Are you planning to visit Uzbekistan? If yes, then you might be wondering how to get a local SIM card to have a reliable internet connection while exploring this beautiful country.
In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of getting a SIM card in Uzbekistan.
How to Get a SIM card in Uzbekistan
The internet in Uzbekistan can be quite limited, especially in public areas. Although some modern cafes and hotels offer WiFi, it is not reliable, and you might find it challenging to get a connection.
It is highly recommended to get an eSIM or a local SIM card to have a stable and affordable internet connection.
These days you have two options:
- Buy a local SIM card when you arrive in Uzbekistan
- Buy an eSIM card online at any time and be prepared before arrival
Phone providers in Uzbekistan
There are three main phone providers in Uzbekistan: Beeline, Mobiuz, and UCell. All three companies offer similar prices, coverage, and packages.
However, we suggest Beeline as the best choice for foreigners, as they have English speakers at their offices and have recently started marketing towards tourists and short-stay travelers in Uzbekistan.
Prices vary depending on the package, but they are very reasonable. For instance, at the time of writing in 2023, Beeline offers a 30-day, 10GB internet-only package that costs 50,000 Som ($4-5).
Buying An eSIM Card For Uzbekistan
Local and global eSIM cards have gained in popularity recently and are even more convenient as you can buy them wherever and whenever.
Airalo has started offering eSIM cards for Uzbekistan via Uzbeknet meaning you can purchase and download an eSIM plan before you even arrive in Uzbekistan and activate it as soon as you arrive.
Purchasing an eSIM card saves you time at the airport or when visiting local phone providers.
To find out more information about how eSIM cards work, consider reading Airalo’s guide to eSIMs.
To buy an eSIM card for Uzbekistan click here.
Uzbekistan eSIM cards start at just $4.50 for a 7-day plan up to $34 for a 30 day 20GB allowance.
International eSIM Cards
If you’re going to be traveling to multiple countries we suggest buying a global plan as it can be used in 130 countries including Uzbekistan.
Other nearby countries also included in the global plan include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, India, China, Pakistan and many more. It’s definitely worth buying the global eSIM if you’re planning a long trip to more than one country.
Prices start from $9 and an annual eSIM which can be used globally costs only $69.
Where to get a SIM card in Uzbekistan
If you arrive at Tashkent International Airport or Bukhara International Airport, we suggest you buy a SIM card as soon as you arrive. You can buy SIM cards at the information desk, and there will be English speakers to assist you.
You will need to show your passport to register the SIM card and the person at the desk will do everything for you.
If you cannot buy a SIM card at the airport, the second-best option is to visit an official vendor office. Beeline, for example, has official offices in Tashkent (Google maps) and Samarkand (Google maps). It may take a little longer, but they also have English speakers who can assist you.
RELATED POST: Best Areas for Tourists in Tashkent
Registering your IMEI Code if Staying in Uzbekistan for more than One Month
If you plan to stay in Uzbekistan for more than one month, you will need to register your phone’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) code. An IMEI code is a unique 15-digit number that identifies your phone.
To find your IMEI code dial *#06# from your device and it will display on your screen.
You can register your phone online at https://uzimei.uz/en. The website can be hit or miss, and you might encounter issues registering online.
If that is the case, you can go to the Central Post Office in Tashkent (Google maps), but you will need to take a Russian or Uzbek speaker with you as they do not speak English.
If you need assistance our partner site UzbekistanServices.com can provide Uzbek and Russian interpreters on an affordable hourly basis.
Walk to the back of the Post Office to find the IMEI registration (IMEI registrasi) desk on the right.
You’ll need your passport, phone and no more than 100,000 Som ($8-10) to complete the registration.
In conclusion, getting a local SIM card is highly recommended when visiting Uzbekistan. It will allow you to have a reliable and affordable internet connection, and you can explore the country without worrying about connectivity issues.
We trust this guide will make obtaining a local SIM card in Uzbekistan a breeze, enabling you to fully enjoy your stay!
If you’re planning a trip to Uzbekistan then read our full travel guide here.