How to find the best prepaid SIM card when travelling to Lithuania
Options abound with competitive deals from local providers.
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One of the fastest growing economies in the world, Lithuania is rapidly approaching its 30-year anniversary of independence. Its shift to a free market economy makes it a great place to grow your business, or perhaps you have family and friends there and you’re planning a visit. A great way to cut travel costs is to invest in a prepaid SIM card from a local Lithuanian company. These custom-built plans let you avoid charges when calling, texting or browsing.
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There are four main prepaid SIM card providers in Lithuania, each the offshoot of a larger network. You can purchase a local SIM card in Lithuania for around EUR1.50 (AU$2.24). A 30-day data package with 10GB preloaded costs around EUR11.49.
The prepaid SIM card brands are:
There are two other options available that might suit your needs if you’re looking for data only on your trip to Lithuania. One is Merzon, which is a mobile Internet provider. The second is Widerfi which uses local breakout (LBO) technology when accessing data.
About Extra and Ežys
Extra and Ežys are both owned by GMS network operator Telia. Ežys is designed for the lower-price market while Extra has the more traditional monthly offering. Both cards cost between EUR1.50 and EUR2.00 and can be purchased at Telia retailers, coffee shops, kiosks and at Maxima, Iki and Rimi supermarkets. Most of these locations have top-up vouchers available as well.
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Extra Plan Basics
When you get your SIM card, you can activate it by calling 1544. After hearing the activation message, choose Option 9 for English, then choose Option 4 to get the SIM card’s phone number. Depending on whether you will be using your phone for calls and texts or for browsing the Internet during your stay in Lithuania, you can choose one of the Extra basic plans with or without substantial data packages.
Here’s a look at the four basic, Internet-light plans offered by Extra. These plans are all on a monthly basis. Extra has a maximum limit of 400 SMS messages per day.
|Plan Name||MANO||MANO 1||NERIBOTAI||NERIBOTAI 1|
|Activation Code||Text +PLANAS MANO to 1301||Text +PLANAS MANO 1 to 1301||Text +PLANAS NERIBOTAI to 1301||Text +PLANAS NERIBOTAI 1 to 1301|
If you are all about the bandwidth, Extra has four data-only packages for you to check out as well. Any additional MBs beyond the maximums listed here are charged at a rate of EUR0.26/MB.
|Activate||Text +NARSYK X1 to 1301||Text +NARSYK X2 to 1301||Text +NARSYK X4 to 1301||Text +NARSYK X8 to 1301||Text +NARSYK X16 to 1301|
|Deactivate||Text -NARSYK to 1301||Text -NARSYK to 1301||Text -NARSYK to 1301||Text -NARSYK to 1301||Text -NARSYK to 1301|
These plans are valid for 30 days after activation.
Ežys Plan Basics
When you get your SIM card, you can activate it by dialing 1544. To activate selected packages,dial 1566. Once activated, it’s good for 100 days. Ežys’s data plans are somewhat different than Extra’s and can be viewed below.
|7 days||1.5GB||EUR1.49||+NARSYK SAVAITE|
|30 days||1.5GB||EUR3.39||+NARSYK STARTAS|
|30 days||2.5GB||EUR4.99||+NARSYK SPOTIFY|
|30 days||4.0GB||EUR6.39||+NARSYK 4|
|30 days||10GB||EUR11.49||+NARSYK 10|
Pildyk is the property of Sweden's Tele2 group. Its 4G/LTE network covers 95% of Lithuania’s population. You can pick up a new Pildyk SIM card for about EUR2 in any Tele2 store or most chain grocery stores. If you want to add credit to your account, you can buy top-up cards for EUR3 or EUR5 at Tele2 outlets, or buy electronic top-ups for EUR5-EUR15 at participating service stations, supermarkets, kiosks, Perlas lottery stores and Tele2 outlets. If you need to add funds before arriving in Lithuania, you can use a website like Recharge.com or Ding.com, although service fees do apply.
Pildyk Plan Basics
Pildyk has four 30-day minute and SMS combo packages as well as six featured data packages. Call minutes can only be used when you are in Lithuania and calling Lithuanian numbers. These plans include:
Pildyk also has a number of data plans available, ranging from 1-30 days and from 1-10GB. The following chart can help you pick the right data plan based on your data consumption and length of stay in Lithuania.
To activate a data package, you can text the activation code to 1556 or go to mano.pildyk.
Labas is the prepaid SIM card option from Bitė. It has the weakest 3G penetration of the big providers, but its 4G/LTE network covers more than 90% of the population. You can get the Labas card as either a mini-, micro- or nano-sized SIM. A big negative for this card if you don’t speak the language is that it only has guides, websites, system messages and manuals in Lithuanian. Top-up vouchers cost at least EUR2 and Labas accepts credit cards (Mastercard/Visa) online. Even if you don’t top up your Labas card right away, you have a 3-month grace period where you can only receive calls and SMS messages, but can’t make them. If this grace period runs out without your account being recharged, Labas will close the subscription and block your number.
Labas Plan Basics
|Plan||Para||Savaite Daugiau||Menuo||Menuo Daugiau||Menuo Stirpriau||Menuo Beribis|
|Length||1 day||7 days||1 month||1 month||1 month||1 month|
* = 5GB at full upload speed, then throttled to 256 kps
^ = 30GB at full upload speed, then throttled to 256 kps
About Mezon and Widerfi
Widerfi uses local breakout (LBO) technology to give visitors to Lithuania access to the Internet. LBO allows mobile subscribers to sign up to an alternative roaming provider separate from their home public land mobile network (HPLMN). This allows inbound roamers to receive data services from the visited network instead of tunneling to their HPLMN. Widerfi uses the Bitė network and offers you 3G speed and 200MB of data per day at the following rates:
Pros and cons of Lithuania’s top telco providers
- All three main providers have at least 90% coverage of Lithuania
- Topping-up options abound at many locations across the country
- Some sites only available in Lithuanian
- Some providers charge fees when you text for activation/deactivation of data plans
An additional question about finding the best prepaid SIM card in Lithuania
Q: Are Lithuanian telco providers in compliance with the EU’s Roam Like Home program?
A: Yes. The rate decreases are shown below for the four main providers.
|Plan Name||Data||Calls Made||Incoming Calls|
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