Best Cambodia Tourist Sim Card Prepaid Mobile Internet Data
1. Cambodia Mobile Providers
① Cellcard Tourist SIM Card
② Smart Traveller SIM Card
③ Metfone Tourist SIM Card
④ Seatel Travel SIM Card
⑤ qb Tourist SIM Card
2. Cambodia SIM Card Comparison Table
» Our Smart Tourist SIM Review
3. Purchase Your Prepaid Card Online
4. Buying Cambodia Tourist SIM from Smaller Shops
5. Get a Cambodia SIM Card to Contact Your Driver
Thinking of buying a Cambodia SIM card when you travel to Siem Reap or Phnom Penh? Here is one of the travel tips on choosing the best Cambodia Prepaid SIM Card with unlimited internet data.
BONUS: A price comparison table among them.
Currently, there are 6 mobile carriers in Cambodia – Metfone, Smart Axiata, CellCard, Seatel, qb and CooTel (CDMA network) as of 2019. The first three companies listed are the largest mobile operators in Cambodia and also the preferred choices among the travellers. Since CoolTel is on a CDMA network, we will not use it to make a comparison among the rest of the 3G and 4G LTE networks.
Generally, the internet data network in Cambodia is excellent except for some places which you may not get any signal such as the Angkor Archaeological Park. Like most tourists, we want to get ample internet data volume on our mobile phone more than anything else, such as phone calls and SMS. One need not save money on the prepaid SIM card in Cambodia because the mobile operators offer one of the most affordable and competitive tourist SIM cards in the market that I have come across.
I travelled to Siem Reap recently with my family. Each of us bought a Cambodia SIM card from the mobile phone booth at Siem Reap International Airport (RER). We saw Metfone, Smart Axiata and Seatel just outside Siem Reap Airport when we stepped out before going to the city centre.
I was aiming to buy our Cambodia SIM card from Cellcard after some online research. However, I did not see any CellCard counter after exiting the airport, but I read that some people bought it successfully at Siem Reap. The phone booth was actually at the far end of the airport.
Cellcard Tourist SIM Pack costs US$6, valid for 7-days of use. You get 5GB data and US$50 of call time daily, which is their marketing approach on data and calls. To add the cherry on the cake, Cellcard has been awarded as the ‘Fastest Mobile Network in Cambodia’ at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain for four consecutive years since 2016.
Nonetheless, between Metfone and Smart, we selected the Smart Traveller SIM valid for 7 days at US$3 for 20GB data and US$1.50 worth of call time. As you can see from the photos below, the Smart shop at Siem Reap Airport also offered 5 more packages from US$6 to US$20. One advantage of Smart outsmarting its competitors was to be the first telco in 2017 to roll out the 4.5G LTE network in Cambodia!
Unfortunately, the detail shown on the photos taken from the airport differed from that on its current website, which displays a better offer of more internet data volume. The website also offers a free SIM card which has 10 minutes of call value and 100Mb data.
Even though Metfone was offering more internet data volume at 33GB at US$3 for 7-day validity, the downside was that I didn’t see it offering free call time nor SMS with their tourist sim package. Since I was travelling with my family members, having the option to call and send SMS would be better.
Metfone’s strength of marketing was that they offered Unlimited Data Internet for 7 days in Thailand, Laos and Malaysia. Definitely a good bargain if you are hopping over to one of the three countries anytime soon. Over at Metfone’s website, I did not see any Tourist SIM card offer. Metfone has a few prepaid card offers, but they are more for long term usage, especially for making phone calls.
The smaller mobile operator, Seatel has a different but simple approach. Seatel Travel SIM offers unlimited data and calls for 3 days (US$3), 5 days (US$5) and 10 days (US$10). To check airtime credit, dial 1800*11*.
As for qb, it is the only mobile service provider out of the five not running on 4G (LTE) yet and still on 3G network. On top of that, the qb Tourist SIM US$2 Tourist SIM plan has only 1.5GB data, but the US$5 package has 4GB internet data, which should be substantial for many travellers. The validity of the qb Tourist SIM card is 7 and 14 days respectively.
If you intend to stay more than 7 days in Cambodia, qb offers one of the prepaid cards with the longest validity of 14 days without topping up. The other forte is you can make international calls to Canada, China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and USA for from only 3 cents/min, and 7 cents/min to more than 20 countries.
Here is a summary table on a glance of what you can get with this amount. The information displayed for Smart is according to the photos taken in Siem Reap Airport as the prepaid card costs on the website is not the same as what was offered at Siem Reap Airport.
|Metfone (4G LTE)||Smart (4.5G LTE)||Cellcard (4G LTE)||Seatel (4G LTE)||Qb (3G network)|
|$2||1.5GB, 20 mins, 200 SMS, 7 days|
|$3||33GB, 7 days||20GB, $1.50 Free Calls, 7 days||Unlimited, Unlimited, Unlimited, 3 days|
|$5||Unlimited, Unlimited, Unlimited, 5 days||4GB, 60 mins, 500 SMS, 14 days|
|$6||20GB, $4.50 Free Calls, 7 days||5GB/day, $50/day for call & SMS, 7 days|
|$8||20GB, $6.50 Free Calls, 7 days|
|$10||40GB, $1.50 Free Calls, 7 days||Unlimited, Unlimited, Unlimited, 10 days|
|$15||40GB, $6.50 Free Calls, 7 days|
|$20||40GB, $11.50 Free Calls, 7 days|
Our Smart Tourist SIM cards worked very well in the city, fast and had strong signals, thanks to the 4.5G network. However, there was no signal in the Angkor temples area for all our four mobile phones. My tuk-tuk driver told me to use Cellcard instead, as it is the most preferred network used here. Moreover, he said that he was using Cellcard and had no problem with his mobile signal.
On the other hand, some who bought Cellcard and also claimed that they did not have connections around the Angkor temples too. The problem does not lie with the mobile phone operators. No matter which SIM card you buy, there are feedbacks of patchy connection or completely no mobile signal due to the dead zone in Angkor temple areas.
Another suggestion is to purchase your 4G Prepaid SIM online or Pocket 4G WiFi device to use in Cambodia and most parts of Asia. Pick up at any of these airports or get it delivered to your location before arriving in Cambodia at a competitive rate.
|PICK UP LOCATION / DELIVERY||DESCRIPTION||COST|
|Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) or Siam Center||8 or 15 days – unlimited data||US$11.15 or US$27.85 / €10.15 or €25.35 / ฿340 or ฿850|
|Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) or Siam Center||10 days – unlimited data||US$9.79 / €9.00 / ฿299|
|Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)||5 days – unlimited data||US$8.45 / €7.69 / HK$66|
|Kuala Lumpur (KLIA) or Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA)||7 days – 4 GB data||US$6.69 / €6.09 / RM28|
|Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and Don Mueang Airport (DMK) and Phuket Airport (HKT)||Connect up to 10 devices||US$4.75 / €4.35 / ฿145|
|Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL)||Connect up to 5 devices||US$2.89 / €2.65 / ₱150|
|Singapore Two Way Delivery||Connect up to 5 devices||US$5.09 / €4.65 / S$7.00|
|SG | UK | US Pickup (Several Locations)||Connect up to 5 devices + Powerbank||US$5.00 / €4.55 / S$7.00 / £4.05|
You can also buy Cambodia SIM cards from smaller shops in the city. They may receive some commission from selling them, which means you have to pay more. A passport is usually required to register for the SIM cards in the authorised mobile shops.
On the contrary, many smaller shops do not care about it. That said, if you lose your SIM card, you cannot get a replacement with the same numbers since there is no registration inside the system. Therefore, it is advisable to get your SIM card from a reputable source.
It makes sense to get a SIM card for less than US$5 to contact your driver in Cambodia, just in case you do not see him at the agreed place. You can get a SIM card readily from the airports the moment you land. The internet connection works very well in our hotel at Royal Crown Hotel & Spa. Although the hotel provided free WiFi, the receptivity was unstable and got disconnected most of the time. Most of the time, I had to depend on my mobile data.
Once, I had exited from the wrong gate after my visit to East Mebon trip in Angkor Park. I could not see my tuk-tuk driver. One kind lady seller from the nearby food stall told me that she saw my driver at the other end of the road, which was about 150 m away. I walked towards the direction and found my driver. If I had not seen my driver after going towards the said direction, I would have called him.
Imagine losing the sight of your driver under the 40°C suffocating temperature? Sometimes, the drivers would find a cooling spot for parking and shelter themselves from the heat, get some drinks, or even go to the toilet as they do not know how long you want to visit each place after dropping you off. Thus, exchanging mobile number with each other will give you peace of mind without losing him. Lastly, want to know how to get admission tickets for the Angkor Temples and also other Siem Reap attractions besides the temples?
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