Mongolia is a huge country located between Russia and China. Two main GSM-based operators operate here:
Two further providers Skytel and G-Mobile both only operate 3G networks in Ulaanbaatar and GSM-incompatible CDMA/EVDO networks in the rest of the country. That's why they are not listed on this page.
On MobiCom and Unitel 2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G (HDSPA) on 2100 MHz. 4G/LTE started in 2016 in Ulaanbaatar city only on 1800 MHz (Band 3) and new licenses were given out for 700 MHz (Band 28).
As the least densely populated country in the world, with a significant portion of the population living a nomadic lifestyle, large areas are still not covered. A few years ago the government issued a decree that a rider needs to reach a point of coverage within 4 days. This has improved since.
With almost half the population clustered in the capital of Ulaanbaatar, most resources are deployed here. You can expect 3G coverage only in and around of major towns, but all provincial capitals are covered by 3G now. Both networks are more or less on par with coverage.
MobiCom is the biggest Mongolian cellular operator with 1.7 million active subscribers. It was established in 1996 as a joint Mongolian-Japanese venture and is the first Mongolian cell phone service. It was founded by Mongolian Newcom Group, and Japanese KDDI. As of 2015, Mobicom holds over 1/3 of the market, with network coverage of 95% of the population. Check their 2G/3G/4G coverage map
Mobicom introduced 3G (HSPDA) networking in 2009. Its network support phones with 2100 MHz. 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz (Band 3) has been launched for all users without any surcharges and is enabled by default on all new SIM cards. You can check your SIM card for 4G support by entering your MobiCom mobile number here.
Its basic prepaid package called MobiCard can be purchased at MobiCom service points. You will need to provide your ID or passport for mandatory registration.
Standard and micro SIM cards are available almost everywhere, finding a nano SIM can be a bit difficult, so be ready to cut.
MobiCom sells two main prepaid packages: "MobiCard" and "One" for 5000 ₮ without any credits or for 10,000 ₮ with 5000 ₮ pre-loaded. Starters for other plans may even be cheaper.
All of MobiCom prepaid plans ("MobiCard", "One" "Stars" or "be") have the same basic data rate of 0.09₮ (MNT) per KB (price valid without any active packages). "One" package offers better rate for local calls within MobiCom network.
Your account will expire after 30 days of inactivity. To save the number and account, you need to recharge for at least 1000₮ every 30 days.
To top-up use their top-up cards sold all over. Enter *212*<16-digit voucher PIN># to reload. To check balance, dial *210#.
Default rate is 0.09 ₮ per KB that translates into 90 ₮ per MB. These data packages can be activated on all prepaid plans:
|600 MB||600 MB||1 day||1500 ₮|
|1 GB||1 GB||2 days||2000 ₮|
|1.5 GB||1.5 GB||3 days||3500 ₮|
|3 GB||3 GB||7 days||7000 ₮|
|5 GB||5 GB||15 days||11500 ₮|
|3 GB||3 GB||30 days||16500 ₮|
All packages are doubled in volume with data for 4G use only. To activate a selected package, send a SMS with its original volume (Case sensitive! No spaces! Dot, not comma!) to number 592. For example, if you wish to get a 1+1 GB data package with 30 days, simply text '1GB' without a blank to 592. They are advertised as "unlimited" as they are throttled to 128 kbps when all data is used up.
To check your data balance text letter "B" to 592.
They also offer a night package valid from midnight to 8am with 30 GB for 7 nights at 1500 ₮. Activation by code S30 to 592.
MobiCom has introduced special "tourist combo" bundles with lower international calling rates, SMS messages and mobile data packages designated for foreign tourists visiting Mongolia. There are 3 combo bundles with data and credit to be used for mins, SMS or MB (at 0.09 ₮ per MB)
|20 000₮||15 days||600 MB||5 000 ₮|
|35 000₮||30 days||1.1 GB||10 000 ₮|
|60 000₮||30 days||5 GB||15 000 ₮|
For more data regular packages can be added. The maximum extension of their Tourist Plan is for 90 days.
- APN settings: internet
- MobiCom support service: dial 2222 from any MobiCom mobile phone
- MobiCom website in English: http://www.mobicom.mn/en/
Unitel (Universal or United telecommunications) is the 2nd mobile operator in Mongolia. It was founded together with South Korea in 2005 as GSM mobile phone operator. In 2010 Unitel declared that it has become 100% indigenous company (i.e. Mongolian share owners bought all share from the Korean side).
Unitel network covers approximately 88% of population. In 2009 Unitel launched its 3G network on 2100 MHz. In 2016 they started 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz (Band 3) in the towns of Ulaanbaatar, Erdenet, Darkhan City, Dalanzadgad, Tsogttsetsii open for prepaid. It has a lower coverage, but better prices than MobiCom.
You can find Unitel official shops in Ulaanbataar (Store locator.) It can be difficult to buy a new SIM card as very few people speak English there. There is no English website or support phone. Only in Mongolian. You will need your ID card, passport or driving license to register your new package. Sometimes smaller stores in border town offer SIM-cards as well. No need for any registration by ID was required.
There are standard size, micro and nano SIM cards available for 3000 ₮ with 1000 ₮ credits preloaded.
Top-up by vouchers available in many stores across the country. Just look for the corresponding sign at the store. To recharge the account using the voucher, dial *1411*<voucher code>#.To check the account balance, dial *1411#.
For prepaid they offer three different plans:
- Smart Talk: 35 ₮ per min, 20 ₮ per SMS and 0.09 ₮ per MB
- Smart Data: 70 ₮ per min, 20 ₮ per SMS and free data
- Smart Time: 70 ₮ per min, 20 ₮ per SMS, 0.09 ₮ per MB and longer validity
These plans come in conjunction with a package below. For Smart Talk text 1, Smart Data 2 and Smart Time 3 to 1441.
Data feature packages
They offer these packages:
|1 500 ₮||24 hours||1 GB||1|
|4 000 ₮||3 days||512 MB per day||3|
|8 000 ₮||7 days||512 MB per day||7|
|25 000 ₮||30 days||512 MB per day||30|
|4 000 ₮||7 days||500 MB||500MB|
|10 000 ₮||30 days||1 GB||1000MB|
|20 000 ₮||30 days||3 GB||3000MB|
To activate one of these bundles text code to 1423 which has to be confirmed by 'ON'. For a list of available options send a SMS with the word "Help" to 1423. Unitel will reply with a mesaage showing available options and prices.
- APN settings: unitel /or/ net
- Website (in Mongolian only): http://www.unitel.mn/