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BasicsEdit

Bulgaria has three major 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. 4G/LTE has been started by all operators on 1800 MHz only. Some MVNOs operate on the networks of the three providers but don't offer good data rates.

SIM cards are available in the shops of the providers and in big supermarkets. You need a valid passport or ID card for registration.

EU flag
Bulgaria is part of the EU, where from June 2017 new international roaming rules are enforced. In most European countries you can now 'roam like at home' at domestic rates rather than excessive roaming rates.

Note, that Bulgarian providers have blocked some plans for roaming, cap some larger data packages at the domestic rate or still apply surcharges. For specifics about the new regulation check European Union chapter and every provider below.

Mtel (Мтел), formerly Mobitel (Мобилтел)Edit

Mtel

Mtel is owned by Telecom Austria and member of that group.

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.

AvailabilityEdit

SIM card can be acquired for 8 BGN in Mtel stores (locator in Bulgarian)and partner shops. Their default plan without a base rate is called Universal Prima (Универсална Прима). The package includes 1 BGN balance and 1 GB data preloaded valid for 15 days.

SIM cards remain valid for 365 days, loaded credit for 90 days. Top-up vouchers are available from 5 to 60 BGN in many stores.

Data feature packsEdit

Data standard rate is 1.54 BGN per MB. These packages for 30 days with data can be added to the Universal Prima SIM:

Volume max. Speed Price Activation
100 MB 3G 2.99 BGN D2
1.5 GB 4G/LTE 9.99 BGN D3
3 GB + 150 mins 3G 14.99 BGN C4

To activate, text code to 789 or type *123# and choose a bundle. They don't renew automatically.

Data SIMEdit

Their data-only SIM called "Prima Data" (Data Прима) has no voice calls, only data on 4G/LTE too. It can be bought 9.99 BGN with 3 GB valid for 10 days pre-loaded.

Standard rate is 1.54 BGN per MB. You can add these data packages to Prima Data:

Price Volume Period Activation
5.99 BGN 1 GB 10 days 1000 MB
9.99 BGN 2.5 GB 20 days 2500 MB
29.90 BGN 9 GB 30 days 9000 MB

To activate, text code to 1796. Packs don't auto-renew. To check data balance text "Balans" to 1796.

Tourist SIM Edit

Their Tourist SIM called Prima Holiday is sold at 6 BGN in their stores. It comes pre-loaded with 1.5 GB 4G/LTE data and 30 minutes to about 50 countries (listed here), all valid for 10 days. You can add for more:

  • 2 GB for 10 days: 9.99 BGN, activation: DS1
  • 5 GB for 30 days: 29.99 BGN, activation: DS2

Activation is by texting code to 1730.

EU roaming Edit

Data is given out in EU roaming at the domestic price. In packages up to 136 MB per every BGN is given out at the "Roam like at home" rate. Beyond this FUP a price of 0.017 BGN per MB applies. When roaming you will receive a SMS with your exact data allowances.

More infoEdit

Telenor (Теленор, formerly GloBul)Edit

Telenor

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.

AvailabilityEdit

Their new prepaid starter pack is sold for 8 BGN in their or in Germanos stores: Telenor.store locator . Mini SIM, micro and nano SIM are available.

It comes with 100 off-net call minutes, 100 on-net call minutes and 100 on-net SMS  as well as 2 GB of national data on maximum speed, valid for 14 days. The start pack also gives 10 GB of photo and video storage space via the Capture app and 3 BGN of airtime valid for 60 days. All national call minutes and MB can be used with their 4G/LTE network and may be also used for roaming in the EU.

SIM card stays valid for 360 days, loaded credit for 60-90 days. Check balance by texting 'GC' to 125 free of charge.

As a promotion, you get bonuses for top-ups on voice and data SIMs:

  • top-up 6-9 BGN: 100 on-net mins, 350 MB for 14 days
  • top-up 9-14 BGN: 50 dom. mins, 100 on-net mins, 1 GB for 14 days
  • top-up: 15 BGN or more: 100 dom mins, 150 on-net mins, 2 GB for 20 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#

Data Speed Period Price Activation
150 MB 3G 1 day 2.49 BGN D100
1 GB 3G 7 days 3.99 BGN D200
2 GB 4G/LTE 30 days 9.99 BGN D400

To activate, text a SMS with the code to 125.

Data-only SIM Edit

Their new data-only SIM card comes in two starter packs:

  • Mobile Internet 3000: 10 BGN with 3 GB valid for 7 days (SIM activation between 01.06.2017 and 30.09.2017)
  • Mobile Internet 12000: 30 BGN with 12 GB valid for 14 days (SIM activation between 01.06.2017 and 30.09.2017)

It's aimed at tablets and modems, but has voice and text too. Mobile data is only available inside Bulgaria, thus not usable when in roaming outside the territory.

As a top-up promotion Telenor gives 3 GB for 14 days when you top-up 9 BGN or more. This can be added by this package:

  • 1 GB for 14 days: 5 BGN, activation: text 'LS7' to 123

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 all EU destinations, Belarus, Bosnia, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine and 1.5 GB 4G/LTE data, all valid for 7 days. Out of bundle use is 0.19 BGN per MB.

These packages can be added for more data:

  • 2 GB for 7 days: 9.90 BGN - activation: text 'VG7' to 125
  • 3 GB for 30 days: 19.90 BGN - activation: text 'VG30' to 125
  • 10 GB for 30 days: 49.99 BGN - activation: text 'DT10' to 125

EU roaming Edit

Note that data roaming according to Roam like home in the EU doesn't apply to all data add-ons. They are only valid in Bulgaria. On the data-only SIM international roaming is blocked totally. On other SIM cards the standard roaming fee of 0.018 BGN per MB applies. You can buy these Roam & Surf add-ons for EU roaming on the voice and data SIM cards instead:

  • 100 MB for 24 hours: 3.99 BGN
  • 500 MB for 7 days: 10.99 BGN
  • 1 GB for 7 days: 19.99 BGN

Activation is online or by dialing *123# option 6/2.

More infoEdit

Vivacom (Виваком)Edit

Vivacom

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 2016 on 1800 MHz in the towns of Sofia, Pernik and Vratsa, The 4G network will be extended to Varna, Bourgas, Ruse and Plovdiv. By the end of August, the operator is aiming to have 40 of the country’s largest towns within its LTE footprint. All allowances are valid for roaming too, but large packages may be capped.

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 300 mins to Bulgaria, EU, Russia and Turkey and 6 GB data: 6 BGN

Recharge vouchers are available for 10, 20 and 50 BGN

All these plans don't make a difference for data. Furthermore they offer these combo packs called Bravo valid for 20 days:

  • Bravo: 300 Vivacom mins, 300 Vivacom SMS and 4 domestic GB: starter pack 6 BGN including 3 BGN credit. Recharge 6 BGN to get 300 mins. 300 SMS and 600 MB or 15 BGN to get 600 mins and 3 GB.
  • Bravo+: 100 domestic mins and 4 domestic GB: starter pack 10 BGN including 5 BGN credit. Recharge 6 BGN to get 300 mins. 300 SMS and 600 MB or 15 BGN to get 600 mins and 3 GB.

Default rate on Bravo is 0.30 BGN/MB. Note that there is no international roaming on Bravo plans.

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 (except Bravo) above:

Size XS S M L XL
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. These packages can be used for EU roaming according to Roam like home principles.

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 at the price of 10 BGN (If activated until 31.07.2017 you get 100% bonus of data on max.speed, which means total of 5GB ). The following top-up packages valid 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 by sending USSD code *104#. Data packages are valid only inside the territory of Bulgaria, thus not possible to use in roaming.

EU roaming Edit

Note that on Bravo plans and the data-only Easy Traffic all international roaming is blocked. It's only possible on the regular add-on packages or at the default roaming rate of 0.014 BGN/MB.

More infoEdit

  • APN: internet.vivacom.bg
  • Username and Password: VIVACOM
  • Website in Bulgarian only: http://www.vivacom.bg

Max TelecomEdit

MAX
Max 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 2016 domestic 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) . Note that there is no international roaming on Max SIM cards at all. Note, that there is generally no international roaming on Max SIM cards. You can't use them out of the country.

Data packagesEdit

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

More info Edit

Bulsatcom (Булсатком)Edit

Bulsatcom

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 available in their stores (locator), but it's not recommened for travelling, but rather than stationary use and it includes no internatl. roaming.

4G/LTE data offer Edit

Three monthly packages for mobile internet via 4G/LTE SIM card are offered with following parameters:

Package Data Speed Price
Start 20 GB 25 / 8 Mbps 9 BGN
Standart 40 GB 50 / 16 Mbps 11 BGN
Premium 60 GB 75 / 25 Mbps 13 BGN
Max 80 GB 100 / 50 Mbps 16 BGN
Extreme 100 GB 100 / 50 Mbps 19 BGN

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. There is no international roaming on these plans available.

More info Edit

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