Bangladesh – known for being home to the world's largest river delta, for having the most densely populated city worldwide & for having the longest female-led government.
It is also the world's 8th most populous country, while only being the world's 92th largest country.
So, with this many people in the country, there must be a lot to do and see, right?
Yes, there is.
From temples, like Sompur Mahavihara, to museums, like Ahsan Manzil Museum.
From the many street markets to national parks, there is no reason to be bored in Bangladesh.
Let alone the country's stunning beaches, like Kuakata Sea Beach.
What makes Bangladesh even more exciting is that it is an inexpensive travel destination.
What you should not do, in many cases, is roam internationally in Bangladesh.
International roaming can be expensive, which is why using local and travel eSIMs is recommended to save money.
And if you get a travel eSIM, you do not have to deal with the SIM card registration bureaucracy and skip the queues in Bangladesh.
How much will a local or travel eSIM for Bangladesh cost you?
You can get an eSIM for Bangladesh for as little as 5 USD, with 1 GB of data for 7 days, up to 44 USD, with 6 GB for 15 days, from Grameenphone, Airalo (Fatafati) & Holafly.
Those are some generous data allowances, right?
In this guide, I will go over the eSIM options offered by the Bangladeshi mobile operators (Grameenphone), Airalo & Holafly. Let's do this.
Original publication: 12th of September 2022. Last updated: 13th of September 2022.
Table of Contents
eSIMs offered by the Bangladeshi Mobile Operators
To get the best service available, in terms of reception and speeds, you want to go with the local mobile operators directly instead of with a travel eSIM.
That is because you will have a higher priority on the network in case of network congestion.
However, that does not mean travel eSIMs will always be slow.
In fact, some mobile operators throttle (prepaid) on select plans or all plans for “optimization” reasons (read: we cannot be bothered to invest in our network).
Anyway, which Bangladeshi mobile operators offer eSIMs to prepaid customers?
Currently, only Grameenphone offers eSIMs to prepaid customers.
You also have several other options for getting an eSIM for your trip to Bangladesh: travel eSIMs from Airalo (with Fatafati) & Holafly.
Not only can you set up these eSIMs before arriving in Bangladesh and activate them upon landing, but you can also avoid Bangladesh' SIM card registration scheme, which is mandatory for anyone using Bangladeshi SIM cards and eSIMs.
While mobile data is already affordable in Bangladesh, getting a travel eSIM will not break the bank – not at all.
Plus, I have plenty of experience with Airalo & Holafly, and I can assure you they work well – and other Phone Travel Wiz readers also had pleasant experiences with them.
So let's see what these travel eSIM providers have to offer in Bangladesh, right?
Airalo eSIMs for Bangladesh (Fatafati)
If I could only get a travel eSIM during my trip because I do not have the time or opportunity to buy a local SIM card or eSIM, then I would always get an eSIM from Airalo.
Airalo has eSIMs for around 190 countries, offers eSIMs at the lowest prices (on average compared to the competition) & has good service.
Airalo usually partners with the local mobile operator with the best coverage, the fastest speeds, or both.
And if it needs to partner up with multiple mobile operators, it does so, allowing you to have the best reception at all times.
Anyway, you can get a Fatafati eSIM for as low as 4.50 USD, with 1 GB of data, up to 22 USD, with 10 GB of data.
Those prices and data allowances are not too bad, right?
Especially knowing that the Fatafati eSIM uses the Grameenphone network – the best network in Bangladesh with the best coverage and the fastest speeds.
So you do not have to worry about reception and speeds with the Fatafati eSIM, even in remote areas.
The following four Bangladeshi Fatafati eSIM options are available:
- Bangladesh/Fatafati 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 4.50 USD
- Bangladesh/Fatafati 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 9 USD
- Bangladesh/Fatafati 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 13 USD
- Bangladesh/Fatafati 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 22 USD (most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers)
Be aware: you will be restricted to 3G – not 4G/LTE with the Fatafi eSIM (unlike most Airalo eSIMs – but mobile internet speeds are not fast in Bangladesh anyway).
What do I mean by most popular?
All Phone Travel Readers get the 10 GB Fatafati eSIM.
The other variants (1 GB, 3 GB & 5 GB) get no love at all 🥲.
For Airalo eSIMs, the links above will automatically get you the Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers available – a code is not necessary.
- Check out my Airalo eSIM reviews
Overall, the Fatafati eSIM gives you fantastic value for your money.
Airalo Fatafati eSIM Pros
Are there any other reasons why you should get the Fatafati eSIM for your trip? For sure:
- You can activate your Fatafati eSIM as soon as you land in Bangladesh
- You get full (up to 3G) access to Bangladesh's best mobile operator – Grameenphone
- Fatafati eSIMs are affordable (especially compared to roaming) and have generous data allowances
- You do not have to worry about SIM card registration with the Fatafati, saving you time
- Out of data? You can simply top up online on the Airalo website and not worry about language barriers when dealing with local agents
There are many other small pros, but these are the major ones.
It would be disingenuous not to mention some cons, so here we go.
Airalo Fatafati eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get the Fatafati eSIM?
- The Bangladeshi mobile operators, including Grameenphone itself, have much more generous data allowances
- While you get access to Grameenphone's network, the best in Bangladesh, you will be restricted to 3G – so no 4G/LTE.
- You cannot call or text with the Fatafati eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
Airalo Fatafati eSIM Overall Thoughts
Honestly, the Fatafati eSIM is fantastic.
The plans offered with Fatafati eSIMs are generous and affordable.
You get access to Bangladesh's best network, Grameenphone, without standing in queues or dealing with SIM card registration bureaucracy.
But you will be restricted to 3G (even though 4G/LTE is not fast in most of Bangladesh anyway).
And everything, purchasing and topping up, can be done online on the Airalo website or Airalo app (downloading the app is recommended).
Unfortunately, you cannot call or text with the Fatafati eSIM, as it is a data-only eSIM.
Holafly eSIMs for Bangladesh
The other eSIM provider I recommend is Holafly.
My relationship with Holafly is quite funny.
I knew they existed when they offered travel SIM cards for the Spanish market only.
Then they pivoted to the global market, still offering travel SIM cards.
Eventually, they started offering travel eSIMs for the Spanish market only again before going global.
There are many travel eSIM providers nowadays – new ones pop up every week like mushrooms, so I did not bat an eye.
Until they did something revolutionary.
In 2022, Holafly started offering unlimited data plans for its eSIMs.
And these unlimited data eSIMs can be used in various Asian countries, almost all European Union member states (except for Liechtenstein) & a few other countries, like Canada and the United States.
Unfortunately, unlimited data eSIMs are not available in Bangladesh… yet.
I say yet because Holafly's goal is to offer unlimited data plans for every country it covers: 100+ countries.
And I can tell you that I get positive emails multiple times a week from Phone Travel Wiz readers that have used the unlimited data plans in East- and Southeast Asia, Europe & North America; they love these eSIMs.
For now, you have only one Holafly Bangladesh eSIM (which uses the Grameenphone network – the mobile operator with the best network and fastest speeds, by the way):
- Bangladesh 6 GB eSIM for 15 days, costing 44 USD/47 EUR/34 GBP
Not much choice, as you can see.
As I recently started my collaboration with Holafly, you can get 5% off each purchase whenever you use code PHONETRAVELWIZ – awesome, right?
- Check out my Holafly eSIM reviews
Of course, there are some pros and cons with going with Holafly, so let's go over them.
Holafly Bangladesh eSIM Pros
So, why should you get the Holafly Bangladesh eSIM? Well, because of the following:
- Holafly Bangladesh eSIMs are affordable compared to roaming
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to Grameenphone's network – the best in Bangladesh
- Unlike going with Grameenphone directly, you do not have to worry about SIM card registration because it is unnecessary
- You can activate your Holafly Bangladesh eSIM as soon as you land in Bangladesh
- The Holafly Bangladesh eSIM offers the most data
But it is not all good news with Holafly though – there are some disadvantages.
Holafly Bangladesh eSIM eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get a Holafly Bangladesh eSIM?
- You cannot call or text with the Holafly Bangladesh eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
- Bangladeshi mobile operators, including Grameenphone, have much more generous data allowances
- While you get full (4G/LTE) access to Grameenphone's network, your speeds may not be as fast as going with Grameenphone directly because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- You cannot top up your Holafly Grameenphone eSIM – you would have to buy another eSIM if you need more data
- There is no 5G NR access with the Holafly Grameenphone eSIM (yet)
Holafly Bangladesh eSIM Overall Thoughts
While you have only one option for the Holafly Bangladesh eSIM, it is the most generous eSIM (in terms of data) in this guide.
And the price for the Holafly Bangladesh eSIM is low compared to expensive Pay As You Go roaming rates for Bangladesh.
But it still is not cheap.
Best eSIMs for in Asia (not just Bangladesh)
Unfortunately, you cannot use your Airalo Fatafati or Holafly Bangladesh eSIMs in any country than Bangladesh.
There are some eSIMs out there that allow you to use your allowance in several East Asian and Southeast Asian countries.
Sadly, Bangladesh is not one of them, but I still want to introduce them to you because they will be much cheaper than buying multiple eSIMs, or SIM cards for that matter, per country.
I highly recommend these Asia/APAC eSIMs if you plan to visit multiple East- and Southeast Asian countries to save money!
Airalo recently heavily improved its Asia eSIM, which used to offer a meager 4 GB of high-speed data before allowing for unlimited data at snail speeds, following the popular Eurolink eSIM for 39 European countries.
The Eurolink eSIM is the most popular eSIM for Phone Travel readers, and I have no doubt that the Asialink eSIM will be popular too.
Just like in Europe, many readers tend to visit multiple Asian countries, so they would rather have a travel eSIM covering multiple countries than just one (like Bangladesh).
The Asialink eSIM can be used in the following 14 countries:
Below is an overview of how much each Asialink eSIM costs:
- Asia/Asialink 1 GB eSIM for 1 day, costing 5 USD
- Asia/Asialink 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 13 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 20 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 37 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 50 GB eSIM for 90 days, costing 100 USD
- Asia/Asialink 100 GB eSIM for 180 days, costing 185 USD
Holafly & Nomad eSIMs for Bangladesh
Because of Airalo's previous Asia eSIM, I used to recommend Nomad's APAC eSIMs instead (to be used in 8 countries).
This eSIM can be used in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore & Thailand (1 GB/7 days/15 USD – 20 GB/30 days/69 USD).
As you can see, this eSIM cannot be used in Bangladesh, so it would be useless here but useful in the aforementioned countries.
The Holafly Asia eSIM has only one variant: 8 GB for 30 days, costing 47 USD/49 EUR/34 GBP.
This eSIM can be used in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand & Vietnam.
Basically, the same countries as the Airalo Asialink eSIM with just fewer options (1 variant (8 GB) vs. 6 variants (1 GB/3 GB/5 GB/10 GB/50 GB/100 GB) and much more expensive.
So yeah, the Asialink eSIM is superior, I would say.
Remember, the Airalo links above will automatically offer you the best deals.
Overview of the Best eSIMs for Bangladesh (Airalo vs. Holafly)
In this guide, I went over various eSIMs for Bangladesh: Airalo (Fatafati) & Holafly.
Below is an overview of my recommendation order:
- Airalo's Bangladesh Fatafati eSIM (best value for money)
- Airalo's Asia Asialink eSIM (best value for money when also visiting other East- and Southeast Asian countries)
- Holafly Bangladesh eSIM (generous data plans at premium prices)
- Holafly Asia eSIM (to be used in 13 countries)
Remember to use code PHONETRAVELWIZ for Holafly eSIMs – a code is not necessary for Airalo eSIM purchases.
Buying a SIM Card in Bangladesh
Want to just use a SIM card but not your current one because roaming will be criminally expensive?
Consider getting a Bangladeshi SIM card instead – local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected abroad.
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