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Bulgaria

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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.

Mtel (Мтел), formerly Mobitel (Мобилтел)Edit

Mtel

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 5-60 BGN in many stores.

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 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 2 GB valid for 10 days pre-loaded. For every top-up of 10 BGN you get 2 GB for 10 days.

You can add these data packages to Prima Data:

Data package Price Volume Period Activation
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 packages are 2.56 BGN per MB. To activate, text code to 1796. Packs will auto-renew. To stop, text 'STOP' to 1796. To check data balance text "Balans" to 1796.

Tourist SIM Edit

In 2016 they introduced Prima Holiday for tourists. It's sold at 6 BGN in their stores. It comes pre-loaded with 1 GB domestic 4G data, 20 SMS and 20 minutes to these countries: Bulgaria, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Germany, Sweden, Greece, Estonia, Italy, Turkey, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, USA, France, Poland, Holland, Hungary, Czech Rep., Romania, Israel, Canada, Portugal, Cyprus, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Georgia, United Kingdom valid for 10 days.

For a top-up of 15 BGN you'll get 2.5 GB data, 50 SMS and 25 mins to these countries valid for 10 days. Default data rate is 0.28 BGN per MB.

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 as a promotion.

AvailabilityEdit

Their prepaid starter pack is sold for 6 BGN in their or in Germanos stores: Telenor.store locator . Mini SIM, micro and nano SIM are available.

It comes with 3 BGN credit, 100 Telenor mins and 1 GB all 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.

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

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 max. Speed Period Price Activation
150 MB 3G 1 day 1.99 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 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 countries are included: Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Iceland, Spain, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, Poland , Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Hungary, Finland, France, Netherlands, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech Rep., Sweden, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, UK.

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

Data SIM Edit

Aimed at tablets and routers, they sell a data SIM too called Mobile Internet 2000. Starter is 9.90 BGN and it comes with 2 GB data and 200 MB for Viber valid for 7 days. It contains voice and text too, but at higher prices.

These packages can be added for more data:

  • 2 GB for 7 days: 6.90 BGN - activation: text 'LS7' to 123
  • 3 GB for 30 days: 19.90 BGN - activation: text 'LS30' to 123
  • 10 GB for 30 days: 49.90 BGN - activation: text 'LS10' to 123

Internet settingsEdit

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.

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

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:

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.

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. 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 by sending code *104#.

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 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) .

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 rather than stationary use.

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.

More info Edit

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