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Czech Republic

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BasicsEdit

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 already more than 50 MVNOs have started: COOP mobile, TESCO mobile, mobil.cz, OpenCall and SAZKA mobile are given as examples for good data rates, but there are still 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 MHz on Vodafone: available for all users
  • 800, 1800, 2100, 2600 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 or in many supermarkets. Recharge vouchers can be bought at many kiosks, post offices and petrol stations.

Unlike in many other European countries, you will lose all credit on a Czech SIM card if you don't top up your balance periodically; periodic usage is not enough. A very effective way to use up surplus credit on a Czech SIM card is to spend it on premium SMS for tickets on public transport in Prague. Tickets purchased this way cost the network's standard SMS charge plus the price of the ticket.

Vodafone Edit

Vodafone

Vodafone is the smallest of the 3 nationwide network providers by customers numbers in the Czech Republic. As of 2015 it has the best coverage of combined 3G and 4G. LTE runs on 5 different frequencies covering 92% of population: on 800, 900, 1800, 2100 and 2600 MHz. 900 MHz is used mostly in the countryside and 2100 MHz in some cities but supported by 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.

Start-up 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.

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: 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.

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 the Vodafone CZ network are included.
  • Hotspot for Visitors: "Unlimited" browsing on a MiFi with up to 8 devices for 2 weeks 800 CZK, 4 weeks 1000 CZK or 8 weeks 1500 CZK. This offer is available at Prague Airport store and two shops downtown Prague (Wenceslas square and Palladium store - not kiosk). You have to pay a refundable deposit of 1500 CZK for the device. There is a Fair Use Policy of 20 GB in place for the rental.

More promotional offers can be found here but may be available only in selected shops.

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

O2Edit

O2-logo
O2 still has a good coverage in the country giving you good speed and coverage. 4G/LTE is on 800,1800 and 2100 MHz and available for prepaid coverage map. At the beginning of 2016 LTE coverage was at 82% of the population and combined 3G/4G coverage at 96%.

Start-up costsEdit

O2 sells different starter packs in their stores (Locator) or online, sent to a Czech postal address. Standard SIM cards are available as well as mini or nano SIMs:

  • "NA!DLOUHO", for 199 CZK, with 200 CZK credit included in O2 stores
  • "NA!SÍŤI", for 199 CZK with a 500 MB data package included valid for 30 days with auto-renew and CSK 50 preloaded

You can change to NA!DLOHU by texting 'TARIF NADLOUHU' or to NA!SÍŤI by texting 'TARIF NAVYBER' to 999111.

Top-up vouchers can be found at O2 stores, kiosks, petrol stations and supermarkets in quantities of 200, 300 and 500 CZK. The credit on your SIM card is valid for up to one year, depending on the amount of recharge. Up to CZK 99 is valid for 45 days, CZK 100 to CZK 499 for 6 months, and CZK 500 for one year.

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. To check credit type *124*#.

Data packagesEdit

The NA!DLOUHO plan can added by these data packages in up 4G/LTE up to 185 Mbps:

  • S: 75 MB for 7 days: CZK 49, activation: PR DATA 2
  • M: 400 MB for 7 days: CZK 89, activation: PR DATA 3
  • L: 1.5 GB for 30 days: CZK 299, activation: PR DATA 4
  • XL: 5 GB for 30 days: CZK 549, activation PR DATA 5

For activation text code to 999111. Package will renew every week/month if there is enough credit. To disenable text PR DATA # D (# = 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.

The NA!SÍŤI plan can only be added by another 500 MB package. To add another 500 MB for CZK 99 text 'PR DATA 6' to 999111. This package auto-renews after 30 days. To stop, text 'PR DATA D 6' to 999111.

Data-only SIM Edit

Data-only SIM cards are mostly on 24 months contracts. The offer only one prepaid SIM card for 299 CZK with 1.5 GB valid for 1 month supporting 4G/LTE in up to 110 MB/s.

Technical infoEdit

Once SIM is installed, settings are automatically sent by SMS, from which you can press 'install'

  • APN: internet
  • O2 doesn't allow tethering and disenable it on iOS. On Android phones it's possible. Other providers don't restrict.
  • Website (partly in English): o2 mobile internet

T-MobileEdit

T-mobile

tmobile

Czech 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, 1800, 2100 and 2600 MHz with the same coverage as O2.

AvailabilityEdit

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. A Twist prepaid SIM card is sold for CZK 200 with CZK 200 credit. Online you can get free SIM cards sent to a Czech postal address with CZK 10 credit.

The card has a PIN that is printed on the card holder along with the other codes.

Recharges and credit check Edit

You can recharge in the stores of T-Mobile, Czech Post, Globus, Billa, Rossmann, Electron World and at CSS and Sazka terminals. You will get a bonus of CZK for your first top-up.

Credit stays valid for 12 months. You need to top-up at least 200 CZ every year. Check credit by calling *101#. SIM card has a cut-out lines suggesting that it can be converted to micro- and nano- format.

Data packsEdit

Their default rate (out of bundle) is a cheap 0.40 CZK per MB. These packages are offered:

  • 25 MB in a day (24 hrs) for 24 CZK, activation: 'IDEN A'
  • 60 MB in a week for 49 CZK, activation: 'ITYDEN A'
  • 60 MB in a week plus unlimited social networking for 99 CZK, activation: 'ITYDENPLUS A'
  • 500 MB in a month for 299 CZK, activation: 'IMESIC A'
  • 1.5 GB in a month for 349 CZK, activation: 'IGIGAPUL A'

For activation text code to 4603.

Social networks included are: Badoo, Facebook, Foursquare, GameKit, Google+, Hyves, Imgur, Instagram, LinkedIn, Meebo, MySpace, ooVoo, Pinterest, Poco, Regram, Second Life, snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, VChat and Vine.

EU roaming Edit

T-Mobile has the lowest EU roaming rates in the country right now. Default rate is a 1.65 CZK surcharge per MB to the domestic data rate. These packages are offered:

  • 40 MB for 24 hours: 49 CZK
  • 200 MB for 30 days: 199 CZK
  • 500 MB for 30 days: 399 CZK

Activation is through your online account.

Data-only SIMEdit

T-Mobile offers a data-only SIM called "Twist Online" intended for tablets and laptops. It is sold at their stores and Electron World, Tesco, Makro, CSZ, Comfor, Alza as well as some Czech post offices.

  • SIM-only: 200 CZK with the same credit
  • 3G dongle and SIM card: 899 CZK with 200 CZK credit
  • 3G Mifi and SIM card: 1549 CZK with 200 CZK credit

This SIM doesn't have packages but the lowest default rate in the country at 0.40 CZK per MB.

Technical InfoEdit

  • Tethering: allowed
  • APN: internet.t-mobile.cz

COOP MobilEdit

Coop
COOP 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.

Startup costsEdit

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.

Data packsEdit

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.

Technical infoEdit

  • 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 MobilEdit

Tesco
TESCO 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.

Startup costsEdit

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.

Data packsEdit

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 Edit

Sazkamobil

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

The prepaid SIM card is available for CZK 150 in many stores shown here: tick the shopping basket or online to be sent to a Czech postal address. It comes with the same credit of CZK 150 preloaded.

You need to place a call to activate the SIM card after having put it in your device.

Data packs Edit

If you top up for CZK 300 or more, you get lower call and SMS rates, 1000 Sazka mins and 300 MB data for one month as bonus. For more data, they offer these monthly packages:

  • 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 column 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

mobil.cz Edit

Mobil.cz

Mobil.cz is a MVNO owned by the Czech media group MAFRA. It operates on the T-Mobile network in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE with speeds up to 10 Mbit/s (for coverage see T-Mobile).

Startup costs Edit

The prepaid SIM card is available for CZK 200 at many newsagents like Relay or Valmont in the country(locator) or online to be sent to a Czech postal address. You'll get a triple hybrid card with all three sizes perforated. It comes with a credit of CZK 200 and 200 MB data preloaded valid for one month.

You need to make a paid call to activate the SIM card after having put it in your device. It may take some minutes to hours until the internet connection is established thereafter.

You can top up online by credit card, at SAZKA terminals, at ATMs (holding a Czech bank account) or by vouchers sold at newsagents. Minimum recharge amount is CZK 200. Credit stays valid for 6 months and SIM card needs to be loaded at least every year to stay alive.

Data packs Edit

Mobil.cz advertises with 'free internet'. This means that you get up to 200 MB in high speed valid for 30 days for free, every time you top up. Exceeding this quota, you can again recharge, buy a data package or will be throttled to 32 kbit/s.

Alternatively, you can purchase one of their data packages:

  • 80 MB: 60 CZK for 10 days in CZ
  • 1 GB: 300 CZK for 30 days in CZ - max. speed is increased to 20 Mbit/s.
  • 100 MB EU roaming data: 185 CZK in 30 days (Until June 30th 2016)

Starting June 30th 2016, the data roaming in EU costs will be as following:

  • 6.63 Kc per MB if no data plan was activated
  • 1.65 Kc per MB if the 80 MB or 1 GB data plan was already activated
  • 199 Kc for 200 MB add-on.

To check data consumption and activate packages type *145# or online on your account. To check credit, type *146# on your device.

Additional info Edit

  • APN: internet.t-mobile.cz
  • Username and Password: GPRS
  • An Android App is available to check balances and to manage add-ons.

Kaktus Edit

Kaktus

Kaktus is a MVNO on T-Mobile's network in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE (see coverage at T-Mobile above) with speeds up to 20 Mbps. They started in 2012 and are directed mainly to the urban youth.

Startup costs Edit

The prepaid SIM card is available for CZK 200 online to be sent to Czech postal address and at many newsagents and branded T-Mobile and Žabka stores (Google Maps Viewer). It contains CZK 100 credit for a start.

SIM card needs to be activated by texting 'AKTIVOVAT' to 7350 or online on their website.

Kaktus cards can be topped up in T-Mobile stores, at ATMs and Sazka betting terminals from CZK 50. Credit and SIM card will stay valid for one year. Check credit by *103#.

Data packs Edit

Default data rate is CZK 1 per MB. You can add these packages valid for 30 days by sending the activation text to 7350:

  • 80 MB: CZK 50, activation: BALICEK 80 MB
  • 200 MB: CZK 100, activation: BALICEK 200 MB
  • 500 MB: CZK 200, activation: BALICEK 500 MB
  • 1 GB: CZK 300, activation: BALICEK 1000 MB
  • Travel&Surf: 200 MB for 199 CZK in EU and EEA countries. Activation: ROADATA 200 MB

Once the data allowance is consumed, the speed will be reduced to 64 kbs.

Activation is online on your account (in Czech only), by app or by texting the code above to 7350. You can choose, if your pack shall be once-off or recurrent. Unlimited Facebook is included and not debited from the data allowance. When data is used up, you'll get a message and can choose to buy a new pack, be throttled to slower speed or run on the default data rate.

Additional info Edit

  • APN: internet.t-mobile.cz
  • Website in Czech: Muj Kaktus
  • Apps: Apps are available for Android, iOs and Windows phones allowing to manage data packs.

OpenCall Mobile Edit

Opencall

OpenCall is a favourite among expatriates in the Czech Republic since it started in 2013. This MVNO is run by DH Telecom on the network of Vodafone in 2G and 3G only. It's known for having the lowest interntl. call rates.

Startup costs Edit

The prepaid SIM card is available for free online to be sent to a Czech postal address or from retailers all around the country (list) for CZK 200 with an initial credit of CZK 200.

You need to place a call to activate the SIM card after having put it in your device. OpenCall easy is their default tariff and can be activated by typing *111*0# <call>.

You can top up online by credit card, using SAZKA mobile vouchers (see above), at EVA terminals in service stations, Supercash terminals at post offices or by vouchers sold at their retailers. Minimum recharge amount is CZK 200. SIM card needs to be loaded at least every six months to stay alive.

Data packs Edit

Default rate is the daily pack. Furthermore, they offer these monthly bundles:

  • 25 MB in 24 hours: 25 CZK - default rate
  • 150 MB in 1 month: 99 CZK, activation: *130*1#
  • 300 MB in 1 month: 149 CZK, activation: *130*2#
  • 500 MB in 1 month: 199 CZK, activation: *130*3#
  • 1 GB in 1 month: 299 CZK, activation: *130*4#

From 31.7.2015, monthly data packages are activated with automatic data renew. To stop, type *131*3#. To renew your package ahead of time, type *130*0#. Otherwise, you will be throttled to 32 kbps when the quota is exceeded. Check consumption by typing *130*#.

Technical info Edit

  • APN: inet

Odorik.cz Edit

Odorik-logo-210x76

Odorik.cz is a prepaid VoIP provider and since 2013 MVNO on the T-mobile network. Their novelty is that more than one SIM card or mobile number can share the same prepaid account and balance. But this leads to rather complicated procedures.

Startup costs Edit

A new SIM card is sold at 80 CZK (nano SIM: 100 CZK) without credit plus a refundable deposit for a phone number of 50 CZK. This deposit is given back, when you terminate your number. They send it out all over the world: postage is 15 CZK within Czech Rep., 30 CZK to Europe and 40 CZK to other continents. You need to register and top up your balance online. You can activate the SIM card anytime online, when you need it. If you are in Prague, visit their office located in centre, metro Můstek, opposite the main post office, Jindřišská 7, first floor, open daily 9am-8pm. Another office is located in Brno.

You can check your balance by dialing 4489. You can top-up online by credit card, internatl. wire transfer to a bank account, at Europay and SAZKA terminals (at 6,800 places in Czech. Rep.) or post offices in the Czech Rep. showing a special bar code given to you.

Data packs Edit

Data is active by default: 1 CZK for 1 MB, billing by 1 kB, max. speed throttled to 128/128 kbit/s after first downloaded MB within the day. It is possible to activate one of the following data packages online or by calling 4488:

  • 25 MB: 20 CZK (additional 100 MB is 40 CZK)
  • 150 MB: 69 CZK – max. speed 5 Mbit/s
  • 500 MB: 190 CZK – max. speed 10 Mbit/s
  • 1 GB: 290 CZK – max. speed 20 Mbit/s
  • 1.5 GB: 390 CZK – max. speed 20 Mbit/s
  • 2 GB: 450 CZK – max. speed 20 Mbit/s
  • 3 GB: 490 CZK – max. speed 20 Mbit/s
  • 10 GB: 690 CZK – max. speed 20 Mbit/s

Each data package is valid only till the end of the current calendar month. So avoid purchasing a large package at the end of the month if you don't use it up in few days. Data on up to 3G speeds only.

  • LTE speed is available for an extra fee 10 CZK/month

Further fees Edit

If you spent less then 100 CZK during the last 30 days on your SIM card line (not your account), you will be charged 0.70 CZK fee per day for your active SIM card. However, you may suspend/resume the SIM card online to avoid this fee. The balance, phone number or SIM card doesn't expire, so it can be good option if you visit Czech Rep. from time to time.

Two years after last recharge to your account, another fee will be imposed: 2 CZK per month are charged for inactive accounts.

More Info Edit

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