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Timor-Leste

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The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor occupies the eastern half of Timor island located in the Indonesian archipelago. It became independent in 1995 and recognized as a sovereign state in 2002.

Flag of East Timor.svg

Basics Edit

There are three mobile network operators in the country:

  • Timor Telecom (TT)
  • Telemor (Viettel Timor-Leste)
  • Telcomcel (Telin Timor-Leste)

In 2015 the country had 1.25 million mobile customers, including 145,000 3G network users. Timor Telecom (TT), which held a monopoly on the provision of wireless services from its launch in 2003 until the licensing of two new players in 2012, remained the market leader followed by Vietnamese-owned cellco Viettel Timor-Leste (operating as Telemor) and Indonesian-owned Telin Timor-Leste (Telkomcel).

2G and 3G is on all three operators in the country, no 4G/LTE coverage up to now.

Coverage Edit

Mobile phone coverage is fairly good in most of the country (some rugged rural areas can be hard to get a signal). 3G has decent coverage in the major towns (again, the best provider can vary by location) but it's hard to get coverage in smaller towns.

Basic facts Edit

It's recommended that you buy a local prepaid SIM card at $1 on arrival from a network branded store (like in Timor Plaza mall on the way into town from the airport). As a foreigner you'll have to show a passport and a copy of the face page is made for registration.

Local prepaid SIM cards can also be purchased from street peddlers, but at a higher price. Some charge up to $10 for a SIM, but no registration needed.

Once the SIM card is activated, you can top-up credit by purchasing so-called Pulsa top-up cards from street peddlers everywhere.

Note, that in 2012 the National Numbering Plan (NNP) was changed and all mobile phone numbers now require an additional '7' be added to the front of the number making a total of eight digits.

Timor Telecom (TT) Edit

Timortelecom

Timor Telecom is still the market leader with about 1/2 of all subscribers. It used to be the only player from 2003 until in 2012 two new competitors have been licensed. It is co-owned by the E.Timor state and Brazilian Oi. It still has the best coverage at the highest rates. About 94% of the population is covered at 188 2G and 122 3G sites.

2G/GSM is on 900 MHz and for 3G TT uses 2100 MHz network frequency in Dili and 850 MHz band elsewhere, no 4G/LTE yet.

Availability Edit

The prepaid SIM card is available for $1 in their shops (store locator). It includes 5 minutes for domestic calls and 10 SMS on-net and 1 MB for data for 7 days.

Top-up is by paper or electronic recharges called Pulsa, sold by TT Stores and TT Agents at $1, $2, $3, $5, $7, $10, $15, $25 and $50. Theys give a bonus of 100% on the first recharge of the month for 6 months. To check balance on one’s mobile screen, type *#102#.

Data feature packages Edit

Default rate is $0.04 per MB on all prepaid plans except Toke Live which is $0.06 per MB. To all plans these packages called Pen 3G can be added:

TT

Activate by texting name of package to 8302. Packages are automatically renewed. Within the pack, the charging unit is the KB. To start using a TT internet package, turn off your data and then on again.

More info Edit

Telemor Edit

Telemor

Telemor is operated by Vietnamese army backed Viettel and the second provider with a 38% market share in 2015. It started in 2013 and has built up a decent coverage. 2G and 3G is on 900 and 1800 MHz.

Availability Edit

Their prepaid SIM card is sold at $1 in their stores (list). To activate a SIM press 123 and call. To change language from Tetun to English text the letter E to 7001.

Top-up vouchers are available for $1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 giving 10-120 days of validity. To add a voucher type *120*<voucher code>#. To check balance type *122#.

Data feature packages Edit

Default rate is $0.04 per MB. One of these data packs can be added with speeds up to 7.2 Mbps.

Telemor-0

For activation, text code to 127. Check data balance by *122#.

More info Edit

Telkomcel Edit

Telcomcel

Telkomcel owned by Indonesian Telin (Telekomunikasi Indonesia) is the 3rd operator with a 13% share in 2015. It covers 95% of the population already. 2G and 3G is both on 850 MHz only, which is rare in Asia for 3G.

Availability Edit

Their prepaid SIM card can be bought at the airport, in their shop at Timor Plaza and other locations (store list). Different SIMs are given out at $0.50-1. They contain 1-10 MB data for 7 days and some local mins and SMS. Top-up vouchers are sold at $1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 25, electronic vouchers up to $1000. To top-up by voucher, enter *122*<voucher code>#, to check credit, enter *122#, to change menu language *555#.

Data feature packages Edit

Default rate is $ 0.045 per MB. These packages called Rapido can be added:

Telcomcel-0

To activate, enter *123*3# and choose package or text code to 155. Check data balance by *123*3#. All packages will be auto-renewed. To stop auto-renewal, text NO to 155.

Telcomcel WiFi Edit

Telcomcel has about 20 public WiFi hotspots in Dili (list) called wifi.telcomcel.tl As a Telcomcel customer you can add WiFi vouchers for speeds up to 21 Mbps:

  • $ 0.06 for 15 mins
  • $ 0.20 for 2 hours
  • $ 1 for 24 hours

Purchase is made through your internet browser.

More info Edit

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