 days: BGN 9.90 - activation: text VG7 to 125
- 3 GB for 30 days: BGN 19.90 - activation: text VG30 to 125
Mini SIM, micro and nano SIM are available.
- APN: telenor
- Username: telenor
Vivacom is the 3rd provider in the country, but still has a good coverage in 3G in Bulgaria: Vivacom Coverage Map. In 2015 they were sold to Russian-backed Spas Roussev. 4G/LTE started in May 2016 on 1800 MHz in the towns of Sofia, Pernik and Vratsa, The 4G network will be extended to Varna and Bourgas from 1 June 2016, and Ruse and Plovdiv by mid-June. By the end of August, the operator is aiming to have 40 of the country’s largest towns within its LTE footprint.
Start up and AvailablilityEdit
In their shops (store locator) you can get a starter pack in different varieties, amongst others:
- Opa: Plan with 5 BGN airtime: 8 BGN
- Get free, Call yo: with 3 BGN airtime and a bonus program for recharges: 6 BGN
- Viva: Standard prepaid plan with 10 BGN included: 12.99 BGN
- Viva International: with 3 BGN airtime and reduced rates for foreign calls into certain countries: 6 BGN
All these plans don't make a difference for data. Furthermore they offer these combo packs valid for 20 days:
- Bravo: 300 Vivacom mins, 300 dom. SMS and 1 GB: 6 BGN
- Bravo+: 100 dom. mins, 300 dom. SMS and 1 GB: 10 BGN
Recharge vouchers are available for 10, 20 and 50 BGN
Data feature packsEdit
For all these SIMs default data rate is 1.80 BGN per MB outside of bundles and 0.30 BGN / MB for overuse. The following packages are on offer to all plans above:
|Volume||50 MB||100 MB||200 MB||200 MB||400 MB|
|Validity||1 day||7 days||7 days||20 days||20 days|
|Price||0.99 BGN||1.99 BGN||2.99 BGN||3.99 BGN||5.99 BGN|
To activate, you have to type USSD code *3282# and make your selection.
Data-only SIM Edit
Their data-only SIM is called "Easy Traffic": It has no voice nor text, comes with 2.5 GB included, valid for 20 days for the price of 10 BGN. These add-on packages for 20 days are offered:
- 2.5 GB: 10 BGN
- 6 GB: 20 BGN
- 8.5 GB: 30 BGN
- 12 GB: 40 BGN
- 14.5 GB: 50 BGN
- 18 GB: 60 BGN
- 20.5 GB: 70 BGN
- 24 GB: 80 BGN
- 26.5 GB: 90 BGN
- 30 GB: 100 BGN
SIM card stays activated for 12 months after the last top-up. Validating the remaining MB can be initiated with sending USSD code *104#
mini-SIM (2FF) available. Other sizes can be available or cut.
- APN: internet.vivacom.bg
- Username and Password: VIVACOM
Max TelecomEditMax Telecom launched the first 4G/LTE network in Bulgaria in 2014 on 1800 MHz. For a start it has only a limited coverage in the 20 biggest cities and the resorts along the Black Sea coast in 4G: Max Coverage Map.
They don't have an own 2G nor 3G coverage, but signed a national network sharing agreement with Mtel in 2015. From 2017 on you can roam on Mtel's 2G and 3G networks for free. As of December 2016 roaming is still not available (at least for prepaid). In 2015 their WIMAX network has closed down and all customers have been moved to 4G/LTE. Speeds are really fast and you get good value for your money if you are staying primarily within the cities and are willing to tolerate some dead zones in coverage.
Their SIM cards of all sizes and some rental equipment are available at their stores (shop locator) .
For data they have these prepaid plans and starter packs:
- 10 days pack:
- 5 GB: 9.90 BGN
- 10 GB: 19.90 BGN
- 30 days pack:
- 5 GB: 14.90 BGN
- 20 GB: 29.90 BGN
- 180 days pack: with 60 GB
- including a USB modem: 179.90 BGN
- a mobile or desktop WI-FI router: 249.90 BGN
Speed is max. of 75/25 Mbps. After having used FUP data volume, speed will be reduced to 256/128 kbps. All packages auto-renew, if there is credit.
They can be topped up by these add-ons:
- for 10 days:
- 2 GB: 4.90 BGN
- 5 GB: 8.90 BGN
- for 30 days:
- 5 GB: 11.90 BGN
- 10 GB: 19.90 BGN
- for 70 days - 2 GB: 9.90 BGN
- for 180 days - 20 GB: 49.90 BGN
To add a top-up you need to log into your MyMax account and recharge.
Internet Settings Edit
- APN: apn.maxtelecom.bg
Bulsatcom is a local company thay focuses on triple play products. It was awarded an 4G/LTE license in 2014 and has so far a limited coverage, mostly in major towns and resorts (coverage map: scroll to Мобилният интернет). It doesn't provide roaming for 2G or 3G. So make a network scan before you buy a package. Their SIM card is sometimes available in their stores (locator), but even locals had problems getting one.
4G/LTE data offer Edit
Three packages for mobile internet via 4G/LTE SIM card are offered with following parameters:
- START: FUP 3 GB for 9 BGN in up to 25 Mbps download and 8 Mbps upload
- STANDART: FUP 7 GB for 14 BGN in up to 50 Mbps download and 16 Mbps upload
- PREMIUM: FUP 16 GB for 19 BGN in up to 75 Mbps download and 25 Mbps upload
Speed will be throttled to 256 kbits download and 128 kbits upload according to FUP policy. Bulsatcom keeps the right to limit bandwidth during any periods of peak usage of mobile internet services for any user who excess network resources at the expense of other users.
Internet Settings Edit
- APN: bulsat.com