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Basics

The (former Yugoslav) Republic of Macedonia was officially renamed in 2018/9 to Republic of North Macedonia after an agreement with Greece.

(North) Macedonia has two networks:

  • Telekom (T-Mobile, a.k.a. Makedonski Telekom, owned by Magyar Telekom and Deutsche Telekom)
  • A1 formerly called Vip (owned by Telekom Austria by merging the two networks of One and vip)

In 2016 Lycamobile made the 3rd attempt to establish a MVNO in this country after two others have failed before.

2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G on 900 and 2100 MHz. 4G/LTE has started on 800 (B20) and 1800 MHz (B3) on both networks. No 5G yet.

The combined A1 network is the new market leader with 52% share. In 2014 one and vip networks agreed to a merger. The new company started commercial operations in 2015. The full integration of all operational and technical systems was finalized by the end of 2016 and the new network is now marketed under the vip brand rebranded in 2020 to A1.

In 2020 Makedonski Telekom has the fastest average mobile data speed in North Macedonia, according to a report published by the Agency for Electronic Communications. The operator achieved an average speed of 52.71 Mbps, ahead of A1 with 46.29 Mbps. Umlaut also gave both North Macedonian providers very high marks in 4G/LTE coverage and speeds in 2020.

You can purchase a SIM card in the official stores of the two providers. But their SIM cards are also sold at other stores, such as tobacco stores, newsstands, and grocery stores. Lycamobile SIM cards are also available at those places. SIM cards are also available from a newsstand/tobacco store at Skopje International Airport (Megjunaroden Aerodrom Skopje).

The registration of the prepaid subscribers is a legal obligation (Law on Electronic Communications) to use mobile services. That's why you should bring along your photo ID (ID card, passport) for purchase.

Roaming

Be aware that North Macedonia is neither part of the EU, nor of the wider EEA, where since 2017 new international roaming rules have been enforced. So roaming rates using EU/EEA-issued SIM cards are not regulated and can therefore be much higher. Better use a local or regional SIM card.

Instead, from July 2021 Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have become a single roaming area similar to EU rules. From now on you can roam without surcharges in the Western Balkans using a SIM card from these countries, but not in the EU.

Makedonski Telekom (Македонски Телеком, T-Mobile)

T-mobile.jpg
tmobile
Telekom also called T-Mobile or Makedonski Telekom used to be market leader in Macedonia with about 1/2 of the customers and has still the best network and around 48% of customers. 4G/LTE covers around 70% of population on 45% of territory in 2015. 2G 3G 4G coverage map. 3G is available to 98% of the people on 93% of the area in 2016.

Availability

Different SIM cards are sold In their stores (store locator):

  • for MKD 295 with the same credit included
  • for MKD 399 with unlimited calls, 100 SMS and 5 GB data and MKD 181 credit included for 7 days
  • for MKD 499 with 5 GB internet for 30 days
  • for MKD 1199 with unlimited calls and 15 GB for 30 days

Top-up vouchers are available from MKD 100 in kiosks, supermarkets, local shops, gasoline/petrol stations and Makpetrol shops or top-up on the website of Makedonski Telekom. A top-up of MKD 100 to 300 gives 60 days of validity; MKD 590 gives 90 days and MKD 900 gives one year. Through the app you can activate an bonus of 1 GB for a weekend when you top-up MKD 249 to 449 or 4 GB and Stream on for 4 weekends when you top-up more than MKD 449. For each top-up you get 500 MB when done through the Telekom.mk app.

Data feature packs

Default internet is for MKD 3.9 per MB in Easy and MKD 4.9 in Cool+ tariff. For data usage, a minimum of MKD 50 is needed on your prepaid account. To all lines these packages can be added in up to 21 Mbit/s:

Data package Price Volume Period Activation
Daily Internet MKD 49 1 GB 24 hours DNEVEN
Weekly Internet S MKD 49 500 MB* 7 days *142#
Weekly Internet M MKD 99 1 GB* 7 days *142#
Weekly Internet L MKD 129 2 GB* 7 days *142#
Monthly Internet S MKD 129 500 MB* 30 days MESECHEN S
Monthly Internet M MKD 249 2 GB* 30 days MESECHEN M
Monthly Internet L MKD 499 8 GB* 30 days MESECHEN L

(*) = data quota is doubled in volume when you activate it through their MK Telekom app

Otherwise, for activation, text code to 140140 or dial *142#. Whenever you reach the 80% utilization in prepaid you send SMS notification. Even Fix included traffic, additional Internet traffic will be charged - will only reduce the speed of mobile internet of 64/64 Kbps.

If you want to check the status of the spent internet, you can send an SMS at any time at the free of charge number 140140 with text MB or Internet. If you want to deactivate Mobile Surf, you need to call the IVR 140140 again.

Technical settings

  • APN: internet
  • Username: internet
  • Password: t-mobile

More information

A1 (formerly vip, merged with One)

A1.png
new logo
The two vip and One networks have been completely merged in 2017. The new network has been marketed as under the name of vip. In 2017 Telekom Slovenije sold its shares to Telekom Austria who as new owner rebranded it to A1 in September 2019.

Whatever it's called now, it has a good coverage and started 4G/LTE in 2014 in key cities: Vip 2G 3G 4G coverage map.

Vip.png
old logo

Availability

The SIM card is sold in their stores: Store locator. They sell different cards:

  • for MKD 299 with 10 GB for 14 days
  • for MKD 399 two SIM cards with 10 GB each for 14 days

Once the A1 Prepaid card is activated, it will be valid over a 12-month period. After the expiration of the 12-month period, you will be able to only receive calls and SMS messages for 3 more months. During those 3 months, you can top-up your credit and by doing so you will reactivate your prepaid card. Should you fail to top up your credit after the additional 3 months have passed, you number will be disconnected and erased from the system.

Top-up vouchers are sold for 100, 200, 300, 500 and MKD 1000. To top-up by voucher, enter *100*<voucher PIN>#. To check balance, enter *101#.

Data feature packs

Default internet is MKD 2.9 per MB. On all of their prepaid SIM cards these data options can be activated:

Price Volume Period Activation Deactivation
MKD 19 100 MB 24 hours DEN START STOP DNEVEN 100MB
MKD 39 1 GB DEN PROMO START STOP DNEVEN 1GB
MKD 49 400 MB 7 days START NEDELA 200MB STOP NEDELEN 200MB
MKD 79 1 GB START NEDELA 1GB STOP NEDELEN 1GB
MKD 119 2 GB START PROMO STOP PROMO
MKD 99 1 GB 30 days 1GB STOP 1GB
MKD 199 3 GB 3GB STOP 3GB
MKD 299 10 GB 10GB STOP 10GB
MKD 399 15 GB 15GB STOP 15GB
MKD 999 50 GB 50GB STOP 50GB

For activation, text code to 1410. After the included data traffic is exceeded, you can continue surfing until the validity of the package ends, whereby the speed is automatically lowered to 32 Kbps, and the spent data traffic is not additionally charged. The activated internet package is automatically renewed after its validity ends, until you deactivate it by texting code to 1410.

For unlimited zero-rated Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Messenger, WhatsApp and Snapchat, you can add a weekly package of MKD 119 by texting START to 1499 and to stop from renewal STOP to 1499.

Roaming

From July 2021 A1 roaming is without surcharges in countries of the Western Balkans. Nevertheless they still offer two roaming packs for this region:

  • 2 GB for 30 days: MKD 299, activation: START BALKAN S
  • 5 GB for 30 days: MKD 499, activation: START BALKAN L

A1 also offers A1 Roam packages that provide discounted roaming data for 30 days in certain European countries. Activate by sending a SMS with the activation code to 140999.

  • 500 MB for MKD 249, activation: START L
  • 2 GB for MKD 499, activation: START XL
  • 5 GB for MKD 999, activation: START XXL

These packages are valid in Austria, Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, and the UK.

  • for Greece on Vodafone they offer 10 GB for 30 days at MKD 999 by texting START GR to 14999

Surf packages have a hard cap. If you have time remaining on a Surf package but you have used up your data, further data access will be blocked, preventing you from being charged the high per-use roaming rate. You can then restore your data access by purchasing another Surf package.

Technical settings

  • APN: internet

More information

Lycamobile

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In 2016 Lycamobile soft-launched in Macedonia as first MVNO and their 21st country after two previous attempts by different companies have failed. The network has been disclosed by users as vip, now called A1.

Availability

Their SIM cards are as usually available for free in retail shops and almost every petrol station when you top up at least MKD 100. It will stay alive for 60 days when topped up by up to MKD 300.

For a start, target newspaper-tobacco small shops, 24/7 shops and service stations: store locator. So watch for their logo near entrance with square window sticker. You are supposed to make a top-up right away to have credit. For all online recharges Lycamobile gives 10% bonus.

For activation dial *132# to find your number. For registration locals can use an online form, but if you are a foreign national, then contact customer service or go to a local authorized retailer to complete registration.

Data feature packages

With every recharge of your account of at least MKD 100 you'll be for 30 days on the Lyca Plus plan with data at MKD 0.79 per MB. Otherwise you'll be on the Standard plan at MKD 0.99 per MB.

These data bundles are offered:

Package Data Roaming

Cap

Time Price Activation
XLS 1 GB 500 MB 7 days MKD 59 *139*1007#
Data 99 3 GB 500 MB 7 days MKD 99 *139*1032#
XS 500 MB 500 MB 30 days MKD 59 *139*1001#
S 1 GB 500 MB 30 days MKD 99 *139*1002#
M 2 GB 500 MB 30 days MKD 129 *139*1003#
L 3 GB 1 GB 30 days MKD 219 *139*1004#
XL 6 GB 1 GB 30 days MKD 249 *139*1005#
XXL 8 GB 1.5 GB 30 days MKD 399 *139*1006#
Mega 20 GB 3 GB 30 days MKD 750 *139*1075#

All packages auto-renew after 30 days, if you have loaded enough credit before.

For more data you can add:

  • 1 GB (roaming: 500 MB): MKD 49, activation: *139*1070#
  • 3 GB (roaming: 500 MB): MKD 99, activation: *139*1080#

Roaming

From July 2021 roaming is included in Western Balkans nations up to the specified limit in the table. For all use beyond a surcharge of MKD 5.9 per MB is added.

Technical settings

  • APN: data.lycamobile.mk
  • Username: lmmk
  • Password: plus

More info

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