It’s said that the biggest fear one has it that of public peaking. For me, my biggest fear is not having cellular service, and not being able to connect while on the go.

So, how does one connect while in Slovakia

Some quick tips to staying connected while on the go:
The international calling code for Slovakia is +421. In case of an emergency, call the universal number 112. You can also call directly on 150 for fire brigade, 155 in a medical emergency or 158 for the police. Slovak phones operate on the GSM standard, which covers most of the country, and 3G is also becoming increasingly widespread.

3G network photo

Photo by jon crel

 

The coverage is surprisingly good, and you will often have signal even in mountain areas, unless you are in a deep ravine. There are three main operators – Orange, T-mobile and O2, and they all use 900 or 1800Mhz standard, which might not be compatible with some U.S. phones operating on 1900Mhz. They all offer a variety of prepaid cards with various “pay as you go” schemes (some market research is advised, if you want the best deal) and incentives. If you have an unlocked phone, these are easy to pick up in any phone shop, or you can purchase a cheap phone with a prepaid card included.

There are still some phone boxes available, but with mobile phones now commonplace, they are declining in number. Also note that you might need to purchase a prepaid card to use some of them. Wifi and broadband can be found more or less everywhere, and there will be an internet cafe/gaming room available somewhere even in smaller towns. Also, hostels, pubs, cafes, and some public institutions such as libraries or government buildings offer (usually free) wifi. Mobile internet is available from 6 € / month via O2 provider or 3G prepaid mobile internet at 10-15€ for 5 GB. Broadband internet is available in most of the cities and some villages, prices depend on a location, in bigger cities you can get internet as cheap as 16€ per 100 Mbit/s downstream and 4 Mbit/s upstream from Orange (or slower from T-com or UPC).

Other tips on staying connected while in Slovakia? Please add your comments and tips.