The Czech Republic has 3 network operators:
- Vodafone (British-owned)
- O2 (owned by PPF)
- T-Mobile (owned by German Deutsche Telekom)
Since a few years MVNOs are starting up: COOP mobile, TESCO mobile and SAZKA mobile are given as examples for good data rates, but there are more on the market.
2G/GSM covers all of the country on 900 and 1800 MHz like in the rest of Europe. 3G/UMTS is on 2100 MHz in most of the areas. 4G/LTE is on:
- 800/900/1800/2100/2600 MHz on Vodafone: available for all users
- 800/1800 MHz on O2 and T-Mobile: available for all users
Vodafone has the best 4G coverage in 2015. According to the Czech Telecommunication Office 93% of population on 76% of the territory get Vodafone's LTE. O2 and T-Mobile build up their LTE together and reach 82% on 43% in 2015.
SIM cards are available in the stores of the network operators with photo ID (only Vodafone has anonymous prepaid plans - no registration needed) or in many supermarkets. Recharge vouchers can be bought at many kiosks, post offices and petrol stations.
Vodafone is the smallest of the 3 nationwide network providers by customers numbers in the Czech Republic. As of January 2015 it has the best coverage of combined 3G and 4G. LTE runs on 5 different frequencies: 800, 900, 1800, 2100 and 2600 Mhz. 900 MHz is used mostly in the countryside and 2100 Mhz in some cities but supported by very few phones sold in Europe (see Network Compatibility of common phones). If you are not sure of the frequencies supported by your phone, you can rent Vodafone Hotspot for Visitors, which supports all the frequencies in Czech, see here. For coverage map see here. Vodafone's LTE is called "Turbo Internet" and is available without surcharges.
Startup costs Edit
A prepaid Czech Vodafone startup SIM cards cost 200 CZK and come with an equal amount of credit. The default PIN is 1234 and the SIM is automatically activated when placed in your phone. The SIM is available in Vodafone stores (store locator) and kiosks. If you buy a SIM at the Vodafone store, you may activate any special service such as data right away.
Top-ups are not possible online with a non-Czech credit card, but you may pay with credit card at some shops or ATMs. Vouchers are sold by post offices, kiosks, supermarkets, betting halls etc. for CZK 250, 500 and 1200. It doesn't matter which prepaid line from Vodafone you buy, as long as your are using data only as the packages are all the same for prepaid.
Offers for visitors Edit
Vodafone, as the only provider in Czech, has special prepaid solutions specifically for the needs of the visitors of the Czech Republic. If you want to use internet in the Czech Republic and you fly to Prague, it is the best choice for you to stop by the Vodafone store at the Vaclav Havel Airport at Terminal 2, which is only a 3-minute walk from Terminal 1. Ask the information desk for directions. It is opened 7am-9pm every day (except holidays) and English is spoken. Special stores for the Visitors SIM.
- Data SIM for Visitors: 10 GB within 30 days for CZK 800. Unlimited calls to domestic landlines and within the Vodafone CZ network are included.
More promotional offers may be found here but may be available only in selected shops.
Data packages Edit
You can sign up for a data option when you buy the SIM, but be sure not to use data until you get a confirmation SMS. The best way for signing up is at the store when you buy the SIM or online on the Self Care Center (which is available in English) here: Time-based offers:
- internet for a day: 25.21 CZK for up to 25 MB/day (default tariff)
- internet for a week; 49.41 CZK for up to 60 MB/week
When volume is reached, speed will be reduced to 20 kbps. Volume-based offers valid for a month:
- 500 MB: CZK 249
- 1.5 GB: CZK 399
- 4 GB: CZK 519
- 10 GB: CZK 999
When data volume is used up and sufficient balance is available, data FUP is extended. Once a data plan is activated, it remains in effect for one month (till the end of a month with prepaid cards) and is renewed automatically until you cancel it yourself (if you have a credit balance). If you do not have enough credit at the time of renewal, your rate will automatically changed to the daily default rate.
Technical details Edit
- APN: internet
- SIM sizes: comes as flexi SIM, so both standard and micro SIMs are supported. Nano SIM is also available in all Vodafone stores.
- tethering: yes, allowed
- check balance with *22#
- dedicated English line (opened on weekdays): +420 776 975 324
O2EditO2 still has a good coverage in the country giving you good speed and coverage. 4G/LTE is on 800 and 1800 Mhz and available for prepaid coverage map.
O2 stores will sell you a SIM card for around 300 CZK: O2 Store Locator with the same credit preloaded. These are all PIN protected and the PIN is printed on the frame you press the SIM out. To get your phone settings, text "IVMNASTAV" to 999555. You will receive an SMS shortly afterwards with details. If asked for a PIN code, use 12345 or 1234. Top up vouchers can be found at o2 stores, kiosks, petrol stations and supermarkets for CZK 200, 300 and 500.
All tariffs can added by the same data packages, so the product lines only differ for calls and texts. You can add the following packages.
- Internet on your mobile S: 50 MB in 7 days for CZK 50, activation code: IVMS
- Internet on your mobile M: 375 MB in 7 days for CZK 90, activation code: IVMM
- Internet on your mobile L: 3 GB in 30 days for CZK 550, activation code: IVML
- internet on your mobile XL: 10 GB in 30 days for CZK 800, activation code: IVMXL
For activation text the code to 999111. The package will renew every week/month if there is enough credit. To disenable text DIV# (# = package size) to 999111.
The default rate outside of package is CZK 30 for 24 hours and 30 MB with the first hour charged a maximum of CZK 15. After reaching this or the package limit, speed will be reduced to 16 kbps.
- APN: internet
- Check balance with *104*#
- Generally standard SIM cards are available as well as mini or nano SIM.
- O2 doesn't allow tethering and disenable it on iOs. On Android phones it is possible. Other providers don't restrict.
- Website (partly in English): o2 mobile internet
T-MobileEditCzech T-Mobile has good 2G and 3G coverage throughout the Czech Republic rivalling with O2 and Vodafone: coverage map. 4G/LTE is now also open for prepaid on 800 and 1800 MHz.
Their prepaid line is called Twist and sold in T-mobile stores store locator and the markets of Mall, Alza, Comfor, CZC, Tesco, Space Electro and Electro World. Top ups can be made in a lot of agencies.
A Twist prepaid SIM card is sold for CZK 200 with the CZK 100 to 200 balance. The card has a PIN that is printed on the card holder along with the other codes.
Their default rate (out of bundle) is a cheap 0.40 CZK per MB.
- 25 MB in a day (24 hrs) for 24 CZK (daily cap)
- 40 MB in a week for 39 CZK (weekly cap)
- 300 MB in a month for 239 CZK
T-Mobile offers a data-only SIM called "Twist Online" intended for tablets and laptops. It is sold for CZK 200 with the same credit at their stores and Electro World, Tesco, Makro, CSZ, Comfor, Alza as well as Czech post offices. This SIM doesn't have packages but the lowest default rate in the country: 0.40 CZK per MB.
- SIM sizes: the Twist SIM has a cut-out line suggesting that it can be converted to Micro-SIM format
- Tethering: allowed
- APN: internet.t-mobile.cz
COOP MobilEditCOOP Mobil is a MVNO operating on the Czech Vodafone network on 2G and 3G. It is sold exclusively at the COOP supermarkets throughout the Czech Republic: store locator. Top ups can be made there too and in some kiosks. Vouchers are available for CZK 150, 250 and 400.
The prepaid SIM card in tariff "Start" is sold for CZK 200 with the same balance on it. Startup credit is valid for 3 months.
The default tariff is CZK 20 for 25 MB per day = 24 hours. After data is used up the speed will be reduced. Further 25 MB packs can be bought online for 20 CZK. Two monthly packs are available:
- 300 MB for 159 CZK, upsize: 100 MB for 60 CZK
- 1 GB for 399 CZK, no upsize.
All the add-ons and monthly packages must be booked by calling costumer service *55 free of charge which may be tricky in English.
- SIM stays active outgoing for 3 months and incoming for 6 months after the last top up
- credit stays valid for 3 month
- APN: internet
TESCO MobilEditTESCO Mobil is the MVNO from Czech's leading cash'n'carry supermarket chain. It is operating on the fair O2 network in 2G and 3G and sold exclusively at the supermarkets throughout the Czech Republic: TESCO store locator. Top ups can be made there and in kiosks, petrol stations or the drugstore chain Rossmann.
The prepaid SIM card is sold for CZK 150 with the same credit on it in their stores or online to be sent to Czech address. The startup credit is valid for 3 months.
The default tariff is the daily tariff. After data is used up the speed will be reduced to 200 kbps.
The following packs are available (for all new subscribers from March 2015):
- 50 MB per calendar day: 19 CZK, default rate
- 100 MB in 30 days for 99 CZK, activation: MINI A
- 300 MB in 30 days for 199 CZK, activation: MIDI A
- 1 GB in 30 days for 299 CZK, activation: MAXI A
Speed is capped for the two small packs at 8/2 Mb/s, for the large packs at 20/2 Mb/s. To activate text code to 999346. The bundle will renew automatically every month if you have credit. When volume is used up, you can reset the volume for 79 CZK by texting INTERNET R to 999346.
Technical info Edit
- SIM stays valid for 1 year after the last top-up
- APN: internet
SAZKAmobil of the betting agency SAZKA started in 2014 as MVNO. It operates on the Vodafone network in 2G and 3G only.
Startup costs Edit
You need to place a call to activate the SIM card after having put it in your device.
Data packs Edit
Default tariff is the daily rate of CZK 20 for 25 MB. For more data, they offer these monthly packages:
- 150 MB: CZK 150.
- 300 MB: CZK 200.
- 500 MB: CZK 250.
- 1 GB: CZK 350.
To book a package, you have to this online on your account. This might be tricky, as it's only in Czech. First, you need to click the right columm to get a password by SMS to your phone. Then you need to put in your phone number and the password to access the client's area and book a package.
Technical info Edit
- APN: sazkamobil