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Uzbekistan

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Basics Edit

Uzbekistan has 4 national GSM network operators:

  • Ucell
  • Beeline
  • UMS
  • Uzmobile

This is added by Perfectum on CDMA-only (not compatible to GSM networks) and the Korean-backed wireless broadband provider EVO that operates on WiMAX (not compatible to GSM networks) and shifts to TD-LTE now covering mostly Tashkent only. EVO only markets home plans with Mifis or other routers up to now. That's why they are not listed.

2G/GSM is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G on 2100 MHz. 4G/LTE has started on 2600 MHz (band 7) on Ucell and Beeline on 850 MHz (bands 5,18) with additional 700 MHz on Ucell, 800 MHz (B20) on UMS and with EVO using TDD-LTE on 2300 MHz (Band 40) dubbed as "Super iMAX".

Regulations Edit

Visitors and travellers to the country can buy a SIM card. Officially, they need to show their passport and a confirmation of their registration at a hotel. Some providers only deal with foreigners through specific outlets. There are vendors around trying to sell you a SIM card already registered to somebody else.

Uzbek providers quote their charges in USD, whereas transactions are done in Som, their national currency. The exchange rate is around 2800-2900 som per USD. This means that loading of balance, as well as deduction of charges from the balance is done in som, but against the daily central bank exchange rate.

Ucell Edit

UZ-Ucell-0

Ucell logo

Ucell is the largest company in number of subscribers and owned by COSCOM, which on itself is majority owned by Swedish Telia Group. It uses the 900 and 1800 MHz bands for 2G services, 2100 MHz band for 3G with coverage in main cities and has launched 4G in 2600 (band 7) and 700 MHz bands with coverage in Tashkent, Samarqand, Bukhara and in Navoi only.

Ucell has the best coverage in the country at the highest rates: Ucell coverage map

Availability Edit

The SIM card without any balance costs 3000 Som (<$1) and as a promotion until the end of 2016 for 1000 Som, whereas also kits are sold for 4500 Som (with 1500 Som balance) and 6000 Som (with 3000 Som balance).

In general you need to be a citizen or a permanent resident of Uzbekistan to subscribe. In case of Ucell, some outlets are authorized to sell the cards to tourists and visitors as well, check the list here. Don't forget to bring your passport and a registration slip from the hotel where you are staying.

In Uzbekistan most providers use daily plan. You can recharge your account and select necessary additional packages by dialing *120#. A one time set up fee for selecting a package is $0.50.

Among the myriad of tariffs for those the best base plan for data users is called 'Affordable Internet' ('Qulay Internet' in Uzbek). For $0.08 per day you get 4 MB of access and in case of booking a monthly pack, additional MB come on top for nighttime usage. Additional internet beyond the allowance is charged at $0.04 per MB in daytime and $0.01 per MB at night (between 1am and 9am)

Recharging, account management and expiration policy Edit

You can top-up online through the website or use local top-up providers, self-service cash machines and PayMobile outlets.

To check your balance dial *100#. You can also use their mobile application to manage your account, packages and check the balance. Application has English language.

Loaded credits valid for 90 days.

If you want to save your card and allowance for the next visit to Uzbekistan, you can "freeze" your subscription by dialing *145*1# before leaving Uzbekistan. This way the daily base charge will be stopped, but your remaining internet allowance will be saved.

When you are back in Uzbekistan you should dial *145*2# to re-activate the line. This will allow you to keep the number for 6 or 12 months. The charge for this service is $3.90 for 6 months and $6.90 for a year. To check line status dial *145*3#.

Data feature packsEdit

Ucell has daily, weekly and monthly data packages that can be selected: The cost is deducted from the balance. All packages auto-renew as long as there is balance, unless a deactivation code has been sent (or selected via the Ucell App). To change packages, the old package has to be deactivated first and you will receive a text message confirming the activation of the package. 

Check the status of your package by dialing the code *107#.

These daily packages can be loaded on all voice packages and auto-renew each day until a deactivation code is sent.

Package Price Volume Activation Code
Package 2 $ 0.05 2 MB *555*1*1*1#
Package 5 $ 0.10 5 MB *555*1*2*1#
Package 10 $ 0.15 10 MB *555*1*3*1#
Package 25 $ 0.28 25 MB *555*1*4*1#
Package 40 $ 0.37 40 MB *555*1*5*1#
Package 60 $ 0.50 60 MB *555*1*9*1#
Package 80 $ 0.65 80 MB *555*1*7*1#
Package 100 $ 0.80 100 MB *555*1*8*1#

Daily packages auto-renew and can be deactivated with code *555*1*10*2*1#.

Weekly data packages available are following:

Package Price Volume Activation Code
Weekly 80 $ 2 80 MB *555*2*1*1#
Weekly 160 $ 3 160 MB *555*2*2*1#
Weekly 320 $ 4 320 MB *555*2*3*1#

Weekly packages auto-renew and deactivation is done by keying *555*2*10*1#

The monthly packages (for 30 days) are offered as well:

Package Price Volume Activation Code
Package 50 $ 1.25 50 MB *555*3*1*1#
Package 150 $ 3 150 MB *555*3*2*1#
Package 300 $ 4.50 300 MB *555*3*3*1#
Package 500 $ 6 500 MB *555*3*4*1#
Package 1 GB $ 10 1 GB *555*3*5*1#
Package 1.5 GB $ 12 1.5 GB *555*3*6*1#
Package 2 GB $ 15 2 GB *555*3*7*1#
Package 4 GB $ 35 4 GB *555*3*8*1#

Except for the Package 4000 and the Home packages, the volume is doubled for usage at night time (1am-9am) when subscribed to "Affordable internet" voice tariff. All packages but 4000 are shut off when having reached quota, Package 4000 will be throttled to 16 kbps in this case. Deactivation of monthly packages goes with USSD code *555*3*10*1#, Home packages with *555*5*10*2#.

For where 4G is available the following new 4G packages are available and go at maximum reachable speed inside the 4G and 3G coverage area of 10 Mbps and then fall back to 64 kbps speed, when the data volume has been consumed, vaild for 30 days:

Package Price Volume Activation
Try 4G $ 0.01 5 GB *500# - only once
Modem Home $ 15 5 GB *555*5#
WiFi Home $ 25 10 GB *555*5#

Home plans auto-renew and deactivation goes with USSD code *555*5*10*1#

Data Roaming Edit

For those intending to visit countries where a Telia own or partner network exist, data packages can be booked. The full list of countries can be found here.

By default roaming is enabled only for neighboring countries. To activate worldwide roaming dial *155*1#. To check current roaming status dial *155*4#

The following packages can be booked valid for 14 days:

  • 20 MB for $8, for activation dial *550*1#,
  • 50 MB for $17, for activation *550*2#,
  • 100 MB for $30, for activation *550*3#.

To check remaining allowance dial *550*10#. Default rate is $0.45 per MB in the partner networks. Other roaming tariffs including data can be found here

The roaming charges are still steep, but may be an alternative when visiting Tajikistan and Azerbaijan too, where local prepaid SIM cards are sometimes hard to get for tourists.

More information Edit

  • Website in English: http://www.ucell.uz/en/subscribers
  • APN: internet
  • Their "My Ucell" app is available for Android, iOS and Windows Phones and allows to manage tariffs and packages. It also has an interface in English as well and is convenient when you do not have all these USSD codes handy.
  • To change system messages language to English, dial *220*2*2#

Beeline Edit

Beeline.svg

Beeline logo in English

Beeline is the second provider in the country. It's controlled by Russian-backed VimpelCom. In 2016 it covers 88% of the population by 2G, 52% with 3G and also started 4G/LTE in Tashkent in 2015 expanding to other towns. Beeline uses rare 850 MHz on Bands 5 and 18 for 4G/LTE.

Beeline-RUS

Beeline logo with Russian

Availability Edit

Like on Ucell you have to chose a base plan first to be topped up by data packages for more data. These two plans are the most suitable for data users:

  • Bir Hafta - Be Smart: $1.99 per week including 200 minutes to Beeline, 25 minutes to other domestic providers, 100 MB data. Additional data is charged at $0.15 per MB. Activation: *110*595#.
  • Click: $0.04 per day. Nothing included, but data costs only $0.04 per MB 9am-1am and $0.01 per MB 1am-9am. Activation: *110*000#.

For 4G/LTE you need a 4G-enabled SIM and dial *110*444 # to start

Data feature packs Edit

Beeline offers 'Mini-Packs' for short-time or monthly packages for data.

Validity Price Volume Activation
1 day $ 0.33 30 MB *110*0*16#
1 day $ 1.00 150 MB *110*0*17#
3 days $ 0.33 13 MB *110*0*11#
3 days $ 0.55 26 MB *110*0*12#
7 days $ 1.20 50 MB *110*0*18#
7 days $ 2.20 200 MB *110*0*19#

For activation, you need to have a few cents more than the package price on your account. These monthly packages are sold valid for 30 days:

Price Volume Activation
$ 1.70 60 MB *110*0*01#
$ 3.25 260 MB *110*0*02#
$ 5.50 460 MB *110*0*04#
$ 7.50 800 MB *110*0*05#
$ 10 1.2 GB *110*0*06#
$ 13 2.2 GB *110*0*07#
$ 20 3.5 GB *110*0*08#
$ 27 5 GB *110*0*09#
$ 33 7.5 GB *110*0*15#

You can check data consumption within the packages by dialing code *103#. If you have subscribed to the "Click" base plan, the same data volume will be awarded again for night use (1am - 9am) as a free bonus. For the correct operation of the night bonus it's necessary to interrupt the session and to initiate a new one past 1am. On all monthly packages you get 30% extra for social media on Facebook, OK.RU, Telegram, Viber and WhatsApp. Check your data balance, by dialing *103#.

For their 4G internet, they started special big packs valid for 30 days that work on 2G and 3G too:

  • 15 GB: $ 40 - activation: *110*0*27#
  • 30 GB: $ 50 - activation: *110*0*28#
  • 60 GB: $ 60 - activation: *110*0*29#

Data Roaming Edit

Data roaming in Beeline networks in Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Georgia and in Tajikistan costs $1.50 per MB. There are no roaming packages for data available. Full list of roaming charges can be found here

More information Edit

  • Website in Uzbek and Russian only: http://www.beeline.uz
  • APN: internet.beeline.uz
  • Apps: Beeline offers an app for Android, iOS and Windows Phones as well as a java-based applet, allowing the user to check the balance and to manage the tariffs. Unlike with Ucell, the interface is only available in Russian. Look for Beeline Start in the respective app-markets or click on one of the links provided on their website, which offers the app for Android as an APK file as well.

UMS Edit

Ums logo

UMS for Universal Mobile Systems used to be a joint venture between the Russian operator MTS and the state radio and television broadcaster. In 2016 MTS exited the country and sold its majority stake to the government and UMS can be considered as state-owned now.

In number of subscribers it's the 3rd operator in the country. In 2014 they have made a relaunch and gained many subscribers since then, but its coverage is still rather limited: Coverage Maps, but expanding.

In June 2016 it launched 4G/LTE services in Tashkent. The LTE network uses the 800 MHz (band 20) and is available throughout the capital. 4G services are available at no extra cost for existing 3G subscribers with compatible devices and SIMs.

Availability Edit

A starter pack costs 5000 som and this will also be the start credit of the account. Just like other operators a base plan needs to be selected:

  • Besh or Baraka: No included allowances. Data $ 0.05 per MB Activation code: *111*1110# for Besh or *111*109# for Baraka
  • Start: 100 MB for a month for $1.50 at activation and $0.10 for each day. Activation code: *111*100#
  • Optima: 250 minutes and 100 MB for a month for $5 and $ 0.10 per MB beyond. Activation code: *111*102#

There are more plans with minutes and MB's included, to be checked here. It's possible to switch between tariff plans, but unconsumed allowances will be lost. Data is activated by default.

Check general balance: *100#. For LTE access in Tashkent you may need to enter *222*1# to activate.

Data feature packs Edit

UMS offers different types of internet packages: internet packages valid for 30 days without auto-renewal, packages that do auto-renew with a reduced rate for the subsequent month, special packages valid for 30 days for use at night time (between 0-8am) and unlimited packages for 1 day, 1 week or 30 days for use at night times ("DRIVE packs").

These mini packages are offered for one day:

  • Internet 50: 50 MB for $ 1.50, activation: *102*50#
  • Internet 100: 100 MB for $ 2.50, activation: *102*100#

These packages don't auto-renew at the end. Default rate will be charged instead. Check data balance by *102#.

Internet packages for 30 days without auto-renewal are available as following:

Volume Price Activation Code
300 MB $ 5 *102*300#
500 MB $ 7 *102*500#
1 GB $ 10 *102*1000#
2 GB $ 18 *102*2000#
3 GB $ 25 *102*3000#
5 GB $ 35 *102*5000#
10 GB $ 55 *102*10000#

After the volume is exhausted or the 30 days have lapsed, the default rate is charged until a new plan is subscribed. The same packs are available with auto-renewal called "OnNet". In the first month the rate is same as with the non-auto-renewable packages. In the subsequent months a 5% discount is applied. This option is interesting for those, who plan to stay around longer. To activate recurrent packages just change *102*.... in the USSD code of once-off packages to *202*.... To deactivate use code *202*0#

For night owls there is a an unlimited data package that also auto-renews until deactivated. These packs are for use between midnight and 8am.

Package Nights Price Activation code Deactivation code
Drive 1 1 $ 3 *200*1*1# *200*1*0#
Drive 7 7 $ 15 *200*7*1# *200*7*0#
Drive 30 30 $ 40 *200*30*1# *200*30*0#

First the volume of the talk tariff is used before the internet plan MB's are consumed. In case of night packages booked on top of normal internet packs, the night allowance is used at nighttime before the normal allowance will be consumed. Changing the talk tariff will not have effect on the allowances of the data plans. To keep using the internet services you have to ensure that at least $0.01 is still in your account.

More Information Edit

UzMobile Edit

Uzmobile-logo
UzMobile by state-owned Uztelecom used to be a CDMA-only provider on 450 MHz. In 2015 they started with GSM in 2G and 3G in Tashkent. They are the smallest GSM-provider in the country with a limited GSM coverage so far. Nationwide service extension is under way and 4G is planned: Uzmobile GSM coverage

Availability Edit

Like with Ucell, a true zero rate pre-paid tariff is not available. Instead one of the many base plans need to be selected, for which the fee is deducted from the balance:

  • Traffic: $0.80 per month giving 40 MB of internet access. Additional MB is charged at $0.05/MB.
  • Step: $1.50 per month giving 30 minutes of national calls and 50 MB of internet access. Additional MB is charged at $0.07/MB.
  • Salom: $0.15 per day (but one full month will be deducted in first month), good for 250 minutes of calls and 120 MB of data. Additional MB is charged at $0.05/MB.

Data feature packs Edit

On top of the tariffs selected data packages are available as well. Smaller packages are good for 30 days, larger for 90 days. Activation is done by sending the code in SMS to 9999. Internet packages don't auto-renew. To check data balance, text 1002 to 9999 or dial *100*2#

Data Volume Price Validity Activation
50 MB $ 1.00 30 days 1031
150 MB $ 2.50 30 days 1032
300 MB $ 4.50 30 days 1033
600 MB $ 7.00 30 days 1034
1.2 GB $ 9.50 90 days 1035
2.4 GB $ 14.50 90 days 1036
6 GB $ 25.00 90 days 1037
12 GB $ 40.00 90 days 1038
24 GB $ 65.00 90 days 10381

More information Edit

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