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National Anthem

Basics[edit | edit source]

Bulgaria has three major physical network providers in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE:

  • A1 Bulgaria formerly known as Mtel (Мтел), owned by Telekom Austria
  • Telenor (Теленор): formerly known as Globul, owned by PPF Group
  • Vivacom (Виваком): taken over by Russian investors in 2015

This is supplemented by two providers on 4G/LTE only:

  • T.com (formerly Max Telecom) 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz (B3)
  • Bulsatcom (Булсатком): 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz (B3)

All three national providers have a good 2G and 3G coverage over 95% of the area. 2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G on 2100 MHz like in most of Europe. 4G/LTE is supported by all operators on 1800 MHz (B3) only, added now by 2100 MHz (B1) and 900 MHz (B8). Some MVNOs operate on the networks of the three providers, but don't offer good data rates yet.

SIM cards are available in the providers' shops and in large supermarkets. You need a valid passport or ID card for registration. Since 2016, each customer is allowed to own up to only 10 SIM cards and providers are obliged to shut down the cards if this limit is exceeded.

EU flag.png
Bulgaria is part of the EU, where from June 2017 new international roaming rules are enforced. In most European countries you can now 'roam like at home' at domestic rates rather than excessive roaming rates.

Note, that Bulgarian providers have blocked some plans for roaming, cap some larger data packages at the domestic rate or still apply surcharges. For specifics about the new regulation check European Union chapter and every provider below.


A1 Bulgaria, formerly Mtel (Мтел)[edit | edit source]

new logo of A1 Bulgaria

A1 Bulgaria is owned by Telecom Austria and was rebranded in 2018 from Mtel (Мтел), and before that Mobitel (Мобилтел).

Their prepaid line was called "Prima" (Прима) before and is now called A1 Prepaid. Mtel Coverage Map Mtel has the best 3G coverage in the country with 99.7% of the population in 2015. In 2016 4G/LTE was commercially launched on 1800 MHz (B3) and and covers already 99% of the population in 2020.

Availability[edit | edit source]

The regular voice and data A1 prepaid card can bought for 6 BGN in A1 stores (locator in Bulgarian) and partner shops in different varieties:

  • А1 Ваканция Плюс (A1 Vacation Plus): 6 BGN loaded with 1.5 GB data and 30 mins to 50 countries
  • А1 Комфорт Макс (A1 Comfort Max): 8 BGN loaded with 200 domestic mins and 4 GB data for 14 days
  • А1 Комфорт Giga (A1 Comfort Giga): 10 BGN with 300 domesitc mins and 6 GB data for 14 days

The SIM card expires 396 days after the last top-up with credit expiring after 90 days. Top-up vouchers are available from 6 to 60 BGN in many stores. They often run different recharge promotions. More information about top-ups is available here.

Data feature packs[edit | edit source]

Data standard rate is 0.28 BGN per MB.

The A1 Vacation Plus SIM only can be loaded with these add-ons:

Data Voice Time Price Activation
50 mins to 50 countries 10 days 9.99 BGN VS1
150 mins to 50 countries 30 days 29.99 BGN VS2
2 GB 10 days 9.99 BGN DS1
5 GB 30 days 29.99 BGN DS2
2 GB 50 mins to 50 countries 30 days 24.99 BGN CS 1

To activate, text code to 789 or type *123# and choose a bundle. They don't renew automatically.

All plans can by added by these packages

Data Voice (mins) Time Price Activation
300 MB 30 days 2.99 BGN D2
1.5 GB 30 days 9.99 BGN D3
1 GB 100 onnet, 100 offnet 15 days 5.99 BGN C3
2 GB 300 onnet, 150 offnet 30 days 14.99 BGN C4

To activate, text code to 789 or type *123# and choose a bundle.

They also offer three different top-up schemes offer called A1, P1 and P2:

  • P2 gives you for a top-up from 6 to 9 BGN 50 dom. mins, 100 mtel mins and 550 MB, and for every top-up of 10 BGN and more 100 dom. mins, 200 mtel mins and 2 GB, all valid for 30 days at a price of 5 BGN. To activate this scheme text P2 to to 789, to stop text 'Stop P2' to 789.
  • P1 gives you for a top-up from 6 to 9 BGN 80 mtel mins and 100 MB, and for every top-up of 10 BGN and more 150 mtel mins and 500 MB, all valid for 30 days at a price of 3.50 BGN. To activate you need first change to Plus tariff by texting P to 789 and then P1 to 789.
  • A1 gives you for a top-up from 6 to 9 BGN 100 dom. mins and 1 GB, and for every top-up of 10 BGN or more 200 dom. mins and 2 GB. This offer is for 5 BGN, to activate text A1 to 789

Data SIM[edit | edit source]

Their new data-only SIM is called A1 Prepaid Mobile Internet. Starters come in three sizes:

  • 15 BGN: 15 GB for 30 days
  • 25 BGN: 30 GB for 30 days
  • 40 BGN: 50 GB for 30 days

Standard rate for overuse is 1.54 BGN per MB.

You can add more data by doing the following top-ups valid for 30 days:

  • top-up 6-9 BGN: 2 GB
  • top-up 10-29 BGN: 5 GB
  • top-up 30 BGN or more: 20 GB

Alternatively, you can activate one of these packages:

Data Validity Price
1 GB 10 days 5.99 BGN
2.5 GB 20 days 9.99 BGN
9 GB 30 days 29.99 BGN

For activation pf the packages dial *123#, to check data balance text "Balans" to 1796.

EU roaming[edit | edit source]

Data is given out in EU roaming at the domestic price. In packages up to 228 MB per every BGN is given out at the "Roam like at home" rate. Beyond this FUP a price of 0.0105 BGN per MB applies. When roaming you will receive a SMS with your exact data allowances.

More info[edit | edit source]

Telenor (Теленор, formerly GloBul)[edit | edit source]

Telenor.jpg

In 2013 Telenor (part of PPF) from Norway acquired Globul from Cosmote in Greece. In 2014 they changed their logo and name from Globul to Telenor. In 2018 Telenor sold its Bulgarian network to the Czech PPF Group.

They started 4G/LTE in 2015 on 1800 MHz (band 3) covering already 75% of population in 2016, open for prepaid: Coverage map. Umlaut awarded them the best network label in 2019 ans 2020.

Availability[edit | edit source]

Their new prepaid starter pack is sold in their or in Germanos stores: Telenor.store locator . Mini SIM, micro and nano SIM are available. It comes in three different varieties. The first two here include data valid in EU roaming:

  • for 8 BGN: including 3 BGN credit, 100 mins to all networks, 200 mins to Telenor, 4 GB data
  • for 10 BGN: including 3 BGN credit, 100 mins to all networks, 300 mins to Telenor, 6 GB data

The SIM card expires 12 months after a top-up of BGN 10 or more, 2 months after a top-up of BGN 6, and 1 month after a top-up of BGN 5. More information about top-ups is available here. Check balance by texting 'GC' to 125 free of charge.

Data feature packs[edit | edit source]

These data packs are available for prepaid plans. Out of bundle use or overuse is billed with high 2.40 BGN per MB.

Data Time Price Activation
150 MB 1 day 2.49 BGN *123*3*1#
1.5 GB 7 days 4.99 BGN *123*3*8#
3.5 GB 30 days 9.99 BGN *123*3*3#
7 GB 30 days 14.99 BGN *123*3*4#
15 GB 30 days 19.99 BGN *123*3*7#

To check remaining data on pack, type *123#. Their smartphone app "My Telenor" can be used to check balance and for adding additional credits.

Data-only SIM[edit | edit source]

Their new data-only SIM card comes in two starter packs:

  • Mobile Internet 15: 15 BGN with 15 GB valid for 15 days
  • Mobile Internet 30: 30 BGN with 30 GB valid for 30 days

There may be older packs at different sizes. It's aimed at tablets and modems, but has voice and text too. Mobile data is only available inside Bulgaria, thus not usable when roaming outside the territory.

As a top-up promotion Telenor gives 3 GB for 14 days when you top-up 9 BGN or more. Overuse is throttled to 64 kbps.

Tourist SIM[edit | edit source]

For visitors Telenor sells their Prepaid Starter Pack Telenor Tourist for 6 BGN. It contains 30 mins to all EU destinations, Belarus, Bosnia, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine and 1.5 GB data valid only in Bulgaria, for 7 days. Out of bundle use is 0.19 BGN per MB.

These packages can be added for more data or any of those mentioned above:

  • 2 GB for 7 days: 9.90 BGN - activation: text 'VG7' to 125
  • 3 GB for 30 days: 19.90 BGN - activation: text 'VG30' to 125
  • 10 GB for 30 days: 49.99 BGN - activation: text 'DT10' to 125

EU roaming (except data-only SIM)[edit | edit source]

Data roaming according to Roam like home in the EU applies to all data add-ons on call and data SIM cards such as the Tourist SIM. On the data-only SIM international roaming is blocked.

More info[edit | edit source]

Vivacom (Виваком, formerly VivaTel)[edit | edit source]

Vivacom.gif

Vivacom (vivatel or BTC, BTK) is the 3rd provider in the country, but still has a good coverage in 3G in Bulgaria: Vivacom Coverage Map. In 2015 they were sold to Russian-backed Spas Roussev.

4G/LTE started in 2016 on 1800 MHz (B3) in the towns of Sofia, Pernik and Vratsa. The 4G network was extended to Varna, Burgas, Ruse and Plovdiv. The operator has the country’s largest towns within its LTE footprint and 2100 MHz (B1) band is added. All allowances are valid for roaming too, but large packages may be capped.

Availablility[edit | edit source]

In the store you can buy a starter pack in different plans, among others:

  • Opa: Plan with 5 BGN airtime: 8 BGN
  • Get free, Call yo: with 3 BGN airtime and a bonus program for recharges: 6 BGN
  • Viva: Standard prepaid plan with 10 BGN included: 12.99 BGN
  • Viva International: with 300 mins to Bulgaria, EU, Russia and Turkey and 6 GB data: 6 BGN
  • Viva Bonus: 3 BGN credit, 6 GB data and 300 mins included: 8 BGN. On this plan you get a bouns of 2 GB for10 BGN every top-up of 10 BGN or more

The SIM card expires 12 months after the last top-up of BGN 4 or more (with incoming calls only during the 12th month). Top-ups of less than BGN 4 do not extend validity. More information about top-ups is available here (in Bulgarian).

Recharge vouchers are available for 10, 20 and 50 BGN

All these plans don't make a difference for data. Furthermore they offer these combo packs called Bravo valid for 20 days:

  • Bravo: 300 Vivacom mins, 300 Vivacom SMS and 4 domestic GB: starter pack 6 BGN including 3 BGN credit. Recharge 6 BGN to get 300 mins. 300 SMS and 600 MB or 15 BGN to get 600 mins and 3 GB.
  • Bravo+: 100 domestic mins and 4 domestic GB: starter pack 10 BGN including 5 BGN credit. Recharge 6 BGN to get 300 mins. 300 SMS and 600 MB or 15 BGN to get 600 mins and 3 GB.

Default rate on Bravo is 0.30 BGN/MB. Note that there is no international roaming on Bravo plans.

Data feature packs[edit | edit source]

For all these SIMs default data rate is 1.80 BGN per MB outside of bundles and 0.30 BGN / MB for overuse. The following packages are on offer to all plans (except Bravo) above:

Package Validity Data on-net off-net Price Activation
+Talk 7 days 200 MB 900 mins 20 mins 3.99 BGN M2
+Talk Super 25 days 1 GB 1500 mins 50 mins 6.99 BGN M3
+Net 7 days 400 MB 450 mins 10 mins 3.99 BGN D1
+Net Super 25 days 1.5 GB 900 mins 20 mins 6.99 BGN D2

To activate send code to 1236 or type *123#.

Data-only SIM[edit | edit source]

Their data-only SIM is called "Easy Traffic": It has no voice nor text, comes with 15 GB included, valid for 30 days at the price of 15 BGN. The following top-up packages valid for 20 days are offered:

  • 2.5 GB: 10 BGN
  • 6 GB: 20 BGN
  • 8.5 GB: 30 BGN
  • 12 GB: 40 BGN
  • 14.5 GB: 50 BGN
  • 18 GB: 60 BGN
  • 20.5 GB: 70 BGN
  • 24 GB: 80 BGN
  • 26.5 GB: 90 BGN
  • 30 GB: 100 BGN

SIM card stays activated for 12 months after the last top-up. Validating the remaining MB can be initiated by sending USSD code *104#. Data packages are valid only inside the territory of Bulgaria, thus not possible to use in roaming.

EU roaming (except data-only Easy Traffic)[edit | edit source]

Roam like at home is applied to all voice and data SIM packs. Note that on data-only Easy Traffic all international roaming is blocked.

More info[edit | edit source]

T.com (formerly Max Telecom)[edit | edit source]

new T.com logo

T.com (formerly Max Telecom, also MAX) launched the first 4G/LTE network in Bulgaria in 2014 on 1800 MHz and was rebranded to T.com in 2018. It has only a limited coverage in the 20 biggest cities and the resorts along the Black Sea coast in 4G: Coverage Map

old Max logo

Their SIM cards of all sizes and some rental equipment are available at their stores (shop locator) . Note that there is no international roaming on Max SIM cards at all. You can't use them out of the country and their coverage is quite restricted. No calls can be made except of VoLTE oder through OTT apps. Max. speed is 110 Kbit/s for download and 35 Mbit/s for uploads.

Data packages[edit | edit source]

For mobile internet they sell a prepaid starter pack for 5 BGN with the same balance and 1 GB for 10 weeks.

After having used FUP data volume, speed will be reduced to 256/128 kbps.

They can be topped up by these add-ons:

  • 35 GB for 30 days: 20 BGN
  • 55 GB for 30 days: 30 BGN
  • 100 GB for 30 days: 50 BGN
  • 150 GB for 60 days: 70 BGN

More info[edit | edit source]

Bulsatcom (Булсатком)[edit | edit source]

Bulsatcom.png

Bulsatcom is a local fibre company thay focuses on triple play products. It was awarded an 4G/LTE license in 2014 and has so far reached a very limited coverage, mostly in major towns and resorts (coverage map: scroll to Мобилният интернет).

No roaming for 2G or 3G is proviced. So make a network scan before you buy a package. Their SIM card is available in their stores (locator), but it's not recommened for travelling, but rather than stationary use and it includes no internatl. roaming. All calls need to be made through VoLTE oder OTT apps.

4G/LTE data offer[edit | edit source]

These monthly packages for mobile internet via 4G/LTE SIM card are offered with following parameters:

Package Data max. Speed DL/UL Price
Start 20 GB 25 / 8 Mbps 9 BGN
Standart 40 GB 50 / 16 Mbps 11 BGN
Premium 60 GB 75 / 25 Mbps 13 BGN
Max 80 GB 100 / 50 Mbps 16 BGN
Extreme 100 GB 100 / 50 Mbps 19 BGN

Speed will be throttled to 256 kbits download and 128 kbits upload according to their FUP policy. Bulsatcom keeps the right to limit bandwidth during any periods of peak usage of mobile internet services for any user who excess network resources at the expense of other users. There is no international roaming on these plans available.

More info[edit | edit source]

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