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Mongolia: 2 Best Prepaid SIM Cards Buying Guide (2022)

You can get a Mongolian SIM card for 5000 MNT (1.50 USD) from Mobicom or 3000 MNT (0.90 USD), 10 000 MNT (3 USD) & 15 000 MNT (4.60 USD) from Unitel in their stores. Resellers, like gas stations, also sell SIM cards. Mongolian SIM cards are also sold at (Ulaanbaatar) Chinggis Khaan International Airport (UBN).

Buying a SIM Card in Mongolia Guide (logos of Unitel and Mobicom)

Original publication: 21st of December 2019. Last updated: 23rd of September 2022.

Table of Contents

Can You Buy a SIM Card in Mongolia?

Anyone 14 years old or older living in or visiting Mongolia can buy a Mongolian SIM card from the mobile network operators (Mobicom & Unitel) with some restrictions.

The main restriction is that you can only have two active SIM cards in your name in Mongolia.

Besides that restriction, you are free to use Mongolia SIM cards.

You do have to comply with the SIM card registration regulations.

  • Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
SIM Card Registration Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

Moreover, you need a phone that supports the frequencies used in the country (preferably all of them to have the most optimal experience while in Mongolia).

Furthermore, you need to have a SIM-lock-free device.

Where Can You Buy a SIM Card in Mongolia?

You can get a Mongolian SIM card in Mobicom and Unitel stores. Resellers, like gas stations & Nomin stores, also sell SIM cards (but you still need to visit the official stores to get it activated). It is also possible to get SIM cards at (Ulaanbaatar) Chinggis Khaan International Airport (UBN).

Note: in July 2021, the airport mentioned above took over (Ulaanbaatar) Buyant-Ukhaa International Airport‘s (ULN) function as the country's/city's main international airport

You can expect to pay the following for Mongolian SIM cards:

  • Mobicom Mongolia: 3500 MNT (data-only) & 5000 MNT (regular)
  • Unitel Mongolia: 3000 MNT (blank SIM without a number (ZeroSIM)/Smart Daily), 10 000 MNT (regular & data-only) & 15 000 MNT

For up-to-date MNT:your currency (let's say KRW) exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

  • Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz
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Can You Use Your Phone in Mongolia?

Mongolia uses GSM technology for mobile communications. CDMA phones will not work in Mongolia. If your phone has a SIM card slot, then it supports GSMA (99% of the phones do support GSM nowadays).

Traditional European frequencies are used in Mongolia, which are mostly used in ITU Regions 1 and 3 (Africa, Asia (including the Middle East), Europe & Oceania).

The Americas (North-, Central– & South America + the Caribbean – ITU Region 2) use American frequencies, which differ from the European ones.

ITU Regions Map
By Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) – Own work, using this file by Denelson83, CC BY-SA 2.5

If you bought your phone in Africa, Asia, Europe, or Oceania (ITU Regions 1 and 3), you should not experience any issues with using your phone in Mongolia.

If you purchased your phone in the Americas (ITU Region 2) and have a low/medium-end device (without Tri-Band or Quad-Band) support, then there is a possibility you cannot use your phone when in Mongolia or can only use slower networks (3G or 2G).

If you have a medium/high-end device with Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, you can use your phone in Mongolia (to some extent) – also on 4G/LTE and 5G NR.

Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Mongolia

Mongolia has two mobile network operators offering prepaid services easily accessible to travelers:

  • Mobicom Mongolia
  • Unitel Mongolia

The following frequencies are used in Mongolia:

  • 2G: 900 MHz & 1800 MHz
  • 3G: 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (n28), 1800 MHz (Band 3) & 2300 MHz (Band 40)
  • 5G NR: 3500 MHz (n78)

You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.

To check whether your phone will work in Mongolia, check out this page by Will My Phone Work (may be outdated or inaccurate at times).

Again, make sure your phone is unlocked. Otherwise, you will not be able to use any SIM card except the one from your home operator (meaning you have to roam internationally or buy another unlocked phone that does support the frequencies listed above).

If you want to learn how international roaming works, this guide explains it in-depth. If you wonder why it is often so expensive to roam, this article explains the hidden reason they do not want you to know.

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VoLTE & VoWiFi in Mongolia

VoLTE (Voice over LTE (4G) – also known as HD Voice) is not available in Mongolia – the same counts for VoWiFi (Voice over WiFi – also known as WiFi calling).

This means that your phone will downgrade to 2G or 3G when making a call in Mongolia (unlike mobile operators that do support VoLTE – then you can still use 4G/LTE while calling).

VoWiFi is, as the name implies, calling on a WiFi connection as opposed to on a cellular network.

5G NR in Mongolia

Commercial 5G NR has been available in Mongolia since September. It is available on the Mobicom and Unitel networks. Prepaid customers can use 5G NR, although coverage is still limited.

Best SIM Card in Mongolia

If you want to buy the best SIM card in Mongolia, I recommend going with Mobicom. It has the best coverage and the fastest speeds.

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Best eSIM in Mongolia

Mobicom and Unitel offer eSIMs to prepaid customers.

Note that the Mongolian mobile operators require your identification (passport) for eSIMs and physical SIM cards (will be discussed later).

Therefore, if you wish to get an eSIM for Mongolia without personal detail capturing, you can get the Mongolia (Mongo Mobile & Fiber) eSIM from Airalo.

Mongolia Mongo Mobile & Fiber eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

You have these three options:

  1. Mongolia/Mongo Mobile & Fiber 1 GB eSIM for 7 days
  2. Mongolia/Mongo Mobile & Fiber 3 GB eSIM for 30 days
  3. Mongolia/Mongo Mobile & Fiber 5 GB eSIM for 30 days

For Airalo eSIMs, the links above will automatically get you the Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers available – a code is not necessary.

For an in-depth analysis of the Airalo Mongo Mobile & Fiber eSIMs (covering pros and cons as well), check out my Mongolia eSIMs Compared guide.

You can also get Mongolia eSIMs from Nomad.

Mongolia eSIMs Nomad

Use code ADU123 for the best deals available when getting Nomad eSIMs (on the site or their apps), such as getting 3 USD off!

For an in-depth analysis of the Nomad Mongolia eSIMs (covering pros and cons as well), check out my Mongolia eSIMs Compared guide.

Finally, you can get Mongolia eSIMs from Holafly:

Phone Travel Wiz x Holafly Banner
No unlimited data for Mongolia (yet)

Use code PHONETRAVELWIZ for exclusive deals when getting Holafly eSIMs, AND get an additional 5% off!

For an in-depth analysis of the Holafly Mongolia eSIMs (covering pros and cons as well), check out my Mongolia eSIMs Compared guide.

With these eSIMs, you can skip Mongolia's SIM card registration scheme entirely and use it immediately upon arriving in Mongolia!

  • Find out about the best local eSIMs, travel eSIMs & travel SIM cards for every country (lookup tool)
Best Local & Travel eSIMs Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

TIP: check out my Best Mongolia eSIMs Compared guide for an in-depth comparison of several eSIMs for Mongolia.

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 with six variants: 1 GB/7 days, 3 GB/30 daysvery popular with PTW readers, 5 GB/30 daysmost popular with PTW readers, 10 GB/30 daysmost popular with PTW readers, 50 GB/90 days & 100 GB/180 days.

Asialink Asia eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

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 Mongolia).

The Asialink eSIM can be used in 13 14 countries in East Asia and Southeast Asia:

With the Asialink eSIM, you can save a lot of money by skipping the initial SIM card costs per country you visit.

As you can see, the Asialink eSIM cannot be used in Mongolia (yet).

However, as many who visit Mongolia do not just stay in Mongolia (often go to Japan and/or South Korea as well), you can consider it.

TIP: Check out my eSIM lookup tool for an overview of local mobile operators offering eSIMs to prepaid customers and travel eSIMs I use and love (for eSIMs in Mongolia and eSIMs worldwide) and my Best Mongolia eSIMs Compared guide for an in-depth comparion of several eSIMs for Mongolia.

Best International/Travel SIM Card for Mongolia

If you want to buy the best international/travel SIM card for Mongolia, I recommend going with SimCorner's Mongolia Travel SIM cards. Consider SimCorner's Asia SIM cards to be used in Mongolia and 20+ countries, including neighboring China, Kazakhstan & South Korea.

You have the following two Mongolia Travel SIM cards:

You have these two Asia SIM cards:

Asia Travel SIM Card (6 GB for 8 days) SimCorner
© SimCorner
Asia Travel SIM Card (6 GB for 15 days) SimCorner
© SimCorner

The SimCorner Asia SIM cards can be used in Mongolia and the following other countries:

You can also get the SimCorner International Travel SIM card with 6 GB of data valid for 15 days to be used in Mongolia and 100+ countries, including most of the ones mentioned above (Asia) and in the Americas, Europe & Oceania:

Instead of spending between 0.34 USD to 384 USD for SIM cards in each country, get a SimCorner travel SIM card covering numerous countries for just one price!

Use discount code PHONETRAVELWIZ for extra savings!

SIM Card Registration in Mongolia

SIM card registration, with the use of your passport information, is mandatory in Mongolia. This will be done at the point of purchase (unless you purchase it from a reseller).

  • Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
SIM Card Registration Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

Moreover, you can have up to two active prepaid SIM cards ACROSS all mobile operators in Mongolia.

This restriction applies to both Mongolian citizens and non-citizens (including migrant workers and tourists).

What happens when you try going over this limit? I do not know – be my guest and try it 😏.

Mongolia Mobile Speeds, Mobile Internet Prices & Insights

Flag of Mongolia

Being added.

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Currency in Mongolia

10 000 Mongolian Tögrög Banknote
© Bank of Mongolia (also known as Mongolbank)/Монголбанк

Mongolia uses the Mongolian Tögrög (Tugrik) with the symbol MNT (which will be used throughout this guide).

However, prices are often listed as . For example, 25 MNT = ₮25.

For reference, below are some exchange rates between MNT and USD (US Dollars):

  • 100 MNT = 0.03 USD
  • 1000 MNT = 0.30 USD
  • 10 000 MNT = 3.10 USD
    100 000 MNT = 30.70 USD

For up-to-date MNT:your currency (let's say KRW – Korean Won) exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Wise Borderless Account and Debit Card.

Their fees are MUCH lower than banks, and credit card companies charge you (and Wise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks).

I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Euros, my main currency, when using Wise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards. Open a Wise account FREE!

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Mongolian Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through Mobicom Mongolia & Unitel Mongolia, and go through:

  • Background information
  • Mobile coverage
  • SIM card types, prices, and availability
  • Recharge/top-up information
  • Combo plans, data plans, and special packs (such as social media packs)

With that being said, let’s see what Mongolia to offer to us.

Mobicom Mongolia

Mobicom Mongolia Logo
© Mobicom Mongolia

Being completely redone.

Unitel Mongolia

Unitel Mongolia Logo
© United Mongolia

Being completely redone.

The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Mongolia

Getting a SIM card from Mobicom would do you well when considering a Mongolian SIM card.

Next Steps to Enhance Your Travel Experiences

Looking for the next steps to enhance your phone travel experiences? Here is what to do:

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It takes a lot of time to analyze, translate & review the SIM card options worldwide (especially to test them out).

Your support helps me keep producing impartial content by eliminating the need to recommend international SIM cards as the best local SIM card (but some of them CAN be useful).

Every Ko-Fi donation, one-time or monthly, helps me to spend more time creating local SIM card buying guides.

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Check Out My Resource Page

Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience

Check out my travel resources page for the best companies to use when you travel!

Save money with international SIM cards, on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises & accommodation.

Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!

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In my starting an online business guide, I tell you which tools, services & products I have for this site and my YouTube channel.

If I can start a business about something I am passionate about (phone travel), then you can do it too!

Learn About Your Phone Travel Options

You can buy local prepaid SIM cardsinternational SIM cardsmobile hotspots, or roam internationally.

Each of these options has its pros and cons. Learn more about them, and find the best option for you.

Phone Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks

I have written many articles with tips and hacks to save money on mobile costs while abroad. You surely want to check them out!

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A lot of useful videos are uploaded multiple times a week, and you do not want to miss out on them!

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