Buying a prepaid mobile SIM card in Poland
Our recommendation for prepaid SIM card in Poland: Orange / nju mobile
Mobile providers in Poland
There are four major mobile providers in Poland with numerous resellers (in braces):
- Orange (nju mobile)
- Play (Virgin Mobile)
- Plus (Plush)
- T-Mobile (Heyah)
Network coverage and mobile internet speeds
Because of the stiff competition between carriers in Poland and their extremely modern infrastructure, network coverage is very good across all country for all carriers and LTE is available almost everywhere including rural areas. In places where there's no LTE reception you will get 3G/HDSPA+ speeds at minimum.
On top of that, carriers share their infrastructure trough domestic roaming so there's virtually no difference for the end user which carrier they use. Virtual operators (resellers) also have very good coverage and internet speeds with no noticeable difference from their parent companies.
- SIM card prices are very low and start at 5 PLN (approx. 1 GBP). Your account is credited with this starting amount and you can use it to make calls or connect to the internet. It's recommended to switch to a data plan (which can be done for free) before turning on the mobile internet connection, otherwise your credit will be eaten up very quickly. Instructions on how to switch between plans can be found on the SIM card package.
- You can get generous data allowance bonus if you top-up with larger amounts at once. Please check with the carrier you intend to use for current offers.
- Play has been considered the most cost-effective for a long time, but it's changing now because of the stiff competition between carriers and prices seem to be more leveled now.
- We recommend using nju mobile (virtual operator of Orange) because of it's generous pricing, discounts, good coverage equaling that of Orange and no credit expiry.
Using a reseller (virtual operator)
Resellers are usually your best bet in Poland, because they are cheaper than main operators, often providing incentives and generous discounts, no credit expiry and offer the same internet speeds and coverage as their parent companies..
How to buy a Polish SIM card
In Poland you can buy mobile SIM cards in official carrier stores, partner stores, airports, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, supermarkets, street kiosks and mobile shops.
How to register a Polish SIM card
Regardless of where you buy your SIM card, it needs to be registered before you can use it. To register a SIM card in Poland you need a proof of identity. It can be a passport (paszport), ID card (dowód osobisty) or any other officially issued document with picture that proves your name, and date of birth. There's no requirement for giving your address when registering a SIM card in Poland.
You can register your SIM card at any place you buy it: directly at a kiosk, convenience store or petrol station. Just show them your ID and they will registered it right away through the internet and the card is ready to use immediately. It really is that simple in Poland!
How to top-up
The easiest way to top-up your phone is to buy a top-up card at any shop, supermarket, grocery store or petrol station. They usually hang by the checkout lanes and you buy them as any other product so you don't need to speak a word in Polish.
If there's no stand with top-up cards hanging tell the cashier the carrier of your SIM card, amount you want, and they will print a top-up voucher for you with the top-up code and instructions how to redeem it.
Top-up amount is fixed and can vary between operators, but usually you can buy 10 PLN, 20 PLN or 50 PLN top-up credit.
You can also top-up online by using this service, that accepts credit cards.
How to check your balance
You can check your current mobile SIM card balance for different carriers by following these instructions:
- Play: Enter *101# on the keypad and press the call button
- Orange: Enter *124*# on the keypad and press the call button
- Plus: Enter *100# on the keypad and press the call button
- T-Mobile: Enter *101# and press the call button
Based on our research T-Mobile seems to have the highest prices and lower-than-average customer satisfaction, so we recommend using other carriers.