Cambodia SIM Cards / Internet
Internet in Cambodia is probably one of the fastest and most accessible across Southeast Asia. WiFi is available in the vast majority of coffee shops, restaurants, bars and hotels, and even on some modes of transport.
Tourist SIM cards can be bought at the airports on arrival for a few dollars. Mobile data can be purchased and runs well throughout the majority of the country, although it will be patchy in rural areas and is unavailable in remote regions, such as the Cardamom Mountains and the islands off the south coast near Sihanoukville.
We advise that you purchase a Cambodian SIM card upon arrival thereby avoiding all those nasty roaming charges. You wll find that most Cambodians you meet will have a mobile phone so you can swap messages easily.
Find a Phone Shop in Cambodia
Apart from acquiring a SIM card upon arrival, you can easily buy a SIM card in the capital or Siem Reap from one of the phone shops. If you are looking to buy a phone, then it is best to head to the Central Market, around which you will find many shops that sell phones and accessories.
Get a Phone Number in Cambodia
If you purchase a SIM card at the airport you will be provided with a Cambodian phone number which has the +855 international dialing code. If you wish for a specific number then you will have to go to a mobile phone office to acquire your SIM card.
Internet in Cambodia
Like the mobile phone network, the internet in Cambodia is excellent.
Finding the best internet provider in Cambodia depends on your needs. Many people just use a mobile connection through their phone, creating a hotspot or with a 4G router.
Many consumer focused ISPs offer low cost monthly packages with varying quality. A dedicated fibre connection is best but not always possible or cost effective.
If you are looking for the best internet in Cambodia you can look at an internet service provider such as SINET or Ezecom for a high quality internet connection suitable for business use – but quality comes at higher cost.
However, most people visiting the country will find that the data allowance you get with your SIM card at the airport is sufficent for your one week stay. If you are planning to stay longer you can always get a larger package at the airport.
As most coffee shops and bars have free WiFi you can also use the internet provided in these places, which is especially useful if you are planning to spend some time in the country becoming a global nomad.
Social Media in Cambodia
Unsurprisingly given its useful population and widespread usage of mobile phones and internet in Cambodia, socila media has taken off in the country. Facebook used to be king, but now this has been replaced by Snapchat and the like especially with local Cambodians.
If you are looking to communicate with Cambodians via apps, we suggest you set up a Telegram account which is much more widespread in use than WhatsApp, Signal and Messenger. Twitter has hardly registered a tweet in Cambodia.
Cambodian Phone Companies
Cambodia is blessed with a competitive telcom sector, partially due to the fact that the country really basically by-passed landlines. The young population has in many respects grown up using mobile phones, social media and the internet. It seems as if nearly every main road or boulevard has some kind of promotion from an internet providers in Cambodia every day.
For many years Cellcard had a virtual monopoly and still remains one of the most reliable mobile phone companies in the country, especially in the capital Phnom Penh. However, in recent years Smart has to a certain agree taken over its mantle.
The third major telcom in Cambodia is MetFone which apparently has the widest coverage across the country, which could be useful if you are planning to travel around Cambodia epsecially in the rural provinces. Between them these three account for some 90% of all Cambodia mobile phone users. Many Cambodians have multiple SIM cards with all three companies, ensuring that you will get the best connectivity wherever you are. (See our comparison between Cambodia phone providers below).
Topping up your card is simplicity itself. You can purchase top up scratch cards from vendors by the street, or alternatively you can top up online.
Here is our brief comparison between the Cambodia phone companies.
Launched in 1998 Cellcard claims to be Cambodia’s most reliable telecoms operator of 2017 and Cambodia’s fastest mobile network provider at the Speed test awards. Currently offering international roaming, international calls and tourist sim packages they are certainly a top contender when it comes to choosing a network provider. Their main office is located on Sihanouk Boulevard in Phnom Penh and their staff are friendly with good English. For the most up to date information on Cellcard’s packages and pricing please visit their website here.
Part of the Axiata Berhad group and currently boasting over eight million subscribers under the “Smart brand” they are certainly a giant in the Southeast Asia telecommunications industry. Smart offer tourist SIMs with varying data, validity and social media packages. If you activate the Smart international service they offer international calls. Their head office is based on the southern side of Monivong Boulevard in Phnom Penh. For the most up to date information on Smart’s packages and pricing please visit their website here.
Part of the Viettel group Metfone has seen a decline in recent years when it comes to public popularity however they do apparently have very good provincial coverage here in Cambodia should you require it. Their head office is on Mao Tse Toung Boulevard. Offering international calls with both pre & post-paid roaming options Metfone may well be worth a try depending on which network your friends use in the Kingdom. For the most up to date information on Metfone’s packages and pricing please visit their website here.