Internet & Phone
Over the past few years the market of mobile communication in Russia has showed great spurt in its development, thanks to which the obvious improvements have been taking place, among which:
- Better coverage,
- Reduced cost of calls,
- Diversity of tariff plans suitable for different purposes,
- Improved quality of communication, including development of 4G technology on the territory of major Russian cities such as St. Petersburg
If you are going to stay in the city for a long period (a week and more), there is a sense to buy a SIM-card of a local mobile operator for it will be a cheaper way to get in touch with your local acquaintances and sometimes with your families and friends in your country (depends on a chosen tariff plan, of course). In St. Petersburg tourists can purchase a SIM card easily almost in any mobile phone shop (they are frequently located near the subway stations and in the center of the city, for example, «Svyaznoy», «Euroset»). You will need a passport and about USD 3 (approximately 150 RUB) for purchasing a SIM-card and pre-paid plan as almost all plans for mobile connection are pre-paid in Russia. The most part of paid sum (depending on an operator and rates) immediately goes for topping up your balance.
The major Saint Petersburg operators of mobile communication support GSM standard (MTS, Beeline, MegaFon, Tele2). They offer a large choice of plans with different tariffs for different purposes. If you have difficulties with choosing and ordering a plan because of language barrier, it will be easier for you to order a base plan via SMS – most of operators provided such a service and this kind of plans usually include various useful add-ons.
Keep in mind that commonly all the tariffs are actual only within certain region so if you leave St. Petersburg, it will be necessary to pay for roaming and this is more expensive. Besides, consider the possibility to purchase a plan offering both Internet access and calls at very attractive price – some operators provide universal plans with low traffic rates that is especially helpful for those tourists who is not able to use free Wi-Fi.
For topping up your balance you can choose a service of mobile phone shops (no commission) or terminals at supermarkets, metro stations and many other places around the city (commission 0-8%).
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