MTel PrimaThis is a featured page

Due to changed legislation in Bulgaria SIM cards need to be registered until December 31st, 2009. SIMs that are not registered until January 31st, 2010 will automatically be disabled and can only be reactivated within the validiy period of the SIM's credit (usually 12 months after last topup). Registration can only be done personally at official shops or partner shops (Handy, Mobi, M-World, Office 1 Superstore, Phonex and Technopolis or in any of Bulgarian Post offices) of M-Tel and requires a proof of identity by an official ID or passport (Bulgarian nationality or residency is not required). For details see:

MTel is offering affordable data options for their prepaid customers with the so called "Prima" SIM card. In April 2009 they were sold for 9 lv including 5 lv of inital credit (1 Leva = € 0,51). Additionally you need a top-up voucher to add the required credit for the desired data option.
Prima SIMs are available everywhere in electronic and phone shops. Top-up vouchers are sold at all kind of shops, gas stations, restaurants etc.

MTel - owned by Mobilkom Austria - is Bulgaria's incumbent network operator providing the best coverage in the country. There is a wide-spread EDGE-coverage based on GSM900/1800 while most of the country also has 3G service (UMTS2100) including HSPA+-support with up to 42 MBit/s of downstream (in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas) and 5.76 MBit/s of upstream.

MTel Bulgaria coverage 2011
coverage as of May 2011 █2G coverage █3G coverage

data options
There are three data options, which are valid for 30 days after activation:
  • Free Surf 50 MB, 50 MB for 9,90 lv (= € 5,06 or € 0,10/MB)
  • Free Surf 100 MB, 100 MB for 14,90 lv (= € 7,62 or € 0,076/MB)
  • Free Surf 500 MB, 500 MB for € 19,90 lv (= € 10,17 or € 0,02/MB)
Multiple subscription of these data packs is possible even before the volume of the previous option has been consumed. So you could get 375 MB of volume by activating Free Surf 350 MB and Free Surf 25 MB or you could get 2048 MB by activating Free Surf 1 GB twice. Exceeding traffic is billed with 2,56 lv/MB (=€ 1,30/MB), so it may be reasonable to subscribe to a further volume-pack!

  1. Activate your Prima SIM by calling *88. You may chose Bulgarian or English instructions.
  2. Afterwards it's necessary to activate GPRS/3G packet data by calling again *88 and pressing 4 (activation of services), 2 (GPRS), 1 (activation). The activation usually takes a couple of minutes (up to 24 hours) and should be confirmed by SMS.
  3. Now get a voucher and top up your credit by calling 1114 and entering the recharge code followed by #.
  4. Activate one or more of the data options by sending a SMS with "50 MB", "100 MB" or "500 MB" to 1796 (free of charge).

validity period
  • data packs are valid for 30 days from the activation date
  • validity of data packs can be prolonged by ordering another data option. Then the remaining traffic is valid as long as the last data option booked.
  • when the bundle expires, the unused megabytes (MB) are not carried over with next activation.
  • the Prima SIM itself is valid for 12 months after the last top-up.

check remaining data volume
  • Send a SMS with "balans" to 1796 (free of charge) and you will receive a text stating the remaining data volume and validity.
  • dial *101#03# Germany - Vodafone Web Sessions - Prepaid Wireless Internet Access (free of charge) and you will receive a text stating the remaining data volume and validity.
check remaining credit
To check the remaining credit of your Prima SIM
  • either dial 1114 for spoken information or
  • dial *101# Germany - Vodafone Web Sessions - Prepaid Wireless Internet Accessand you will receive a text stating your remaining credit.
recharge credit
In order to recharge the credit of your Prima SIM card, you need to buy a Prima topup voucher, which is sold at all kind of shops, gasstations, some restaurants and bars, etc.
After uncovering the voucher code you can..
  • either top up by the voice-guided menu, which you'll reach by calling 1114 from your handset
  • or by entering *100#voucher code# and pressing the pick-up button of your handset
  • or by using the STK-Menu (M-Tel / M-Tel Info / Zaredi Prima / enter voucher code)
important to know
  • 3G service is only available to 3G-enabled SIM cards (so-called "USIM"). So SIMs older than 2 years may not be admitted to MTel's 3G network.
  • In order to use data service you must have a minimum amount of 1 lv left on your Prima SIM.
  • All prices include VAT and are valid only for MTel network.
  • 1 МВ (Megabyte) is equal to 1024 kb (Kilobytes).
  • Charging increments of data options: per 20 KB
  • Price per MB without data option or after exceeding the volume: 2.56 lv/MB (billed in 100 KB increments)

internet experience
  • bandwidth
    • In EDGE-covered areas you will have stable download speeds of up to 200 KBit/s and upload speeds of up to 100 KBit/s, also for international connections.
  • latency
    • international internet exchanges can be reached via EDGE without remarkable delay: DECIX 200ms, LINX 200ms, NYIIX 320ms, JPIX 500ms (surely better with HSDPA)
  • instant messaging
    • There is no blocking of any instant messaging service. ICQ, AIM, MSN and Yahoo were tested successfully.
  • VoIP usage
    • Incoming and outgoing SIP-calls can be placed flawlessly (use a smallband codec to save volume!)
    • Skype is working, too.
  • VPN usage
    • VPN seems to be blocked. Connection through Cisco-VPN and OpenVPN failed.
  • IP address
    • Users are being assigned private IP addresses (subnet and all traffic passes a NAT-gateway (
  • connection over GPRS/EDGE/3G
    • АPN:
    • username: [blank]
    • password: [blank]
    • DNS: (not required, will be assigned automatically if left blank)

detailed pages in English:,

other interesting options:

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