Staying in contact with others when you travel aboard might be always a significant challenge. Most phone operators do have not roaming agreements with one or two Bhutanese network providers or even If they have, the cost might be pricey. Therefore, owning a Bhutan SIM card for yourself is the best way to stay in contact and have a great deal of money. If you are planning your Bhutan tours and still do not know how to find and get your own mobile SIM card, this article can be your help by providing an overview of the two popular Network Providers in Bhutan.
Bhutan Mobile Network Providers
Bmobile (By Bhutan Telecom)
The state-mobile network provider itself is run by the Government and also is the leading provider of telecommunications and internet services in Bhutan. It offers 3 data servicing packages including 2G on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G on 850 MHz, and 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz. What’s more, 4G/LTE is now available in the towns of Thimphu, Paro, Phuentsholing, Wangdue, and Punakha. Customers can also convert their current SIM to 4G free to cost.
Also, Bhutan Telecom provides satellite telephones using the Thuria system, allowing any direct dialing from anywhere in the country, even in remote areas.
Where to Buy
Right after arriving at Paro International Airport in Bhutan, you can get a Bhutan prepaid mobile SIM card by showing them your passport and filling up a form. When you completely finish immigration procedures, the Bhutan Telecom counter will be right beside the money exchange counters. Now, you can have your own authentic Bhutan SIM card.
After owning a SIM card, you might cut it to fit your phone because, in Bhutan, they do not have any Micro or Nano-SIM.
Also, there are two types of SIM cards which are Tourist SIM and Prepaid SIM. Both of them are sold for NU 100. However, there will be major cons of the tourist SIM as it’s only available for a month and is not able to extend and no data packages can be active on it.
Default Data Rate
Pay per use rate:
Flat rate: NU. 0.1 per 50KB
For tourist SIM: NU. 0.3 per MB
Data Feature Packages
|Daily 19||170 MB||24 hours||19|
|Daily 29||265 MB||24 hours||29|
|Weekly 39||335 MB||7 days||39|
|Weekly 49||425 MB||7 days||49|
|Monthly 99||860 MB||30 days||99|
|Monthly 199||1770 MB||30 days||199|
|Monthly 299||2910 MB||30 days||299|
|Monthly 499||5370 MB||30 days||499|
|Monthly 699||145000 MB||30 days||699|
|Monthly 799||17500 MB||30 days||799|
|Monthly 999||24600 MB||30 days||999|
|Monthly 1199||32000 MB||30 days||1999|
The Tourist SIM cannot be available these data packages above
Users can check these plans via eLoad or B-wallet. For prepaid recharge SIM cards, automatically subscribe to these plans.
Dialing *170# for checking the package. Right after dialing this code, it will show you the main information as account balance, data package in MB and SMS count at no cost.
TashiCell is the only private-mobile network provider in Bhutan which is run by Tashi InfoComm Ltd. Its coverage is lower than B-mobile on 2G and 3G. The TashiCell also provides 4G data, however, it is still not so common. TashiCell SIM card is available in Thimphu, Paro, Phuntsholling, Wangdue, and Punakha.
Where to Buy
You can have your own TashiCell SIM card by purchasing one in their Customer Care Centers opening from 9 am to 4:30 pm (winter) and 5:30 pm (summer). Each SIM card of the TashiCell costs NU 200 then if you currently have its SIM card, you can convert it to 4G for free.
There are two top-ups, vouchers and E-top-up available. For one who uses the voucher, type *77* <14digi code># and E-top-up, you are able to add any amount NU 10 to 500 giving 15-120 days available and getting a 5% bonus. Checking the balance by dialing *770#
Default Data Rate
TashiCell offers different pay per use rates from the time of the day:
7 am – 12midnight: NU. 0.0006 per KB (NU. 0.6 per MB)
12midnight – 7 am NU. 0.0002 per KB (NU 0.2 per MB)
Data Feature Packages
Including 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE:
|1 day||100 MB||19||*766*1*1#||NU. 0.5/MB|
|7days||340 MB||49||*766*1*2#||NU. 0.5/MB|
|800 MB||99||*766*1*3#||NU. 0.4/MB|
|1700 MB||199||*766*1*8#||NU. 0.4/MB|
|2700 MB||299||*766*1*4#||NU. 0.3/MB|
|5000 MB||499||*766*1*6#||NU. 0.3/MB|
|15000 MB||777||*766*1*5#||NU. 0.2/MB|
|30000 MB||1299||*766*1*7#||NU. 0.2/MB|
To subscribe, type *766*1# then all packages will automatically renew. To unsubscribe, dial *766*2#. Checking data by dialing *766*4#.
Bhutan Mobile Customer Care Number
If you have some problem relating to your SIM card or data packages, you have to dial the following numbers to get help:
TashiCell: 7700 for mobile service and 7701 for internet leased line service
There is some information about SIM cards in Bhutan (including tourist & prepaid SIM cards) and mobile network operators in Bhutan. Hope it will be useful for your trip to the phenomenal kingdom.
Tips for the Best SIM Card in Bhutan
- Dzongkha is the official language of Bhutan. It’s highly unlikely that you will know this language, as it’s unique to the locals. For convenient travel, you should have Google Translate on your phone before you travel for help. However, don’t worry too much since over 90% of the population in Bhutan can speak English.
- The Bhutanese call a SIM card a chip or SIM.
- Feel free to ask the seller to set up the SIM for you, they are willing to do this. If not, just simply follow the instructions that we have highlighted above or find the way to the official operator website to seek advice.
- Because towns are centralized and get busy quickly, get to the shops early, that way you are more likely to receive better assistance and avoid the crowds!
Pros and Cons of Mobile Network Providers in Bhutan
You know, nothing can be perfect and our Bhutan Mobile Network Providers are no exceptions. So below, I would like to list the advantages and disadvantages of the two of them.
Pros of Mobile Network Providers in Bhutan
- Good value for money
- Bhutan has good coverage
- Prepaid credit when required
- No in-store contract needed
- Could be compatible with your recent smartphone
Cons of Mobile Network Providers in Bhutan
- No cell phone devices provided with the SIM card packages
- Only be used on SIM-unlocked GSM phones
- Complicated regulations and rules make buying a SIM card difficult