There are currently three mobile operators in Hungary and a fourth is planned:
- Telekom (a.k.a Magyar Telekom, formerly T-Mobile/Westel)
- Telenor (formerly Pannon)
A fourth license on 1800 MHz to Romanian-backed RCS&RDS (brand name: digi or digi.mobil) was given out in 2016, but they haven’t started yet.
2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G is on 900 and 2100 MHz. All three carriers are offering 4G/LTE services since 2015 on 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz. LTE-A is available by all three providers in the bigger cities up to 300Mb/s. Telekom and Telenor have network sharing agreement for 4G on 800 MHz outside of Budapest and have therefore almost the same coverage on 4G/LTE.Generally Hungary has a quite good coverage with 4G/LTE networks and high speeds in most areas.
SIM cards are available in shops of the providers. Bring your photo ID for registering and some time as you have to give a lot of signatures and paperwork for prepaid cards too.
Topping up prepaid SIM cards in Hungary always works by giving the phone number while buying it, so keep your Hungarian mobile number at hand.
Two MVNOs operate on Telekom network, blue mobile sold in Lidl supermarkets and MOL Mobile of the fuel station chain. The problem for foreigners is that MVNO registration is so far possible only over the phone in Hungarian only for Hungarian citizens. That's why purchase and registration in the stores of the providers are highly recommended instead and the MVNOs are not listed as long as this procedure is so unappealing to foreigners.
In 2016 parliament passed stricter rules on the use of SIM cards. According to the new law, subscription for prepaid mobile phone services must not be passed onto a third party without informing the service provider. In addition, the identity of customers has to be checked by service providers before signing up. Existing subscriptions have to be closed, if the identity of the customers is not checked by July 2017. Furthermore, operators must report any suspected criminal activity to the authorities.
Rules have been again tightened in 2017 after thousands of SIM cards registered on a dead person turned up in an anti-terrorist raid. Now, additionally the number of SIM cards registered to one person is limited to 10 SIM cards per individual subscriber and 50 SIMs for business subscribers. Customers who currently have prepaid subscriptions in excess of these limits must declare which ones they intend to keep; prepaid cards in excess of these limits will be terminated as of July 2017 (more info for affected customers see here).
In July 2017 the regulator has announced that 68% of the country’s prepaid mobile SIM cards were verified by the legal deadline. Of the remaining 32% of prepaid SIMs, which have now had their network services suspended, a significant number were assumed to be inactive or unwanted cards, but users who missed the deadline can still re-activate any unverified SIM and recover any credit balance on the account by providing their ID data and signing an agreement with their network operator, with no time limit set for doing so.
From 2018, all the operators must verify the identity of their prepaid customers on a yearly basis. The deadline of the verification is the anniversary of your prepaid contract. Before that, customers are notified by text messages, and the verification can be done online.
EU roaming Edit
Telekom a.k.a. Magyar Telekom (formerly T-Mobile/Westel)EditTelekom a.k.a. Magyar Telekom, owned by Deutsche Telekom, is the largest operator and market leader in Hungary. It has the best and fastest network with best coverage on 2G and 4G, but the worst 3G coverage (only about 60%) on 2100 MHz up to 42 Mbit/s. 4G is available on 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz and covers 98% of the population coverage map in up to 150 Mbit/s.
Availability and start-upEdit
The prepaid SIM cards are called Domino and come in different varieties sold at their stores called T-Pont (Store locator (hungarian)), online and other outlets:
Domino Quick Edit
Starter packs are sold for 900 HUF with 500 MB and 40 dom. minutes and 1990 HUF with 1 GB and 80 dom. mins at some petrol stations like OMV and MOL, Media Markt, Tesco, Auchan, Edigital, Telekom stores and newspaper kiosks. Be aware that, when you buy a starter pack as a foreigner, you have to go to a T-Point store for registration showing your photo ID or it will be shut off soon. So it's recommended to buy it there right away. All three SIM card sizes are sold.
Top-ups can be made T-Points or at newsagents, post offices and service stations. Vouchers of 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 HUF are available. You can also refill via the internet using a credit card. (The procedure is Hungarian only, but is workable using a translator)
To find out your own number, type *121#. To check your credit balance type *102#. To check remaining data balance, there's no code, but see the comments below to discover how to check via their website.
The default tariff for data on all Domino Cards is 181 HUF per calendar day for 10 MB. The name of the package is Go Napinet and you need to deactivate it first, before you change to other data packages. For deactivation send the text -GONAPINET to 1430. You can activate it again by texting +GONAPINET to 1430.
Domino Fix Edit
This is their new default plan. Internet can be added by these packages which can be used in Hungary and all over the EU:
|200 MB||24 hours||255 HUF||by app, online|
|1 GB||24 hours||525 HUF||by app, online|
|200 MB||30 days||444 HUF||+ NET200MB|
|200 MB||unlimited||533 HUF||by app, online|
|500 MB||30 days||889 HUF||+ NET500MB|
|500 MB||unlimited||1060 HUF||by app, online|
|1 GB||30 days||1420 HUF||+ NET1GB|
|1 GB||unlimited||1640 HUF||by app, online|
|4 GB||30 days||3290 HUF||+ NET4GB|
|4 GB||unlimited||3559 HUF||by app, online|
Packages can be activated online on your account, by Telekom app, by calling 1777 or some by texting code to 1777. Check data balance by *102. For technical reasons, the same package cannot be renewed ahead of time.
EU roaming Edit
From September 2017 domestic allowances of daily or monthly data packages shown above can be used for roaming in the EU too without surcharges.
- Website: http://www.telekom.hu (English site is not updated, use Hungarian site and a translator)
- Call 1777 (for free) and press 9 for an English speaking support agent
- APN: internet.telekom
Telenor (formerly Pannon) Edit
Telenor in Hungary still owned by Telenor group, but is being sold to the Czech PPF Group. It has pretty good coverage throughout the country. Their 3G is on 900 and 2100 MHz and covers about the 85% of the population in up to 42 Mbit/s and their 4G/LTE is available on 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz covering 99% of the population up to 150 Mbit/s: coverage map at the end of 2017.
The starter pack is of the default MyStart prepaid plan is HUF 490.
Refill cards of 1,500, 3,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 15,000 HUF are available at their stores (locator) and many more locations.
Data feature packsEdit
The following monthly data packs can be activated for more data:
|200 MB||1 day||200 HUF||200MBNAPI|
|500 MB||300 HUF||500MBNAPI|
|1 GB||500 HUF||1GBNAPI|
|3 GB||900 HUF||3GBNAPI|
|200 MB||7 days||300 HUF||200MBHETI|
|500 MB||500 HUF||500MBHETI|
|1 GB||900 HUF||1GBHETI|
|3 GB||1500 HUF||3GBHETI|
|200 MB||30 days||500 HUF||200MB|
|500 MB||900 HUF||500MB|
|1 GB||1500 HUF||1GB|
|3 GB||3500 HUF||3GB|
For activation, text code to 1744. Packages can be used in EU roaming too without surcharges. All packages auto-renew.
Data-only SIM: Hipernet PraktikumEdit
Their prepaid data-only SIM is called Hipernet Praktikum. It costs 990 HUF in their stores. Data default rate is at 7 HUF per MB. These two packages are available:
|2,786 HUF||1 GB||45 days|
|5,574 HUF||5 GB||45 days|
Data package can be used within the 45 days following activation. If you do not use it during this time, the balance of the data volume is lost. If you order a new data package prior to the expiration of the 45-day period, you will lose the remaining data quota in your previously ordered data package.
When you have used up 80% and 100% of the data quota, they will send you an SMS reminder, so you can always keep track of your current data traffic. Hipernet Praktikum does not support voice calls, but it can be used to send SMS messages and works in EU roaming too.
EU roaming Edit
Telenor is giving out all their data packages at domestic rates for roaming in the EU.
- Website in English: https://www.telenor.hu/en
- APN: online
Vodafone is the smallest provider in Hungary what the number of customers is concerned. It covers about 98.5% of the population on 2G and 3G and about 92% on 4G.
For 3G your device should be capable of the 900 MHz frequency, because most of its 3G antennas are based on it up to 21 Mbit/s. 4G/LTE network started in 2015 on 800 MHz and now additionally on 1800 and 2600 MHz available for prepaid users in up to 75 Mbit/s: Coverage map
Their prepaid SIM has different plans and are called Tuti, Max S, M, L or Net+. You can change plans when you text 'TV' followed by the name of the plan to 1270.
Top-ups can be made by vouchers or online on the "top-up centre" using international credit cards.
- Tuti is their new base plan without any included allowances.
- For the Max plan three different monthly combo plans with included domestic minutes and texts are available:
- MAX S: 2.000 HUF, no data included, 30 dom. minutes or SMS, activation: TV MAX S
- MAX M: 2,869 HUF, 100 MB, minutes or SMS, activation: TV MAX M
- MAX L: 3,653 HUF, 1 GB, 100 minutes or SMS, activation: TV MAX L
- Net+ is another voice and data plan with a 1 GB base rate for 1230 HUF per month. You can change to this plan by texting "TV NET+" to 1270.
Data feature packages Edit
For more data, they offer these packages to all Tuti, Max and Net+ plans:
|100 MB||7 days||n./a.||266 HUF||HETI100||XHETI100|
|300 MB||30 days||667 HUF||444 HUF||HAVI300||XHAVI300|
|1 GB||1601 HUF||1245 HUF||HAVI1000||XHAVI1000|
|5 GB||5338 HUF||3559 HUF||HAVI5000||XHAVI5000|
Activation is by texting code to 1270.
To renew ahead of time text "UJRARENDEL" (which means reorder) to 1270 free of charge, but don't forget that before sending this code, you should have enough funds on your balance. In case you still have leftover minutes, texts or data on your current balance, they will be added to your new one. Package balance can be checked for free on your online account or by texting ‘IEGYENLEG' to 171.
Data-only SIM Edit
Data-only SIM starter package called Netjegy is sold at 2,813 HUF including a weekly ticket worth of 2,313 HUF. All top-ups of more than 2000 HUF give a 1 year validity to the SIM. They only offer a weekly ticket:
- 2313 HUF for 1 GB and 7 days
This can be renewed as often as you like. But when you renew the remaining data on the old ticket will be lost. Also take care that no EU roaming is offered on this tariff.
EU roaming Edit
From summer 2017 all domestic allowances and add-on packs on the Max, Tuti and Net+ plans can be used in EU roaming too without surcharges, but not the Netjegy data-only plan
- APN: vitamax.internet.vodafone.net
- Website in English: https://www.vodafone.hu/english not showing all offers (only in Hungarian completely)