First of all, we need to understand the phone number system in Cambodia and how to make a phone call from/to Cambodia.
It is now the 21th century, and you need to connect to the world every day.
You want to call your family and friends at home to share a picture of the beautiful landscapes or the wonderful people you met.
Or sometimes you need to finish your urgent business.
This will lead to the popular questions:
- How can you call back home from Cambodia?
- How can you connect to the internet in Cambodia?
- And what is the best travel SIM card for tourist in Cambodia?
We make it all clear below.
- Phone Call in Cambodia
- Internet in Cambodia
- Buying a local SIM Card in Cambodia
- Who are the Cellular operators in Cambodia?
- How much does a Cambodia SIM card cost?
- Where to buy a SIM Card in Cambodia?
- How to subscribe to a pre-paid Internet program with the Cambodia SIM card?
- What is the best Cambodia travel SIM Card for tourist?
- The recommended SIM Card for Sonasia Holiday traveler
- Who are the Cellular operators in Cambodia?
- To conclude
Phone Call in Cambodia
Cambodia phone number
Land lines number
To dial a land line in Cambodia all over the country, the format is Area Code + Phone Number. The area code is 3 digits long, followed by a 6-or-7-digit phone number.
Calls made from outside Cambodia must omit the prefix 0. Therefore, to call a land line number in Phnom Penh from other countries, dialing begins with +855 23 followed by 6 or 7 digits.
Cambodia Country Calling Code: 855
Provincial Calling Codes as in the below table
|Kampong Chhang||26||Phnom Penh||23||Sisophon (Saophoan)||54|
|Kampong Speu||25||Poipet (Paoy Paet)||54||Suong||42|
|Kampong Thom||62||Pursat||52||Ta Khmau||23|
Mobile telephones number
Likewise to call mobile phones from land line or other mobile phones, domestic dialing begins a 0 followed by 8 or 9 digits.
Mobile numbers in Cambodia take the form: 0TT-AXX-XXXY.
The first two numbers after the leading 0 or 'TT' in the example above identify the operator. For example, 010 234 567 is an example of a 9 digit mobile number from Smart. 088 234 5678 on the other hand is an example of a 10 digit mobile number from Metfone.
The 3rd digit after the leading 0 or 'A' in the example above must be between 1 and 9.
Normally this value is between 2 and 9 which allows a value of '1' to be used for mobile phones which are roaming in Cambodia. However some operators such as Mobitel are using a '1' in this range to extend their number ranges for certain popular prefixes. For example, 012 123 4567 and 092 123 456 are valid mobile numbers in Cambodia
'X' can take the values 0 to 9 and 'Y' is an optional extra digit which is used by some operators.
Most mobile numbers are 8 digits long (excluding the leading 0), however some operators are now using 9-digit numbers. 0882345678 is an example of a valid 9-digit mobile number.
Calls made from outside Cambodia must omit the prefix 0. Therefore, to call a mobile number in Cambodia from other countries, dialing begins with +855 1, +855 8, or +855 92662075/9 etc.
The below picture will give you the summary of the mobile number in Cambodia.
How to make a phone call?
|Exit Code||Country Code||Area Code||Local Number|
This is the code for a part of the country. It is usually a general area or a city. Some countries are not large enough to warrant their own code, so will have the country code 1 and use the area code to define the country.
You can check the full list of area codes in Cambodia in the Land line number part
If there is no area code (i.e. the mobile number), just ignore and come directly to the number.
For example, in case you want to call the mobile number: 031-2345678, just dial: Your country exit code + (855-31-2345678).
Below are some examples
- From USA & Canada: 011 855-31-2345678
- From France: 00 855-31-2345678
- From German: 00 855-31-2345678
- From UK: 00 855-31-2345678
- From Belgium: 00 855-31-2345678
- From Switzerland: 00 855-31-2345678
- From Australia: 0011 855-31-2345678
The numbers in red are the country exit code. For the full list of country EXIT CODE, please check HERE
|Exit Code||Country Code||Area Code||Local Number|
- Cambodia has 3 different EXIT CODE: 001 - Telecom Cambodia, 007 - Royal Telecom, 008 – VoIP. If you are the tourists and just buy a normal SIM Card in town, your exit code is normally 001
- Then type your country code + your area code (if any) + the number that you want to call
Below are some examples (add area code to the telephone number if needed)
- To USA & Canada: 001 + 1 + Telephone number
- To France: 001 + 33 + Telephone number
- To German: 001 + 49 + Telephone number
- To UK: 001 + 44 + Telephone number
- To Belgium: 001 + 32 + Telephone number
- To Switzerland: 001 + 41 + Telephone number
- To Australia: 001 + 61 + Telephone number
The numbers in red are the country code. For the full list of different country phone codes, please check HERE
Internet in Cambodia
The access to internet is quite good in Cambodia, from the capital Phnom Penh even up to the remote parts of the borders going to Vietnam and Thailand, surprisingly they do have internet. Of course, it should be better in the urban Cambodia such as Phnom Penh, Battambang, Siem Reap…… Though the internet speed is not as good as Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh, but it is faster than Myanmar and is quite cheap.
You can access free internet in most of the ubiquitous cafe, restaurant, guesthouse, hotel, University or office building in Phnom Penh. You can even do 2–3 hours of free internet at some of the cafe near old Kirirom Cinema by just buying coffee for 50 cents.
Most mobile operators offer 4G internet and rates are very cheap. Currently one operator has a plan: 0.25 cents = 1GB, 1-day validity.
Cambodia’s broadband Internet download speed ranks ahead of some of Asean’s more advanced countries, but is far behind the global average, according to the most recent results of Internet speed tests conducted by the U.S.-based broadband testing company Ookla.
Internet Speed in Cambodia averaged 1929.20 KBps from 2007 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 5430.40 KBps in the first quarter of 2017 and a record low of 231.76 KBps in the third quarter of 2007
To get Internet in Cambodia you have basically 3 options
1. With a Wi-Fi (or cable) Connection
Your hotel, restaurant or café may provide you with a Wi-Fi connection (or a cable connection). Most of the times the wifi is free if you consume a drink or you stay at the hotel, other times the business asks for a special fee.
2. With a Local Sim of one of the cell phone Networks
If Internet access is important for you and you want to be independent from the wifi networks in cafés and hotels, buy a local SIM from one of the local cellphone (cellular) networks and make a pre-paid Internet subscription, like that you can get internet even under a coconut tree on an island.
3. With the Sim Card of your country
This is usually not going to be the cheapest option. The cellular network of your country will charge you high for phoning or using internet from abroad and it is difficult to beat the prices of Cambodia, but you can never know. If you are not sure about the prices that your operator will charge you, buy a local SIM for your stay in Cambodia.
Although still ranked “Partly Free”, internet freedom in Cambodia is slipping, says a report in 2018 by Freedom House, a US-based democracy, political freedom and human rights watchdog.
The report found that Cambodia was among 26 countries that had dropped on its scale, while 19 had seen internet freedom improve.
It said Cambodia had intensified a crackdown on online dissidents, with arrests made over political commentary on social media and news sites.
Cambodia scored 55 on the scale in which 0 is “Free” and 100 “Least Free”. Over the past five years, the Kingdom has been slipping – from a score of 47 points in 2013 and 2014, 48 points in 2015 and 52 points in 2016 and 2017.
Freedom House assesses internet freedom in 65 countries with grades of “Free” for a score from 0 to 30 points, “Partly Free” for 31-60 points and “Not Free” between 61-100 points.
Cambodia’s neighbors, Vietnam (with 76 points) and Thailand (65 points) remain “Not Free”.
The report based its conclusion on a wide range of aspects affecting media freedom, including the adoption of the lese majeste law, the release of code of conducts for the media by the National Election Committee, inter-ministerial prakas to form groups to monitor online news and the closure of Radio Free Asia Cambodia and the Cambodia Daily newspaper.
However, if you ask a Cambodian, most of them will say that the report is not true as most of the blocked parts are related to sensitive contents such as politics or pornographic.
Being the tourist, we advise you stay away from all of this, it is your turn to enjoy the culture, the food, or the sea; it is not your turn to debate and end up in jail.
Buying a local SIM Card in Cambodia
Now we answer the most important question: what is the best Cambodia travel SIM card for tourists?
We will first need to know...
Who are the Cellular operators in Cambodia?
There are four main telco providers in Cambodia: Metfone, Smart, Cellcard and qb. Locals and travelers use SIM cards from all four networks, and the networks can be trusted regardless of the plan you choose. According to OpenSignal’s coverage map, Cambodia has strong network coverage around Phnom Penh and other main cities and towns. Other areas can be weak, and in some country areas, it can be difficult to find a signal at all.
Metfone is the largest network provider in Cambodia with more than a 50% market share. You can purchase prepaid SIM cards for $1-$2 in official stores. The MetTravel Tariff is the best SIM card on offer for tourists, and they also offer 4G/LTE services.
Smart is the second largest provider in Cambodia and one of the cheapest. It has the best coverage in the country and was the first to introduce 4G/LTE. It’s available in all major towns and cities, including Phnom Penh.
Cellcardis the third largest provider and provides good coverage in the main towns and cities. Its network signal can be a bit unpredictable in the country areas. You can purchase prepaid SIM cards for just $1 from official stores. Avoid the “Niyeay” plan because you won’t be able to upload any add-on packs. You should stick to the regular SIM card, so you can add data. The standard SIM card comes with 50 Cellcard texts and 10MB of data, which is valid for 30 days.
qb is the smallest provider in the country. They offer the lowest data rates but the network coverage can be very limited in some areas. qb is not a good choice if you’re planning on going on a tour of the country. You can pick up a prepaid SIM cards for as little as $1, which include 10 data minutes per day on the basic plan. You can also purchase credit and add-ons.
How much does a Cambodia SIM card cost?
In general, the price of a tourist SIM card in Cambodia will start from $2. However, from our experience, you should buy one at $5-6/SIM with which you can have either unlimited data plan, free text, or free call depending on the package you choose. These packages are actually designed for tourists travelling in Cambodia
Check the below table for your reference.
|Speed||4G LTE||3G||4G LTE||4G LTE|
|Others||Unlimited data for Facebook, LINE, Viber, WeChat, and WhatsApp||$5 credit for use on calls, text, or data||$3000 credit for use on calls, text||Includes cost of SIM Card|
Where to buy a SIM Card in Cambodia?
Buying a SIM card in Cambodia is very straightforward. There are plenty of small distributors in town where you can buy the SIM card that you want.
However, we recommend you come directly to the official shops of the suppliers, where you may find an English-speaking staff who can help you activate the SIM and give some suitable information of the SIM.
Moreover, remember to bring the passport along with you as they need it to register the SIM. The small shop in town may not care about this, but the risk will be then all yours.
How to subscribe to a pre-paid Internet program with the Cambodia SIM card?
My advice to make your SIM card work is … to ask the help from the sellers! Yes, that is all you need to remember.
What you need to know is which prepaid package that you want to register and top-up money at least enough for that. Prepare the money and give it to the sellers, then leave it for them.
Of course, do not forget to recheck the plan that they register for your before leaving.
You can either ask for help from the hotel receptionists, this seems better as they can speak English and give you some advices.
The story is even much easier if you have an escorting guide who can do everything for you.
That’s it. Do not waste your time to learn about something you will not do it twice.
In case you really want to learn about this, we recommend reading this article: https://prepaid-data-sim-card.fandom.com/wiki/cambodia
The question you should ask now is…
What is the best Cambodia travel SIM Card for tourist?
To find the best SIM Card for your trip in Cambodia, you should consider at least the below 5 factors:
If you plan to travel around the big cities and tourist hubs, you can choose any operator. If you plan to visit the remote area, choose the one with the largest coverage.
At the time we write this article (September 2019), MetFone has the largest coverage over the countries. You should choose the SIM from this supplier in case you want to visit the remote northern Cambodia.
We recommend you buy a limited data package (just in case) as the public wi-fi (restaurants, coffee shops, hotels) is almost everywhere in Cambodia. Moreover, you do not need internet during most of the daytime while travelling around. You only need it in the evening or early morning while you are … at the hotel.
The internet speeds
According to broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk, MetFone has the fastest internet speed in Cambodia. Staying in places like Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang, or Sihanoukville, MetFone is definitely the best Cambodia prepaid sim card for tourist when it comes down to Internet speed.
Phone & Text
We recommend you buy some extra minutes to call your guide and driver sometimes; or you can register and call a grab taxi to go around on your own.
Duration of your journey
The longer your journey is, the bigger data package and more minutes to call you need.
The recommended SIM Card for Sonasia Holiday traveler
After considering all the factor above, we recommend you buy a SIM Card for tourist from MetFone, who has the largest 3G or 4G coverage all over the country. With $6, you can have fairly enough for what you want during your journey in Cambodia
Tip: Heading to a specific area then go to opensignal.com and zoom in on your destination to find the best provider. Especially for long term travelers this tool is perfect to see what the best Cambodia sim card for nomads is. That said, MetFone is the best provider at the moment, but things change quickly. It is best to re-check the situation when you travel.
It is fairly cheap and popular to have internet access in Cambodia.
For our travelers, we recommend you buy a Portable Mobile Wi-fi Router, with which you can buy only one SIM Card and share the Wi-fi internet with your travel mate on the go.
In the urgent case, if you do not have the Wifi router, you can use internet tethering on your mobile phone to use the internet on your computer or share the internet with your travel mate.
Wherever you have connection, you can use Skype or WhatsApp to call to your family without all the hassle of learning about exit code or country code to dial your friends’ numbers at home.
Hope that the article help you have more information about the communication system in Cambodia. If you need the most updated information, feel free to CONTACT US at your own convenience.