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)
The two other Serbian providers Vip and Telenor have ceased their operations there in May 2017.
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 is been rolled out 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.
Both IPKO and Vala have sales booths at Pristina airport, easily found in the public arrivals area. Either can sell a SIM plus plan and setup your phone before you leave the airport.
+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.
EU roaming Edit
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: IPKO 3G coverage map. Its population coverage on 3G is 90% and on LTE/4G is 84% in 2017.
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 3€ at their points of sale.
Top up vouchers are available for 5€ - 90 days, 10€ - 180 days and 20€ - 330 days. To refill, type *123*<16-digit code>#. You can also use eTopUp and choose on any monetary value from 1-50€.
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 is +377 (for Monaco), but is planned to be changed to Kosovo's new code +383 in the following months. Vala has still the most customers with 51%.
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 has 4G/LTE capability on 1800 MHz, which works in most areas of Kosovo.
SIM card is sold at 3€ at their points of sale. It comes with 1€ credit and 700 MB data
Top-ups are sold at 1-50 € giving validity of 7-365 days.
SIM card stays valid for 180 days without a top-up plus 45 more days in passive mode. You may have to enable data by texting "data plus" to 50555.
Data feature packages Edit
Default rate is only at 1ct per MB. They sell these combo bundles for 28 days:
- S package: 3.99 € including 100 domestic minutes, 500 MB internet and 100 national SMS. To activate text 'Pako S' to 50555.
- M package: 9.99 € inlcuding 200 domestic minutes, 1 GB internet, 300 national SMS, 10 minutes to European countries (including Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria) as well as 100 MB roaming data in the mentioned countries. To activate text 'Pako M' to 50555.
- as an offer called 'n'trip' Vala gives you 2 GB data and 500 SMS valid for 30 days by texting 'trip plus' to 50555. To check allowances, text 'trip status' to 50555.
These data bundles are sold:
|7 days||1 GB||1.50 EUR||3|
|15 days||2 GB||2.50 EUR||4|
|25 days||3 GB||3.50 EUR||5|
|31 days||5 GB||6.00 EUR||6|
To activate a bundle call 161, then press 7, then the code from the table and finally confirm with 1.
Regional 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.
Vala has public Wifi hotspots available throughout central Pristina. Look for the 'VALA' SSID. Access is available to Vala phone users, login details here (in Albanian but the screen images are in English).
As of May 2017, a slower Vala wifi connection is available to anyone.
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. Several packages are offered, but none of them offer 3G or 4G.
- APN: z-int