There are four mobile operators in Hungary.:
- Magyar Telekom (a.k.a Telekom, formerly T-Mobile/Westel)
- Yettel. Hungary (formerly Telenor, owned by PPF)
- Vodafone Hungary
- [DIGI Mobil (limited coverage, postpaid only)]
For the three major providers Telekom, Yettel. and Vodafone 2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G is on 900 and 2100 MHz, while Digi works only on 1800 MHz with 2G/4G. 3G networks are scheduled to shut down until the first half of 2023.
The big three carriers are offering 4G/LTE services since 2015 on 700, 800, 1800 and partly 2100, 2600 MHz (bands 1, 3, 7, 20 and 28). LTE-A is available by big three providers in bigger cities in up to 600 Mbit/s. Telekom and Yettel have a network sharing agreement for 4G on 800 MHz (B20) outside of Budapest and have therefore almost the same coverage on 4G/LTE. Generally Hungary has a quite good coverage with 4G/LTE networks and high speeds in most areas except Digi.
5G is available at the three major carriers on 3600 MHz (n78), mostly in urban areas. Telekom also provides DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) 5G on 2100 MHz (n1), Vodafone provides DSS 5G on 700 MHz (n28) in rural areas as well. Yettel allows to use 5G with any of its pre- and postpaid plans, Telekom and Vodafone limits 5G to its more expensive postpaid plans.
SIM cards are available in shops of the providers. Bring your photo ID for registering and some time as you have to give a lot of signatures and paperwork for prepaid cards too. Prepaid SIM cards are also sold in big supermarkets like Tesco and Auchan or service stations. But buying them there, you still need to go to a store of the provider to register. For foreigners, this is the only way. So it's recommended to buy your SIM in an operator's store in the first place.
Topping up prepaid SIM cards in Hungary always works by giving the phone number while buying it, so keep your Hungarian mobile number at hand.
Some MVNO's operate in Hungary (for example Netfone), but both of them offers only postpaid contracts.
Hungary is one of the most complicated and time-consuming country in the EU to buy a prepaid SIM card as a non-citizen right now. So you might think of bringing an EU-issued SIM card from a different country and use it according to roam like at home rules in Hungary instead.
In 2016 the Hungarian parliament passed stricter rules on the use of prepaid SIM cards. According to the new law, subscription for prepaid mobile phone services must not be passed onto a third party without informing the service provider. In addition, the identity of customers has to be checked by service providers before signing up. Existing subscriptions have to be closed, if the identity of the customers is not checked by July 2017. Furthermore, operators must report any suspected criminal activity to the authorities.
Rules have been again tightened in 2017 after thousands of SIM cards registered on a dead person turned up in an anti-terrorist raid. Now, additionally the number of SIM cards registered to one person is limited to 10 SIM cards per individual subscriber and 50 SIMs for business subscribers. Customers who currently have prepaid subscriptions in excess of these limits must declare which ones they intend to keep; prepaid cards in excess of these limits will be terminated as of July 2017 (more info for affected customers see here).
In 2017 the regulator has announced that 68% of the country’s prepaid mobile SIM cards were verified by the legal deadline. Of the remaining 32% of prepaid SIMs, which have now had their network services suspended, a significant number were assumed to be inactive or unwanted cards, but users who missed the deadline can still re-activate any unverified SIM and recover any credit balance on the account by providing their ID data and signing an agreement with their network operator, with no time limit set for doing so.
Data verification or reconciliation (effective 2018)
In 2017 a data verification or reconciliation (in Hungarian: adategyeztetés) became mandatory for all prepaid subscribers. All operators are now required to verify the identity of their prepaid customers on a yearly basis. The deadline of this check is the anniversary of the prepaid subscription. Some days before this date, customers are notified by text messages. Hungarian citizens can re-register online. All foreigners who don't have an ID card issued by the Hungarian authorities must visit a branded store of the provider as an ID card or passport issued by another country can't be verified online, you have to show it in a store. This procedure is unique in Europe and possibly worldwide and makes it almost impossible to maintain an Hungarian SIM card from abroad.
Magyar Telekom (Telekom, formerly T-Mobile/Westel)
Magyar Telekom Nyrt., often simply called Telekom, is the largest Hungarian telecommunications company. The former state-owned monopolist is now a subsidiary of (German) Deutsche Telekom.
It has the best and fastest network with best coverage on 2G and 4G, but the worst 3G coverage on 2100 MHz up to 21 Mbit/s. (900 MHz rural 3G network had been already shut down). 4G/LTE is available on 700, 800, 1800, 2100 and 2600 MHz and covers 98% of the population (coverage map) in up to 450 Mbit/s. 5G is operating on 3600 MHz (band 78) and on 2100 MHz (band 1) with Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, but only available for high-end postpaid tariffs.
The prepaid SIM cards are called Domino Fix and come in different varieties sold at their stores (Store locator (hungarian)) and online.
Starter packs called Domino Fix Quick or Domino Fix Extra Quick are sold for 990 Ft with 500 MB and 40 domestic minutes and 1990 Ft with 1 GB and 80 domestic mins at some petrol stations like OMV and MOL, MediaMarkt, Tesco, Auchan, Edigital and newspaper kiosks. Be aware that, when you buy a starter pack as a foreigner, you have to go to a Telekom store for registration showing your photo ID or it will be shut off soon. So it's recommended to buy it there right away. All three SIM card sizes are sold.
Top-ups can be made at Telekom stores or at newsagents, post offices and service stations. Vouchers of 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 Ft are available. You can also refill via the internet using a credit card. This online procedure is Hungarian only, but is workable using a translator.
To find out your own number, type *121#. To check your credit balance type *102#. To check remaining data balance, there's no code, but see the comments below to discover how to check via their website.
Domino data packages
Internet can be added by these packages which can be used in Hungary and all over the EU up to 300 Mbit/s:
|1 GB||24 hours||525 Ft|
|unlimited||2 GB||990 Ft|
|3 GB||72 hours||990 Ft|
|unlimited||4 GB||1,990 Ft|
Activation is by app, online, calling 1777 or in person at any Telekom store. You will not be able to activate the same option (unlimited for 1 or 3 days) immediately after expiration. You will need to wait until the morning hours if the next day or choose a different option.
These are the auto-renewing packages for 30 days:
|1 GB||1,190 Ft|
|15 GB||5,990 Ft|
|unlimited||20 GB||9,900 Ft|
Furthermore, they sell "Maraton" packages that are valid indefinitely without expiration (except of the SIM card) or until used up in Hungary and the EU without a cap:
|1 GB||unlimited||1490 Ft||by app
|5 GB||3990 Ft|
Packages can be activated online on your account, by Telekom app, by calling 1777 or some by texting code to 1777. Check data balance by *102#. For technical reasons, the same package can't be renewed ahead of time.
For Maraton users the validity of credit and SIM card needs to be shown as their data packages don't expire. The validity depends on the time and the amount of the last top-up: up to 2400 Ft for 180 days, up to 15,000 Ft for a year and beyond for 488 days. Then the SIM falls into passive mode for 90 days, when it can be revived by any top-up before it's finally terminated.
All domestic allowances like daily or monthly data packages shown above can be used for roaming in the EU too without surcharges. Only unlimited plans have limits by the specified cap.
- Website: http://www.telekom.hu (English site is not updated, use Hungarian site and a translator)
- Call 1777 (for free) and press 9 for an English speaking support agent
- APN: internet.telekom
Yettel. (formerly Telenor)
Telenor in Hungary was sold by Telenor to the Czech PPF Group in 2018, and since 2019 25% of it is owned by the state. It has pretty good coverage throughout the country. Their 3G is on 900 and 2100 MHz up to 21 Mbit/s and their 4G/LTE is available on 700, 800, 1800, 2100 and 2600 MHz (B1, 3, 7, 20, 28) covering 99% of the population up to 600 Mbit/s: coverage map. 5G is available on 3600 MHz (n78) for every customer for up to 1.5 Gbit/s in major cities and Lake Balaton, but official 5G coverage map is not available yet (an unofficial one can be found here).
The starter pack is called Yettel Feltöltőkártyás SIM and comes for 490 Ft without any included volumes in its basic version. Additionally they sell these Mobinet Starters with a recurring base plan:
- Yettel Feltöltőkártyás 1GB megújuló Mobilnet: 1 GB for 30 days: 1100 Ft
- Yettel Feltöltőkártyás 3GB megújuló Mobilnet: 3 GB for 30 days: 2500 Ft
and this starter for the 2in1 series with recurring combo rates:
- Yettel Feltöltőkártyás 2in1 Net csomag: 25 domestic mins and 5 GB for 30 days: 3300 Ft
Refill cards of 1,500 Ft valid for 90 days, 3,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 15,000 Ft all valid for a year are available at their stores (locator) and many more locations or top-up online using credit or debit cards.
Data feature packs
The following Mobinet data packs can be activated for more data on all plans:
|1 day||300 MB||300 Ft||300MB1NAP|
|500 MB||350 Ft||500MB1NAP|
|1 GB||550 Ft||1GB1NAP|
|unlimited (*)||1000 Ft||KORLATLAN1NAP|
|5 days||500 MB||550 Ft||500MB5NAP|
|1 GB||950 Ft||1GB5NAP|
|3 GB||1600 Ft||3GB5NAP|
|unlimited (*)||2200 Ft||KORLATLAN5NAP|
|30 days||500 MB||750 Ft||500MBHAVI|
|1 GB||1100 Ft||1GBHAVI|
|3 GB||2500 Ft||3GBHAVI|
|10 GB||5000 Ft||10GBHAVI|
For activation, text code to 1744. Packages can be used in EU roaming too without surcharges except the unlimited packs (*) that are capped at 2.2 GB and 4.7 GB respectively in the EU. One and five days packages are once-off, 30 days packages auto-renew. A day means full 24 hours. To stop enter code preceeded by X.
For 2in1 net combo plans, these packages with data and voice for 30 days can be added:
|500 MB||25 mins||3300 Ft||2IN1TALK|
|5 GB||250 mins||3300 Ft||2IN1NET|
Activation is by texting code to 1744. All packages auto-renew.
EU roaming 
Yettel. is giving out all their data packages at domestic rates for roaming in the EU/EEA including UK.
- Website partly in English: https://en.yettel.hu/
- Full Website in Hungarian: https://www.yettel.hu/
- APN: online
Vodafone is the smallest provider in Hungary what the number of customers is concerned. It covers about 98% of the population on 2G and 3G and about 95% on 4G.
For 3G your device should be capable of the 900 MHz frequency, because most of its 3G antennas are based on it up to 21 Mbit/s. 4G/LTE network started in 2015 on 800 MHz and now available on 1800 and additionally on 700, 2100 and 2600 MHz available for prepaid users in up to 75 Mbit/s: Coverage map. 5G is operating on 700 MHz (n28) in rural areas and 3600 MHz (n78) in urban areas, but so far only available for high-end postpaid tariffs.
Their only prepaid SIM is called TUTI100. You can change plans in your My Vodafone account or app.
Top-ups can be made by vouchers, online or in the app. To find out your own number text SZAM to 1270. For top-ups between 1000 and 1999 Ft, using the balance is possible for 60 days beginning from the top-up date, while in the case of top-ups of 2000 Ft and above, the balance can be used for 365 days.
Data feature packages
TUTI100 is also the name of their new base plan. It includes 100 MB data per month for free. If you want more data, you can add any of the data packages mentioned further below.
- One-time packages
|1 GB||1,290 Ft||30 days||1GBE or HAVI1000E||X1GBE or XHAVI1000E|
|1 GB||1,490 Ft||60 days||1GB60||X1GB60|
|5 GB||2,590 Ft||30 days||5GBE or HAVI5000E||X5GBE or XHAVI5000E|
|20 GB||11 GB||4,490 Ft||20GBE||X20GBE|
|100 GB||15 GB||6,990 Ft||100GBE||X100GBE|
|500 GB||15 GB||7,990 Ft||500GBE or HAVI500GBE||X500GBE or XHAVI500GBE|
|3×1 GB||2,270 Ft||3×30 days||1GBX3||X1GBX3|
|3×5 GB||4,990 Ft||3×30 days||5GBX3||X1GBX3|
|12×1 GB||5,690 Ft||12×30 days||1GBX12||X1GBX12|
- Recurring packages (valid 30 days)
|1 GB||1,290 Ft||1GBM||X1GBM|
|5 GB||2,590 Ft||5GBM||X5GBM|
Activation is by texting code to 1270 or in My Vodafone account or app. Balance can be checked in My Vodafone account or app or by texting FEI or IEGYENLEG to 171 (SMS costs 19 Ft).
From 2017 all domestic allowances and add-on packs on the Tuti plans can be used in EU/EEA + UK roaming too without surcharges.
- APN: internet.vodafone.net /or/ standardnet.vodafone.net
- Website in Hungarian: https://www.vodafone.hu/
A 4th LTE license to Romanian-backed RCS & RDS company (brand name: 'DIGI') was given out in 2014. They started their own 2G and 4G network on 1800 MHz (B3) in 2019. In 2022 DIGI was sold to the Hungarian ICT group 4iG.
Their coverage is still limited (check map) and there is no domestic roaming on other networks. They sell only postpaid plans. These are reasons why they are not an option for travellers!
- more info in Hungarian: http://digi.hu/mobil