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 apply 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 6 Traveller 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…
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 6 for 7 days of internet. Yes, they would give me an add-on 3GB of data for USD 6 but that was not even their best offer. I checked out “Beeline” and they had a USD 2 internet offer valid for seven days on their free SIM. Both offered 3 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 6 Traveller Sim is the Best
Now look at what you get from “Smart” Free SIM and USD 6 Traveler SIM in Cambodia
“Smart” Free SIM
Free Calls: 10 minutes in same network
Free SMS: 10 SMS in same network
Free Data: 100MB
Sim Type: 2G/3G
Preload Validity: 3 days
“Smart” USD 6* Traveller SIM
*The company websites says the price of this Traveller SIM is 5 USD but at the airports in Cambodia they are selling it for 6 USD.
Free domestic calls on the same network
Free domestic SMS on the same network
Preload Main Balance: USD 1
Free Data: 2.5GB
Sim Type: 2G/3G/4G LTE
Preload Validity: 7 days
Free access to social media sites
International calls from 3 cents per minute
Smart” Special 3 cents/min IDD rate for 15 countries*
*Available only after activation – To activate dial *300#. A fee of 1 cent per day is charged with auto renewal everyday. To stop de-activate, dial *300*0#. To check status dial *300*1#.
if you do not activate the special IDD rates, you will be charged according to the standard rates applicable for each country.
To call, dial +(country code)(phone number)
3 cents per minute available for these countries:
You can continue to avail of these rates after the initial validity by doing a top-up of any amount.
To know the rates for all other countries, visit this page: https://www.smart.com.kh/services/add-ons/call-to-the-world/
Data Top-up: Data top-up is available at any SMART shop or retailer at a price starting 6 USD for 3 GB.