UCell is the leading mobile network operator in Uzbekistan with the best coverage and speeds. This guide provides everything you need to know about getting a UCell SIM card or eSIM as a tourist exploring Uzbekistan.

UCell sim card featured image

I. Quick Facts about UCell

UCell is the largest mobile operator in Uzbekistan with over 22 million subscribers. Some key facts about UCell include:

  • Founded in 1996, part of Uzbektelecom JSC
  • Uses GSM, 3G, 4G/LTE networks
  • Coverage reaches over 95% of Uzbekistan’s territory
  • Fastest 4G speeds up to 150 Mbps
  • Affordable prepaid SIM card options for tourists
  • eSIM support launched in 2022
  • Wide network of stores and retailers to buy SIM cards from

With excellent connectivity almost everywhere in Uzbekistan, UCell is the provider of choice for most locals and visitors.

II. UCell Coverage and Speed

1. UCell Coverage in Uzbekistan

Ucell Coverage

UCell stands out for having the most extensive network in Uzbekistan, reaching over 95% of inhabited areas. Their rapid growth over 25+ years has seem them extensively build out 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE mobile infrastructure across the country.

In total, over 1300 cities and towns across Uzbekistan’s 12 regions or viloyats fall within UCell’s service area. That covers everywhere visitors are likely to go, from the capital Tashkent to the Fergana Valley, and all points in between. You might lose signal in a few very remote mountainous or desert locations, but UCell works practically everywhere.

So you can depend on connectivity for maps, translation, ride-hailing, and sharing your Uzbek adventures online with a UCell SIM card in your phone or tablet. Their reliable signal also helps for making VOIP calls over apps, using social media, and more.

2. UCell Speed

Along with blanket coverage of Uzbekistan, UCell also offers excellent 4G and 3G speeds from their advanced network. Their LTE networks allow peak download speeds up to 150 Mbps, with average user speeds of around 20 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload.

That’s quick enough to handle most data needs for travel apps, HD video and audio streaming, gaming, big file downloads, and video calls. In fact, UCell has the fastest mobile data in the whole Central Asian region based on Speedtest Global Index rankings.

So tourists can fully depend on UCell’s unmatched network capabilities for daily use throughout Uzbekistan. Their combination of widespread population coverage plus speeds fast enough for modern apps makes them the best choice.

III. UCell Connectivity Options for Travelers to Uzbekistan

UCell offers multiple options for visitors to get connected during their Uzbekistan trip through either:

Connectivity Option Pros Cons
Physical SIM Card Includes calls/SMS alongside data plan Wide range of data and bundle options Coverage across Uzbekistan on UCell network Must visit store to purchase SIM needs to be activated Passport copy required
eSIM Convenient digital activation No store visit required Works on compatible smartphones International SIM No need to buy local SIM Limited data bundle options Data-only, no calls/SMS Relies on UCell network coverage Single SIM works in multiple countries Low data allowance in Uzbekistan
Data Roaming Uses your home carrier network No need to buy local SIM Extremely expensive per MB of data Slow data speeds for streaming/downloads
Public WiFi Free option in some areas No SIM card needed Unreliable and limited availability Safety and speed concerns on public networks

An eSIM works better for longer trips in Uzbekistan or frequent visitors. You can renew data bundles each month or have a recurring plan billing. No plastic waste and eSIMs are globally compatible in phones with the feature.

Both options work excellently for visitor connectivity, with some pros and cons to each. The next sections go over the best prepaid/eSIM choices along with their pricing and acquisition details specifically for tourists.

IV. Best UCell SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

For short-term tourists in Uzbekistan, prepaid UCell SIM card packs provide good value bundles to get started on their network. There are a few pricing tiers based on how much mobile data you’ll need during your visit.

Plan Data Calls SMS Price (USD)
Doimiy 25 6 GB Unlimited domestic calls 500 ~$2.50
Doimiy 35 10 GB Unlimited domestic calls 1000 ~$3.50
Doimiy 50 20 GB Unlimited domestic calls 1500 ~$5
Doimiy 70 35 GB Unlimited domestic calls 2000 ~$7
Doimiy 100 100 GB Unlimited domestic calls 2500 ~$10
Doimiy 150 200 GB Unlimited domestic calls 3000 ~$15
Cordial Welcome (tourist plan) 10 GB 45000 minutes domestic calls 1500 SMS ~$5

V. Does UCell Support eSIM in Uzbekistan?


Excitingly, UCell launched electronic SIM support in early 2022 for modern device connectivity. eSIM allows activation of mobile plans through digital profiles instead of physical UCell SIM cards.

To use a UCell eSIM in Uzbekistan, you’ll need:

  • An unlocked phone or tablet with eSIM functionality
  • Uzbekistan UCell eSIM app downloaded
  • Quick setup process to activate your plan

Then you can use the UCell network via the downloaded eSIM without regular UCell SIM cards. It’s fast and convenient to get started online in minutes with instant connectivity. To simply these steps, consider eSIM from Uzbekistan eSIM with plenty of data range enough for your short even long trip. Check the plans below: 

VI. Where Can You Buy a UCell SIM card and eSIM?

UCell sells various SIM card and eSIM packs through a few main purchase channels outlined below. Both options work very well for smooth connectivity during tourism in Uzbekistan.

1. Where to Buy UCell SIM for Uzbekistan?

As a visitor you have several choices for where to acquire a UCell SIM locally:

  • UCell Brand Stores – UCell operates their own brand stores in all major cities of Uzbekistan and some smaller towns too. Visiting a branded shop ensures genuine Ucell SIM cards sold directly by UCell.
Ucell store

Staff can explain the latest tourist SIM deals in English and help set up your device. Topping up is also easy at their stores when you need more data or minutes later during your trip.

  • Supermarkets & Grocery Chains – Major supermarket chains like Korzinka, Sant Market, and others carry UCell SIM cards including tourist packages. Prices are the same as direct stores.
  • Local Phone Shops & Bazaars – Plenty of small independent phone shops and stalls in bazaars also sell UCell SIMs. They often have helpful English-speaking staff familiar with traveler products.

Wherever you buy from, always check the SIM pricing against UCell’s official website for current rates. Avoid very outdated bundles or suspicious pricing deviations.

To confirm you have an authorized tourist SIM, the scratch-off access PIN code panel on the back should be fully sealed. Then you know it’s genuine and unused.

2. Where to Buy UCell eSIM in Uzbekistan?

There are few options for where to buy a UCell eSIM in Uzbekistan you should know:

  • Uzbekistan eSIM – You can get an eSIM from Uzbekistan eSIM from over 200 countries including Uzbekistan. The data range is from 3-10GB for 7-30 days. only within $11.1-$36.5.
  • UCell Stores – UCell has numerous retail stores located across major cities in Uzbekistan where you can purchase an eSIM. Stores will require your passport for activation. Popular locations include stores in Tashkent.
  • Tashkent International Airport – UCell has a customer service desk located near baggage claim at Tashkent International Airport where you can purchase an eSIM. Passport required.
  • Online via UCell Website – You can purchase an eSIM online via the UCell website at www.ucell.uz and have it delivered to your location. Passport details must be provided for activation. Payment is by local Uzbek debit/credit cards.
  • Regional Authorized Dealers – UCell has authorized retailers and dealers located throughout the country where eSIMs can be purchased. Search for nearby locations on the UCell website dealer locator.

VII. How to Activate UCell SIM/eSIM in Uzbekistan?

Both regular prepaid UCell SIM cards and eSIM options provide reliable connectivity. The activation steps differ slightly depending on which you choose during your travel here.

1.How to Use UCell SIM Card in Uzbekistan?


With a new plastic UCell SIM card purchased, you’ll need to:

  1. Insert SIM and restart device
  2. Scratch panel to access PIN code
  3. Enter PIN when prompted to register your number
  4. Follow activation steps & restarts
  5. Top-up via USSD when data/minutes run low

That’s the basics to get started! Be sure your phone is unlocked to recognize foreign SIMs before inserting. Activation involves receiving text codes to confirm signup.

Then you can call, text locally, and will have initial data allowance to browse, use maps, apps etc over UCell’s network. Easy top-ups when required at stores, partners, or via codes.

2. How to Activate UCell eSIM?

UCell’s eSIM setup works like this instead:

  1. Download “For Tourists” app on eSIM capable device
  2. Register profile with passport & create account
  3. Select your connectivity plan / length
  4. Scan QR activation code shown on app
  5. Payment confirmation completes setup

After scanning the QR, your eSIM profile configures giving you instant access to UCell’s mobile network – no plastic SIM required at all!

You’ll see signal bars and can immediately place calls, send SMS, and use data through the downloaded eSIM account. Manage your plan by logging into UCell app later easily.

So while activation steps differ slightly, both options enable seamless connectivity over UCell’s leading network in Uzbekistan suitable for any length of stay.

VIII. Uzbekistan UCell Call & SMS Rates

UCell prepaid SIM packs aimed at visitors include bundled domestic minutes and texts allowances. But knowing underlying rates is still useful for managing budgets.

Uzbekistan Local Call Rates:

  • Calls to other UCell numbers: 264 UZS/minute
  • Calls to other networks: 330 UZS/minute
  • Incoming calls are free on UCell.

So around $0.02 USD per minute for outgoing local calls, very affordable.

Incoming calls always free since the receiver pays the cost (like USA). Multi-network calls have small surcharge, but all still reasonably priced.

SMS Message Rates:

  • Local SMS: 50 UZS (~$0.005 USD)
  • International SMS: 120 UZS

Cheap flat fee per text applies for Uzbek numbers. Normalized shortcode style works for sending SMS here. Most tourist SIMs have 250-1000 included texts which is plenty, but good to know underlying costs.

For calls and messages, UCell has very competitive pricing in Central Asian terms. Topping up talk time bundles is inexpensive if needing more minutes.

But many visitors are fine using free online chat apps like WhatsApp, iMessage, Telegram with their data plans instead. No worries about high bills – UCell’s voice and text rates are extremely fair overall in Uzbekistan.

IX. Useful USSD Codes for UCell SIM/eSIM

You can check balances or purchase top-ups right from your UCell SIM using Universal Supplementary Service Data (USSD) shortcodes.

Just dial these codes like a phone number in your dial pad, select options onscreen, and follow menus:

  • *100# – Account status & balance
  • *105# – Turn mobile data on/off
  • *111# – Main prepaid menu
  • *120# – Purchase specific data/minute packs
  • *555# – Support & info for tourists

USSD codes provide quick access to manage UCell accounts, data bundles, remaining minutes and more:

Examples using USSD menus:

  • Dial *100#, shows your number, plan details, remaining data, credit.
  • Dial *120#, choose 1GB data pack for 24 hours. Confirm to purchase.
  • Dial *105#, press 1 to enable mobile data, 2 to disable.

These shortcuts make checking usage and topping up really straightforward without apps or visiting stores.

Works for both regular prepaid tourist UCell SIM cards and eSIM plans. Input codes to activate bundles, check usage, disable data to save megabytes, and manage your balances easily.

So be sure to bookmark some helpful USSD codes above for ease of account control during your trip time in Uzbekistan.

X. How to Top-up UCell SIM/eSIM

As prepaid balances for minutes, messages, or mobile data deplete – you’ll eventually need to add more credit on UCell.

Both plastic UCell SIM card and eSIM users can replenish balances easily through various methods:

  • Top-up Vouchers: Purchase top-up scratch card vouchers from retails stores in denominations like 50,000 UZS. Reveal code and enter it in UCell app or dial *110# to add value.
  • USSD Code Shortcuts: We mentioned USSD top-up menus earlier. No vouchers required – just dial a code like *120# and choose data/minute bundle directly from your SIM.
  • UCell Mobile App: Using their smartphone app, signed into your account, you can pick add-on packs yourself or auto-payments.
  • Online E-Wallets: Major digital payments platforms in Uzbekistan like Payme, Apelsin, Click work to top-up too. Fund your wallet then transfer to mobile balance.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions from visitors about getting connected on UCell’s network:

Does UCell offer unlimited data plans?

Unlimited data plans don’t really exist from UCell. However, their top-tier monthly eSIM pack includes 100GB at fast 4G speeds. For most users that’s essentially unlimited for normal travel apps, video, music etc.
If you did manage to exceed 100GB, speeds just slow down slightly but with no restrictive data caps.

Can I use UCell SIM abroad?

UCell focuses coverage within Uzbekistan itself. But their prepaid SIM cards and plans do include some roaming capabilities depending on your purchased bundle.
Things like minute allowances are generally only for domestic networks though. Data roaming can be added, but is very expensive per MB – so generally local SIMs in other countries make more sense if traveling onwards.

Can I make international calls with UCell SIM?

Yes, UCell has pretty reasonable rates for calling internationally. Even some prepaid SIM packs include a small allowance for foreign calls.
Making landline or mobile calls to overseas is around 600 – 800 UZS (~$0.05 USD) per minute on UCell depending on specific country.
More budget friendly is using VoIP apps like Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime audio with your data balance instead. This allows essentially free international calls over data.

How can I watch Netflix or Youtube from UCell network?

Video sites like Youtube and Netflix work perfectly fine over UCell’s 4G network in Uzbekistan. No restrictions or bandwidth throttling generally for streaming media apps.
Only if exceeding your purchased data amounts significantly might video streaming be slowed – but otherwise UCell’s mobile network handles these services excellently within plan limits.

How to refill Main Balance on UCell SIM?

f you need to directly top-up main account balance for anything beyond included data/minute bundles, there are a few ways:
Enter recharge PIN from top-up voucher bought at stores
Remote top-up from e-wallets like PayMe by sending to your number
Via UCell app payment screen to add funds from bank card
Through USSD code like *120# to purchase voice/data packs
Visiting UCell store payment counter to add more balance
So via vouchers, transferred payments, direct app payments, SMS codes, or in-person – easy Main Balance refills!

XII. Conclusion

We hope this Uzbekistan travel connectivity guide has clearly explained all the excellent options with UCell SIM cards and tourist eSIM plans. Their stellar countrywide network reach plus fast speeds and affordable rates help keep visitors fully connected.