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Flag of Crimea

Basics

In early 2014, the Crimean Peninsula or Crimea became de facto part of the Russian Federation, although United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262 states that it remains de jure part of Ukraine. Crimea is now integrated into the Russian telephone system. The Ukrainian networks ceased their operations there and left the peninsula at the end of 2014, even though two of them are still Russian-owned. Any network or brand operating in Crimea faces international sanctions; therefore the Russian-owned networks now operating in Crimea use neither their former Ukrainian nor their Russian brand names.

This status of Crimea is still seen very differently by various people. Some see it as an annexation or occupation, others as a separation determined democratically in a referendum by the population. Please understand: This is not a forum to state your personal political point of view about it. However, the Ukraine page was frequently changed one or the other way.

Irrespective of one's view of the status of Crimea, this page is concerned only with telephony. From a mobile telephony point of view, Crimea is de facto a separate entity with its own local mobile networks, similar to Hong Kong, Macau, French overseas departments, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. Therefore like these other territories, it was decided to cover Crimea under its own page. This has the added benefit of avoiding any indication that Crimea might be part of either Ukraine or Russia.

These new regional operators were appointed by the Russian regulator, but deployment has been slowed down because of international sanctions:

  • Win Mobile (by K-Telecom)
  • Volna Mobile (Волна мобайл by KTK Telecom)
  • Crimeatelecom (Крымтелеком)
  • Sevmobile (СевМобайл)

Note, that there is currently no calling or texting from Crimea to Ukrainian (+380) numbers. Furthermore no Ukrainian provider is allowed to roam on Crimean networks. All mobile numbers come with a Russian prefix (+7) and the phone system is now fully connected to Russia.

The Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media has announced that mobile network coverage has reached 97% of the area in the Crimea region and in the Federal city of Sebastopol which forms a separate administrative unit, but most 4G/LTE coverage is still very pachy.

About 7,234 base stations belonging to local mobile operators are available in the Crimea in mid-2018. The figure has grown by 3% year-on-year. Operator K-Telecom (Win Mobile) raised the figure by 11% to 2,952 base stations. The increase at KTK-Telecom (Volna Mobile) was by 1% to 3,561 base stations. Crimeatelecom owned 641 base stations (+1%). Elemtelecom and Sevtelecom owned 80 and 124 base stations respectively. Of all these stations 3,567 are GSM, 3,526 on 3G and only 265 on 4G/LTE, which is only provided by Win Mobile and Volna Mobile so far.

Because of the international boycott, major Russian providers don't operate on the peninsula and most providers outside Russia don't offer international roaming on any Crimean operator. You will need to buy a SIM card from either a Russian operator for roaming or a local Crimean operator to have phone connection in Crimea.

In 2018 all on-net roaming charges within Russian regions were finally discontinued. This doesn't apply to Crimea, because Crimea's networks are not provided by major Russian providers, but through roaming agreements with local operators instead, that are not bound to this rule. 

Win Mobile (by K-Telecom)

Win mobile
After MTS Ukraine left the region, Win Mobile took over in 2014 and started to provide a 2G-only network on 900 and 1800 MHz. In summer 2015 they started 3G on 2100 MHz in a few places (2G 3G coverage map) and cover most of the peninsula now. They started with 4G/LTE on 800 and 2600 MHz (bands 7 and 20) in the city of Simferopol in 2016.

Availability

Their regular prepaid SIM card can be bought in their stores (list in Russian).

You can top-up at payment terminals shown here.

Plans

They have introduced these monthly plans:

  • "Свобода общения" (Freedom of Communication): is their base plan without included allowances. Standard rate is 10 RUB per MB, but you can add packages
  • "Форсаж" (Fast and Furious): a new data-focused tariff with 15 GB data per month for 400 RUB
  • "На море" (on the sea) where data is debited in 100 MB chunks for 10 RUB each without packages offered.
  • "Твой" (Yours") with 5 GB data valid 7am-1am and another 5 GB 1am-7am for 250 RUB

Data feature packages

Default rate is 10 RUB per MB and these data bundles can be added:

  • Online Day: 10 MB per day: 15 RUB, activation: *805#, deactivation: *796#
  • Online Freedom: 50 MB per day: 3 RUB + 30 RUB for connection, activation: *809#, deactivation: *792#
  • Online Month: 3.5 GB per month: 150 RUB, activation: *806#, deactivation: *798#
  • Online Mix: 8 GB per month: 250 RUB, activation: *821*1#, deactivation: *821*2#

Beyond these limits data speed is reduced to 32 kbps. Packages auto-renew if not deactivated.

More information

  • Data can be used on roaming all over the Russian Federation (on MTS network) on the default rate of 10 Rub. per MB. Calls or texts to Ukraine are not possible.
  • Win Mobile is connected to MTS Russia and SIM cards from MTS Krasnodar and Win Mobile can be used identically.
  • APN: internet
  • Website in Russian: http://www.mobile-win.ru/

Volna Mobile (Волна мобайл)

Volna

Mobile operator KTK Telecom, working under the Volna Mobile brand, started providing services in Crimea in 2016. The operator covers several cities on the peninsula: Sevastopol, Simferopol and Yalta and most of the region by now (coverage map) with 3G and some with 4G/LTE. In 2017 they started to cooperate with MTS for roaming in Russia.

Availability

Their SIM cards are avaiable at all points of sale (shop locator) and top-ups at their payment terminals (locator). Check credit by *101#.

Plans

They offer three monthly plans for prepaid:

  • Sun (Солнце): no subscription price, data: 5 RUB per MB or add packages
  • Sea (Mope): 150 RUB - including 3 GB data
  • Wind (Ветер): 300 RUB - including 10 GB data

Outside data rate is 5 RUB per GB.

Data feature packages

For (more) data these monthly packs can be added to the plans above:

  • 1 GB: 50 RUB
  • 5 GB: 200 RUB
  • 10 GB: 300 RUB

More info

Crimeatelecom (Крымтелеком)

Crimeatelekom

Crimeatelecom, owned by the regional government, controls some of the landline communication while it's building a link from Russia to the Crimea by a fibre optic cable.

In the mobile sector, they received assets of Ukrainian providers that have been nationalized. In 2015 they were awarded licences by the Russian regulator for a 2G and 3G network in the region. They launched commercial mobile services in the Crimea region in 2016. The operator provides services over 3G base stations based in the main cities across the region on 2100 MHz at up to 14.4 Mbps. A 2G network was also launched on 900 and 1800 MHz, no 4G/LTE yet.

Availability

Prepaid SIM cards have been given out for 200 RUB with one monthly package included in their stores (list).

Plans

These monthly plans are offered:

  • Мой Крым (My Crimea): is their standard plan without allowaces included. Internet is at 5 RUB per MB, but you can add packages, activation: *111*129#
  • Контакт (Contact): is a plan with 5 GB and 100 SMS included for 150 RUB, activation: *111*130#
  • Супер Контакт (Super Contact): has 100 regional minutes, 12 GB and 300 SMS included for 300 RUB, activation: *111*123#

Data feature packages

These data packages have been introduced to be added to one of the plans above:

  • Интернет S: 100 MB for 1 (calendar) day: 5 RUB, activation: *111*003#
  • Интернет M: 15 GB for 1 month: 300 RUB, activation:*111*004#
  • Интернет L: 25 GB for 1 month: 500 RUB, activation: *111*005#
  • Интернет XL: 50 GB for 1 month: 650 RUB, activation: *111*006#

Using more than the package volume, your speed will be throttled to 64 kbit/s.

More information

  • APN: internet.ktkru.ru

SevMobile (СевМобайл)

Sevmobile

SevMobile is a joint venture of the local company ITProgress and Sevtelecom. In 2016 SevMobile launched a 2G/3G network in the city of Sevastopol only using old 3Mob infrastructure on 2100 MHz (coverage map), no 4G/LTE so far.

Availabiliry

You can buy starters in their stores (locator) in Sevastopol for around 80 RUB. Coverage is mainly in and round the city (map) so far.

Plans

They sell these monthly plans with data:

  • Мой выбор (my choice): 50 MB/day data, 300 mins and 100 SMS within the network: 100 RUB/month
  • Мой город (my city): with unlimited internet at 64 kbit/s: 180 RUB
  • Мой Интернет 8 (my internet 8): 8 GB data: 200 RUB
  • Мой Интернет 20 (my internet 20): 20 GB data: 400 RUB
  • Мой Интернет Безлимит (my internet unlimited): unlimited data: 900 RUB

Overuse is 100 RUB for each additional 2 GB.

Data feature packages

You can add to my choice and my city plans:

  • 4 GB: 150 RUB, activation: *111*107*1#
  • 10 GB: 300 RUB, activation: *111*108*1#
  • unlimited for a day: 50 RUB, activation: *111*110*1#
  • unlimited for a month: 850 RUB, activation: *111*109*1#

To these packages as extra data and to my internet plans they offer one extension pack:

  • 2 GB: 100 RUB, activation: *111*106*1#

More info