Mobile operators on the Czech market
A Guide to Mobile Virtual Network Operators that have entered the market in 2013
The Czech mobile market has undergone some changes recently as earlier in 2013 one of the major operators, Telefónica O2, cut its tariff prices in half. Its main competitors Vodafone and T-Mobile soon followed suit, meaning after years of high mobile costs the Czech Republic’s prices are now on a similar level to other countries in the region.
Experts believe this was to gain the upper hand in case a fourth competitor was established (in Air Telecom/U:fon it was) and in light of the numerous Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) that have entered the market in 2013. These companies do not own the wireless networks they operate over but enter into business agreements with other mobile network operators allowing them access at wholesale prices. They then set their own retail prices separately, often at a cheaper rate.
So if you’re looking to use a phone in the Czech Republic for national or international calls, texts or internet, here is a list and important information about MVNOs operating in the country:
Designed for low cost calling in the Czech Republic and especially abroad, Opencall requires no contracts on either of its tariffs and is ideal for expatriates calling home. International calls start at 2.50 CZK/min on Opencall easy but on the Opencall plus tariff are even cheaper from 1.90 CZK/min (which requires paying 150.00 CZK for a month whenever the user wants and is easily stopped by simply not topping-up). International texts are 5.00 CZK on both tariffs and Opencall plus has the cheap rates of 1.90 CZK/min for national calls and texts at 1.50 CZK each. Internet is also available on a daily or monthly basis at 25.00 CZK and 150.00 CZK on Opencall easy or 20.00 CZK and 100.00 CZK on Opencall plus.
TescoMobil are the only operator that doubles a user’s credit when they top up, as long as they have a Tesco Clubcard. The bonus credit lasts for 30 days and cannot be used for payment and information services such as premium SMS, donor DMS or m-payment. They offer unlimited pre-paid calls and SMS, but only within Tesco Mobile and as part of a Clubcard package for 300.00 CZK/month. On their basic tariff national calls outside TescoMobil are 2.90 CZK/min and texts 1.50 CZK. International calls are 10, 20 or 200 CZK/min depending on the region.
Mobil.cz is great for anyone using their phone more for the internet than anything else, as for every top-up users get 30 days or 200MB of data for free at full speed. After then it is still free but will run slower until it is topped up again. National calls are 2.50 CZK/min and texts 1.50 CZK. International calls start at 7.47 CZK/min for EU countries, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein before increasing to 35.00 CZK for the rest of Europe, USA, Canada and others and from 69.00 CZK for the rest of the world.
Focusing on Internet Voice Over IP (VoIP) calls, ha-loo is a subscription service that still allows calls to landlines and mobiles. It is fairly cheap, however a landline phone is required. There are no monthly or termination fees and lists of calls and billings are available to read online for free. National calls are 1.00 CZK between 7am-7pm and 0.50 CZK between 7pm-7am. International calls to landlines range from 1.30 to 6.00 CZK/min for European countries whereas calls to mobiles begin at 4.00 CZK/min.
Run by one man called Radek and using T-Mobile’s network, Connectica have six different tariffs with the option to add on one of their six separate packages for internet data. These start at 35.00 CZK/month with no free calls or texts (national calls cost 1.79 CZK/min and texts 1.49 CZK) and go up to 349.00 CZK/month with 220 free minutes and 20 texts (additional calls are 1.49 CZK/min and texts 1.39 CZK). Internet is available from 41.00 CZK/month for 50MB up to 481.00 CZK/month for 3,000MB.
Only a basic tariff is available on ViralMobil but it just costs 37.00 CZK/month. Like most other MVNOs calls are cheaper within the ViralMobil network at 1.11 CZK/min and the same price for texts. Otherwise it’s 2.22 CZK/min and 1.44 CZK per text within the Czech Republic. International calls to EU and EEA countries are 5.33 CZK/min but anything further afield costs upwards of 30 CZK/min. Internet is available right the way from 100MB at 77.00 CZK up to 3,000MB at 477.00 CZK.
With three tariffs to choose from GoMobil caters for anyone wanting to make calls or texts within the Czech Republic. The free option charges 0.90 CZK/min to phones on the GoMobil network and 1.90 CZK/min for others in the country. Texts are 1.00 CZK to GoMobil and 1.50 CZK to others. A package for 200.00 CZK/month provides 100 free minutes to calls in the Czech Republic and 100MB of data, with cheaper call and text rates. International calls start at 4.90 CZK/min for Zone 1 and go from 70 CZK/min for Zone 3.
Four different tariffs range from 49.00 CZK/month to the most expensive package at 399.00 CZK/month, oddly called ‘I cry more’. Each comes with free minutes in the Czech Republic (from 10 to 400) with calls and texts costing 1.49 CZK/min or text to other networks. Internet data can also be added to the package at 79.00 CZK for 100MB. International calls within the EU cost 4.90 CZK/min.
Their website is all in Czech but Voocall are one of the few that offer internet data on a pay as you go basis, at 0.89 CZK/MB. All their tariffs offer calls to other Voocall phones at 0.59 CZK/min and 1.69 CZK to other networks with texts at the same rate for the same network or 1.25 CZK to others. The more expensive tariffs at 199.00 CZK and 249.00 CZK/month include 300MB of free data as well as 60 minutes for the most expensive one.
RelaxMobil only has one package at 49.90 CZK/month. Calls cost 1.50 CZK/min with the first minute charged in full and everything after by the second. Texts are also 1.50 CZK each and mobile data 0.50 CZK/MB with a limit of 300MB, afterwards it will slow down. International calls to the EU and Zone 1 are 7.00 CZK/min, Zone 2 is 40.00 CZK/min and Zone 3 100 CZK/min. Texts to Zone 1 are 2.10 CZK each though.
There are 6,000 locations across the country selling BLESKmobil sim cards for 150.00 CZK. Calls to all networks in the Czech Republic are 2.50 CZK/min on BLESKmobil and 1.50 CZK per text message. International calls cost 10.00 CZK/min to Zone 1, 20.00 CZK/min to Zone 2 and 200.00 CZK/min to Zone 3 but international texts to all areas of the world (even Antarctica ) are 5.00 CZK each. Internet is available on a daily or monthly basis at 20.00 CZK for 50MB a day or 100.00 CZK for 100MB for a month.
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