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Belarus

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BasicsEdit

There are three networks operating in Belarus:

  • MTS [MTC] (Russian owned)
  • Velcom (owned by Telekom Austria)
  • Life:) (owned by Turkish Turkcell)

Many people in Belarus carry two mobiles, one with an MTS and the other with a Velcom SIM card to avoid paying for more expensive cross-network calls. Life is in third place with a lower coverage at very good prices.

2G is on 900 and 1800 Mhz, 3G on 2100 Mhz available in a limited area, 4G has not started.

The two major operators sell visitor or tourist SIMs which can be purchased and used without registration.

MTS (MTC)Edit

MTC
Russian MTS (Мобильные ТелеСистемы) is the leading provider in Belarus. It's network is on par with Velcom, but 3G coverage is still limited outside the cities: MTS 2G 3G Coverage Map

Visitor Tariff (Гостевой)Edit

MTS has a visitor tariff (Гостевой) that does not require the customer to be registered with the authorities in Belarus. Although this tariff offers cheaper international calls, it does not allow international roaming, making it harder to keep the SIM card active after leaving Belarus.

The SIM card is sold for 10,000 BYR in their stores called MTS Centers (Центр МТС) (location mapand list). To subscribe a fee of 4,560 BYR is charged, leaving you with a little over 5,000 BYR credit.

In contrast to Velcom, mini SIMs are available at MTS. SIM expires after 180 days of non-use. You can keep it alive by sending a roaming SMS.

Data feature packagesEdit

Default internet rate is 2,400 BYR per MB outside of packages.

On a visitor line, you can add these data packs:

  • daily flat (Гипер.Net): 1 GB of data on a calendar day (0-24 hrs local time) for 12,900 BYR. To activate type *111*402# 
  • or one of these monthly data packs (Интернет Гостевой):
Data Volume Price Activation code
100 MB 18,000 BYR *811#
500 MB 33,000 BYR *812#
1 GB 48,000 BYR *813#
2 GB 72,000 BYR *814#
3 GB 96,000 BYR *815#
5 GB 120,000 BYR *816#

Speed is up to 21.6 Mbps where 3G is available, which is only in the cities. You can book more than one pack at a time.

Other tariffsEdit

To get other tariffs, you need to be registered with the authorities in Belarus. A stamp by your hotel on the back of the immigration card in your passport is sufficient, and this is routinely done by hotels upon check-in. Though they may give better rates, some Russian language skills are mandatory to manage the SIM.

Here is a good survey of their local data tariffs which split up internet traffic into night and day rates: http://en.mts.by/internet/internet_phone/. Their are too complicated to show them all and many visitors will stick to the visitor tariff without being registered.

More infoEdit

  • APN: internet.mts.by
  • Username and Password: mts
  • Website in English (only a part of the offers)
  • Website in Russian (all offers)

VelcomEdit

Velcom
Austrian-owned Velcom is the strongest competitor of MTS in Belarus. Its network is on par and 3G outside of cities still patchy: Velcom 2G 3G coverage map

Tourist TariffEdit

Their prepaid card is called Privet (ПРИВЕТ). Like MTS Velcom has a tourist tariff that does not require the customer to be registered with the authorities in Belarus.

The SIM card is sold for 30,000 BYR in their stores called service centers (Фирменные центры) (locator in English). To subscribe to a data and voice SIM a fee of 28,800 BYR is charged, including 1 GB of data traffic within 1 month after activation.

In contrast to MTS, micro SIMs are not available for prepaid and need to be cut. The SIM expiry policy is a bit worse too..

Data feature packagesEdit

Default internet rate is 300 BYR per 50 KB outside of packages.

On a tourist line, you can add these monthly data packs:

Data Volume Price
50 MB 11,800 BYR
250 MB 22,680 BYR
450 MB 28,500 BYR
900 MB 39,480 BYR
1.8 GB 71,400 BYR
3.5 GB 142,800 BYR

To activate type *121*1*6#  Speed is up to 21.6 Mbps where 3G is available, which is only in the cities. To check the balance *120# and *120*3# to check the remaining internet traffic. Overuse 300 BYR per MB in 50 KB increments.

Other tariffsEdit

To get other tariffs, you need to be registered with the authorities in Belarus. Though they may give better rates, some Russian language skills are mandatory to manage the SIM.

Here is a good survey of their local data tariffs on other Privet tariff lines: http://www.privet.by/en/tarifs/mobile_data/. They are too complicated to show them all and many visitors will stick to the visitor tariff without being registered.

More infoEdit

  • APN: wap.privet.by (for Tourist line)
  • Username and Password: privet
  • Website in English (for Velcom)
  • Website in English (for Privet)

life:)Edit

Life2
Turkcell-owned life.) is the smallest operator in Belarus. As its network is still very limited, make a network scan before you buy a SIM card: life.) 2G 3G coverage map. Where available, they give data at very good rates.

Tourist TariffsEdit

They have two visitor oriented tariffs for which you need to be registered with the authorities in Belarus. A stamp by your hotel on the back of the immigration card in your passport is sufficient, and this is routinely done by hotels upon check-in. Both starter packs are sold in their shops called salons (locator).

  • start yo life:): starter pack sold for 15,000 BYR with 7,500 BYR credit
  • world in your hand: starter pack sold for 45,000 BYR with 27,000 BYR credit

The "World in your hand" SIM gives discounted international call rates, while on the "start your life.)" SIM domestic calls and texts are cheaper. You can book the same data packs though.

Data feature packagesEdit

Default internet rate is 2,200 BYR per MB outside of packages.

On both lines these monthly packs can be booked, which have the same price as for local tariffs:

Data Volume Price
50 MB 7,800 BYR
100 MB 10,800 BYR
250 MB 19,200 BYR
500 MB + 1 GB night 26,400 BYR
1 GB + 2 GB night 42,000 BYR
3 GB 46,800 BYR
4 GB 66,400 BYR
5 GB 82,800 BYR
8 GB 90,000 BYR
10 GB 94,800 BYR
15 GB 132,000 BYR
10 GB night only 39,600 BYR

To activate type *110*5*1# <call>.  Speed is up to 21.6 Mbps where 3G is available, which is mainly in the cities. To check the balance type *100# and *105#  Night rate applies 1am-8am local time.

Furthermore, they have these "unlimited" monthly packs according to max speed:

  • @ 128 kbps: 82,800 BYR, FUP: 10 GB
  • @ 512 kbps: 118,800 BYR, FUP: 30 GB
  • @ 1024 kbps: 154,800 BYR, FUP 45 GB
  • @ max rate: 190,800 BYR, FUP: 45 GB

To activate type *110*5*2# <call>. Their FUP throttles to 64 kbps.

More infoEdit

  • APN: internet.life.com.by
  • Website in English

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