If you need the Internet with a stable access (e.g. for work), it is more convenient to buy a local SIM card then go searching free Wi-Fi in the city.
And you will not have any problems doing it – the tariffs are quite simple and easy to understand.
There are 3 main service providers in Belarus: MTS, Velcom and Life:) that offer subscribers a number of calling plans at a reasonable price. And some explanations about how to buy a SIM card in Belarus!
You can find MTS sales points at the airport or at Minsk railway and bus stations.
If you do not have a registration in Belarus (that is confirmation that you temporarily stay somewhere, e.g. in a hotel), you can connect only to one calling plan – MTS SMART Guest with a monthly fee of 12.5 Belarusian rubles (about $6,5*). The plan includes 1000 minutes of calls within the network and 2GB of internet traffic.
If you have a residence permit in Belarus, you can connect to any MTS service plan.
By the way, it is not necessary to disable the calling plan (or close your account) when you leave. It will be deactivated automatically if not used for more than 60 days.
To buy a SIM card at Velcom, foreign citizens need to have a national passport and one of the following: a residence card, a temporary residence permit or a note about registration with an indication of the period of stay in the passport.
Authorized Velcom agents can connect you to any calling plan at the airport and at railway stations. If you do not have a residence card, the only available service plan for you will be PRIVET.
You do not need to cancel the contract because PRIVET plan is active only if you have a positive balance on your phone. The plan is active for 365 days from the moment of activation, so you can use the SIM card when returning to Belarus during the year.
If you choose another Velcom calling plan, the contract validity will be limited to a period of your stay in Belarus. It means that service breaks off at the end of the registration in Belarus.
If you want to connect to Life:), you will need to show either a national or a foreign passport.
You can change the starting tariff ‘Start yo life:)’ to any other service plans later on.
According to the rules, you can use the service for 180 days from the moment of SIM card activation (first call) or from the moment of the first payment.
If you do not make any payment for 180 days, starting 181st day you still will remain the user of Life:) but there will be a fee (0,20 Belarusian rubles or $0,1 per day).
If you make only one payment during the activation, do not make any payments at all and do not have enough money on your account to save the number for 180 days, then the contract is suspended for 90 days. If there is no account replenishment during this time, the contract will automatically terminate.
*Prices in foreign currency are for information purposes only and can differ depending on the exchange rate. All payments are in Belarusian rubles.
Translated by Margarita Tishutina for BelarusFeed. Special thanks to Nadia Metelitsa for proofreading.