Prepaid travel SIM cards in Sri Lanka

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All you need to know about prepaid travel SIM cards

  • It is very convenient to get a travel package from the Airport.
  • Dialog and Mobitel telecom companies have the best coverage.
  • 1GB SIM card can be bought for around $3.3 with local and international credits.
  • Local call charges are around Rs.1.50 ($0.01).
  • Data charges are around Rs.1.00 per MB (less than $0.01).
  • Top-ups can be done easily from several outlets around the country.
  • All standard SIM sizes are available.

You can easily stay connected with your home and friends while staying in Sri Lanka by getting a Travel SIM card. Here is the guide that explains everything about SIM cards.

From where to get a SIM card in Sri Lanka?

We understand your excitement to connect to your digital world as soon as you step into the country. You can get one of those SIM cards even before exiting the Bandaranayake International Air Port. Just walk passing the baggage claiming area and money changers towards the exit and you will see the main telecommunication company outlets selling SIM cards.

Telecommunication company outlets in the Airport – just after baggage claiming area

Oh, if you have already missed the chance of getting a SIM at the airport, you can still buy a SIM card from one of the service centers or authorized service points of the telecommunication companies widely available across the country.

Which service provider has the best coverage in Sri Lanka?

Dialog and Mobitel are the big players in Sri Lanka who have the best coverage around the Island. Etisalat, Airtel and Hutch are the other telecom companies who would also offer travel SIM cards for your needs.

Who gives the best SIM card in Sri Lanka? Dialog and Mobitel?

Both service providers have very strong network coverage and there is nothing much to choose between the two. Hah, saying that don’t expect the signals to work strong in between the jungles or on top of mountains!!

You may compare their prices and packages before choosing one of the two.

How much would it cost to use a travel SIM card in Sri Lanka?

The best option for our tourists is to go for a ‘Prepaid’ Travel Package – load your phone first and then use. Dialog and Mobitel offer Tourist plan packages valid for 30 days with the option to extend if you are staying longer.

Generally, a Tourist Package SIM with 1GB data can be obtained for around Rs.500 ($3.3) and a 3GB package for around Rs.1,000 ($6.6). You will get Rs.100 and Rs.250 worth local calls and Rs.250 and Rs.600 worth international calls, respectively from these packages without any additional charges.

Local calls are charged around Rs.1.50 ($0.01) per minute and data charges are around Rs.1.00 per MB (less than $0.01). These charges are subject to vary and for more details log on to:

Dialog Tourist Plan:    https://www.dialog.lk/tourist-plans

Mobitel Tourist Plan:   http://www.mobitel.lk/prepaid/tourist-pack

How to top-up (Reload) the SIM?

When you have used up the initially loaded amount to the phone, you need to top-up the SIM. You can easily do this at any store, grocery shop or street stall displaying the Dialog and Mobitel logo. ‘Communication’ or ‘Communication Center’ is the common term used by locals to refer the shops that do top-ups.

• Scratch cards/ Reload cards – You can buy top-up cards and follow the instructions mentioned backside to do the top-up.
• Alternatively, you can ask the person in the stall to do a reload by giving your phone number. In this case, make sure you give him the right number – otherwise you will end up reloading another person at your expense!
In both ways, you will receive a SMS confirming the top-up and displaying the current available balance.

Scratch cards

What if I need data ONLY (I do not need to make any calls)?

There are two options:

  • You can buy a data SIM card from any Dialog or Mobitel outlet, including the one in the Air Port. Clearly mention that you need a data only connection.
  • Or else you can buy a normal SIM card(data and calls) and do the top-ups only for data. So when you buy the top-up cards you need to mention specifically you need a data top-up card (most commonly known as ‘Internet card’ among locals). This option is better compared to the other, as you may need credits for make call in case if you need in an emergency.

How to check the balance or get customer support?

You may dial the below numbers:

Balance Inquiry Customer Care
Dialog Dial #778# From a local network: 1777

From an international network:   0094 777 678 700

Mobitel Dial *100# From a local network: 1717

From an international network:   0094 712 755 777


What are the SIM card sizes available in Sri Lanka?

SIM cards are available in all international standard sizes in Sri Lanka – Nano, Micro and Standard. Just check if the size is compatible with the device you use.

Is it possible to use an unlocked phone in Sri Lanka?

Before you travel you need to make sure that your phone is unlocked from your home network. Otherwise you will not be able to use the local SIM. Generally, unlocking may take a few days, thus better to get prepared before you start your trip.

Use a Travel SIM card, stay connected and share your memory collections instantly with your folks. Sri Lanka is indeed a land with abundant memories to take home.