Vietnam is a beautiful country with rich culture, delicious food, and friendly people. As a tourist, having reliable internet access is crucial to enhance your travel experience. Viettel, the largest telecommunications company in Vietnam, offers various connectivity options for travelers including SIM cards, pocket WiFi, and eSIM.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide key information about Viettel SIM card and compare the best internet options to help you stay connected during your Vietnam trip.

Viettel SIM card and eSIM: How to Activate

I. Quick Facts about Viettel

Viettel is the leading telecom operator in Vietnam established in 1989. Here are some key facts about the company:

  • Founded year: 1989
  • Full company name: Vietnam Telecom Services Corporation, commonly known as Viettel
  • Types of services provided: Viettel provides a wide range of telecommunications services including mobile, broadband internet, landline telephone, IPTV, data centers and cyber security.
  • Number of subscribers: As of 2021, Viettel has over 120 million subscribers across 11 countries.
  • Coverage: Viettel has nationwide coverage across Vietnam and also operates networks in other countries like Cambodia, Haiti, Mozambique, Timor-Leste etc.
  • Estimated number of network of stores, agents: Viettel has over 10,000 retail stores and over 250,000 agents across its markets.
  • Customer support (on-call, language, time): Viettel provides 24/7 on-call customer support in Vietnamese, English and local languages of the countries it operates in. Customers can call or message support teams for any queries or issues.
Viettel SIM card and eSIM for Tourists in Vietnam
Viettel

II. Viettel Coverage & Speed in Vietnam

Viettel has the most extensive network in Vietnam covering over 99% of the population.

Viettel Coverage in Vietnam

Viettel SIM card and eSIM - Coverage map
Viettel Coverage map. Source: nperf

Viettel has extremely robust coverage across Vietnam, reaching nearly all corners of the country. As the largest mobile network operator in Vietnam by subscribers, Viettel operates nationwide 3G and 4G LTE infrastructure that covers over 99% of the population.

Both densely populated urban areas and remote rural villages have access to Viettel’s mobile and broadband services. In cities, Viettel’s 4G and 3G connectivity is excellent for social media, web browsing, calls and texts. In remote areas, the 2G network allows for basic functions like calls, texts and limited internet.

The company has played an important role in connecting rural communities through universal service programs. In addition to mobile voice and data, Viettel provides fiber optic and wireless internet access to homes and businesses.

Viettel Speed

Viettel SIM card and eSIM - Speed
Viettel SIM card and eSIM – Speed

Viettel has invested heavily in building out a high-speed telecommunications network across Vietnam. The average 4G LTE speeds provided are around 53 Mbps.

While network congestion may cause slower speeds during peak times or events, Viettel continues expanding infrastructure to boost capacity and speeds across Vietnam. In major metropolitan areas like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, 4G download speeds often surpass 60 Mbps.

Viettel started rolling out 5G connectivity in 2020, with speeds of up to 1 Gbps now available in key economic zones. Through their fiber broadband services, residential users can access internet speeds of 100 Mbps with FTTH

III. What are the Best Connectivity Options of Viettel for Travelers to Vietnam?

Here we compare the pros and cons of Viettel’s connectivity options suitable for tourists in Vietnam:

OptionsProsCons
SIM CardCheap rates for local data
Convenient to insert into own phone
Wide availability
Limited validity
Need an unlocked phone
Pocket WiFiLong battery life
Share connection with group
Expensive rental costs
Limited availability
RoamingUse existing number abroadVery expensive roaming rates
Limited data allowance

In summary, getting a local Viettel SIM card is the best option for most travelers to stay connected in Vietnam. SIM cards provide affordable data rates, wide availability, and the convenience of using your own smartphone.

IV. Best Viettel SIM Cards for Tourists & Costs

Viettel offers prepaid SIM cards with special tourist data packs at low rates.The main options are:

PackagePriceData/Allowances
ST5K5,000VND (~$0.20)500MB for 24 hours
ST5KM5,000VND (~$0.20)1GB for 24 hours
ST10K10,000VND (~$0.40)2GB for 24 hours
1N10,000VND (~$0.40)5GB/day, 10 mins on-net calls, 5 mins off-net calls
ST15K15,000VND (~$0.60)3GB high speed for 3 days
ST30K30,000VND (~$1.2)7GB high speed for 7 days
SD30S30,000VND (~$1.2)14GB (2GB/day) for 7 days

The key is picking a package that matches your typical data needs and usage patterns over the validity period to get the best value. 1N, ST15K, ST30K and SD30S would suit most users.

V. Does Viettel Support eSIM in Vietnam?

Yes, Viettel introduced eSIM support in Vietnam starting 2022. eSIM (embedded SIM) allows you to activate a Viettel plan digitally on eSIM supported smartphones without needing to insert a plastic SIM card.

Viettel currently provides a prepaid Viettel Data eSIM start from 5GB/day, priced at 135,000 VND (approx. $4). This offers visitors the convenience of skiping SIM card installation.

VI. Where to Buy a Viettel SIM Card & eSIM?

Viettel SIM cards and eSIM plans are conveniently available at airports, malls, convenience stores, and Viettel shops across Vietnam.

Where to Buy Viettel SIM Card for Vietnam

As a tourist, we recommend purchasing your Viettel SIM at the airport on arrival for convenience. SIM card prices are the same across most outlets in Vietnam.

You can find Viettel SIM Card at:

  • Airport Arrivals – Most international airports in Vietnam like Hanoi, HCMC and Da Nang have Viettel counters where visitors can buy SIM cards upon arriving in the country
Viettel SIM card at Airport kiosk
Viettel SIM card at Airport kiosk
  • Viettel Stores – Available nationwide across cities, usually located in malls/commercial areas
Viettel SIM card Store
Viettel SIM card Store
  • Convenience Stores – Mini-marts like VinMart, Circle K, Family Mart, and grocery shops also sell Viettel SIMs

Where to Buy Viettel eSIM for Vietnam

The easiest option to buy a Viettel eSIM for tourists is to get it online.

  • Official website: Viettel’s website www.viettel.com.vn allows purchasing eSIM packages online that are delivered via email or app download.
  • Online via the ViettelVietnam app: This is the most direct way as eSIM profiles can be purchased digitally through the app and instantly provisioned on a compatible phone.

However, you can also purchase and activate a Viettel eSIM at stores to assist customers.

VII. How to Activate Viettel SIM card/eSIM in Vietnam

Activating your Viettel SIM or eSIM is quick and easy on arrival to Vietnam:

How to Use Viettel SIM Card in Vietnam

To activate your physical Viettel SIM:

  1. Insert SIM and turn on phone
  2. Select preferred language
  3. Enter SIM pin code (check SIM packaging)
  4. You’ll receive a confirmation SMS shortly after and can start using data!

How to Activate Viettel eSIM

To activate eSIM purchased online:

  1. Install the eSIM: Purchase the preferred Viettel eSIM data plan. You will immediately receive the eSIM activation details via email
  2. Activate the eSIM: Scan the QR code using your phone’s camera app at least 1 day before arriving in Vietnam or upon arrival.
  3. Set up the eSIM
  4. Start using the eSIM: Once the eSIM is activated and set up, you can start using its services.

VIII. How to Top-up Viettel SIM card/eSIM

Adding more data is easy via the Viettel app using international credit cards or can be topped up conveniently at stores nationwide.

Here are some ways to top up your Viettel SIM card:

  • Viettel App – Recharge through VISA, MasterCard, JCB payment
  • Viettel stores – Cash, local payment apps supported
  • E-wallets: Top-up using popular e-money platforms like MoMo, AirPay which credit funds instantly to Viettel account.

It’s very convenient to top-up Viettel with just about any payment method. Digital options via apps provide fastest activation of data packages for immediate use.

IX. Alternative to Vietnam Viettel

While Viettel is clearly the top network, there are some alternatives travelers can consider for connectivity in Vietnam:

  • Mobifone – Second largest player with strong coverage
  • Vinaphone – Owned by state-run Vietnam Post Telecommunications

All major carriers now offer similar prepaid tourist SIM card packs around $5 with 4G data, though Viettel generally has the most reliable performance. Still, checking all operator stores on arrival is wise to compare latest promotions.

Purchasing international roaming or travel SIM card from your home country is also possible, but much pricier compared to grabbing a local Vietnamese SIM.

If you value flexibility, convenience and virtual solutions are more inclined to choose eSIM over physical SIM cards, GIGAGO eSIM is the simplest and most convenient way to stay connected while exploring Vietnam. They offer affordable daily and multi-day data packages on Vietnam’s top networks, with plans starting from just $8.90

Vietnam eSIM plans
Vietnam eSIM plans

X. FAQs about Viettel in Vietnam

Does Viettel offer free SIM cards in Vietnam?

No, free SIM cards are not provided, you must purchase a prepaid pack. But tourist SIMs cost only ~$4 with data included.

Does Viettel have call centers in English?

Yes, Viettel has 24/7 call support in English at 18001191. You can also access customer service through Viettel’s chatbot or email.

Can I use Viettel SIM card in other Asian countries?

Viettel SIM is only intended for use domestically in Vietnam. International roaming can be enabled, but at expensive rates of $5-10/day for basic usage.

Does Viettel SIM card work in rural areas & islands?

Yes, Viettel has excellent rural population coverage of 92% on 2G/3G networks for voice calls and texts. Mobile data works where 3G/4G signal is available.

How fast can I get Viettel eSIM activated?

Online purchased eSIM activation takes up to 24 hours. If urgently needed upon arrival, getting regular Viettel SIM is instant. eSIM adoption still has room to grow.

XI. Conclusion

In summary, Viettel is one of the best telecom providers in Vietnam, offering quality connectivity. Their wide coverage, fast speeds, and excellent local rates make staying connected seamless for visitors.

As more tourists bring eSIM-capable devices, GIGAGO’s various affordably priced Vietnam eSIM data packs equip travelers with the communication capabilities to fully embrace their experience in Vietnam.