In early 2014, the Crimean Peninsula or Crimea became de facto part of the Russian Federation, although United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262 states that it remains de jure part of Ukraine. Crimea has been integrated into the Russian telephone system. The Ukrainian networks ceased their operations and left the peninsula at the end of 2014. Any network or brand operating in Crimea faces international sanctions; therefore Russian-owned networks now operating in Crimea use neither their former Ukrainian nor their Russian brand names, but have outsourced spin-off companies instead.
These new regional operators were appointed by the Russian regulator, but deployment has been slowed down because of international sanctions:
- Win Mobile (by K-Telecom)
- Volna Mobile (Волна мобайл by KTK Telecom)
- Crimeatelecom (Крымтелеком)
- Sevmobile (СевМобайл)
Note that there is currently no calling or texting from Crimea to Ukrainian (+380) numbers. Furthermore no Ukrainian provider is allowed to roam on Crimean networks. All mobile numbers come with a Russian prefix (+7) and the phone system is now fully connected to Russia with all prices in RUB/₽ (Russian Ruble)
The Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media has announced that mobile network coverage has reached 97% of the area in the Crimea region and in the Federal city of Sebastopol which forms a separate administrative unit, but most 4G/LTE coverage is still very pachy.
About 7,234 base stations belonging to local mobile operators are available in the Crimea in mid-2018. The figure has grown by 3% year-on-year. Operator K-Telecom (Win Mobile) raised the figure by 11% to 2,952 base stations. The increase at KTK-Telecom (Volna Mobile) was by 1% to 3,561 base stations. Crimeatelecom owned 641 base stations (+1%). Elemtelecom and Sevtelecom owned 80 and 124 base stations respectively. Of all these stations 3,567 are GSM, 3,526 on 3G and only 265 on 4G/LTE, which is only provided by Win Mobile and Volna Mobile so far.
Because of the international boycott, major Russian providers don't operate on the peninsula and most providers outside Russia don't offer international roaming on any Crimean operator. You will need to buy a SIM card from either a Russian operator for roaming or a local Crimean operator to have phone connection in Crimea.
In 2018 all on-net roaming charges within Russian regions were finally discontinued. This doesn't apply to Crimea, because Crimea's networks are not provided by major Russian providers, but through roaming agreements with local operators instead, which are not bound to this rule. For each Crimean operator, the Russian roaming rate is given in the article.
Win Mobile (by K-Telecom)
After MTS Ukraine left the region, Win Mobile took over in 2014 and started to provide a 2G-only network on 900 and 1800 MHz. In summer 2015 they started 3G on 2100 MHz in a few places and cover most of the peninsula now. They started with 4G/LTE on 800 and 2600 MHz (bands 7 and 20) in the city of Simferopol in 2016 to be expanded to other places (2G 3G, 4G coverage map)
Their prepaid SIM card can be bought in their stores (list in Russian).
You can top-up at payment terminals shown here or by credit card online. To check balance type *100#.
They have introduced these monthly plans:
- "Хит" (Hit): has 10 GB unlimited local calls and free Viber, WhatsApp, Skype for a month at 250 ₽. You can add 3 GB more for 50 ₽ or 5 GB more for 80 ₽ by *831#.
- "ПроСто" (Simply): has unlimited data and on-net calls plus 100 domestic minutes for 100 ₽ per week.
- "ПроСто Отпуск" (Simple Holidays) is their tariff for visitors with unlimited internet and local calls. The first subscription is 420 ₽ and for 21 days. After the 22nd day, it becomes a weekly rate at 100 ₽. This plan was introduced for the tourist season 2020.
- "Свобода общения" (Freedom of Communication): is their free base plan without included allowances. Standard rate is 10 ₽ per MB, but you can add these packages below
Data feature packages
Default rate is 10 ₽ per MB and these data bundles can be added:
- Online Day: 10 MB per day: 15 ₽, activation: *805#, deactivation: *796#
- Online Freedom: 50 MB per day: 3 ₽ + 30 ₽ for connection, activation: *809#, deactivation: *792#
- Online Month: 3.5 GB per month: 150 ₽, activation: *806#, deactivation: *798#
- Online Mix: 8 GB per month: 250 ₽, activation: *821*1#, deactivation: *821*2#
Beyond these limits data speed is reduced to 32 kbps. Packages auto-renew, if not deactivated.
Data can be used for roaming all over the Russian Federation (on MTS network) on the default rate of 3.95 ₽ per MB.
By *820# you can activate the Big Country (Большая страна) option for 5 ₽ per day to lower the Russian roaming rate to 0.50 ₽ per MB. Deactivation by *795#.
- Calls or texts to Ukraine are not possible.
- Win Mobile is connected to MTS Russia and SIM cards from MTS Krasnodar and Win Mobile can be used identically.
- APN: internet
- Website in Russian: http://www.mobile-win.ru/
Volna Mobile (Волна мобайл)
Mobile operator KTK Telecom, working under the Volna Mobile brand, started providing services in Crimea in 2016. The operator covers several cities on the peninsula: Sevastopol, Simferopol and Yalta and most of the region by now (coverage map) with 3G and some with 4G/LTE. In 2017 they started to cooperate with MTS for roaming in Russia.
They offer these plans for prepaid:
- Sun (Солнце): no subscription price, data: 1 ₽ per MB or the Жара (Heat) option with 200 MB per day for 3 ₽ or add packages below.
- Sea (Mope): 150 ₽ - including 3 GB dataper month as 200 MB per day
- Wind (Ветер): comes with 800 MB per day for 12 ₽, 1.2 GB per day for 16 ₽, 1.6 GB per day for 20 ₽ or unlimited internet for 40 ₽ per day.
- Resort (Курортный) is their tourist oriented plan introduced in 2020. It contains unlimited internet and Russian calls for 14 days at 420 ₽. From the 15th day, it's 30 ₽ per day.
- Sea of communication (Море общения) is a plan for social media with 10 GB per month as 400 MB per day plus unlimited Vkontakte, Facebook, Odnoklassniki, Instagram for 250 ₽/month or 10 ₽/day.
Data feature packages
For (more) data these monthly packs can be added to the plans above:
- 1 GB: 50 ₽
- 5 GB: 200 ₽
- 10 GB: 300 ₽
The roaming rate in the rest of Russia is 10 ₽ per MB on all plans. By activating the option Travel in Russia (Поездки по России) for 15 ₽ connection charge and 5 ₽ per day by *403*1# you can lower this rate to 1.5 ₽ per MB. To disable type *403*2#.
- APN: internet
- Website in Russian: http://volnamobile.ru
Crimeatelecom, owned by the regional government, controls some of the landline communication while it's building a link from Russia to the Crimea by a fibre optic cable.
In the mobile sector, they received assets of Ukrainian providers that have been nationalized. In 2015 they were awarded licences by the Russian regulator for a 2G and 3G network in the region. They launched commercial mobile services in the Crimea region in 2016. The operator provides services over 3G base stations based in the main cities across the region on 2100 MHz at up to 14.4 Mbps. A 2G network was also launched on 900 and 1800 MHz, no 4G/LTE yet. (2G 3G coverage map).
Prepaid SIM cards are sold for 200 ₽ with one monthly package included in their stores (list).
These monthly plans are offered:
- Супер ХИТ (Super HIT): free base plan on which packages below can be added, activation: *111*142#.
- Мой Крым (My Crimea): is their standard plan without allowances included. Internet is at 5 ₽ per MB, but you can add packages, activation: *111*129#
- Контакт (Contact): is a plan with 5 GB and 100 SMS included for 150 ₽, activation: *111*130#
- Супер Контакт (Super Contact): has 100 regional minutes, 12 GB and 300 SMS included for 300 ₽, activation: *111*123#
- Безлимитный интернет (unlimited internet) with endless data for 30 days at 400 ₽, activation: *111*140#
Data feature packages
These data plans can be activated as well:
- Интернет S: 150 MB for 1 (calendar) day: 5 ₽, activation: *111*003#
- Интернет M: 15 GB for 1 month: 300 ₽, activation:*111*004#
- Интернет L: 25 GB for 1 month: 500 ₽, activation: *111*005#
- Интернет XL: 50 GB for 1 month: 650 ₽, activation: *111*006#
Using more than the package volume, your speed will be throttled to 64 kbit/s.
- no roaming in the rest of Russia
- APN: internet.ktkru.ru
- Website in Russian: http://ktkru.ru/
SevMobile is a joint venture of the local company ITProgress and Sevtelecom. In 2016 SevMobile launched a 2G/3G network in the city of Sevastopol only using old 3Mob infrastructure on 2100 MHz (coverage map), no 4G/LTE so far.
They sell these monthly plans with data:
- Легкий (Light): 1 GB and 300 domestic minutes: 150 ₽, activation: *111*10#.
- Удобный (Convenient): 5 GB and 500 domestic minutes: 220 ₽, activation: *111*11#.
- Яркий (Bright): 15 GB and 750 domestic minutes: 400 ₽, activation: 111*12#
To all three plans above you can add for extra data 1 GB for 40 ₽, 3 GB for 70 ₽ and 5 GB for 100 ₽.
- Мой Интернет 8 (my internet 8): 8 GB data: 200 ₽, activation: *111*03#
- Мой Интернет 20 (my internet 20): 20 GB data: 400 ₽, activation: *111*04#
For overuse data speed will be throttled to 64 kbps.
- Мой Интернет Безлимит (my internet unlimited): unlimited data: 900 ₽, activation: *111*05#
Data in the rest of Russia is at 5 ₽ per MB. This can be lowered to 3 ₽ per MB, if you activate the Your Russia (Твоя Россия) option for 6 ₽ per day.
- APN: internet.sts.ru
- Website: http://www.sevmobile.ru