UMS is the largest mobile operator in Uzbekistan with the best coverage across the country. Getting a UMS SIM card can help tourists stay connected with voice calls, mobile data, and SMS texts during their visit. This guide covers everything about UMS SIM cards for foreigners visiting Uzbekistan.

UMS sim card featured image

I. Quick facts about UMS

UMS stands for Universal Mobile Systems and is part of the state-owned Uzbektelecom. It has about 65% market share in Uzbekistan with over 21 million customers.

Some quick facts about UMS Uzbekistan:

  • Started operations in 1994 under Uzdunrobita brand
  • Rebranded as UMS in 2016
  • Uses 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks
  • Has over 5700 base stations across Uzbekistan
  • Offers the widest coverage in Uzbekistan

So if you need connectivity across Uzbekistan, a UMS SIM card makes most sense.

II. Uzbekistan UMS Coverage and Speed

1. UMS coverage in Uzbekistan

UMS Coverage
UMS Coverage

UMS has the highest population coverage in Uzbekistan of over 95% on 2G and 78% on 4G/LTE. This means it has a presence even in remote areas and off the beaten tourist track.

Some key aspects of UMS Uzbekistan coverage:

  • 2G is available in all major cities and towns. Covers 95% of population.
  • 3G is present in all big cities and highways. Around 90% population coverage.
  • 4G/LTE is available in all major tourist areas like Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Fergana valley, and Nukus. Offers around 78% population coverage on 4G which is the highest in the country.

So with UMS you can easily use mobile internet across popular tourist spots in Uzbekistan. It also works in more remote areas that are not well connected.

2. UMS speed

UMS offers maximum 4G speeds up to 150 Mbps but average speeds are closer to 10-40 Mbps in most areas. This is fast enough for things like HD video streaming, using social media, calls over 4G, and browser access.

Some typical UMS Uzbekistan speeds observed:

  • Tashkent: 20-40 Mbps
  • Samarkand/Bukhara: 10-30 Mbps
  • Regional areas: 5-15 Mbps

2G speeds range from 50-100 kbps for basic internet use. While 3G offers around 1-5 Mbps speeds in covered areas.

So while not blazing fast, UMS 4G and 3G speeds are enough for common travel requirements. Even 2G works for basic use.

III. UMS Connectivity Options for Travelers

As a tourist visiting Uzbekistan, you can get connected on UMS network using:

Connectivity Option Prepaid SIM card eSIM Hotel/cafe WiFi Mobile hotspot/pocket WiFi International roaming
Pros -Inexpensive to purchase SIM card- Can make local calls/SMS- Data packages available - No need to physically purchase SIM - Can be activated online   - Free basic connectivity- No need to sign up for mobile plan- Good for basic tasks like email/chat - Shares internet via WiFi to devices- Can be shared among travelers- Useful if device not SIM compatible - Continues using home network abroad- Familiar experience on own device- Useful for emergencies
Cons - Need passport to register SIM- May not work if phone is locked- SIM expires if not topped up regularly - Need supported device- Higher activation costs than physical SIM- Limited availability of eSIM plans - Often slow speeds- Limited to hotel/cafe locations- No cellular data outside hotels - Higher costs than SIM card- Device needs charging regularly- No standalone phone connectivity - Very expensive data usage costs- May be daily fees for enabling roaming-Speed/coverage depends on roaming partners

IV. Best UMS SIM cards for tourists & cost

The main UMS SIM card offerings for tourists visiting Uzbekistan are:

PlanValidityInclusionsCost (USD)
Tourist SIM Lite30 days200 mins, 200 SMS, 3GB data$2.10
Tourist SIM30 days400 mins, 400 SMS, 8GB data$4.20

The regular prepaid SIM gives more longer term flexibility than tourist SIM. You can recharge it as needed and use data, calls & SMS just paying standard rates. International roaming is also possible after registration.

So tourist SIM is simpler for short visits, while a regular UMS prepaid connection makes sense for longer stays allowing custom recharges, better rates, and no expiry concerns.

V. Does UMS Uzbekistan support eSIM?


Yes, UMS launched eSIM facility in 2022 making it easier for tourists with latest phones to connect digitally.

UMS eSIM allows activation of a mobile plan remotely on eSIM capable mobiles and wearables. It spares you from finding and inserting physical SIM cards.

With UMS Uzbekistan eSIM you can use domestic calls, texts, data just like residents. International roaming in other countries is also coming soon.

VI. Where can you buy UMS SIM card and eSIM?

Here are the main channels to purchase UMS SIM card or eSIM before visiting or after reaching Uzbekistan:

1. Where to buy UMS SIM card for Uzbekistan

Ucell store at Tashkent International Airport

As a tourist, it’s easiest to buy UMS SIM card on arrival at Tashkent international airport. They sell tourist SIM packs at 24×7 counters in the arrivals area.

Alternatively, you can buy regular UMS prepaid SIM from any official seller across Uzbekistan by showing your passport. Recharges can be done digitally or through top-up vouchers.

2. Where to buy Uzbekistan UMS eSIM

UMS eSIM can be purchased by visiting eSIM website for Uzbekistan – It requires uploading your passport and local contact details.

After registering, you can make payment using credit card to activate UMS eSIM plan. This gets delivered to your email and can be activated on eSIM capable device remotely.

So getting UMS connectivity in Uzbekistan as tourist is very convenient through UMS SIM card and eSIM options.

VII. How to activate UMS Uzbekistan SIM/eSIM?

Activating UMS SIM card or eSIM is fast and convenient:

1. How to use Uzbekistan UMS SIM card

  • Get tourist SIM at airport or regular SIM from shop
  • Insert into phone & power on
  • Select UMS network and enable data
  • Works instantly with preactivated default pack

For regular SIM you may need to recharge with a data pack using voucher or USSD code to start browsing internet.

2. How to activate UMS Uzbekistan eSIM

  • Download eSIM activation profile sent to you
  • Go to eSIM menu on phone setting
  • Select UMS eSIM profile and activate
  • Follow prompts to scan QR code if shown
  • UMS plan gets activated within a few minutes

So both UMS SIM and eSIM can be set up easily on your own in a couple of minutes.

VIII. Uzbekistan UMS Call & SMS Rates

Here are the standard UMS prepaid call and SMS rates when in Uzbekistan:

Outgoing calls

  • Local calls – 50 UZS/min (approx $0.0045/min)
  • Calls to other mobiles – 50 UZS/min (approx $0.0045/min)
  • International calls – 600 UZS/min (approx $0.055/min)

Incoming calls

  • Free on UMS Uzbekistan SIM

SMS Rates

  • 50 UZS per local outgoing text
  • 100 UZS per international text

These basic call and SMS rates are very affordable. Outgoing local calls work out to under half cent per minute!

Getting a UMS SIM allows calling Uzbek numbers easily without incurring roaming charges. International calls are also possible at reasonable rates.

Do note SMS can be conveniently replaced by free messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber using mobile data.

IX. Useful USSD Codes for UMS Uzbekistan

UMS offers many useful USSD service codes to check balance, activate packs, etc saving you hassles:

USSD CommandUsage
*100#Check main balance
*107#Check data balance
*110*1#Check last 5 outgoing calls
*100*1#Check last 5 incoming calls
*102#Check UMS number
*111*4*1#Check 4G/LTE coverage

Some top up & plan activation codes:

USSD CommandUsage
*105*01#[recharge PIN]#Recharge account balance
*105*5#####[PIN]#Buy 5 GB data pack (#### = amount)

So USSD codes help check usage, top up credit, activate plans & monitor account easily without app or calling customer care.

X. How to Top-up UMS Uzbekistan SIM/eSIM

It’s easy to recharge and top-up your UMS SIM card & eSIM while travelling in Uzbekistan using:


Most convenient way is using UMS top up vouchers available across Uzbekistan in denominations 10,000 to 500,000 UZS. Dial *105#[voucher pin]# to recharge account instantaneously.

Online payments

Recharges can also be done online using credit/debit card on UMS website/app for convenience.

Enter your UMS mobile number, select amount, make payment by card and recharge gets activated quickly.

Mobile banking apps

Local mobile banking apps like Payme allow topping up UMS prepaid account using VISA/Mastercard or by cash/card transfer.

So multiple convenient options exist to recharge your UMS SIM/eSIM while visiting Uzbekistan.

XI. Alternatives to Uzbekistan UMS

While UMS has the widest mobile coverage in Uzbekistan, you can also consider:

  • Uzbekistan eSIM – eSIM suppliers to more than 200 countries, we offers a wide range of data options for you, only from $11.1
  • Beeline Uzbekistan – Second largest operator with good coverage and speeds.
  • Ucell Uzbekistan – Third biggest player, owned by Russia’s VimpelCom.
  • Fonex/EVO – Newer operator but has limited coverage outside Tashkent presently.

However, as visitor looking for connectivity across Uzbekistan – UMS makes for a safer bet over others. Availability of eSIM and strong connectivity makes it reliable for travel needs.

XII. FAQs about UMS in Uzbekistan

Here are some common questions related to UMS SIM cards and eSIM for tourists:

Does UMS have foreign language support?

Yes, UMS website and mobile app have interfaces in Uzbek, Russian & English. Automated IVR lines offer options in multiple languages. Tourist SIM packs come with multi-lingual instructions.

Can I use UMS SIM in other countries?

Currently UMS SIM works only in Uzbekistan without roaming. Support for using UMS SIM internationally is expected to start in 2023.

How long is UMS tourist SIM/eSIM valid?

UMS tourist SIM bought on arrival is valid for 7 days. While regular prepaid SIM and eSIM activation just requires periodic recharge to keep working. Unused SIM gets deactivated after 90 days if not recharged/used.

Can I buy UMS SIM online before reaching?

Unfortunately online purchase of UMS SIM before arrival is currently not possible. Buying it in Uzbekistan on tourist visa or arrival is the only option now. But their eSIM can be bought online beforehand.

XIII. Final words

Getting a UMS SIM card in Uzbekistan is highly recommended to stay conveniently connected across the country without paying expensive roaming charges.

UMS offers the widest coverage, fastest 4G speeds, low rates and ease of recharges including eSIM option. Tourist SIM packs are great for short trips while regular prepaid connections make sense for longer stays. So choose UMS mobile network for a seamless connectivity experience when exploring amazing Uzbekistan!