Kosovo has two mobile GSM networks, both of them still with "foreign" international prefixes, making it quite a unique case in the GSM World market:
Telenor and Telekom Srbija (both Serbian operators) used to have own coverage in Prishtinë and some other areas of Kosovo, but their towers have been mostly dismantled in the Republic, so that GSM coverage is by now offered only by the two Kosovo operators in most areas.
Only in the disputed northern area of Kosovo which is administered by Serbia (that's north of Mitrovica around Leposavić, Zvečan and Zubin Potok), Telekom Srbjia remains the only provider:
- mts (for rates see Serbia)
Due of the present political situation, Kosovo does not have its own international prefix code. So landline numbers still use the +381 Serbian code, while the two mobile operators use +377 Monaco prefix (for Vala) and +386 Slovenian one (for IPKO).
2G GSM is on 900 MHz, 3G coverage is still limited on 2100 MHz and 4G/LTE has been started on in Pristina on 1800 MHz only. Networks are still limited across the country since speeds vary a lot and the infrastructure is not upgraded to support fast mobile internet nor the vast amount of users.
In 2009 the first MVNOs appeared in Kosovo: ID3 and Zog mobile use IPKO's network. The third Z Mobile, uses Vala's network. They can't be recommended for visitors at the moment.
+383 code Edit
In 2015 Serbia and Kosovo signed an agreement to normalize relations between the two countries. Under the agreement, Kosovo will be allocated its own international dialling code (+383), whilst Serbian Telekom (brand: MTS) offering services in northern parts of Kosovo will be allowed to operate legally within all of Kosovo.
Finally in February 2017 the new +383 code is operational. It will take around 18 months to replace the existing codes. At present, PTK uses Serbia’s +381 code for landline calls and Monaco’s +377 code for mobile calls, whilst its Telekom Slovenije-owned rival, IPKO, uses Slovenia’s +386 prefix. Subscribers to PTK’s mobile service can use the new code straight away, and it's expected that the Serbian code used for landlines and IPKO's Slovenian code to be replaced by the end of the year.
IPKO is owned by Telekom Slovenije (Si Mobitel), hence IPKO's mobile phone number calling prefix is +386 (for Slovenia). This code will be migrated to the new Kosovo code +383 during 2017.
IPKO has 3G coverage on 2100 Mhz at around 80% of population or 54% of territory: IPKO 3G coverage map. In 2014 it claims to have started 4G/LTE in central parts of Pristina and at the internatl. airport.
IPKO has the better coverage and speeds compared to Vala, but still lags behind in customer numbers at around 37% share.
Start-up and availablilityEdit
The SIM card cost 5.04 €, which include 3 € credit at their points of sale. Their 4G/LTE enabled SIM contains 4 GB instead.
Top up vouchers are available for 5 € - 90 days, 10 € - 180 days and 20 € - 330 days. To refill, type *123*<16-digit code>#. There is electronic refill too.
Default data rateEdit
First you need to activate data by texting "Plus GPRS" to 121 or type *321#
The price for the first 100 KB is 0.21 EUR, while each 10 KB after that costs 0.001 EUR. You need to have more than 28 ct in your account, in order to use internet on your mobile phone.
Data feature packsEdit
These packages can be booked on 2G and 3G:
|7 days||1 GB||5 GB||1.50 EUR||*900*1#|
|14 days||2 GB||2.50 EUR||*900*2#|
|21 days||3 GB||3.50 EUR||*900*3#|
|30 days||5 GB||5.50 EUR||*900*5#|
|7 GB||7.50 EUR||*900*7#|
Packages will not renew automatically. To check data volume type *123*1#. Overuse is charged by the default rate. All packs include IPKO Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi map).
Roaming packages Edit
To be used in Kosovo and for heavily reduced roaming in Albania (on Eagle, Telekom Albania or Vodafone), Macedonia (on One/Vip), Montenegro (on m:tel) and in Turkey (on Vodafone), IPKO released these bundles:
- 1 day: 200 MB, 1.50 EUR, activation: *478*1#
- 1 week: 1 GB, 5 EUR, activation: *478*2#
- 1 month: 2 GB, 10 EUR, activation: *478*3#
Check data use by typing *478#.
- APN: Ipko
- Website in English
Zog Mobile Edit
Zog mobile is a MVNO on the IPKO network. SIM cards are sold for € 1 in their shops and points of sale . Data is activated calling by code: *800*1# and 1 for activation followed by 1 for mobile internet. Activation costs 50 cents. For data the first 100 KB costs 21 cents and after this for each 10 KB 0.01 cent. There are no data packages.
Vala (by PTK)Edit
Vala Network is owned by PTK (Posta dhe Telekomunikacioni i Kosovës) and is the old state-owned incumbent provider. Their calling prefix used to be +377 (for Monaco), but is migrated to Kosovo's new code +383 effective February 2017. Vala has still the most customers with 51%, but is losing to IPKO because of lower coverage and speed.
Vala started with 3G coverage on 2100 MHz in Pristina in 2014. Vala’s 3G network covers Pristina and the surrounding area, including Pristina International Airport, Vushtrri, Mitrovice, Ferizaj and Gjilan, whilst launches are also planned in Prizren, Gjakova and Suva Reka.
Vala also talks about 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz which has supposed to be started in the busiest areas of Pristina and Pristina International Airport and is open for prepaid.
SIM card is sold at 3 EUR at their points of sale, that includes 1 EUR of credit and 700 MB of data. Top-ups are sold at 0.50-40 € giving validity of 7-360 days.
You may have to enable data by texting "data plus" to 50555.
Data feature packages Edit
Default rate is only at 1ct per MB. These bundles are sold:
|7 days||1 GB||1.50 EUR|
|15 days||2 GB||2.50 EUR|
|25 days||3 GB||3.50 EUR|
|31 days||5 GB||6.00 EUR|
You can add packages at all of their sales points in form of an e-top-up.
As an offer called n'trip Vala gives you 2 GB data and 500 net SMS valid for 30 days by texting 'trip plus' to 50555. To check allowances, text 'trip status' to 50555.
Roaming packages Edit
Vala has introduced roaming packages for Turkey (on Vodafone), Montenegro (on m:tel and Telenor), Albania (on Vodafone, Plus and Telekom), in Macedonia (on all networks) and Bulgaria (on Mobitel):
- 1 day: 60 MB, 1.99 EUR - activation: Region1
- 4 days: 200 MB, 4.99 EUR - activation: Region 4
- 10 days: 300 MB, 6.99 EUR - activation: Region10
For activation, text code to 50555.
More info Edit
- APN: vala /or/ wave
- Website: http://www.valamobile.com/
Z Mobile Edit
Z Mobile is owned by Devolli and is a MVNO on the Vala network with a Monaco prefix. It's the most successful MVNO with a 10% share in the country. This operator is not recommended as it does not offer 3G yet.
SIM card is sold at their stores (list). Data is charged at 0.20 EUR for the first 100 KB, then 0.05 EUR per 50 KB. No packages are offered.
- APN: z-int