Romania has 4 network operators:
- Telekom Romania (formerly: Cosmote)
- Digi Mobil (by RCS-RDS)
- 2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz,
- 3G on 900 and 2100 MHz,
- 4G/LTE on 800, 900, 1800, 2100 and 2600 MHz (bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20, 38).
- Orange operates 4G on 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz (B20, B3, B7) .
- Vodafone operates 4G on 800 (B20), 1800 (B3) and 2100 (B1) MHz, with some hotspots in TD-LTE on 2600 MHz (B38).
- Telekom operates 4G on 800, 900 and 1800 MHz (B20, B8, B3)
- Digi Mobil started 4G on 2600 MHz (B38) as TD-LTE and in 2016 on 2100 MHz (B1) as FD-LTE. In 2019 they also started 4G on 900 MHz (B8).
Prepaid registration from 2020? Edit
Romania is one of the few EU countries remaining where a SIM card can still be purchased without any registration. Up to now you can also find free SIM card starter packs in shops close to (or inside) metro stations (before entering the station). They come without credit and are for free. Just ask for a prepaid card with number (if the seller does not understand English ask around somebody to translate).
In 2019 the Romanian government has approved an emergency ordinance requiring mobile network operators to register the personal details of prepaid SIM users from 1 January 2020. Anyone buying a prepaid SIM will need to present their identity card, while existing prepaid SIM users will have until 1 September 2020 to register their details or face disconnection. The information will be made available to the national emergency services call centers to help identify callers as they are facing misuse by anonymous callers.
Later in 2019 Romania’s Senate and a government commission have removed provisions from a draft government emergency ordinance issued in August that would have required customers buying a pre-paid SIM card to present their ID card from 1 January 2020. The decision follows a warning from the ombudsman that there was no justification for rushing through such a requirement, which it believes would ‘drastically limit’ the right to privacy. So it's very likely that there will be no mandatory registration in 2020.
Top-ups and validity Edit
You can refill how much you need at recharging points or shops all over the country. Beware that these top-up machines don't give any change and all money once put into the machine is loaded into your account. International credit or debit cards are confirmed to work on the sites of the major operators for top-ups.
While SIM cards of Orange, Vodafone and Telekom stay valid for 12 months after the last top-up before being suspended, with DigiMobil this period is only for 6 months and Lycamobile for 3 months.
Romania has a adopted a creative way to hide the sales tax or VAT. All prices are advertised in Euro (EUR, €) and given like in the article below, but local currency remains the Romanian Leu (RON). When topping up refill rates given in EUR are net rates without a 19% VAT (sales tax) locally called TVA that is deducted in the conversion to local RON. That's why you get about 1/4 less in effect based on what seems to be a very bad exchange rate.
Therefore to all prices given below you need to add 19% taxes, which is quite unique in Europe.
OrangeEditOrange is the market leader in Romania. It has a good coverage and speeds in the country. In 2014 Orange started 4G/LTE and in 2016 they signed a deal to share 4G/LTE with Telekom through national network sharing. They have covered 97% of the population by 4G/LTE already in 2017 (coverage map ).
Orange PrePay SIM cards are available at many newsstands or Orange shops (locator) for a small fee. Online a free SIM can be ordered to be sent to a Romanian postal address. Currently, the 5 € SIM comes pre-loaded with a 6 € credit including 300 minutes of voice, unlimited domestic text and 4 GB of data.
You can buy top-up vouchers at their outlets, electronic top-ups online on your account require a Romanian credit card. Users from some countries (list) can use the international Orange top-up site to recharge by credit card without additional fees (if you stick to €). Account information by code *100#.
The new SIM card is locked by the default PIN "0000". To find out your new number, call 222 then follow prompt (English available). They also send out a SMS with the number the moment you have inserted the SIM in your phone for the first time without having to call 222.
Data feature packs Edit
Data out of packages is at 0.05 € per MB. These monthly combo packs are offered for 30 days:
|5 GB + 50 GB||1000 mins/SMS||2.9 GB (#)||100 mins||5 €||205|
|6 GB + 50 GB||2000 mins/SMS||3.5 GB (#)||300 mins||6 €||206|
|8 GB + 50 GB||2000 mins/SMS||5.6 GB (#)||400 mins||8 €||208|
|10 GB + 50 GB||2000 mins/SMS||5.8 GB||600 mins||10 €||(online only)|
|12 GB + 50 GB (*)||2000 mins/SMS||6.9 GB||600 mins||12 €||(online only)|
(*) = 12 € option additionally includes 100 min and 1 GB usage in Australia, China (only incoming calls), Israel, Moldova, Switzerland, and USA.
For activation simply call this number shown above. 10 € and 12 € options must be activated online. Unlimited on-net calls are included. All packages auto-renew after one month. Speed is up to 4G+ and 500 Mbps where available.
For data-only these packages are given out:
|RO data||EU Cap (#)||Price||Activation|
|10 GB + 50 GB||2.9 GB (#)||5 €||net5|
|12 GB + 50 GB||3.5 GB (#)||6 €||net6|
|16 GB + 50 GB||4.6 GB (#)||8 €||net8|
|20 GB + 50 GB||5.8 GB||10 €||net10|
Domestic overuse is charged with 0.02 € per MB during the running time of the package or the default data rate (above) after. Check remaining credit by *133#. Then you'll receive an SMS about remaining quota and validity period. You can buy a new package ahead of time, when the old one is exhausted.
EU roaming Edit
(#) = Orange lets you roam in other EU countries at the cheap Romanian domestic rate in packages up to the limit shown as "EU cap" in the tables. All overuse will lead to surcharges of around 5 EUR per GB. For this you need to have enabled international roaming in your online account or by *100#, have already bought a domestic data package plus (except for the 10 EUR and 12 EUR options) need to activate a "10 € roaming credit" by *100# so that this "roam at home" share will be credited for free.
- APN: net
- Website in Romanian: http://www.orange.ro/
Vodafone EditVodafone is the 2nd operator in the country almost on par with Orange. It has a good coverage on 3G with 90% of population covered. It started with 4G/LTE in some towns available on most tariffs; Vodafone coverage map.
Vodafone has the lowest rates of the three major providers, has a better 3G network than Telekom or Digi, but a worse 4G/LTE network than Orange and Telekom. Nevertheless, it scored the fastest network in Romania in the Ookla speed test in 2016 and won the 2017 P3 network test for best voice and data in Romania.
Their prepaid SIM card called Cartela Vodafone can be bought sometimes for free without credit or normally for 6.20 € with 5 € credit at newsstands or in Vodafone stores (locator).
Top-ups can be made with vouchers. Online Vodafone is the only operator in Romania that accepts international credit cards for top-ups.
The SIM is valid for 30-90 days after you have recharged it depending on value plus 300 days in passive mode. They also have a special option to extend the validity of your credit for 1 € (you can use this when your account validity has expired and you have entered the passive phase of credit validity).
Cartela Vodafone Edit
Vodafone offers its Cartela in different starters:
- for free: without credit mostly online and in promotions
- for 1 €: with 100 on-net mins/SMS or 10 all-net mins/SMS
- for 5 €: with unlimited on-net mins/SMS, 200 all-net mins/SMS and 100 MB data included
If data is all you need, you will have to request the credit to be re-credited by texting 'CREDIT' to 579 within 24 hours of activation and your credit will be moved to general balance.
Data feature packsEdit
Default rate is high 0.20 € per MB.
These promotions are available, while some stores may offer you some additional discounts:
|1 €||7 days||1 GB||blocked||100 units|
|1 €||14 days||0.02€/MB||0.02€/MB||0.05€/min|
|2 €||7 days||10 GB||blocked||200 units|
|5 €||28 days||30 GB||blocked||1000 units||100 mins|
|6 €||28 days||60 GB||blocked||2000 units||300 mins|
|8 €||35 days||80 GB||blocked||2000 units||1000 mins|
|10 €||42 days||100 GB||blocked||2000 units||1000 mins|
|15 €||28 days|| 150 GB
|8.76 GB|| 2000 mins
|35 €||28 days||20 GB|
Activate by texting code to 321 or by *100# and choose "Promoţie". All combo packs are valid for 28 days, the 7 € pack for 35 days and will auto-renew. To stop enter *100# "Contul meu" - "Opțiuni active" and deactivate. You can start a new bundle ahead of time, if you have used it up because overuse fee is a high 0.20 € per MB. There are also often promotions giving you additional domestic data.
All bundles include unlimited calls to Vodafone Romania. All bundles of 6 € or more inlclude zero-rated Facebook and WhatsApp.
EU roaming has now been removed from the 5 €, 6 €, 7€, 8€ and 10 € offers. In the other offers, EU roaming from domestic allowances is capped at the volumes shown in the column for roaming data in the EU. On all consumption beyond a surcharge of 0.34c per MB + 19% tax is applied.
(*) = The 15 € and 35 € packs additionally give 100 mins/SMS and 1 GB data roaming in about 50 non-EU countries. Unlike in some other countries, Vodafone Romania counts Switzerland as a non-EU country for roaming purposes, so usage beyond the 1 GB allowance costs 70c per MB.
For laptops and modems, Vodafone sells their data only SIM called Cartela cu Net excluding EU roaming. It comes in two different forms:
- sold only online: for 5 €: with 500 MB pre-loaded and 1 GB night traffic (0-7am) valid for 10 days.
- sold in shops: for 1 €: with 150 MB pre-loaded valid for 3 days.
Following top-ups can be made for speeds up to 225 Mbit/s on 4G:
|1 €||5 GB||2 days|
|2 €||10 GB||2 days|
|5 €||40 GB||28 days|
|10 €||100 GB||28 days|
This data card can be managed only online. For that you have to register an account on Vodafone (available in English) too. There is absolutely no international roaming on this data-only SIM.
- for Cartela Vodafone: APN: live.vodafone.com
- for Cartela Cu Net: APN and Username: internet.vodafone.ro - Password: vodafone
- Tethering is allowed and possible
- Website in Romanian: http://www.vodafone.ro
Telekom Romania (formerly Cosmote)EditIn 2014 Cosmote in Romania rebranded into Telekom. They only got rid of the green and brought in magenta, some new tariffs and opened 4G/LTE for prepaid.
It's 3G network currently covers about only 60% of the population. There are rural areas covered only with 2G and 4G. For 3G better make a network check before buying. 4G/LTE has a very good coverage, more than 95% of the population (ranked 2nd after Orange): Telekom coverage map.
Their starter pack is available at Telekom stores, that are called Magazin (store locator) for free without credit or for 5 € with the same credit. There and in lots of more stores you can buy top up codes as well. Note, that electronic top-up by credit card requires a Romanian credit card. Use vouchers instead that are sold from 5 €. Check credit by *100# or *134#.
Note that not all Telekom stores carry prepaid starter packs. In those cases the staff are usually able to direct you to a store that does sell them.
Telekom calls its voice and data prepaid SIM card Cartela Telekom to be added by combo packages. Their data-only Internet Connect Free has been discontinued.
Data feature packs Edit
On their voice, text and data SIM Cartela Telecom data is at 0.20 € per MB by default in Romania and 0.05 € per MB in the EU.
Opțions with unlimited Telekom mins and SMS, some domestic mins and SMS that can also be used for international landlines, international mobile mins and a domestic or roaming data allowance:
Voice / SMS
|2 €||7 days||2 GB (+)||unlimited||100 mins||blocked||U2|
|2 €||28 days||0.05 €/MB||0.05€/min, 0.02/SMS||0.05 €/MB||R2|
|5 €||28 days||5 GB (+)||1500 mins/SMS||100 mins||blocked||N5|
|6 €||30 days||2 GB (+)||unlimited||200 mins||blocked||N6|
|12 €||28 days||15 GB (+)||1000 mins/SMS||200 mins||6.85 GB (*)||R12|
Unlimited WhatsApp use (no VoIP calls), Facebook and FB Messenger are included for free in combo plans.
(+) Telekom runs the promotion "Net Nelimitat" on these plans. By texting an empty SMS to 888 or by *100# followed by 4 and 2 you can activate free unlimited data (throttled at 1.5 Mbps for video content) in Romania for 28 days.
(*) The 12 € package gives 1 GB additional roaming data in Switzerland, Serbia and Moldova.
Activation is online in your account or by *100#, choose: Extraoptiuni. All packages auto-renew after one month, if there is enough credit or by SMS code. To deactivate you need to go to your online account or call customer service at 1234 for free.
For more data, they sell these add-ons:
- 100 MB for one month, 3G: 1 € - activation: text 'A DS' to 638
- 500 MB for one month, 4G/LTE: 3 € - activation: text: 'A DM' to 638
- 1 GB for one month, 4G/LTE: 5 € - activation: text 'A DL' to 638
After the scrapping of roaming charges in the EU Telekom in Romania has changed their portfolio. They now sell one special plan with roaming included and most without, where 0.044 € per MB applies. So be sure to get the right plan for your purposes.
- APN: broadband (only for this plan on old Cosmote or new Telekom cards)
- Website in Romanian: http://www.telekom.ro/
Digi Mobil run by RCS-RDS of an local entrepreneur has the smallest network in Romania with the best rates. It has good coverage in major cities and on national roads using 3G 900 and 2100 MHz, but it may lack coverage in the countryside. It has no 2G/GSM to fall back and no roaming outside the country.
The outdoor coverage of Digi Mobil's 3G rose to over 94% of the country's population in 2016. Still for travelling in the countryside, Orange or Vodafone may be the better choice.
Digi Mobil has started 4G/LTE in 2015 on the rare 2600 MHz TDD (B38) frequency band and in 2016 on 2100 MHz (B1) FD-LTE, and covers 50% of the population with LTE in 2017. Since 2018 4G/LTE is available also for prepaid sim cards. In 2019 they started refarming the 900 MHz spectrum from 3G to 2G (voice only) and 4G (B8).
You can top-up your SIM card in their stores or online using a credit/debit card or at PayPoint, Payzone, Mobile Distribution or Westaco terminals.
Data feature packagesEdit
They offer these combo plans with unlimited Digi Mobil calls and texts and 4G data up to 100 Mbps:
|Plan||Price||Validity||RO Data||RO Voice||Activation|
|Hipsterova||2 €||1 month||2 GB||150 mins||*110*2*1*1#|
|Diva||2 €||3 months||2 GB||200 mins||*110*2*2*1#|
|Bogatinov||3 €||1 month||4 GB||250 mins||*110*2*3*1#|
|Deluxovici||3 €||3 months||3 GB||300 mins||*110*2*4*1#|
|Dinerovich||4 €||1 month||6 GB||400 mins||*110*2*5*1#|
|Bashtanov||4 €||3 months||4 GB||450 mins||*110*2*6*1#|
Voice allowances to all domestic networks. For more data on Digi Mobil network only, you can add an Extranet 1 GB package with 1 GB for 1 €. Note, that all allowances are domestic only and Digi Mobil doesn't offer international data roaming.
Digi Mobil generally doesn't offer any roaming services on prepaid. Roaming is available only for postpaid customers.
- Digi Mobil only works in Romania, not abroad
- APN (for prepaid only): prepaid
- Website in Romanian: https://www.digiromania.ro/servicii/telefonie-mobila/cartela-digi
In 2014 UK-based Lycamobile started one of the first MVNOs with its Romanian operation. It operates on the network of Telekom in 2G and 3G only, no 4G/LTE. For coverage see Telekom above. But unlike in other countries, their rates for data are not so competitive compared to the network operators.
As usual their SIM card is available for free online here but to be sent to an Romanian address only. To get it in stores, you have to look for their logo, which may be hard to find, as Lycamobile doesn't publish a list. You have to top-up right away or online by international credit card.
Data feature packs Edit
Default data rate outside of packs and for overuse is 0.09 € per MB. So use these data packages valid in Romania and the EU:
|2 €||200 MB||1 day||*139*10200#|
|2.50 €||300 MB||30 days||*139*10300#|
To activate enter code. All packages auto-renew, if there is enough credit. To stop, dial *190# at least one day before auto-renewal. Using more data, you will be charged at the default rate.
These five monthly combo packs include an EU roaming allowance:
|Package||RO Data||EU Data||Voice||IDD||SMS||Price||Activation|
|Start||5 GB (-)||1.5 GB||1000 mins||1100 mins||1000||3 €||*139*40004#|
|Mini||40 GB (+)||2.5 GB||1000 mins||1100 mins||1000||5 €||*139*40005#|
|Super||70 GB (+)||3 GB||1500 mins||1700 mins||1500||6 €||*139*40006#|
|Mega||80 GB (+)||3.5 GB||unlimited||2250 mins||Flat||7 € (*)||*139*40007#|
|Ultra||100 GB (+)||4 GB||2000 mins||2300 mins||Flat||8 €||*139*40008#|
(-) = As a promotion 2 GB per day (unlimited internet from Mini) can be added up to 60 GB if you text "GIGADAY" to 3535
(+) = As a promotion unlimited data per month can be added, if you text "GIGADAY" to 3535.
(*) = The 7 € pack is for 3.50 € when you buy it online.
All packages auto-renew and same add-ons as shown above can be added. To stop auto-renewal, type *190# at least 1 day before the scheduled reneal date.
EU roaming Edit
Lycamobile gives out allowances of their data and combo packages above for EU roaming up to the specified limit. Additional data is 0.09 € per MB.
More info Edit
- APN: data.lycamobile.ro
- Username: lmro (that's lowercase L, not capital i).
- Password: plus
- Lycamobile actively prevents tethering (hotspot use) in many countries
- Website in English: http://www.lycamobile.ro/en/