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 (Metfone)’, ‘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 6 USD 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.
Out of the four companies, the booths of ‘Smart’ and ‘Beeline (Metfone)’ 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 6 USD for 7 days of internet. Yes, they would give me an add-on 3GB of data for 6 USD but that was not even their best offer. I checked out ‘Beeline (Metfone)’ and they had a 2 USD internet offer valid for seven days on their free SIM. Both offered 3 cents a minute calls to India.
‘Beeline (Metfone)’ was a mistake
I decided to take a free SIM from Beeline (Metfone), paid 2 USD for 1GB of internet for sever days and 3 USD for top-up balance and later realised that it was a mistake. Beeline (Metfone)’s local calls were too expensive. It was like 8 cents to Beeline (Metfone) 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’ Traveller Sim is the Best
Smart Traveller SIM comes in four variants: Free SIM valid for 3 days, 3 USD SIM valid for 7 days, 5 USD SIM valid for 15 days, and 10 USD SIM valid for 30 days. However, not all variants may be available at the airport at any given time. The Free SIM has 100MB of free data, 10 minutes of On-net free calls, 10 free SMS, and is valid for 3 days unless you do a top-up for further use. Other SIM types are as under:
|Features||3 USD |
|5 USD |
|10 USD |
|25 GB||35 GB||60 GB|
|1 USD||2 USD|
|Social Pack |
*Watching external videos within social sites will attract regular data charges which will be deducted from your data balance.
Other Terms To Know
- Airport prices sometimes vary from the prices published on the company website. For example, they may sell the 5 USD variant for 6 USD and give you an additional 1 USD of main balance.
- Domestic On-net call charges (Smart numbers) are 5 cents per minute between 12:00am and 4:59pm, and 7 cents per minute between 5:00pm and 11:59pm.
- Domestic Off-net call charges (other networks) are 8 cents per minute.
- IDD call charges start at 3 cents per minute (read more below)
‘Smart’ Special 3 cents/min IDD rate for 15 countries*
*Available only after activation – To activate dial *30#. A fee of 1 cent per day is charged with auto renewal everyday. To stop/de-activate, dial *30*0#. To check status dial *30*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.