There are three mobile operators in Hungary and a fourth is planned:
- Telekom a.k.a. Magyar Telekom (formerly T-Mobile/Westel)
- Telenor (formerly Pannon)
- Digi (planned to launch in 2018 on 4G/LTE)
2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G is on 900 and 2100 MHz
All three carriers are offering 4G/LTE services since 2015: Telekom is on 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz, Telenor is on 800 and 1800 MHz and Vodafone is on 800 MHz. LTE-A avalaible at Telekom and Telenor up to 300Mb/s mostly in the capital. Telekom and Telenor have network sharing agreement for 4G on 800MHz outside of Budapest so they have almost the same coverage on 4G.
The 4G/LTE networks of all providers are open for their prepaid users.
A fourth license on 1800 MHz to Romanian-backed RCS&RDS (brand name: digi.mobil) was given out recently, but they haven’t started yet. This is planned in 2018 on 4G/LTE.
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 and MOL Mobile. The problem for foreigners the registration is possible only by phone in Hungarian, after they will send a letter with a verfication code to an Hungarian postal address or block the SIM soon after. That's why purchase and registration in the stores of the providers are highly recommended instead.
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 SIMs 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.
EU roaming Edit
Telekom a.k.a. Magyar Telekom (formerly T-Mobile/Westel)EditTelekom a.k.a. Magyar Telekom (formerly called T-Mobile/Westel), owned by Deutsche Telekom, is the largest operator and market leader in Hungary. It has the best and fastetst network with best coverage on 2G and on 4G /but it has the worst 3G coverage (about 60%)/ on 2100 MHz up to 42Mb/s. 4G is available on 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz and covers 98% of the population: [map] up to 150Mb/s.
Availability and start-upEdit
The prepaid SIM cards are called "Domino" and come in different varieties sold at their stores called T-Point (Store locator (hungarian)), online and other outlets:
Domino Quick: 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 USSD code *121#. To check your credit balance type USSD code *102#. [and there is no USSD to check remaining data balance]
You have the choice of three different tariff plans. Default tariff is Domino Fix, that can be changed to Domino 5 or Domino Surf in your self service account.
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.
Be aware, that data with Telekom prepaid is billed in 10KB increments, rounded up in every 10 minutes.
Domino Fix Edit
This is their new default plan. Internet can be added by these packages which can be used in Hungary and allo over the EU:
|200 MB||24 hours||290 HUF||see below|
|1 GB||24 hours||590 HUF||see below|
|200 MB||30 days||500 HUF||+ NET200MB|
|500 MB||30 days||1000 HUF||+ NET500MB|
|1 GB||30 days||1600 HUF||+ NET1GB|
|4 GB||30 days||3700 HUF||+ NET4GB|
Packages can be activated online on your account, by Telekom app, by calling 1777 or 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 the domestic allowances of daily or monthly data packages shown above can be used in roaming in the EU too.
- 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 (formerly called Pannon) is owned by the Norwegian company giving pretty good coverage throughout the country. Their 3G is on 900 and 2100 MHz and covers about the 85% of the population up to 42Mb/s and their 4G/LTE is available on 800 and 1800 MHz covering 98% of the population up to 150Mb/s: coverage map
Availability and start-upEdit
The starter pack is 1,590 HUF with 400 HUF credit (200 HUF can only be used for domestic calls) and 150 MB of data.
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.
If you have the old Praktikum prepaid tariff, data is given as a free bonus for top-ups: 50 MB for 1500 HUF, 150 MB for 3000 HUF, 300 MB for 5000 HUF, 500 MB for 10000 HUF and 1 GB for 15000 HUF. The bonus is not available with the new prepaid tariffs.
Data feature packsEdit
The following monthly data packs can be booked on the Praktikum SIM for more data:
- 100 MB: 465 HUF, activation: 100MB
- 600 MB: 1190 HUF, activation: 600MB
- 1.5 GB: 2190 HUF, activation: 1GB
- 3.5 GB: 3990 HUF, activation: 3GB
For activation, text code to 1744. Max. speed is 7 Mbit/s download and 2 Mbit/s upload. Packages can be used in EU roaming too, only the largest pack is capped.
Their prepaid data-only SIM is called Hipernet Praktikum. It costs 3,990 HUF with a balance of 3,000 HUF valid for 180 days in their stores. Default rate is 5 HUF per MB. These two packages are available:
|2,786 HUF||1 GB||45 days|
|5,574 HUF||5 GB||45 days|
The 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.
- VoIP is allowed on the Hypernet data SIM
- Website in English: https://www.telenor.hu/en
- APN: online
Vodafone is the smallest operator in Hungary. 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 21Mb/s. 4G/LTE network started in 2015 on 800 MHz and is available for prepaid users too up to 75Mb/s. Coverage
Availability and start-upEdit
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.
On the Max plan three 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: 3,000 HUF, 100 MB, minutes or SMS, activation: TV MAX M
- MAX L: 4,000 HUF, 1 GB, 100 minutes or SMS, activation: TV MAX L
Net+ is another voice and data plan, on which data is rewarded for top-ups and thus not debited from your balance.
- for all top-ups of 3,000 HUF, you get 500 MB data as a bonus, valid for 30 days
- for all top-ups of 5,000 HUF, you get 1 GB data as a bonus, valid for 30 days
Max. data bonus allowances within a month are 2 GB. You can change to this plan by texting "TV NET+" to 1270.
Data feature packages Edit
For more data, they offer these packages to Tuti, Max and Net+ plans:
|30 MB||1 day||n/a||185 HUF||NAPI|
|100 MB||7 days||325 HUF||278 HUF||HETI100E|
|100 MB||30 days||696 HUF||557 HUF||HAVI100E|
|500 MB||1393 HUF||1114 HUF||HAVI500E|
|1 GB||1858 HUF||1393 HUF||HAVI1000E|
Activation is by text to 1270. The codes in the table are for one-off packages. For recurring packages change last letter "E" by "M". To stop the recurring packs change first "H" by "X" e.g. "XAVI100M" for deactivation of 100 MB bundle or "XNAPI" for the daily bundle.
You can renew ahead of time: Text "UJRARENDEL" (which means reorder) to 1270 free of charge, but do not forget that before sending this code, you should have the appropriate amount of the package fee 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 at the online customer service, but you can also check it 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. The following data-only packages are available:
|Daily ticket||641 HUF||500 MB||24 hours|
|Weekly ticket||2,313 HUF||1 GB||1 week|
|Monthly ticket||3,707 HUF||3 GB||30 days|
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, 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)
Digi (not yet operational) Edit
Hungarian triple-play cable network operator Digi, owned by Romanian RDS&RCS is preparing to launch in the mobile voice and data market via its own 4G LTE network in 2018. The company won a 20-year 1800 MHz band licence in 2014. Digi currently has a data-only MVNO-based service (call ‘DIGI Net Mobil’) offered over the Telenor Hungary network, that is postpaid only.