I'm planning to stay in Kiev, Ukraine for a week and would like to have mobile Internet. I will need to use a total of 500 MB during that time.

What is currently the cheapest sim-card/plan for my purposes? Preferably one I could buy at Borispol airport.


2016 update: all three major national operators offer similar plans. Kyivstar, Lifecell (formerly Life), Vodafone (formerly MTS, UMC) offer 3G voice and data connectivity at just a couple of bucks per month. There are other 3G operators, however a traveler would normally prefer one of the three mentioned. SIM cards are everywhere and available freely.

From the mentioned above three, Kyivstar and Vodafone are believed to be slightly "bigger" and offering better coverage outside of populated areas. Lifecell in turn is known as more addressing youth and believed to offer better mobile internet connectivity in densely populated areas. However I suppose all three are close in quality of service. All three tend to offer cheaper or free calls on home network. It is common that the number remains valid for a year, which might be interesting to those expecting recurring visits to Ukraine in future.

Perhaps something new from the operators in 2016 is their low-cost offers for international calls. The operators offer attractive calls abroad and in roaming for specific directions. For example, Kyivstar's offer for international calls to selected countries is cheaper than Skype-Out calls, with decent voice service quality. Base services are presumably so cheap that they cannot go any lower (imagine $0.2/mo for unlimited voice calls on home network, 5 GB of 3G mobile internet at $1.2/mo?), so they started attracting users with auxiliary services.

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As of 2016, the best offer is to get a Vodafone simcard. Their price list (for data) is as follows:

  • 500 MB — 30 UAH/month (~1EUR)
  • 2000 MB — 50 UAH/month (~2EUR)
  • 5000 MB — 90 UAH/month (~3EUR)

You can buy a Vodafone sim card at any of the numerous mobile phone kiosks in Ukrainian cities or at Vodafone's official stores. There is now also 3G coverage and it works pretty good in major cities.

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    Confirmed. Don't forget to activate your data plan! I couldn't read Ukrainian and I had an hard time understanding why in Kiev my SIM would conncect to 3G just for a second before being disconnected over and over. – Noldor130884 Jun 9 '16 at 12:53
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    Well, this is hardly "the best offer". I have the Kyivstar plan at the same price with more data, and my teen age son has about the same priced Lifecell plan with so much better 3G. Vodafone is the last operator I would consider. – Roman R. Jun 10 '16 at 21:26
  • @RomanR Feel free to add your own answer. I was just a tourist comparing the offers and Vodafone worked well for myself. Locals might have a different point of view. – JonathanReez Jun 10 '16 at 22:05

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