Getting a visa for Tajikistan can be a challenge. Once you manage to get your visa, you can explore beautiful gardens in Khorog, lakes and ruins in Panjakent, or the national museum in Dushanbe. Let's not forget the nature throughout Tajikistan.
What you may not want to do, however, is roaming with your provider. Roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why many travelers prefer to buy a local SIM card so that they can enjoy local rates. In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Tajikistan. Let's do this.
Telecom Providers in Tajikistan
Tajikistan has 4 telecom providers: Tcell, Babilon Mobile, MegaFon Tajikistan, and Zet-Mobile. All operators, except for Zet-Mobile, have 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks. Zet-Mobile has no 4G/LTE network.
In some areas, only one operator is active. For example, you can only use MegaFon Tajikistan in Alichur and T-Cell in Eastern Wakhan. If you are staying in the major cities, then getting one SIM card will do you well. If you will explore major parts of Tajikistan, then you may consider getting multiple SIM cards so that you have coverage wherever you are.
What SIM card should you buy when visiting Tajikistan? If you want to buy a SIM card in Tajikistan, I would recommend going with Tcell, mainly because they have the best coverage in Tajikistan.
Until recently, visitors were not able to buy a Tajikistani SIM card. Luckily, that has changed with the introduction of the registration law. Just like other countries in Central Asia, you have to show your passport when buying a SIM card. You are allowed to have two SIM cards in total (instead of two per provider as in the past). This should not be a huge problem for most travelers, including those who want to explore the remote parts of Tajikistan.
VoIP calls, so calls with WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Skype, are officially banned by law because of a fear of a decline in tax income from voice calls. Although you may (sometimes) be able to make VoIP calls, it is not recommended because your SIM card is registered to your name and the authorities may want to find you when they feel like it.
Because of this, I would recommend using a VPN to browse the web in peace. I use NordVPN because I get high speeds with their servers. They have around 5500 servers in 59 countries. They have servers in the Tajikistan, but you can connect to Indian, United Arab Emirati, or Georgian servers (there are many more, but these are the closest to Tajikistan). You can get up to 70% off your NordVPN subscription if you get yours today!
With that said, let’s see what Tajikistan can offer us.
Tcell is the operator in Tajikistan and has the best coverage throughout the country. 4G/LTE can be found in more cities and towns by the day. A Tcell SIM card can be bought for max. 20 TJS ($2.05) in official Tcell stores. If you want to use for 4G/LTE, you need to buy a 4G SIM card.
The following Tcell monthly data packs can be added. You get the same allowance to be used at night (midnight to 7 AM). For example, the 25 TJS plan comes with 500 MB during the day and 500 MB at night (a total of 1000 MB), even though I will only list 500 MB below:
- 13 TJS: 250 MB
- 25 TJS: 500 MB
- 38 TJS: 1 GB
- 63 TJS: 2 GB
- 85 TJS: 3 GB
- 112 TJS: 5 GB
More data can be added for the following prices:
- 14 TJS: 500 MB
- 23 TJS: 1 GB
Babilon Mobile was the second provider to start in Tajikistan and the first one to roll out 4G/LTE. A Babilon Mobile SIM card sells for 5 TJS. The following 90-day data packs can be added:
- 10 TJS: 250 MB
- 20 TJS: 500 MB
- 35 TJS: 1 GB
- 65 TJS: 3 GB
- 99 TJS: 6 GB
- 160 TJS: 10 GB
- 300 TJS: 20 GB
- 400 TJS: 30 GB
- 600 TJS: 60 GB
MegaFon Tajikistan, just MegaFon, is the third-largest operator in terms of customers. 4G/LTE can be found in major cities. MegaFon SIM cards are sold for 5 TJS In MegaFon stores or from vendors. The following monthly 4G/LTE data packs can be added:
- 55 TJS: 2 GB
- 80 TJS: 3 GB
- 115 TJS: 5 GB
- 200 TJS: 10 GB
Out of data? You can get an extra GB for 20 TJS.
Does your phone not support 4G/LTE or it does not work with the frequencies or bands in Tajjikistan? Then you can add any of the MegaFon monthly 3G data packs:
- 13 TJS: 300 MB
- 34 TJS: 1 GB
- 56 TJS: 2 GB
- 72 TJS: 3 GB
- 102 TJS: 5 GB
- 180 TJS: 10 GB
Need more data? You can add 1 GB for 21 TJS.
Zet-Mobile (formerly Beeline Tajikistan)
Zet-Mobile, formerly Beeline Tajikistan, is the smallest operator in Tajikistan. It is also the only operator without a 4G/LTE network at the moment. Although the Beeline brand is being phased out, you may still see Beeline stores or logos in some places. Zet-Mobile SIM cards are sold for 20 TJS in Zet-Mobile stores. The following monthly data packs can be added:
- 14 TJS: 600 MB
- 17 TJS: 800 MB
- 28 TJS: 1.4 GB
- 36 TJS: 3 GB
- 58 TJS: 4 GB
- 85 TJS: 8 GB
- 100 TJS: 12 GB
- 130 TJS: 16 GB
- 165 TJS: 24 GB
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Tajikistan
The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Tajikistan
Getting a SIM card from Tcell would do you well when considering a Tajik SIM card.
Local Prepaid SIM Card in Other Asian Countries
Visiting other countries in Asia? Check out my SIM card buying guides for individual Asian countries:
Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
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