Want to know where to get your Vietnam Mobile number? Take a look at the guide below where you’ll find:
- The Top 3 Mobile Networks
- The prices of their Data plans
- How easy they are to use for foreigners
Vietnam is full of overwhelming offers. The amazing food, the cheap experiences, the sights to see; your phone’s network provider is no exception. Which Vietnamese network should you choose? There are several networks in Vietnam, which are all unsurprisingly cheap. It’s easy to pay a tenth of the cost of what is expected in the US, but still, end your month with plenty of data to spare.
If cost isn’t an issue, why are you here?
Well, some Vietnamese networks vary in their network coverage and customer experiences. This guide will look at what you’ll need to get a SIM, which networks provide the best service, which offers the most generous data plans, and ultimately, which Vietnamese network you should choose.
What will I need to get a Vietnam Mobile Number?
To have a registered SIM card that provides access to an account to manage your plan, you’ll need a form of ID.
- A passport (valid for at least 3 months)
- Or a different ID document (e.g. residency card)
There are disposable sims that last for a short period of time that don’t require a passport. This article will focus on data plans available for long term visits since you’ll likely need to have a SIM and number for the entirety of your stay.
#1 – Mobifone
The second-largest provider, Mobifone, offers one of the best experiences for foreigners.
Mobifone was the first of the three large Vietnamese networks currently established here, and they have acquired 34% of the market (as of 2019). It’s easy to see why they’re so successful. There are many reasons to make Mobifone the provider of your Vietnam mobile number:
Their data packages are relatively affordable, though not the cheapest. For 3.8 GB a month, you’ll be paying just 70k (3USD). 8.8 GB will cost 120k (6USD) a month. There are benefits though to staying connected long term. The monthly plans shown below are among the most competitive.
Another perk of using Mobifone is that it’s the easiest to manage your data plan. You have access to an English version of the website and application, making it the most user-friendly out of the big 3 providers.
A downside to Mobifone, which is also the case with the others on this list, is that you’ll regularly receive text promotions about deals in Vietnamese. You can block these numbers from messaging you, though another random number will find a way to reach out. It’s a minor annoyance, but a manageable one.
#2 – Vinaphone
Vinaphone is the second largest network in Vietnam and is operated by a government organization. This allowed it to reach certain milestones such as being the first operator to offer its customers 3G.
With just over 30 percent of the market share in Vietnam, it’s done enough to maintain a loyal group of followers. That’s thanks partly to offering free data for Zalo and video-on-demand services (though these are in Vietnamese!)
The company has several offers right now. You can get a 4.8gb monthly data sim for just 70k (3usd), or a 12gb monthly sim for 120k. These prices are competitive against its rivals.
The only downsides are that the website and app are predominantly in Vietnamese, so you’ll struggle to communicate with the customer service team.
#3 – Viettel
Being the largest phone operator in Vietnam gives Viettel some substantial advantages over the competition. Relatively quick internet speeds mean that you’ll rarely miss a beat if needing to watch a video or facetime on the go. The plentiful Viettel stores around Saigon also make troubleshooting problems easy. The biggest advantage though is its phone coverage. 95% of Vietnam has at least 3G coverage, but from personal experience, I’ve had 4G even in the sparse regions North of Hanoi.
The downside of being connected with the largest mobile phone operator is that you’ll have to pay for the privilege. For 3gb a month, you’d have to pay 70k, and for 8gb you’d need to pay 125k which is significantly more than the competition (though arguably not significant at all). The benefit of using Viettel is that you’ll still be able to access the internet once your allowance has finished. You’ll either need to pay extra for high-speed internet or have unlimited access to a slow connection – enough to get you through WhatsApp and Zalo conversations.
Currently, there is no English version of their app or website. Though the staff in many of their stores are usually able to help.
Conclusion – Which Vietnam Mobile Number Should you Get?
To summarise, all options in Vietnam are acceptable. Depending on what you prioritise, you might want to choose one network over the other. Viettel probably provides the most reliable connection and most stores around the country for troubleshooting issues. Vinaphone offers generous data plans, while Mobifone stands out as being the only one with an English app and website.
With your mobile phone network, you’ll be able to connect to many of the different services and applications which make life here so convenient. Check out our list of the must-have apps in Vietnam.