Kazakhstan – made famous because of the Borat movies.
Besides those comedic-genius mobies, the country is also known for many other things.
Its high population of wild horses makes it easy for you to take stunning photos with horses either chilling or running around.
It also hosts three UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Saryarka Plains, Tamgaly & Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi).
And, of course, you can also be a city dweller and explore the futuristic capital city – Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana).
What you should not do, in many cases, is roam internationally in Kazakhstan.
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 Kazakhstan.
How much will a local or travel eSIM for Kazakhstan cost you?
You can get an eSIM for Kazakhstan for as little as 4.50 USD, with 1 GB of data for 7 days, up to 102 USD, with 25 GB for 90 days, from Airalo (Kazaknet), Holafly & Nomad.
Those are some generous data allowances, right?
In this guide, I will go over the eSIM options offered by the Kazakh mobile operators, Airalo, Holafly & Nomad. Let's do this.
Original publication: 1st of September 2022. Last updated: 27th of January 2023.
Table of Contents
eSIMs offered by the Kazakh 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 Kazakh mobile operators offer eSIMs to prepaid customers? None so 😔.
But you have several other options for getting an eSIM for your trip to Kazakhstan: Airalo (with Kazaknet), Holafly & Nomad
Not only can you set up these eSIMs before arriving in Kazakhstan and activate them upon landing, but you can also avoid Kazahkstan's SIM card registration scheme, which is mandatory for anyone using Kazahk SIM cards and eSIMs.
While mobile data is already affordable in Kazakhstan, getting a travel eSIM will not break the bank – not at all.
Plus, I have plenty of experience with Airalo, Holafly & Nomad, 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 Kazakhstan, right?
Airalo eSIMs for Kazahkstan (Kazaknet)
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 Kazaknet eSIM for as low as 4.50 USD, with 1 GB of data, up to 18 USD, with 10 GB of data.
Those prices and data allowances are not too bad, right?
Especially knowing that the Kazaknet eSIM uses the Beeline Kazakhstan network – the second best network in Kazakhstan with the second best coverage and fastest speeds.
So you do not have to worry about reception and speeds with the Kazaknet eSIM, even in remote areas.
The following four Kazakh Kazaknet eSIM options are available:
- Kazakhstan/Kazaknet 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 4.50 USD
- Kazakhstan/Kazaknet 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 9 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Kazakhstan/Kazaknet 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 13 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Kazakhstan/Kazaknet 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 18 USD
The Airalo links will automatically get you the available Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers – a code is unnecessary.
- Check out my Airalo eSIM reviews
Overall, the Kazaknet eSIM gives you fantastic value for your money.
Airalo Kazaknet eSIM Pros
Are there any other reasons why you should get the Kazaknet eSIM for your trip? For sure:
- You can activate your Kazaknet eSIM as soon as you land in Kazakhstan
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to Kazakhstan's second best mobile operator in terms of coverage and speed – Beeline Kazakhstan
- Kazaknet eSIMs are affordable (especially compared to roaming) and have generous data allowances
- You do not have to worry about SIM card registration with the Kazaknet eSIM, 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 Kazaknet eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get the Kazaknet eSIM?
- The Kazakh mobile operators, including Beeline Kazakhstan itself, have much more generous data allowances
- While you get access to Beeline Kazakhstan's network, the second best in Kazakhstan your speeds will not be as fast as going with Beeline Kazakhstan itself because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- There is no 5G NR access with the Kazaknet eSIM (yet)
- You cannot call or text with the Kazaknet eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
Airalo Kazaknet eSIM Overall Thoughts
Honestly, the Kazaknet eSIM is fantastic.
The plans offered with Kazaknet eSIMs are generous and affordable.
You get fast speeds and access to Kazakhstan's second best network, Beeline Kazakhstan, without standing in queues or dealing with SIM card registration bureaucracy.
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 Kazaknet eSIM, as it is a data-only eSIM.
Nomad eSIMs for Kazakhstan
Another travel eSIM provider I recommend is Nomad.
The Nomad Kazakhstan eSIM uses the Truphone network, which is active in any country you can think of.
In Kazakhstan, it uses a combination of networks, allowing your eSIM to switch to the network with the best reception automatically.
This way, you will always be connected!
Nomad is the most expensive in this guide.
That is because, unlike the other two eSIM providers, the Nomad Kazakhstan eSIM uses a combination of several Kazakh networks (Kcell/Activ Kazakhstan, Beeline Kazakhstan & Tele2 Kazakhstan), allowing you access to the best network at your location.
And for this feature, you pay a little more than Airalo, which only uses Beeline Kazakhstan.
You have the following three options with Nomad for Kazakhstan:
- Kazakhstan 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 20 USD/19 EUR/17 GBP/27.50 CAD
- Kazakhstan 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 48 USD/45.50 EUR/40 GBP/65.50 CAD
- Kazakhstan 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 54 USD/51 EUR/45 GBP/73.50 CAD
Use code ADU123 for the best deals available when getting Nomad eSIMs (on the site or their apps) and get 3 USD/2.85 EUR/2.45 GBP/4.10 CAD off (even on top of current promotions)!
- Check out my Nomad reviews
Of course, going with Nomad has some pros and cons, so let's go over them.
Nomad Kazakhstan eSIM Pros
So, why should you get a Nomad eSIM? Because:
- You can purchase and set up your Nomad Kazakhstan eSIM before arriving in Kazakhstan (and activate it upon landing)
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access on all Kazakh networks, allowing you to have the best reception at all times
- The eSIMs have generous data allowances
- You can avoid expensive international roaming fees
But it is not all good news with Nomad though – there are some disadvantages.
Nomad Kazakhstan eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get the Nomad Kazakhstan eSIM?
- While you get access to four networks, your speeds will not be as fast as going with the Kazakh mobile operators themselves because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- There is no 5G NR access with the Nomad Kazakhstan eSIM
- You cannot call or text with the Nomad Kazakhstan eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
- You cannot get in-person support (Nomad gets back to you by email fast, but you cannot visit a Nomad store because there are none)
- Airalo is cheaper than Nomad with all variants
Nomad Kazakhstan eSIM Overall Thoughts
Overall, the Nomad eSIM is a great premium eSIM offering.
You will always have the best reception because the Nomad because it automatically switches to the best network at your location.
However, just like the other travel eSIMs mentioned in this guide, you do not get a (local) phone number with the Nomad Kazakhstan eSIM.
Moreover, Nomad is not the cheapest option out there (that would be Airalo).
Holafly eSIMs for Kazakhstan
The last travel 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 Kazakhstan… 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.
You have the following seven Kazakhstan eSIM options with Holafly:
- Kazakhstan 3 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 20 USD/19 EUR/19 GBP/27 AUD/24 CAD
- Kazakhstan 5 GB eSIM for 10 days, costing 35 USD/34 EUR/29 GBP/49 AUD/44 CAD
- Kazakhstan 7 GB eSIM for 15 days, costing 48 USD/47 EUR/44 GBP/67 AUD/55 CAD
- Kazakhstan 10 GB eSIM for 20 days, costing 59 USD/57 EUR/49 GBP/84 AUD/74 CAD
- Kazakhstan 12 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 71 USD/69 EUR/59 GBP/99 AUD/89 CAD
- Kazakhstan 18 GB eSIM for 60 days, costing 89 USD/87 EUR/77 GBP/127 AUD/114 CAD
- Kazakhstan 25 GB eSIM for 90 days, costing 102 USD/99 EUR/87 GBP/144 AUD/129 CAD
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 reviews
Of course, there are some pros and cons with going with Holafly, so let's go over them.
Holafly Kazakhstan eSIM Pros
So, why should you get the Holafly eSIMs? Well, because of the following:
- Holafly Kazakhstan eSIMs are affordable compared to roaming
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to Kazakhstan's best mobile operator – Tele2 Kazakhstan
- You can activate your Holafly Kazakhstan eSIM as soon as you land in Kazakhstan
- The Holafly Kazakhstan eSIM offers the most data
But it is not all good news with Holafly though – there are some disadvantages.
Holafly Kazakhstan eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get a Holafly Kazakhstan eSIM?
- You cannot call or text with the Holafly Kazakhstan eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
- Kazakh mobile operators, including Tele2 Kazakhstan, have much more generous data allowances
- While you get full (4G/LTE) access to Tele2 Kazakhstan's network, the best in Kazakhstan, your speeds may not be as fast as going with Tele2 Kazakhstan directly because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- You cannot top up your Tele2 Kazakhstan eSIM – you would have to buy another eSIM if you need more data
- There is no 5G NR access with the Holafly Kazakhstan eSIM (yet)
Holafly Kazakhstan eSIM Overall Thoughts
Overall, the Holafly Kazakhstan eSIM is an excellent eSIM with a lot of options to choose from.
You get fast speeds and access to the Tele2 Kazakhstan – the best network in Kazakhstan.
However, Holafly is the most expensive option in this guide and may not be the best for budget travelers.
Best eSIMs for in Asia (not just Kazakhstan)
Unfortunately, you cannot use your Airalo Kazaknet, Holafly Kazakhstan, or Nomad Kazakhstan eSIMs in any country than Kazakhstan.
However, the three eSIM providers have eSIMs covering several East Asian and Southeast Asian countries.
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 Kazakhstan).
The Asialink eSIM can be used in the following 14 countries:
- Hong Kong
- Singapore 1
- South Korea
1 currently, newly bought Asialink eSIMs cannot be used in Singapore. Airalo is working on re-including Singapore in its Asialink offering
Below is an overview of how much each Asialink eSIM costs:
- Asia/Asialink 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, 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 – very 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 Kazakhstan
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 Kazakhstan, 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 Kazakhstan (Airalo vs. Holafly vs. Nomad)
In this guide, I went over various eSIMs for Kazakhstan: Airalo (Kazaknet), Holafly & Nomad.
Below is an overview of my recommendation order:
- Airalo's Kazakhstan Kazaknet eSIM (best value for money)
- Nomad Kazakhstan eSIM (excellent performance)
- Holafly Kazakhstan eSIM (generous data plans at premium prices)
Remember to use code PHONETRAVELWIZ for Holafly eSIMs and code ADU123 for Nomad eSIMs – a code is not necessary for Airalo eSIM purchases.
Buying a SIM Card in Kazakhstan
Want to just use a SIM card but not your current one because roaming will be criminally expensive?
Consider getting a Kazakh SIM card instead – local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected abroad.
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