Traveling to a new city can be an exciting adventure, but it’s important to stay connected with loved ones and have access to the internet for navigation, research, and emergencies. Buying a local SIM card or eSIM is often the most convenient and cost-effective solution for staying connected in Phnom Penh, the vibrant capital of Cambodia. Having a SIM card in Phnom Penh not only keeps you connected but also allows you to take advantage of local rates for calls and data, saving you money while exploring this fascinating city.

How to Buy A SIM Card in Phnom Penh

I. Which Mobile Operator is The Best in Phnom Penh?

Phnom Penh is home to several major mobile network providers, each offering various plans and services tailored to different needs. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a comparison table of the top mobile operators in the city, taking into account factors such as coverage, data plans, speed, reliability, and overall value for tourists.

OperatorCoverageSIM Card Price RangeProsCons
SmartReliable 4G coverage across Phnom Penh and surrounding areas. Good network in suburban districts.$2-5Largest network in Cambodia. Affordable data packages and international calls.Can be slow speeds in extremely rural areas.
MetfoneExtensive 4G network in Phnom Penh. Strong coverage in most districts and nearby towns/provinces.$2-5Dense infrastructure for good indoor coverage. Various plan and bundle options.Slightly more expensive than Smart.
CellcardWide 4G coverage focused in Central Phnom Penh. Expanding to suburban areas.$2-5Improving speeds and growing network size. Competitive pricing.Smaller network than Smart and Metfone currently.

In summary, Smart and Metfone have the most extensive and reliable networks across Phnom Penh. Smart particularly offers good value. Cellcard coverage focused in central areas but expanding. As you can see, each operator has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s essential to consider your specific needs and travel plans when selecting a SIM card provider in Phnom Penh.

For the most suitable for your needs, it’s important to consider the process of selecting any reputable Cambodia mobile operators

II. Best Phnom Penh SIM Card and Cost

Based on our research and local recommendations, here are some of the best SIM card options for tourists visiting Phnom Penh, along with their respective price ranges and features:

CellcardSerey+ $660GB150 On-Net mins150 On-Net SMS30 days$6
SmartTraveler SIM Standard30GB300 On-Net mins300 On-Net SMS15 days$5
MetfoneData Osja Standard5GB500 min500 SMS7 days$1
MetfoneData Osja Monthly25GB2500 min2500 SMS30 days$4
MetfoneData Osja Monthly50GB5000 min5000 SMS30 days$6

In addition to these major operators, there are also several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) operating in Phnom Penh, such as Cootel, Srin, and CadComms. While they may offer slightly lower prices, their coverage and network quality may vary.

III. Where to Buy A SIM in Phnom Penh

1. Getting a SIM Card at Phnom Penh International Airport

Getting SIM Card in Phnom Penh - Airport Kiosk
Getting SIM Card in Phnom Penh – Airport Kiosk

For many travelers, the most convenient option is to purchase a SIM card right after arriving at Phnom Penh International Airport. Major mobile operators like Smart Axiata, Metfone, and CellCard have kiosks or stores located within the airport’s arrival area, making it easy to get set up with a local SIM card before even leaving the airport.

Enjoy the hassle-free SIM purchase experience by discovering the best place to get a SIM card at Phnom Penh Airport.

2. Getting a Prepaid SIM Card in Phnom Penh

SIM card in Phnom Penh city
SIM card in Phnom Penh

If you prefer to explore your options or didn’t have a chance to get a SIM card at the airport, there are numerous places throughout the city where you can purchase a prepaid SIM card. Here are some popular options:

Operator Stores

Each mobile operator has their own branded stores and kiosks scattered throughout Phnom Penh, particularly in major shopping malls, markets, and busy streets. These stores offer a wide range of SIM card options, data plans, and top-up services.

Convenience Stores and Supermarkets

Many convenience stores, such as those found inside gas stations or supermarkets, sell prepaid SIM cards from various operators. This can be a convenient option if you’re already running errands or stocking up on supplies.

Street Vendors and Mobile Shops

In Phnom Penh’s bustling markets and on busy streets, you’ll often find small mobile shops or street vendors selling SIM cards and top-up cards. While these can be convenient, it’s important to exercise caution and purchase from reputable vendors to avoid any issues with counterfeit or pre-used SIM cards.

IV. eSIM for Phnom Penh Travelers – A Smart Alternative

For tourists visiting Phnom Penh, Cambodia, eSIM provides several key advantages over traditional physical SIM cards. With eSIM, travelers can easily stay connected without having to hunt for SIM sellers or worry about compatibility issues. eSIM also eliminates roaming fees that can incur expensive charges. Perhaps most valuable is eSIM’s digital nature – there’s no plastic waste generated and no risk of damaging, losing or having a SIM stolen

With convenient options starting from just $5-75 for packages ranging from 5-30 days, is the top choice for hassle-free cellular connectivity in Phnom Penh and beyond. Their fast 4G network ensures smooth browsing, messaging and social media use anywhere in the city. 

Explore every corner in Phnom Penh, and post every moment with

V. Things to Prepare When Buying SIM Cards in The City

While buying a local SIM card in Phnom Penh is generally a straightforward process, there are a few things you should prepare in advance to ensure a smooth experience:

  • Passport/ID – You’ll need to present your passport or other government-issued photo ID to purchase and register a SIM card.
  • Have cash on hand – Not all SIM sellers accept foreign credit cards. It’s best to withdraw larger Khmer Riel denominations from ATMs.
  • Find a reliable seller – Shop at carrier stores, stalls in airport/stations or reputable mobile phone shops in the city. Avoid illegitimate street stalls.
  • Device compatibility – Make sure your phone is unlocked and able to support the network bands used by local carriers. Also check if it’s capable of micro/nano SIM cards.
  • Data/call package – Decide if you need a data-only package or one with calls/texts as well. Also determine the validity period that works best.

Proper preparation will help ensure a hassle-free SIM purchase experience in Phnom Penh. You can also consider buying an eSIM online before arrival for instant activation.

VI. Tips and Recommendations

As someone with experience traveling in Phnom Penh, here are a few tips and recommendations for other tourists when buying SIM cards in the city:

  • Purchase your SIM card at the airport upon arrival for convenience and to avoid any potential language barriers or confusion.
  • Compare data plans and prices from different operators to find the best deal for your needs and duration of stay.
  • Consider purchasing a data add-on or top-up if you plan to use your SIM card for an extended period or if you anticipate higher data usage.
  • Be cautious when buying from street vendors or unofficial sources to avoid counterfeit or pre-used SIM cards.
  • Ask the vendor or store staff for assistance with setting up your SIM card and activating data plans if needed.
  • Keep your passport handy, as it may be required for registration and identification purposes.

Good to know: Buying an eSIM from provides a hassle-free SIM purchase experience in Phnom Penh, with instant activation and no proof required.


What is the best mobile network in Phnom Penh for tourists?

Based on coverage, speed, and data plan offerings, Smart Axiata and Metfone are often considered the best mobile networks for tourists visiting Phnom Penh.

Can I use my home SIM card in Phnom Penh?

While it is possible to use your home SIM card in Phnom Penh, roaming charges can be exorbitant. Purchasing a local SIM card or eSIM is often a more cost-effective solution.

Do I need to register my SIM card in Phnom Penh?

Yes, most mobile operators in Phnom Penh require tourists to register their SIM cards using their passport or other identification documents.

How much data do I need for my stay in Phnom Penh?

The amount of data you’ll need depends on your usage habits and the duration of your stay. As a general guideline, consider purchasing a data plan with at least 3-4GB of data for a week-long stay, or opt for larger data packages if you plan to use your device extensively for navigation, social media, or streaming.

Can I purchase a SIM card with a foreign currency?

Most mobile operator stores and kiosks in Phnom Penh accept US dollars in addition to the local Cambodian Riel. However, it’s always a good idea to have some local currency on hand for smaller purchases or transactions.

VIII. Conclusion

Staying connected while exploring the vibrant city of Phnom Penh is essential for modern travelers. By following the tips and recommendations outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the process of buying a local SIM card or eSIM, ensuring seamless connectivity during your adventures in Cambodia’s capital.

Ultimately, having a local SIM card or eSIM will not only keep you connected but also provide peace of mind, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the rich cultural experiences that Phnom Penh has to offer. Safe travels and enjoy your time in this captivating city!

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