We Bought a Kazakhstan SIM Card in Almaty


We bought a SIM card in Almaty. In this post, I am going to share our experience on how to buy a Kazakhstan SIM card and the mobile internet connection in Kazakhstan.

Where to buy a SIM card in Almaty

Small gadget shops in town

There are many gadget shops in the city of Almaty, where you can buy SIM cards. However, some shops do not support the registration of phone numbers with foreign passports, so choose a shop that does.

We wanted to buy a SIM card near the Almaty bus station after crossing the border from Bishkek, but we were told that shops near there did not accept credit card payments, so we gave up there as we did not have enough cash. We went to the city centre and bought one at a small shop near the hotel where we were staying.

Prices for internet plans are the same everywhere, but prices for the SIM cards themselves vary from shop to shop. At this shop, the SIM card cost 1,300 tenge. The shop near the bus station was cheaper, but we had no choice.

Tele2 internet plans

Tele2 plans

There are a few telecommunications companies in Kazakhstan including Tele2, Beeline and Kcell. Gadget shops carry plans from those companies.

When we asked the hotel staff, they said they preferred Tele2, so we chose Tele2. They used to offer the cheapest price, but the price had increased and was not much different from other companies.

Beeline internet plans

Beeline’s plans

Here are Beeline’s plans which is a Russian-owned company, and some people said that Beeline connects better. The prices are a little higher.

Buying a Tele2 SIM card

SIM card purchased

We bought a Tele2 SIM card and asked the shop to complete the registration process. The process itself took a long time, and although we were a little anxious, wondering if it was really going to work. Anyway, we had no choice but to wait.

Tele2’s internet

Our stay in Kazakhstan was shorter than planned in the end. We stayed only in Almaty, so I don’t know about internet access in other cities or in the countryside. But even in Almaty, I often felt that the mobile internet was slow.

We had heard that Kazakhstan is more advanced in terms of technology than most of Central Asia, but we were a bit disappointed. We might not choose Tele2 next time we visit Kazakhstan.