Cellular communication and Internet in Sri Lanka


На Шри-Ланке довольно распостранен украинский язык

Cellular communication and Internet in Sri Lanka is well developed. Using a home SIM card with activated roaming for connection with the house is inappropriate: it is much cheaper to buy a local SIM card and use it for local or international calls home mobile Internet. For example, a call to Russia on cell phone costs about 15 rupees/minute, which is about 6 rubles. We should not be afraid of difficulties with the purchase, registration and activation of SIM-cards: all done in 10 minutes, and even without knowledge of the English language all you can do. How, read on:

Immediately upon arrival at the airport in Colombo, the tourists can purchase SIM cards that include a certain number of internal calls and the number of megabytes of Internet data traffic (unlimited Internet in Sri Lanka is not yet widespread). To purchase this package at the airport is really very comfortable and you after a few minutes the phones and the mobile Internet. But wait, if you want to save a little. The fact that the finished bags at the airport are sold from 1200 rupees (about 450 rubles, refer to the currency of Sri Lanka, the exchange rate), but on city streets a SIM card and a package of refill can be bought at least two times cheaper.

Sri Lanka has several operators, including two of the largest: Dialog and Mobitel. Dialog provides broader coverage and better communication quality, but the prices are a bit higher. Mobitel Dialog and tries to catch up with him a little inferior in quality, but the prices are a little lower.

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The connection of the SIM card Dialog

For reference, we offer you a review of the connection of the SIM card Dialog. To find these SIM cards are easy everywhere in the streets and stores, in specialty stores. Prices are the same everywhere.

The SIM card itself is not free, it costs 150 rupees. But after purchase it is completely empty (no money on the balance sheet) and is not activated. Once in a sales position you will be offered to top up and activate. To purchase a SIM card you need a passport.

Sri Lanka to recharge SIM cards are very popular so-called packages. Ie buying a special card package for recruiting and activating it, you get in the package a certain number of outgoing calls, SMS and Internet traffic. There are many variations of such packages, but not all sell to tourists, but only prepaid (prepaid). If bad speak English and don't want to deal with all these complexities can be directly in the cabin when buying to ask for, and do it yourself sellers.

  • Internet Connection

    If you need Internet, then you should buy a batch map Dialog (Dialog Internet Card) to replenish. They are of different strengths and at different price from 29 to 699 rupees. Each of these cards includes a certain amount of Internet traffic, some amount of internal SMS and minutes of talking on the phone Dialog. This package has an expiration date. The most convenient options packages are:

    • 299 rupees – 1500Мб Internet, 500 SMS in the phone Dialog, 50 minutes of talking on the phone Dialog, valid for 30 days;
    • 699 rupees – 5000Мб of Internet, valid for 30 days.

    On the batch card there are instructions in English on how to activate it, but if you ask them to do it for you in the cabin, all without problems will make.

    However, these packages do not include calls to numbers of other operators as well as international. You just need to replenish the balance of the SIM card in the salon by cash or buy another card.

  • The voice communication connection

    If you don't need the Internet, or need not only the Internet, you can replenish the balance of your card immediately bought in the cabin and forth as needed. You can also buy a batch of cards.

    Under either option, if you ask at the salon you immediately activate and replenish the card account for a certain amount, and you will only have to insert it into the phone and use.

    After each call receives a message about its value, which is very convenient. Call cost to Russia of about 15 rupees per minute. To get an even cheaper rate for international calls, dial #103# and then 1. To know the remaining balance, dial #456#.


About mobile Internet is all written above. If you repeat briefly, unlimited tariffs for SIM-card tour is available, but the existing batch of options is more than enough for the most active use of the Internet.

As for Wi-Fi Internet, we offer it for free most of the hotels, cafes and restaurants (look for signs Free Wi-Fi). Free network at the airport in Colombo.

Unfortunately, it is not always the availability of free Wi-Fi in the hotel means that you will have it in the room, and sometimes you have to go to reception or the restaurant to catch the network. Also, the owners of the guesthouses often turn off the router at night, and have to ask them to include.

Yet free public networks in tourist areas, as is done, for example, in Vietnam, but maybe it's a matter of the near future. Wired Internet access (cable connection) in hotels is very rare.

Comments / recent posts on the topic on the forum
admin 22 may 2017, 11:03
Hello! From India to Sri Lanka can only be reached as from any other country, any simplified procedure no including visa. So you need to buy tickets from India to Sri Lanka, and to issue an e-visa ETA. On the other way. ...
Paul M 15 Dec 2017, 00:15
Hello, I can not find any site where you can buy a ticket from Ella to Hikkaduwa on any train or bus. Also wanted to ask about the local mobile operators. Necessary mostly the Internet. Suggest some kind of network? Just there to buy a SIM card (Colombo) and what the price would be for a package where a few minutes, but a lot of the Internet? Thanks in advance ...
admin 15 Dec 2017, 09:49
Hello Paul! And you will not find such a site. First, there are no such websites, electronic ticketing on trains and buses in Sri Lanka does not exist; and secondly, from Ella to Hikkaduwa can be reached only with a change in Colombo. Generally you do not see this as a big problem, tickets for 2 and 3 class will be able to buy on the spot right before the departure. Timetable here https://eservices.railway.gov.lk/schedule/homeAction.action?lang=en If you definitely want to travel first class in observation car, then it is better to buy in advance the plot of Ella-Colombo, but not necessarily. Available in advance through special sites to the Agency with a large wrap, but it will not be an e-ticket and the paper that you get in the place. On the Internet today, not to advise, has long not been there, but in General without problems to buy and use. If English little own in any shop with SIM cards explain what you need, you will be offered options. ...
Lauryn 15 Dec 2017, 17:33
Good evening! Going to Sri Lanka in the second half of January. If I'm on the ETA, do not tell me when it's ready? (including the upcoming NG) Or is it better to do it at the airport on arrival? I read that this is possible. Is this true? Thank you for your answer. ...
admin 15 Dec 2017, 17:38
Do not see the advantages of what to do at the airport. First of all expensive and secondly have at the airport to spend more time, you need it. Make from home a few days everything will be ready. ...
Yanita 05 Feb 2018, 18:35
We are traveling with a child. In Thailand no problem we went with the baby on the motorbike. Can there be a problem with the police in Sri Lanka if the motorcycle will be 2 adults and a child? ...
admin 06 Feb 2018, 09:29
Hello! Yes, it seems that even we are not forbidden to carry on a motorcycle in the front seat, and after 12 on the rear. But in Sri Lanka, motorbikes for transport is generally not considered, all ride, and many times with children seen. Well, even if there are complaints, the police (police on the roads, by the way, very little), solve the problem on the spot. The cops are here Oh-Oh-Oh-ry is corrupt, everything can be solved for a few bucks. Do not swear with them, and smile and even laugh, and everything will be OK. P. S. in Kandy into oncoming traffic on the bike flooded, and then as luck COP. He blowed, poulybalis each other, turned around and went back. ...
Lukas 07 May 2018, 18:55
Hello! I'm going to Sri Lanka in about a month and have thoughts on renting a scooter when I'm in Ella and perhaps also in/around Arugam Bay. I only have my Swedish drivers license (I know more is required) but I wonder about the consequenses if being pulled over? I was several times in Bali and just paid for a temporary license the first time which I could then show when it happened again. How expensive would a fine be in Sri Lanka, it is high risk to get pulled over as a tourist on bike and also, what is worse case scenario if I do get pulled over? Answers would be appriciated! Regards Lukas ...
admin 09 May 2018, 05:13
Hi Lukas! You are right, officialy you need to get a local drivers permit. But on practice you don't really need this, actually like on Bali too. I have expirience in driving all around Sri Lanka, have met twice policemens on the road and they cheked-out my russian driving license, and I don't have any problems and fines. ...
Оксана1083 31 may 2018, 13:16
How much is one day delay in the visa. We have tickets for 32 days. And how to do better. To change tickets or expired visa to pay ...

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