Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki
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Basics[]

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

  • A1 Bulgaria formerly known as Mtel (Мтел), owned by Telekom Austria
  • Yettel.: formerly known as Telenor, owned by Czech PPF Group
  • Vivacom (Виваком): taken over by United Group (https://united.group) in 2020

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

  • {T.com (formerly Max Telecom) 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz (B3) - service suspended}
  • 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. In 2022 OpenSignal called Telenor (now Yettel.) and Vivacom joint winners of the 4G availability award with 87.8% and 87.1%, respectively, beating A1’s score of 83.4%. Telenor and Vivacom users observed significant increases in their average download speeds with average download speeds at around 45-50 Mbit/s.

SIM cards are available in the providers' shops and in large supermarkets. You will 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 our European Roaming Unions chapter and every provider below.


A1 Bulgaria, formerly called Mtel (Мтел)[]

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 is claimed to cover already 99% of the population in 2020.

Availability[]

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

  • А1 Комфорт Макс (A1 Comfort Max): 8 лв loaded with 200 domestic mins and 4 GB data for 14 days
  • А1 Комфорт Giga (A1 Comfort Giga): 10 лв with 300 domesitc mins and 6 GB data for 14 days
  • А1 Ultra Giga: 12 лв with 600 domesitc mins and 12 GB data for 30 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 лв in many stores. They often run different recharge promotions. More information about top-ups is available here.

Data feature packs[]

Data on the standard rate is at 0.28 лв per MB. All regular plans can by added by these packages

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

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

They also offer two different top-up schemes offer called A1 and P1:

  • P1 gives you for a top-up from 6 to 9 лв 200 on-net mins and 200 MB, and for every top-up of 10 лв and more 500 on-net mins and 1 GB, all valid for 30 days at a price of 5 лв. 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 лв 100 domestic mins and 2 GB, and for every top-up of 10 лв or more 400 domestic mins and 10 GB valid for 20 days. This offer is for 7 лв, to activate text A1 to 789

Tourist SIM[]

The А1 Ваканция Плюс (A1 Vacation Plus) ist mainly oriented to tourists. It's sold at 6 лв and comes loaded with 1.5 GB data and 30 mins to 50 countries: Bulgaria, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Greece, Estonia, Italy, Turkey, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, USA, France, Finland, Croatia, Poland, Netherlands, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Israel, Canada, Portugal, Cyprus, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Georgia, Sweden, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia, Belarus, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lithuanian, Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Philippines.

You can only add these special add-on packages for more volume:

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

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

Data SIM[]

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

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

Standard rate for overuse is 1.54 лв per MB.

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

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

Alternatively, you can activate one of these packages:

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

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

EU roaming[]

Data is given out in EU/EEA roaming at the domestic price. In packages up to 228 MB per every лв is given out at the "Roam like at home" rate. Beyond this FUP a price of 0.0105 лв per MB applies. When roaming you will receive a SMS with your exact data allowances. Unlike other A1 Networks, the UK seems still be included in the EU roaming zone with A1 Bulgaria. Before using it in the the UK, better double check.

More info[]

Yettel. (formerly Telenor)[]

new brand

In 2013 Norwegian Telenor acquired Globul from Cosmote in Greece. In 2014 they changed their logo and name from Globul to Telenor. In 2018 Telenor sold its Bulgarian, Hungarian and Serbian networks to the Czech-based PPF Group. In March 2022 the old Telenor brand will be phased out and rebranded to Yettel. PPF notes that the new name will not be accompanied by a change in strategy.

Telenor/Yettel started 4G/LTE in 2015 on 1800 MHz (B3) covering already 75% of population in 2016, open for prepaid: Coverage map. 5G has started in major towns, but is not yet available for prepaid

old logo

Availability[]

Their new prepaid starter pack is sold in their newly branded Yettel stores: 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 лв: including 6 GB data (EU roaming: 2.8 GB), 300 domestic mins and 3 лв balance
  • for 10 лв: including 8 GB data (EU roaming: 3.4 GB), 400 domestic mins and 3 лв balance

Initial validity of the SIM card is for 365 days, data and voice allowances are valid for 30 days, credit for 60 days. To top-up you can go online with a debit or credit card or buy vouchers in shops at 8, 10, 20 and 40 лв, The 8 лв voucher is valid for 60 days, vouchers of 10 лв or more for 90 days. To top-up by vouchers enter *125*<voucher PIN>#.

Check balance by texting 'GC' to 125 free of charge.

Data feature packs[]

Out of bundle use or overuse is billed with 0.50 лв per MB limited to 3G networks and capped at 15 лв.

These data packs in 2G, 3G and 4G are available for all prepaid plans through the app or by *123#:

BG Data EU Cap Time Price Activation
300 MB 1 day 2.99 лв *123*3*1#
1.5 GB 7 days 4.99 лв *123*3*8#
3.5 GB 30 days 9.99 лв *123*3*3#
7 GB 5.2 GB 30 days 14.99 лв *123*3*4#
20 GB 6.9 GB 30 days 19.99 лв *123*3*7#

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

They also released these combo packs:

  • 500 MB, 250 on-net mins, 25 all-net mins for 7 days: 5.99 лв, activation: *123*2*2
  • 1 GB, 500 on-net mins, 50 all-net mins for 30 days: 9.99 лв, activation: *123*2*4
  • 2 GB, 1000 on-net mins, 100 all-net mins for 30 days: 14.99 лв, activation: *123*2*5

Data-only SIM[]

Their new data-only SIM card comes in three starter packs and data for 30 days valid only in Bulgaria:

  • Mobile Internet 15: 15 лв with 15 GB
  • Mobile Internet 30: 25 лв with 30 GB
  • Mobile Internet 50: 40 лв with 50 GB

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 in up to 4G, thus not usable when roaming outside the territory. When you recharge the starters for the first time, you will get 3 GB as free bonus.

You can add 1 GB valid for 14 days at 5 лв by texting LS1 to 123. Or any of the packages above can be added as well for extra data. To check balance text GC to 125.

Tourist SIM[]

For visitors Telenor sold their Prepaid Starter Pack Telenor Tourist for 6 лв. It's still not clear if this plan turns up for the summer season again under the new label.

It contained 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 лв per MB.

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

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

EU roaming (except data-only SIM)[]

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

More info[]

Vivacom (Виваком, formerly VivaTel)[]

new logo

Vivacom (vivatel or BTC, BTK) is the 3rd provider in the country, but has a very good coverage in 3G in Bulgaria: Vivacom Coverage Map. The company was sold in 2020 to United Group.

4G/LTE started in 2016 on 1800 MHz (B3) in the towns of Sofia, Pernik and Vratsa. The 4G network was soon 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. In 2022 their 4G/LTE network is already covering 99% of the country's population. All allowances are valid for roaming too, but large packages may be capped.

old logo

Availablility[]

In a store you can buy a starter pack in different plans, some of them are from the old series:

  • Opa: Plan with 5 лв airtime: 8 лв
  • Viva: Standard prepaid plan with 10 лв included: 12.99 лв.

Both have data at high 1.80 лв and can't be used in roaming. So better use their new series:

  • Free2Go: 8 лв with 3 лв balance, 400 domestic minutes, 6 GB data (EU roaming cap: 2.8 GB),

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

Recharge vouchers are available for 10, 20 and 50 лв

Data feature packs[]

For the Free2Go SIM default data rate is 1.80 лв per MB outside of bundles and 0.30 лв / MB for overuse. The following combo packages are on offer to all plans above for 28 days:

Package Data EU cap dom. Voice SMS Price Renewal Activation
MixM 600 MB 600 MB 300 mins 25 6.99 лв no X1
MixM+ 800 MB 800 MB 400 mins 50 6.99 лв auto X2
MixL 3 GB 3 GB 600 mins 25 9.99 лв no X3
MixL+ 5 GB 3.5 GB 800 mins 50 9.99 лв auto X4

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

Or you can add these data packages:

Package Data EU cap Time Price Renewal Activation
XS 1 GB 1 GB 1 day 2.99 лв no T1
S 1 GB 1 GB 7 days 4.99 лв no T2
M 1 GB 1 GB 28 days 6.99 лв no T3
M+ 1.2 GB 1.2 GB 28 days 6.99 лв auto P1
L 6 GB 6 GB 28 days 9.99 лв no T4
L+ 10 GB 3.5 GB 28 days 9.99 лв auto P2

After the expiration of the validity period of the package, the unused services are lost. When activating several packages at once or one after the other, the services are valid until the expiration date of the longest validity period and the services are accumulated from the different packages. Renewable packages are automatically renewed every 28 days, if there is no cancellation and there is sufficient balance available. Cancellation of an additional renewal package is made via SMS to number 1236 with the text STOP <package code>. After cancellation, the package can be used until its expiration date.

To the old Opa and Viva SIM cards you can't add the plans above, but the following plans without roaming abroad:

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

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

Data-only SIM[]

Their data-only SIM is from the new series and called "Data2Go": It has no voice, only text, comes with 25 GB (EU cap: 6.9 GB) included, valid for 28 days at the price of 20 лв. The following top-up packages are offered:

Package Data EU cap Time Price Renewal Activation
Data XS 1 GB 1 GB 1 day 2.99 лв no T1
Data S 1 GB 1 GB 7 days 4.99 лв no T2
Data M 1 GB 1 GB 28 days 6.99 лв no T3
Data M+ 1.2 GB 1.2 GB 28 days 6.99 лв auto P1
Data Special 3 GB 3 GB 28 days 9.99 лв no S1

Validating the remaining MB can be initiated by sending USSD code *104#. After the expiration of the validity period of the package, the unused services are lost. When activating several packages at once or one after the other, the services are valid until the expiration date of the longest validity period and the services are accumulated from the different packages. Renewable packages are automatically renewed every 28 days if there is no cancellation and there is sufficient balance available. Cancellation of an additional renewal package is made via SMS to number 1236 with the text STOP <activation code>..

EU roaming (except Opa and Viva lines)[]

Roam like at home is applied to all voice and data SIM packs except of the old Opa and Viva lines in the EU, EEA and UK.

More info[]

Bulsatcom (Булсатком)[]

Bulsatcom.png

Bulsatcom is a local fibre company thay focuses on triple play products. It was awarded an 4G/LTE license in 2014 on 1800 MHz (B3) 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 provided. Their SIM card is available in their stores (locator), but it's not recommended for travelling, but rather for stationary use and it includes no internatl. roaming. All calls need to be made through VoLTE oder OTT apps. That's why they are not mentioned any further.

More info[]

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