Are you traveling to Uzbekistan and wondering what is the best way to stay connected? Let this guide help you to pick the best sim card for your trip to Uzbekistan.
Find below a comparison of the Uzbekistan prepaid sim cards, the best e-sim cards for Uzbekistan, up to date prices as per January 2024, the best 4G/5G network, my recommendation, where to buy a sim card for Uzbekistan, info about international sim cards and everything else you need to know.
Getting connected is the first thing I do when traveling to a new country. In the past I always used to buy a local prepaid sim card on arrival, but more and more I use e-sim cards to stay connected. Since Traveltomtom is already a full time nomad and travel blogger since 2012 buying sim cards and e-sim cards became part of my life, especially since Traveltomtom is also aiming to travel to every country in the world.
That is why you can find already more than 200 sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all over the world: Tajikistan, Pakistan, Dubai, Istanbul, Turkey, Europe, Greece, Spain, London, Paris, Asia, Thailand, Bangkok, Malaysia, USA, Canada, Moscow, Indonesia, Philippines and many more.
If you are flying to Tashkent Airport and you would like to buy a sim card for traveling in Uzbekistan straight on arrival then check out my detailed article with everything you need to know for buying a sim card at Tashkent Airport in 2024.
So next time you are planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your next holiday destination. Bookmark me!
Why buying a sim card for Uzbekistan
No one wants to get stuck with slow overseas data roaming plans. These data plans from your mobile internet provider in your home country reduce the data speed and are much more expensive than e-sim cards or local prepaid sim cards.
The last thing we want is to get stuck with high data roaming charges, which in 2024 are still ridiculous and providers often charge up to $3 USD per MB, which means opening the Instagram app can easily cost you $100 USD. Not kidding! Always make sure you switch off data roaming when traveling internationally.
Very important when traveling to Uzbekistan is to stay connected. Why? What about ordering a taxi through an app (Yandex) or getting directions from Google Maps. Ever thought about what to do in emergencies and not being able to use data on your phone? Or killing time on long train or car rides, accessing your banking apps, etc.
Don’t rely on WiFi, there is no guarantee your hotel has good and fast WiFi and another reminder that being connected to the internet through public WiFi is on an UNSECURED network. The use of a VPN is recommended to protect your data.
Traveltomtom recommends an UZ Mobile / UZTELECOM sim card for traveling in Uzbekistan. UZ Mobile has the best 4G/5G mobile network in Uzbekistan and a prepaid sim card with data is cheaper than e-sim cards.
Traveltomtom does also recommend e-sim cards because of its convenience. They are actually cheap as they start from just $4.5 USD. However, if you want a lot of data they become more expensive. Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Uzbekistan via Airalo, SimOptions, Nomad.
When traveling abroad and visiting more countries on your trip then also check out my list of the best international prepaid and e-sim cards for traveling in 2024. These international travel sim cards are valid in multiple countries.
Be aware that foreign sim cards only work in unlocked phones. If your phone is locked then you can’t use an e-sim card, an international prepaid sim card or a local prepaid sim card before unlocking your phone. If you are not sure about this then contact your mobile internet provider in your home country before traveling to Uzbekistan.
The best e-sim cards for Uzbekistan
The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Uzbekistan in 2024 is an e-sim card. But keep in mind they only work in e-sim compatible phones. If your phone is e-sim compatible you arrange everything online and you are connected in just a couple clicks.
You order an e-sim card for Uzbekistan on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have an Uzbekistan e-sim card installed on your phone.
Upon arrival in Uzbekistan it automatically connects you to an available network and you enjoy data on your phone pretty much when the plane lands.
Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Uzbekistan.
Airalo is a trusted e-sim card provider and they have the following Uzbekistan e-sim card plans:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
- 2 GB data for 15 days = $7.5 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $9.5 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $13.5 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $22 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $34 USD
Click here for more info or to order an Uzbekistan e-sim card via Airalo.
These Uzbeknet e-sim cards are data-only and incoming and outgoing calls are not supported. Uzbeknet operates on the Beeline 4G/LTE network in Uzbekistan.
SimOptions is another trusted e-sim card provider. They sell international e-sim cards that are valid in up to 141 countries around the world, including Uzbekistan:
- 6 GB data for 10 days = $17.90 USD
- 6 GB data for 8 days = $19.90 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $24.90 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $34.90 USD
- 6 GB data for 15 days = $39.90 USD
These international e-sim cards are much more expensive but valid in multiple countries. Some of the SimOptions e-sim cards come with a phone number, outgoing calls/sms are NOT supported, but incoming calls/sms are technically supported. For incoming international calls you need credit, but top up is not possible. However, receiving sms is no problem. For more info click on the link.
A third trusted e-sim card provider is Nomad and these are the Nomad e-sim card plans for Uzbekistan for 2024:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $8 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $11 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $15 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $22 USD
Click here to order an e-sim card for Uzbekistan through Nomad.
The Nomad e-sim cards operate on the Beeline 4G/LTE network, incoming and outgoing calls are not supported.
Before ordering an e-sim card make sure your phone is unlocked and e-sim compatible otherwise an e-sim card won’t work on your phone.
Where to buy a sim card for Uzbekistan
International Airport on arrival
Buying a sim card at Tashkent Airport is very easy and simple. On arrival in the baggage claim hall there are 2 sim card shops which sell prepaid sim cards for tourists. For more details click on the link to read my complete guide for buying a sim card at Tashkent Airport.
At Samarkand Airport there is also a sim card shop. I didn’t land there myself but my friends confirmed that you can buy a sim card for Uzbekistan at Samarkand Airport as well.
Phone store in city center
All around the big cities there are sim card stores from the official mobile internet providers in Uzbekistan. Traveltomtom recommends buying a sim card in an official retail store over a random phone shop. In an official retail store of the mobile internet providers you get the best service and discounted deals and prices and before you walk out of the store, the staff will make sure your data connection is working properly.
Where to find official mobile phone retail stores of the mobile internet operators? Just go to Google Maps and type in the by you preferred sim card provider and located the nearest one to your hotel. Order a Yandex (the Uber of Uzbekistan) and it will probably cost you less than $1 USD to get there.
Traveltomtom does not recommend buying a sim card from any random kiosk. Language barriers are very common in Uzbekistan and when something goes wrong they will send you to an official store.
You can also buy a sim card at the bigger train stations like: Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara. Here you will find kiosks of Mobiuz. Be prepared for language barriers as not many people speak English in Uzbekistan.
You can also buy a sim card for traveling in Uzbekistan on the internet. I already showed you all about ordering an e-sim card for Uzbekistan. Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Uzbekistan via Airalo, SimOptions, Nomad.
If your phone is not e-sim compatible you can order a physical prepaid sim card for traveling in Uzbekistan on the internet. These international sim cards will be delivered to your home address before traveling to Uzbekistan. On arrival it is plug and play! You can order a physical prepaid sim card for Uzbekistan via SimOptions.
Mobile internet providers in Uzbekistan
There are 4 mobile internet providers in Uzbekistan: Ucell, UZ Mobile / UZTELECOM, Beeline and UMS. All mobile internet providers sell prepaid sim cards for tourists. Prices for prepaid sim cards are more or less the same, the big difference between the mobile internet operators is the mobile data network coverage. More about that later.
On arrival in Uzbekistan you can only get a physical prepaid sim card, there are no e-sim cards for tourists available.
When buying a sim card in Uzbekistan in any sim card shop you will need to bring your passport. A copy of your passport will be taken in the phone store and your new Uzbekistan sim card will be registered on your name and your passport number. You will receive a physical sim card that comes with an Uzbekistan phone number that starts with +998.
If you rather not have your sim card registered on your name then look into ordering an e-sim card for traveling in Uzbekistan. There is no ID-verification needed for buying an e-sim card, only your email address. Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Uzbekistan via Airalo, SimOptions, Nomad.
Prices Uzbekistan prepaid sim cards
All prices and info below are updated in January 2024. Prices are in Uzbekistan Som and $1 USD = 12,360 UZS and 10,000 UZS = $0.81 USD.
The advantage of local prepaid sim cards is that they including (unlimited) calls and sms in Uzbekistan compared to e-sim cards which are all data-only.
- 20 GB data + unlimited socials + unlimited calls + 1,500 sms = 50,000 SOM - $2.2 USD
- 35 GB data + unlimited socials + unlimited calls + 2,000 sms = 70,000 SOM - $6 USD
Ucell does also sell e-sim cards, as well as physical prepaid sim cards for tourists. For more info check the Ucell website. The UCell website is the only website of all the mobile internet operators that has an English version, with the others you will need the Google Translate option.
The Mobiuz prepaid sim card plans are valid for 28 days:
- 7.5 GB data + unlimited calls + 1,000 sms = 25,000 SOM - $2.2 USD
- 15 GB data + free social media + unlimited calls + 2,000 sms = 40,000 SOM - $3.5 USD
- 35 GB data + free social media + unlimited calls + 3,000 sms = 60,000 SOM - $5.2 USD
Mobiuz does not sell e-sim cards, only physical prepaid sim cards for tourists. For more info check the Mobiuz website.
The Beeline prepaid sim card plans are valid for 28 days:
- 5 GB data (day) + 5 GB data (night) + 10 GB socials + 500 sms + unlimited calls = 24,000 SOM - $2.1 USD
- 10 GB data (day) + 10 GB data (night) + 20 GB socials + 1,000 sms + unlimited calls = 39,000 SOM - $3.4 USD
- 20 GB data (day) + 20 GB data (night) + 40 GB socials + 1,000 sms + unlimited calls = 55,000 SOM - $4.8 USD
- 35 GB data (day) + 35 GB data (night) + 70 GB socials + 1,000 sms + unlimited calls = 70,000 SOM - $6 USD
Beeline does not sell e-sim cards, only physical prepaid sim cards for tourists. For more info check the Beeline Uzbekistan website.
UZ Mobile / UZTELECOM
The UZ Telecom prepaid sim card plans are valid for 28 days:
- 12 GB data (day) + 6 GB data (night) + unlimited calls = 22,000 SOM - $2 USD
- 18 GB data (day) + 9 GB data (night) + unlimited calls = 33,000 SOM - $3 USD
- 28 GB data (day) + 14 GB data (night) + unlimited calls = 44,000 SOM - $4 USD
- 44 GB data (day) + 22 GB data (night) + unlimited calls = 55,000 SOM - $5 USD
- 70 GB data (day) + 35 GB data (night) + unlimited calls = 77,000 SOM - $7 USD
- 100 GB data (day) + 60 GB data (night) + unlimited calls = 111,000 SOM - $11 USD
UZ Telecom does not sell e-sim cards, only physical prepaid sim cards for tourists. For more info check the UZ Telecom website.
Best 4G/5G data network in Uzbekistan in 2024
To determine the best prepaid sim card for traveling in Uzbekistan let’s compare the mobile data network coverage of all the mobile internet providers. Uzbekistan is a huge country and especially during long train rides you want to stay connected. A sim card without a data connection is useless.
Is there 5G in Uzbekistan?
Yes, as of 2024 there is 5G in Uzbekistan. Beeline and UZ Mobile claim to have 5G in some areas of Tashkent it is not wide spread around the country. When I was traveling in Tashkent I did not get a 5G signal at all with my UZ Mobile sim card. For prepaid sim cards it is not possible to connect to the 5G network, only 4G/LTE.
Mobiuz mobile data 4G/5G coverage map
Ucell mobile data 4G/5G coverage map
Beeline mobile data 4G/5G coverage map
UZ Mobile 4G/5G coverage map
Although the above mobile data network coverage maps are updated for 2024 they are not 100% accurate. However, they are a great reference to compare the 4G/5G networks of the mobile internet providers in Uzbekistan in 2024.
From the comparison of the Uzbekistan 4G/5G coverage maps we can clearly see that UZ Mobile has the best mobile data network in Uzbekistan in 2024.
There is actually a big difference between the other mobile internet operators and UZ Mobile. Beeline is a second best but is no competition for UZ Mobile when it comes to the best 4G/5G network in Uzbekistan.
Best sim card for Uzbekistan
Prices for Uzbekistan prepaid sim cards are cheap, but so are e-sim cards. If you only travel to Tashkent and around and just need a little bit of data to stay connected then an e-sim card is the best way to stay connected because of its convenience. No need to visit a sim card store on arrival in Uzbekistan. You arrange everything online in just 2-3 minutes.
But for traveling around Uzbekistan Traveltomtom recommends buying an UZ Mobile sim card on arrival in Uzbekistan. Unfortunately the e-sim cards sold on the internet all operate on the Beeline network, so you can only buy an UZ Mobile when you arrive in Uzbekistan.
Keep in mind that on arrival in Uzbekistan you can only get a physical prepaid sim card for tourists, there are no e-sims available.
UZ Mobile has by far the best mobile data network compared to the other mobile internet providers and therefore to guarantee the best connection and data speed UZ Mobile is the best sim card for traveling in Uzbekistan in 2024.
International physical prepaid sim cards for Uzbekistan are more expensive, see below for more info.
Order a prepaid sim card for Uzbekistan online
If your phone is not e-sim compatible then you can order an international prepaid sim card for traveling in Uzbekistan on the internet.
Arrive prepared in Uzbekistan with an international prepaid sim card. You order them online and a physical prepaid sim card will be delivered to your home address. You put this sim card in your phone and it automatically connects to an available network upon arrival in Uzbekistan, basically when the plane lands you are instantly online.
SimOptions is the only sim card provider that sells physical prepaid sim cards that are valid in 22 countries, including Uzbekistan:
- 5 GB for 14 days = $49.90 USD
Click here for more info or to order an international prepaid sim card for Uzbekistan directly online via SimOptions.
Also last reminder that if your phone is e-sim compatible you can order an e-sim card for Uzbekistan on the internet and you arrange everything in just a couple clicks. Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Uzbekistan via Airalo, SimOptions, Nomad.
My experience buying a sim card for Uzbekistan
Before my trip to Uzbekistan I already researched what would be the best sim card for traveling around the country. Me and my friends flew into Tashkent and then traveled by train all around Uzbekistan so I wanted the sim card with the best mobile data internet coverage. On arrival at Tashkent Airport I wanted to buy a sim card for Uzbekistan and I had hoped there would be a UZ Mobile sim card shop.
Unfortunately there was none, only Beeline and Ucell. Click on the link to read my complete guide for buying a sim card at Tashkent Airport or watch my vlog below about my arrival at Tashkent Airport and my experiences buying a sim card.
With the free public WiFi at Tashkent Airport, which was actually working good, I ordered an e-sim card for Uzbekistan on Airalo with 1 GB data for just $4.5 USD so at least I was connected. Then the next day I went to an UZ Mobile sim card shop in Tashkent city center and bought a prepaid sim card.
While traveling around Uzbekistan I was pleasantly surprised with the performance, the network coverage and the data speed of my UZ Mobile sim card. On average the data speed in Uzbekistan was around 40 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload I would say. Surfing the internet, watching TikTok, Instagram or YouTube videos was never really a problem. Sometimes the WiFi of the hotels was faster, so I connected to the WiFi, but most of the times I was not even bothered because I bought a big data plan and my mobile data was fast enough.
Anyway, I am sure some of the above tips for buying a sim card for Uzbekistan were helpful and my information made it easier for you to pick the right sim card for your trip to Uzbekistan.
Let me know if you still have any questions and I am more than happy to help you out. Leave me a comment below or reach out to me on social media.
Curious what it looks like trying to visit every country in the world? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow along. As of January 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go.
Enjoy your trip to Uzbekistan!
Some links in this article about the best sim cards for traveling to Uzbekistan are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I earn a small commission. This is at absolutely no extra cost to you.