Did you know that most of the Ukrainian SIM cards can also be used in Hungary? Here is the way to use it explained step by step:
- Turn on the ROAMING option
On some devices, the ROAMING function must be enabled so that you can make and receive calls. This option can usually be enabled in the "mobile network" or "settings" function. Some devices do not have such a menu item, and roaming is enabled here by default. Make sure you accept the network selection as automatic.
The operation of roaming is indicated by the letter R on the phone's display. After logging into the network, the mobile data and data roaming options must be turned on in the network settings. Most phones do all this automatically. Don't worry, the process is much simpler than it seems!
There are two rules of thumb: if you cannot make calls, you can activate the ROAMING function, and if the Internet does not work, you can activate data roaming.
2. Make sure that your Ukrainian mobile service package is active
All three major Ukrainian mobile service providers, LifeCell, Kyivstar and Vodafone, provide free minutes and data usage in Hungary. Their conditions are different, but it is important that the package used in Ukraine is active, that is, that the service fee is paid for.
Until 30/6/2023, you can use as much data in Hungary as it is included in the Ukrainian package. If you want to know how much data remained in your package for further usage, you can ask it with the code *108#. For receiving and initiating calls, the service provider recommends the BiP Messenger application, which can be downloaded for Android and iOS devices. You can find more information about setting up the application on the provider's website. With BiP, incoming calls are free, and outgoing calls work just as if you were in Ukraine. Keep in mind that calls made to Hungarian numbers are considered international calls.
The company provides discounted roaming usage in Hungary. The internet usage depends on the tariff package used in Ukraine (more information can be found here). This discount is valid until withdrawal.
The difference from LifeCell is that incoming calls are free, and outgoing calls to Ukrainian and Hungarian numbers are free within the limits included in the package.
It is important to know that data traffic generated by some applications is not counted as data usage (meaining, you don't have to pay for it any extra fee), such as text and voice messages from Messenger, Viber, Telegram and WhatsApp. Voice calls do not reduce the amount of usable data either, while video calls and video messages do. Google and Apple Maps have to be paid for in case of navigation.
In order to have discount on roaming options, you need to activate your discount. It can be activated once a month, so the user gets 10GB of internet, 50 minutes of incoming and outgoing calls to numbers in Ukraine and the country of residence (in this case: Hungary), and 250 minutes of in-network (VodafoneUA-VodafoneUA) calls plus 100 SMS are available. Activation is free in most packages, but in the case of extremely chepa packages, 30-50 hryvnias are charged for it. You can find out more about the service here.