Cellular connection in Vietnam

For tourists during their travelling it’s extremely important to keep in touch with their relatives and close friends. Mobile services in Vietnam let people refuse from expensive operators’ roaming and call to different countries at a cost from $0.3 per minute.

How to call from Vietnam

Practically, every tourist visiting any other country wants to have a possibility to communicate with their friends, relatives and even with their followers on Instagram.

There are several ways to call from Vietnam.

  1. Using your own SIM card you bought in your country is the most expensive variant.
  2. Buying SIM card at local operators – is much more cheaper as it costs from $0.3 per minute.
  3. Using free Wi-Fi network in hotels, on beaches and any other places where it’s available for calls via Skype – is the cheapest variant.

Let’s have a look at the first two variants and speak about roaming and local mobile operators.

Roaming conditions

Roaming conditions which are usually offered by foreign mobile operators aren’t quite expedient. Some of them lack in specific coverage zones which provide normal comunication in the territory of Vietnam.

For better and more convenient use of mobile services it’s recommended to buy Vietnam SIMcard.

Vietnamese operators

International phone code of Vietnam – +84

The most popular operators are as follows:

They work on the whole territory of Vietnam and control 90% of market. If you are going to visit outlying places of the country, there will be a little difference in coverage. However, the quality of connection of tourist zones is equally good.

Vietnamese fishermen in a boat
Quality cellular communication is provided throughout Vietnam.
There is no inner roaming in the country, so you can travel without being afraid of overpaying.

Very often operators provide us with special offers. For example, if you buy special scratch-card you will get 50% more calls. You can track new offers on the operator’s site and they can also send messages on your phone.

The cost of phone calls and SMS is almost equal.

ServiceMobifoneViettelVinaphone
Calls within one operator880 vnd / min ($0.04)1190 vnd / min ($0.05)1180 vnd / min ($0.05)
Calls to other Vietnamese operators980 vnd / min ($0.04)1390 vnd / min ($0.06)1380 vnd / min ($0.06)
SMS in Vietnam withing one network290 vnd / min ($0.01)300 vnd / min ($0.01) 290 vnd / min ($0.01)
SMS in Vietnam (other operators)350 vnd / min ($0.015)350 vnd / min ($0.015)350 vnd / min ($0.015)

Buying a SIM-card

SIM-cards can be bought at different places:

  • In the airport;
  • In the main office;
  • From agent ( with operator’s lettering on a shop);
  • At the supermarket;
  • At the street-shops;
  • At certain travel agencies.
We don’t recommend to buy SIM-cards at the airports, because usually the price is unreasonably high.

We can recommend you to go along the streets and main tourist places and you’ll definitely find small supermarkets where you can ask the shop-assistants:

Mobifone/Viettel/Vinaphone Sim-card ko”?
It means: “Do you have Sim-cards Mobifone/Viettel/Vinaphone?”

The main peculiarity of buying Vietnam Sim-card – is that it’s not necessary to show your passport.

The average price of your purchase is 70.000-130.000 VND. If converting to USD it’s about $3-$6. A part of this amount of money is already on your account. At the shops they often sell activated SIM-cards. That is, they are new but already registered with one’s name. SIM-cards can be of different size, if necessary shop-assistants can make it fit to your phone.

Recharge the balance

Recharging the balance is rather simple: you should buy plastic card (SCRATCH-CARD) at those streetshops. Just go to the shop-assistant and show him a photo ( picture below) or say: “Mobifone fifty thousand? (means Mobifone 50000), instead of 50.000 you can say 100.000 (one hundred thousand) or 200.000 (two hundred thousand) . You can also try to ask in Vietnamese: “Mobifone nam myi ko?” (“Do you have Mobifone 50?”) or Mobifone muiy tyam ko (“Do you have Mobifone 100?”) but usually Vietnamese people don’t expect foreigners to ask them in their language, so it’s bigger chance they will understand your English.

Nominal value is equal to the price.

Mobifone scratch card 200.000 vnd
Mobifone scratch card 200.000 vnd

On the other side of scratch-card you can see an instruction (in the picture above). In order to recharge the balance cratch the protection and input *100* (your code)#. For example, if the code is “09876543” – input *100*098765432”# You should receive SMS informing you about transferring money to your account.

Useful commands

Check the balance

For checking your balance there is a command *101#, then “Call”. After doing this you’ll get SMS with many numbers. The balance is on top and the other numbers – promocodes.

Internet balance

If the package of services was connected, you can check the rest of megabytes for 3G with the help of the command *102#, then “Call”

Turning SMS-adverts from Mobifone off

For turning SMS –adverts from Mobifone off send SMS with a text “TC” ( in Latin) to number 9241.

Changing language in SMS from Vietnamese to English

Viettel:

  1. Call on number 900;
  2. Push 4 ( changing languages menu);
  3. Then push 2 ( for choosing English language;
  4. Now push 1 to save chosen language.

Mobifone:

  1. Call on number 900;
  2. Push 5 ( changing languages menu);
  3. Then push 1 ( for choosing English language;
  4. Now push 1 to save chosen language.

Vinaphone:

  1. Call on number 900;
  2. Push 3 ( changing languages menu);
  3. Then push 1 ( for choosing English language;
  4. Now push 1 to save chosen language.

Mobile internet

In Vietnam the access to free Wi-Fi is everywhere – in restaurants, massage salons, cafes. At a tourist zone there shouldn’t be any problem with Internet connection. The traffic speed varies from 500 kb/s to 1 mb/s.

Mobile networks in Vietnam
Good Wi-fi will provide you with a possibility to get in touch with your relatives.

After buying Tourist SIM-card Mobifone or Viettel your traffic will be approximately 1-1,5 Gb. If ordinary SIM-card was bought it’s better to connect 3G packages to save your money.

OperatorCommandPriceWhat included
VinaphoneSend «DK MAX» to 88870.000 vnd600 Mb
VinaphoneSend «DK MAX100» to 888100.000 vnd1200 Mb
VinaphoneSend «DK MAX200» to 888200.000 донгов3000 Mb
MobifoneSend «DK MIU» to 99970.000 vnd600 Mb
MobifoneSend «DK M120» to 999120.000 vnd1500 Mb
MobifoneSend «DK BMIU» to 999200.000 vnd3000 Mb
ViettelSend «MiMax» to 19170.000 vnd600 Mb
ViettelSend «DMax» to 191120.000 vnd1500 Mb
ViettelОтправьте «DMax200» на 191200.000 vnd3000 Mb

It’s obviously that the price is practically equal. For overusing you’ll pay about 200 vnd for 1 Mb.

As you see, mobile connection in Vietnam is available and can provide you with qualitative communication during your trip. You can share your impressions with your friends even every day!

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