Unitel SIM Cards & eSIM for Tourists: How to Get and Activate 2024

If your next trip is to Mongolia, you will want to have an Internet connection to use essential apps and stay in contact with your family. Unitel SIM cards or eSIM offer reliable connectivity for calls, texts, and Internet access nearly anywhere in the country. In this article, let us show you the best plans, where to get, and how to activate for smooth and affordable access to mobile services while in Mongolia.

I. Quick Facts about Unitel

Unitel is one of Mongolia’s leading mobile network operators in terms of subscriber base and nationwide network. Here are several key facts about this carrier:

  • Founded: in 2005
  • Headquartered: at Central Tower, downtown Ulaanbaatar
  • Full company name: Universal or United Telecommunications
  • Types of services: TourSIM, prepaid and postpaid services, mobile phone services, broadband Internet, landline telephone services, etc.
  • Coverage: the second largest carrier, 88% of Mongolia’s population, reaching large cities and smaller towns.
  • Number of users: over 3.5 million subscribers as of 2024
  • Distribution: 42 service centers, about 10,000 retailers & agents to sell Unitel SIM cards and devices.
  • Customer support: 24/7 cell center
  • Language: Mongolian, English
Unitel is the second largest cellular network carrier in Mongolia
Unitel – The second-largest cellular network carrier in Mongolia

II. Why Unitel When Visiting Mongolia – Coverage and Speed

Unitel has the broadest coverage and excellent speeds in Mongolia, making it an amazing choice for tourists.

1. Unitel Coverage in Mongolia

  • Unitel offers the widest coverage in Mongolia, compared to MobiCom (2nd) and Skytel (3rd);
  • Provides reliable 4G/LTE connectivity for high-speed Internet access in major cities;
  • Coverage extends to most district centers on 2G/3G providing basic calling and messaging.
Unitel has the widest coverage in Mongolia
Unitel’s coverage map in Mongolia

2. Unitel Speed

  • Speeds average around 10-25Mbps in cities, suitable for video calls, streaming, and apps;
  • Speeds may be lower in rural areas but connectivity is available for basic use.

► So in summary, Unitel is the best choice for tourists to Mongolia thanks to its reliable network coverage across Mongolia and good speeds focused in population centers.

III. What are the Best Connectivity Options of Unitel for Travelers to Mongolia?

Unitel offers a few options to stay connected for tourists in Mongolia: Unitel SIM cards, pocket Wifi, and roaming.

OptionProsCons
Unitel SIM cards– Affordable plans- Works with any unlocked mobile device- Local phone number for cheaper calls and texts– Unlocked phone needed- Risk of loss when uninstalled
Pocket Wifi– Great for those traveling in a group, Internet sharing- No SIM swap– Extra items to carry- Costly rental fees
Roaming– Familiar home phone number/ package– Expensive- Bills can add up quickly

► Our Recommendation:

Unitel SIM cards are the most affordable and convenient connectivity option for tourists to Mongolia. With a SIM card, you can access reliable and fast-speed Internet wherever you go in this country.

IV. Best Unitel SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

Unitel offers several prepaid SIM card options for visitors in Mongolia:

PlanDataValidityPrice
Tour SIM 55,000 units of credit & 3GB data5 daysMNT 15,000 – USD 4.4
Tour SIM 1010,000 units of credit & 5GB data10 daysMNT 25,000 – USD 7.3
Tour SIM 3020,000 units of credit & 20GB data30 daysMNT 40,000 – USD 11.8

Note: These plans provide unlimited talk within Unitel Mongolian network. Rates are subject to change so it is best to contact the carrier for the most up-to-date information.

Pro Tip:

- Opt for the Unitel SIM package that fits your needs and trip duration.

- Have your passport and MNT cash/credit card ready for SIM purchase.

V. Does Unitel Support eSIM in Mongolia?

Yes. Unitel supports eSIM (virtual SIM/ embedded SIM) for compatible mobile devices. Tourists can download and activate it online without putting a physical SIM into their phone.

Unitel is known for its high-quality service and reliable network. Unitel’s main rival is MobiCom, which also offers eSIM. However, Unitel has greater coverage and more subscribers.

Benefits of using eSIM include:

  • Convenience: eSIMs are convenient as they do not require users to change cards when they want to change carriers or travel to another country.
  • Space saving: eSIM takes up less space than a physical SIM card, which can free up space for other components in the device.
  • Security: eSIMs are more secure as they are not easily damaged or stolen.

VI. Where to Buy Unitel SIM cards and eSIM?

Unitel SIM cards and eSIM packages may be bought from the following locations: 

1. Where to Buy Unitel SIM Cards for Mongolia?

Upon arrival at Mongolia airport

Pros: convenient, instant Internet access

Cons: higher rate than in the cities

Location: buy Unitel SIM cards at Ulaanbaatar Chinggis Khaan International Airport – SIM card counter or Unitel booth (in the arrival hall).

Unitel stores and retailers

Unitel has 42 service centers and about 10,000 authorized retailers like mobile phone shops across Mongolia. They have a full range of SIM plans with affordable pricing.

Pros: widely available throughout the nation, reasonable rates

Cons: need to locate physical store locations.

Unitel authorized retailers in Mongolia
Unitel authorized retailers in Mongolia

Important Note

- Your phone needs to be unlocked to accept Unitel’s network in Mongolia

- Prepare cash or credit cards for payment, passport for registration.

2. Where to Buy Unitel eSIM for Mongolia?

2.1 Directly from the Unitel website

You can get an eSIM plan for Mongolia on the Unitel website. Nevertheless, this way requires you to show your passport for ID proof.

Pros: convenient digital download and set up

Cons: passport for ID verification needed

2.2 Third-party providers like GIGAGO

Pros: easy download and activation process, no document required

Gigago offers competitive Unitel eSIM plans for tourists to Mongolia
Gigago offers Unitel eSIM plans for visitors to Mongolia

Con: eSIM-supported phonesGigago eSIM services allow you to buy Unitel eSIM plans online without any documents. Plans are directly from Unitel and rates are cheaper. Gigago eSIM plans for Mongolia start at 1GB for 7 days at only $9.90 and range from $9.90$38.50 . With a Unitel eSIM from Gigago, you will have smooth and secure Internet access at an affordable rate during your trip.

Pro Tip:

- Check if your cell phone supports eSIM.

- Consider getting data-only plans to save money if you use apps like WhatsApp, Messenger for calling and messaging.

VII. How to Activate Unitel SIM/eSIM in Mongolia?

Just take the following steps and you will be able to activate Unitel SIM cards/ eSIM in Mongolia:

1. How to Use Unitel SIM Card in Mongolia?

To use and activate Unitel SIM cards, you need to:

  • Buy your Unitel SIM from Mongolia airport, Unitel stores, or retailers
  • Insert Unitel SIM into your phone and then switch your phone on
  • Configure APN settings by entering setup prompts
  • Restart your phone
  • Check for Unitel carrier signal 
  • Load a web page to confirm that cellular data is working 

You can now make phone calls, send messages, and utilize mobile data within your Unitel prepaid SIM balance and validity period.

2. How to Activate Unitel eSIM?

If you choose to use a Unitel eSIM plan, you need to:

  • Get an eSIM plan online and receive a QR code via your email
  • Scan the QR code/ details from the email
  • Follow the prompts to download and install Unitel eSIM
  • Check for Unitel carrier signal
  • Once your Unitel eSIM is activated, you may start using its fast and secure services.

Important Note:

Please follow the detailed instructions:

VIII. How to Top-up Unitel SIM/eSIM

There are some ways to top up your Unitel prepaid SIM/ eSIM:

Online Top up

Recharge your credit using the Unitel website/ app. Payment by credit or debit cards.

Physical Top up

  • Visit Unitel service centers or authorized retailers to top up your account
  • Provide your number and select a top-up amount
  • Prepare cash or credit card for payment
  • This way is perfect for those who prefer personal support.

In summary, Unitel offers flexible online and physical top-up channels for quick and easy account replenishment.

IX. FAQs about Unitel SIM Cards and eSIM in Mongolia

Can I get Unitel SIM cards upon arrival at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport?

Yes, Unitel SIM cards are available for purchase at the SIM card counter and the Unitel booth inside the arrival hall for easy connectivity upon arrival.

Will Unitel SIM cards work if I visit rural areas outside the cities in Mongolia?

Thanks to their extensive network infrastructure, Unitel SIM cards provide reliable coverage across Mongolia, including soum centers and countryside areas.

What is the best way to top-up my Unitel SIM card while on the go in Mongolia?

You can conveniently top-up Unitel SIM cards online 24/7 via the Unitel website or app using major credit/debit cards.

X. Conclusion

In conclusion, purchasing a prepaid Unitel SIM card or signing up for a Unitel eSIM profile is a convenient and affordable way for tourists to stay connected during their Mongolia trip. Unitel SIM cards offer reliable nationwide 4G coverage and flexible data plans suitable for navigation, photos, and social media. If you have an eSIM-compatible phone, an eSIM will be the best choice for worry-free and budget-friendly connectivity throughout your time in Mongolia.