Cellular communication and Internet in Sri Lanka
Cellular communication and Internet in Sri Lanka is well developed, the prices are low. 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:
Where to buy a SIM card
Immediately upon arrival at Colombo airport 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. Ready-made bags at the airport are sold from 1200 rupees (approximately 425.05 RUB, refer to the currency of Sri Lanka), but on the streets the SIM card and the refill package can be purchased a little cheaper, though, and will have to suffer with connectivity and replenishment.
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. Both operators already offer and develop 4G network.
To date (2019) it's best to buy one of these travel packages:
- Dialog Tourist Plan. SIM card Dialog with a package of Internet 10Gb. Cost – 1299 RS package + RS 150 card (approximately 513.6 RUB).
- Mobitel Tourist Special Data Pack. SIM card Mobitel ' end 40Gb. Price – 1999 RS package (about 708.07 RUB).
The connection of the SIM card Dialog
If you decide to purchase a complete package, here for reference an overview 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.
If you need Internet, it is better to 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:
- 199 rupees for 1 GB of 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 salon, and then 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. Wired Internet access (cable connection) in hotels is very rare, usually there is a router mobile operator with ochtinski speed and unstable connection. Therefore, if the presence of the Internet is critical for you, it is better to think about buying your own SIM card than to rely on the Internet in hotels.
Yet free public networks in tourist areas, as is done, for example, in Vietnam, but maybe it's a matter of the near future.