Buying Ucell SIM Cards and eSIM for tourists: Guide to Get and Activate 2024

In this comprehensive guide, I will provide you with all the essential information you need to know about buying a Ucell SIM Cards and eSIM in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan stands as a remarkable country with its own distinct character. When traveling to Uzbekistan, one aspect you may want to consider is avoiding expensive roaming charges imposed by your provider. 

Instead, a popular choice is to purchase a local SIM card, enabling you to enjoy local rates and stay connected without breaking the bank. Let’s embark on this informative journey together.

I. Quick Facts about Ucell

Ucell is a mobile network brand in Uzbekistan, owned and operated by the Uzbek company COSCOM

  • Full name: COSCOM LLC
  • Founded: 1996
  • Services:  Mobile telephony and mobile internet services in Uzbekistan using GSM, UMTS, HSPA and LTE technologies.
  • Subscribers: The second largest mobile operator by subscriber numbers with 22 million.
  • Coverage: Ucell’s network covers approximately 97% of Uzbekistan 
  • Awards: “For the best market development in countries with fast-growing economies” – Lead Awards (2023), “TV advertising 2023” and “Outdoor advertising 2023” – Tashkent Advertising Festival TAF!23 (2023). 

II. Why Ucell When Traveling Uzbekistan – Coverage and Speed

Ucell can provide travelers with several benefits such as Affordable prices, Value-Added Services or Customer Support. Coverage and Speed of this operators are also worth mentioning: 

1. Coverage

Ucell's coverage in Uzbekistan
Ucell’s coverage in Uzbekistan

As you can see, UCell has the largest network coverage in Uzbekistan, reaching over 97% of inhabited areas. They have expanded their mobile infrastructure over the past 25+ years, providing 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE services across the country.

Their network covers more than 1300 cities and towns in Uzbekistan’s 12 regions. This means you can expect to have signals practically everywhere you go, from the capital city of Tashkent to the Fergana Valley and other popular destinations. While there might be some remote mountainous or desert areas with limited coverage, UCell generally offers reliable connectivity.

2. Speed

SpeedTest's result about Speed Experience in Uzbekistan
SpeedTest’s result about Speed Experience in Uzbekistan

This operator hold the second highest position in Speed Experience in Uzbekistan

From Test research of Speedtest by Ookla, UCell’s network provides excellent 4G and 3G speeds, with peak download speeds of up to 150 Mbps and average user speeds of around 20.59 Mbps for downloads and 8.8 Mbps for uploads. 

These speeds are more than enough for using travel apps, streaming HD videos and music, playing games, downloading large files, and making video calls. In fact, UCell has the fastest mobile data in the Central Asian region, according to Speedtest Global Index rankings.

Advice: For tourists visiting Uzbekistan, UCell's extensive coverage and fast network speeds make them the best choice. 

III. What are the Best Connectivity Options of Ucell for Travelers to Uzbekistan?

Ucell provides several options to connect with its network:

An Ucell Uzbekistan SIM
An Ucell Uzbekistan SIM
Free Wi-Fi– Free– Security risks
– Limited coverage
– Variable speed and reliability
SIM Card– Wide coverage
– Cost control
– Reliable connection
-It takes effort to buy or wait for the SIM to be shipped to install it
– Main SIM is easily lost when removed
– 1 phone only uses 1 sim
eSIM– Buy online
– Just scan the QR to get the SIM, no need to remove it
– Use 2 SIMs at the same time (or 1 physical +1 eSIM or 2 eSIMs 
– Install multiple data plans on the same phone
– The eSIM is attached to the device so there is no risk of losing it
– Still keep the main sim on the device
– Must be an unlocked and compatible phone (network unlocked) to use
– Use the same current SIM 
– Expensive charges
– Not all network operators have connection and cooperation contracts with Uzbekistan network operators

Advice: If travelers have unlocked phone, choose Ucell Uzbekistan SIM Card or eSIM for the best price and convenience. 

IV. Best Ucell SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

Ucell consultants are guiding tourists to choose the appropriate SIM package
Ucell consultants are guiding tourists to choose the appropriate SIM package

Note: $1USD = 12 640 UZS and 10 000 UZS = $0.79 USD (The data in March 2024)

You can choose from daily Ucell data packs that automatically renew:

337 UZS1 MB
590 UZS8 MB
842 UZS15 MB
1474 UZS35 MB
1895 UZS55 MB
2947 UZS85 MB
3579 UZS110 MB
4210 UZS130 MB
  • You can also consider one of these Ucell weekly plans:
8420 UZS80 MB
12 630 UZS160 MB
16 840 UZS320 MB
  • Finally, Ucell 30-day and 60-day packs are available: 
Price (UZS)Data AllowanceValidity
5,26350 MB30 days
12,630150 MB30 days
18,945300 MB30 days
25,260500 MB30 days
42,1001 GB30 days
50,5201.5 GB30 days
63,1502 GB30 days
105,2504 GB30 days
147,3508 GB60 days
189,45016 GB60 days
231,55032 GB60 days
294,70064 GB60 days

V. Does Ucell Support eSIM in Uzbekistan?

Yes, UCell support eSIM in Uzbekistan. They introduced eSIM support in early 2022, allowing users to activate mobile plans through digital profiles instead of physical SIM cards.

Ucell support Uzbekistan eSIM with many benefits
Ucell support Uzbekistan eSIM with many benefits

With an unlocked phone or tablet that has eSIM functionality, you can download the Uzbekistan UCell eSIM app and follow a quick setup process to activate your plan. This enables you to use the UCell network without the need for a physical SIM card. 

VI. Where to Buy a Ucell SIM card and eSIM?

Travelers can easily buy Ucell SIM due to its existence in all over the places in Uzbekistan: 

1. Ucell SIM Card

With Ucell SIM Card, tourists can consider these options below: 

  • UCell Brand Stores: You can visit these stores to purchase a UCell SIM card directly from UCell. The staff at the stores can assist you in English and help set up your device. 
An Ucell kiosk in super market
An Ucell kiosk in super market
  • Supermarkets & Grocery Chains: Major supermarket chains such as Korzinka and Sant Market, among others, often carry UCell SIM cards, including tourist packages. 
  • Local Phone Shops & Bazaars: There are many small independent phone shops and stalls in bazaars throughout Uzbekistan that sell UCell SIM cards. 

2. Ucell eSIM

To buy a UCell eSIM in Uzbekistan, you have several options:

  • Gigago: You can purchase an eSIM from Gigago Vietnam, which offers eSIMs from over 200 countries, including Uzbekistan. 
Gigago Uzbekistan Ucell SIM Card
Gigago Uzbekistan Ucell SIM Card

For Uzbekistan, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 300 MB/day for 7 days with $4.50 . What is great about Gigago’s Uzbekistan eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $4.50$37.90 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Uzbekistan, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

  • UCell Stores: UCell has numerous retail stores located across major cities in Uzbekistan where you can purchase an eSIM. Please note that you will need to provide your passport for activation.
  • Tashkent International Airport: UCell has a customer service desk located near baggage claim at Tashkent International Airport. 
  • Online via UCell Website: You can also purchase an eSIM online through the UCell website at . They offer delivery to your location, and you will need to provide your passport details for activation. 
  • Regional Authorized Dealers: UCell has authorized retailers and dealers located throughout the country where you can purchase eSIMs. You can use the UCell website’s dealer locator to search for nearby locations.

VII. How to Activate Ucell SIM/eSIM in Uzbekistan?

Using a Ucell SIM/eSIM for Uzbekistan is not difficult. If this is your first time using it, please check the instructions below.

Easy activation steps with Ucell SIM Card
Easy activation steps with Ucell SIM Card

1. How to Use Ucell SIM Card in Uzbekistan?

You only need to follow these simple steps and everything will be ready.

  1. Insert the SIM card: Locate the SIM card slot on your device
  2. Power on your device: Turn on your device and wait for it to recognize the SIM card
  3. Activate the SIM card: In most cases, the Unitel Laos SIM card will be pre-activated
  4. Set up APN settings if you can not use the eSIM.
  5. Check your services.

2. How to Activate Ucell eSIM?

Getting started with an Ucell eSIM for Uzbekistan is quite easy as follows:

  1. Install the eSIM
  2. Activate the eSIM
  3. Set up the eSIM
  4. Start using the eSIM: Once the eSIM is activated and set up, you can start using its services.

Please check your detailed instructions below:

VIII. How to Top-up Ucell SIM/eSIM

To top up your Ucell SIM card, you can follow these steps:

  • On the webpage, you’ll find information about different payment methods and options available for topping up your account.
  • One of the convenient ways to top up your Ucell account is by using the “U-to’lov” payment tool.
  • You can access the “U-to’lov” management by dialing the USSD request *888# on your Ucell SIM card or by using the form provided on the website.
  • The “U-to’lov” service is provided free of charge.
Using the Ucell application for an easier top-up process
Using the Ucell application for an easier top-up process
  • If your account balance is zero, certain services such as internet packages, minutes, and SMS might become unavailable. However, you can still use the “Mobile Advance” service (*911#) to get money in debt or request money from another Ucell subscriber using the “Mobile transfer” service (*650#).
  • The website also provides other payment options, including payment on the spot at Ucell offices and dealerships, branches of banks and post offices in Uzbekistan, and various payment systems such as Uzum Bank, Click, PayMe, My Uzcard, …
  • If you’re traveling abroad and need to top up your Ucell account while roaming, you can use the “Payment without Borders” service. 
  • To check your Ucell account balance, you can dial the USSD code *100# on your Ucell SIM card. 

IX. FAQs about Ucell in Uzbekistan

Why I cannot receive or send SMS messages?

– Check your balance via USSD request
– Save the number of SMS center +998930190000 or +998930190007
– Deactivate «Call barring» service
– Deactivate «SMS forward» service via USSD request .

How can I assign phone number to another person?

Visit Ucell service offices together with the person, to whom the number will be assigned, and submit the respective application for the «Re-registration of the Contract». Please bring passports or other valid ID documents.

What should I do if I lost my SIM card?

– Please call Ucell call center (+998 931800000 or +998 931810000) from any number and activate «Temporary Blocking» service after confirming your identity
– Please contact Ucell service offices for «Replacement of SIM-cards»

X. Conclusion

Obtaining a Ucell prepaid SIM card or eSIM for your travels to Uzbekistan is a simple process, as outlined above. If you prefer to have data immediately upon your arrival in Uzbekistan, the Ucell eSIM card is the most convenient option.

Hope all the information in this article can help you to have a memorable trip in Uzbekistan