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ccvm (Offline)
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Question Russia - data and voice cards needed. - 22-03-2012, 18:11

I'll be going to Russia (St Petersburg & Moscow) at the end of March for 8 days only.

I would like to get:
1) A prepaid data card for my Ipad.
2) A prepaid voice card for calls to Hong Kong.

Any suggestions on the Russian operators?

Thanks.
   
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Peterburger (Offline)
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Default 23-03-2012, 14:54

Megafon has the best 3G coverage, but there is no unlimited Megafon internet tariff "working" in both cities. That means that you, for example, can buy unlimited internet sim with 475 Rub (16 USD)/month fee in SPb, but you will get 7 Rub(0.23USD) / Mb , using this sim in Moscow.

Beeline has "All included. Unlimited" tariff in both cities. It is unlimited internet working everythere in Russia with daily fee 33-35 Rub (1.16 USD) depending on region. 3G coverage is good, but not perfect. The sim costs app. 10 USD

MTS internet tariffs are almost the same as Megafon*s but the coverage is worse.



As for calls to Hong Kong...40-60Rub (2USD)/min. Better use skype.

All companies have small offfices near any subway station.

Last edited by Peterburger; 23-03-2012 at 15:05..
   
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ccvm (Offline)
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Default 25-03-2012, 19:04

Great! The Beeline 'All included, Unlimited' would seem perfect for my ipad. For US$1.16 per day + US$10 for simm card, it sounds like a super deal, especially for a tourist!

Don't they require a minimum charge or minimum period?

Thanks for such great advice!
   
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Peterburger (Offline)
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Default 26-03-2012, 09:11

10 USD wil be on the balance.

I just checked something last weekend and seem to find a better solution . Beeline and MTS have some extra paid internet options, which can bee connected on any tariff. They are working in both cities.
"Superbit" from MTS includes 100 Mb/day high speeed internet. Next traffic will be 64 Kbit/s this day. The fee is 199 Rub /month on SPb tariffs or 299 Rub/month on MSK tariffs. USSD to connect
*111*628# . Description in Russian:
SPb ???????? ? ????????? ????????. 3G ???????? ????? ????????? - ?????-?????????, ????????????? ???????

MSK ???????? ? ????????? ????????. 3G ???????? ????? ????????? - ?????? ? ???????????

"Unlimited internet" oplion from Beeline. Connection fee 50/150 Rub on SPb/MSk tariffs . Daily fee 9.95/13 Rub.The first 3000 MB of traffic per month are provided at maximum speed. At the end of the threshold of 3000 MB of Internet access speed is reduced to 64 kbit / s.
Pay attention - the phone numbers to connect this option differ in SPb in MSK!!

Description in Russian:
SPb
?????? ?????-????????? ? ????????????? ??????? ????????? ????? ??????
Msk
?????? ?????? ? ??????? ????????? ????? ??????

It looks like google translates good from Russian and you will not have any problem.

So, you can choose.

By the way, startkits include ordinary sim, but it takes 15 min to change or cut microsim in any office. Free, of cource.
   
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Effendi (Offline)
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Default 26-03-2012, 16:31

Thanks for the precious info, Peterburger. Our pages about Russia are really old and outdated, it would be great if you could help me in updating them.


Working Prepaids: IT: Wind, Vodafone IT, UNO Mobile; SM: Prima; UK: 3, Virgin; INT: TravelSIM, Truphone.
Deceased Prepaids: CZ: Oskar, Eurotel; SK: Orange; DE: E-Plus, Aldi, Simyo; GE: Geocell; AM: Armentel; PL: Heyah, Plus; LT: Tele2; LV: Amigo; EE: Elisa; UA: Kyivstar; NZ: Vodafone; INT: UM, UM+, ICQSim.
GSM/3G Phones: Nokia Lumia 630 dual sim
   
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NFH (Offline)
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Default 11-04-2012, 23:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterburger View Post
Megafon has the best 3G coverage, but there is no unlimited Megafon internet tariff "working" in both cities. That means that you, for example, can buy unlimited internet sim with 475 Rub (16 USD)/month fee in SPb, but you will get 7 Rub(0.23USD) / Mb , using this sim in Moscow.
МегаФон has a number of 30MB/day data bundles:

Moscow data
RUB5/day
Activate: *105*450#
Deactivate: *105*450*0#

Non-Moscow data
RUB30 + RUB5/day
Activate: *105*800#
Deactivate: *105*800*0#

National data
RUB30 + RUB10/day
Activate: *105*650#
Deactivate: *105*650*0#
   
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sleepy (Offline)
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Default 25-06-2012, 22:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by NFH View Post
МегаФон has a number of 30MB/day data bundles:

National data
RUB30 + RUB10/day
Activate: *105*650#
Deactivate: *105*650*0#
Interesting information.
I maybe on the Transmongolian railway in some days time.
Though I might not think of it a sound idea, both for technical (coverage, though from the maps at large scale it does not seem as bad as I thought, at least in 2G) and, more importantly, idealistic reasons (if it must be a trip where you somehow try to loose, and gain, the sense of time and space, so be it), what would be the best choices to get data along the line, where possible?

Thank you!

Sleepy
   
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NFH (Offline)
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Default 25-06-2012, 22:35

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy View Post
what would be the best choices to get data along the line, where possible?
I know only about the bundles and charges, not the coverage etc. In the above bundles, National = Moscow + Non-Moscow. Therefore if you're only outside Moscow, just buy the non-Moscow bundle. Even better, you might want to get a SIM card from a non-Moscow branch of МегаФон so that you're not domestically roaming.
   
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trevmar (Offline)
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Default 01-08-2012, 04:42

Beeline have just introduced Data Roaming which works in 260 countries (every place I could think of, including West New Guinea and South Korea). This is exceptional coverage, and the rate isn't bad, at least for email. Usage is unlimited, after 7MB from the 3G networks you are throttled to 16KBps for the rest of your unlimited 24hrs. Cost is six euros (249 Rubles) per 24 hr period.

Details here (what we do without Google Translate?)
????? ???? ????????? ????????? ? ?????????? ???????? ????????? ????? ??????

I have two Vodafone Ireland cards when I travel, but they have just cut back their Rest of World countries to only a handful. Now Beeline will fill that void.

So if you purchase a Beeline card when in Russia (or on Ebay) you will have the likelihood that wherever you go you will have basic Internet. And IMO that is priceless...
   
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Default 02-09-2012, 19:33

After my journey, a quick update.
In Moscow I entered a peripheral mobile phone shop where nobody would speak English and me no Russian, but just using few keywords (and handing only the photocopy of my passport) for 500 Rubles I got a Megaphone SIN with 100 MB/day for 30 days in all Russia (everywhere they told me).

This turned all to be true and all the buying procedure lasted no more than 15 minutes. Everybody in the shop quite amused by this strange(r) buyer, but also very competent and to the spot.
As I got out of the shop the connection was already alive and kicking, with all necessary bells and whistles. If only it were always like this!

The coverage was quite good along all the Russian part of Transmongolian railway line. Almost always at least edge connection was available (with inevitable holes all along, but not so many to get "desperate").
At the border with Mongolia I made a very long VOIP call home. Sometimes calls by standard service have poorer quality...

The main problem was keeping the phone charged, since on the Chinese branded wagon only 48 V DC was available. Strangely some chargers would work, others would not. I have some theories for which would and would not, but I leave it to another place!
Therefore, what I needed to economise was electric power, rather than traffic (I shared the load among many phones and batteries to ease the "pain").
Here as it will be in China, GoogleMaps proved to be invaluable to follow our advancement in the trip!

Cheers,
Sleepy
   
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