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 three major Ukrainian networks ceased their operations there and left the peninsula at the end of 2014, even though two of them are 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.
Three new regional operators were appointed by the Russian regulator, but deployment has been slowed down because of international sanctions:
- Win Mobile (by K-Telecom)
- Sevmobile (СевМобайл)
Note, that there is currently no calling or texting from Crimea to Ukrainian +380 numbers. Furthermore no Ukrainian provider can roam on Crimean networks.
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 3G and 4G/LTE coverage is still pachy.
Win Mobile (by K-Telecom)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). They also have licences for 4G/LTE on 800 and 2600 MHz and started with LTE in the city of Simferopol according to the Russian Ministry of Communication in 2016.
Their regular prepaid SIM card called "Свобода общения" (Freedom of Communication) can be bought in their stores (list in Russian).
Data feature packages
Default rate is 10 Rub. per MB and these two data bundles can be added:
- Online Freedom: 50 MB per day: 3 Rub., activation: *809#, deactivation: *792#
- Online month: 1.5 GB per month: 150 Rub., activation: *806#, deactivation: *798#
For their 3G launch, they have introduced the new data-focused tariff line called "Форсаж" (Fast and Furious) containing 5 GB data per month and 5 GB additional night traffic (valid 1am-7am) for 400 Rub.
Note, that data can be used on roaming all over the Russian Federation (on MTS network) on the default rate. Calls or texts to the 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/
This new mobile provider, owned by the regional government, controls some of the landline communication as it's building a link from Russia to the Crimea by a fibre optic cable. In the mobile sector, they received assets of 3mob, Kyivstar and life:-) that have been nationalized. In summer 2015 they were awarded licences by the Russian regulator for a 2G and 3G network in the region. In spite of operations delayed by the international boycott, they launched commercial mobile services in the Crimea region in February 2016. The operator provides services over 128 3G/UMTS base stations based in the main cities across the region on 2100 MHz at up to 21 Mbps. A 2G/GSM network is also launched on the 900 and 1800 MHz bands in February. The total number of base stations will reach around 1000 in the next years.
Prepaid SIM cards have been given out since January 2016 for 200 Rub. with one month package included. Their Basic (Базовый) plan includes 40 MB per day for 100 Rub./month. It can be activated by *111*001#.
Data feature packages
In March 2016 these data packages have been introduced to be added to a plan:
- Интернет S: 100 MB for 1 (calendar) day: 5 Rub., activation: *111*003#
- Интернет M: 8 GB for 1 month: 300 Rub., activation:*111*004#
- Интернет L: 15 GB for 1 month: 500 Rub., activation: *111*005#
- Интернет XL: 30 GB for 1 month: 700 Rub., activation: *111*006#
Using more than the package volume, your speed will be throttled to 64 kbit/s.
- APN: internet.ktkru.ru
- Website in Russian: http://ktkru.ru/
Sevmobile is a joint venture of the company ITProgress, holding a 51 percent stake, and Sevtelecom, owning 49 percent. In February 2016 SevMobile launched a 3G-only network in the city of Sevastopol using old 3Mob infrastructure on 2100 MHz.
They sell these monthly packages with data:
- my choice: 50 MB/day data, 300 mins and 100 SMS within the network: 100 Rub.
- my internet 5: 5 GB data: 200 Rub.
- my internet 15: 15 GB data: 400 Rub.
- my internet unlimited: unlimited data: 900 Rub.
- APN: internet.sts.ru
- Website: http://www.sevmobile.ru
Volna Mobile (Волна мобайл)
Mobile operator KTK Telecom, working under the Volna Mobile brand, started providing services in the Crimea region in June 2016. The operator covers several cities on the peninsula: Sevastopol, Simferopol and Yalta. Services are planned to start in Evpatoria, Kerch, Feodosia, Alushta and Sudak by September, and full coverage of the region is expected by the end of the year (coverage map).
The operator doesn't plan to conclude roaming agreements with other Crimea-based operators, so subscribers won't be able to use services in the non-covered areas.
They offer three monthly plans for prepaid:
- Sun (Солнце): no subscription price, data: 5 RUB per MB
- Sea (Mope): 150 RUB - including 3 GB and 300 regional mins
- Wind (Ветер): 300 RUB - including 10 GB
Outside data rate is 5 RUB per GB. On all plans the "prolong speed" add-on can be added with 1 GB for 50 RUB by typing *502*1#.
- APN: internet
- Website in Russian: http://volnamobile.ru