Cambodia has several mobile phone networks and getting a SIM card is simple. Cambodia is rated as being one of the most competitive mobile phone networks in the world with the vast majority of the 15 million population using one of the seven mobile phone networks.
This means that as a customer you can take advantage of numerous fantastic deals and promotions as the mobile networks compete for new customers.
The Mobile Phone Companies
The Cambodian mobile phone companies are Cellcard, Metfone, Smart, qb, Beeline, CooTel and Excell.
The levels of coverage that each company offers differ as you travel around Cambodia. However, all of the networks will provide good coverage in the major cities such as Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Most of the companies will also have a good data connection in major cities and towns with Smart and Cellcard offering 4G packages.
Unfortunately, cross-network calls in Cambodia can be expensive which is why many locals and expatriates choose to use several SIM cards depending on who they are calling!!
Most expatriates living in Cambodia tend to use Smart or Cellcard due to the fact that they both offer good promotions and data packages and Smart, in particular, is cheap for making overseas calls with.
Buying a Cambodian SIM Card
You can buy a SIM card at one of the many phone shops in Cambodia that you will see just about everywhere, but you should go directly to one of the network’s shops to get a better deal. The mobile companies are required to take a copy of your passport so if you lose your phone you can easily get a replacement SIM.
Moreover, small phone shops charge a markup on SIM cards, so one that will cost you $3 directly from the mobile company will cost you around $10 from a small shop.
To buy a SIM card, bring your passport with a valid visa to the shop. You’ll be offered a variety of cards with different numbers starting at $2. You can pay more for shorter and more memorable numbers with some particularly good combinations going for $200!
If you buy a $2 Cellcard or Smart SIM you’re required to add at least $1 in credit when you purchase one, which will activate it. In-network calls cost 3-5 cents per minute and 8-10 cents per minute for cross-network calls.
International calls vary depending on the country you are calling but a good tip is to dial 177 before the country code to reduce the rate even more.
Mobile Phone Data Plans
If you’re looking for a data plan on your phone, Cellcard or Smart are the networks of choice. Cellcard offers a monthly package which gives you 3.5 GB for $5. To activate, dial #8181#3#2# from your Cellcard SIM card.
Alternatively, from a Smart SIM card, you can dial *656*100# to change $1 to $30 of data or Smart network calls or text which is valid for 10 days in total.
Data plans frequently change so make sure you visit the Cellcard or Smart websites before you top-up to make sure you have got the best deal possible!
Phones are available at any of the countless phone shops all over Cambodia. You can buy a cheap Nokia handset which sell for as little as $15 for a second-hand model.
Smartphones can also be purchased from just about anywhere and most shops offer very reasonable prices to unlock or repair smartphones.