Best Tourist Prepaid Sim Card in Cambodia

Monday, November 10, 2014

As you walk out of the Phnom Penh or Siem Reap International Airports in Cambodia, you will come across booths from telecom companies giving away free prepaid sim cards for tourists. At the Phnom Penh Airport, I saw such booths from four different telecom companies - "Smart", "Beeline", "qb", and "Cellcard". They all had Free Sim offers and special rates for international calls starting at 3 cents (US currency) per minute. The special IDD rates applied to a list of countries that tourists call the most from Cambodia. Of course, what I realised later that these special IDD rates came with a rider that made local calls within Cambodia more expensive (double or even three times of the special IDD rate). Another lesson I learnt later was that the "Free Sim" at the airport was actually more expensive than the USD 5 Sim on offer from one of the four companies. I made the wrong choice but this article will help you make the right one. Keep reading to know which is the best prepaid sim card for tourists coming to Cambodia...

"Smart" and "Beeline" Free Sim Cards at Phnom Penh Airport

Out of the four companies, the booths of "Smart" and "Beeline" had more customers standing in front of them. "Smart" offered a free sim but their add-on internet was more expensive. They wanted a minimum of USD 5 for 7 days of internet. Yes, they would give me 4GB of data for USD 5 but that would be too much for my short stay, especially when my hotels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap would give me free wi-fi. I checked out "Beeline" and they had a USD 2 internet offer valid for seven days on their free sim. Both offered 4 cents a minute calls to India.

"Beeline" was a mistake

I decided to take a free sim from Beeline, paid USD 2 for 1GB of internet for sever days and USD 3 for top-up balance and later realised that it was a mistake. Beeline's local calls were too expensive. It was like 8 cents to Beeline numbers and 12 or 16 cents a minute to other networks. Almost all my local calls were incidentally to other networks and I lost my top-up balance very quickly. Because of my wrong choice, I also missed out on the goodies offered by "Smart"

"Smart" USD 5 Traveller Sim is the Best and "Smart" Free Sim is better than others

"Smart" Traveller Sim Cambodia

Now look at what you get from "Smart" Free Sim and USD 5 Sim in Cambodia

"Smart" Free Traveller Sim

Free Calls: 10 minutes in same network

Free SMS: 10 SMS in same network

Free Data: 10MB

Sim Type: 2G/3G

Preload Validity: 3 days

"Smart" USD 5 Traveller Sim

Preload Main Balance: USD 5

Free Calls: 10 minutes in same network

Free SMS: 10 SMS in same network

Free Data: 1.5GB

Sim Type: 2G/3G/4G LTE

Preload Validity: 40 days

Calls within network: 5 cents/min

Calls across network: 8 cents/min

IDD Calls: from 4 cents/min

SMS within network: 2 cents/sms

SMS across network: 5 cents/sms

SMS to other countries: 10 cents/sms

"Smart" Special 4 cents/min IDD rate for 15 countries

China, Hong Kong & Macau
New Zealand
South Korea

Why "Smart" USD 5 Sim is better

With the USD 5 preload balance with a 40-days validity, this sim is also practically free. You get 1.5GB data as a free bonus. Local calls are cheaper than Beeline. International SMS at 10 cents is cheap too. I have used a "Smart" sim on an earlier trip and their network coverage and internet was perfect. I use another company belonging to the "Smart" group in Sri Lanka that is called "Dialog" and that is perfect too.

"Beeline" Special IDD Rates

"Beeline" Cambodia Special IDD Rates

Click on the image above to enlarge and see the "Beeline" special IDD rate for calling your country. Just avoid too many local calls on "Beeline" because that is when you get ripped off.

There was another company too, "qb" I guess that advertised a 3 cents/min IDD rate with a special recharge. Sounded complicated to me and so much information was not available with them as "Smart" had. So my vote goes to "Smart". On my next visit to Cambodia, I will pick-up the "Smart" USD 5 Traveller Sim.

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I left my day job in October 2013 and became a full time blogger. I love travel and hence a travel blog was the obvious place to start from. The result is I currently live in Bengaluru, India. - Narinder Singh.


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