Take the right plug adaptors
Make sure you have packed plug adaptors for your various electrical devices. Norway compatible plug adaptors should be readily available from larger electronics stores in your home country. This will allow you to keep your cell phone charged while you are in Norway. Norway uses plug types "C" and "F" which is the standard across continental Europe.
Add international roaming to your cell phone account
Most mobile airtime providers offer this option to account owners. This allows you make and receive calls using your regular number and your regular handset whilst you are traveling. You can also access your usual data services. This option is usually the simplest, but also the most expensive, especially for data services.
A good tip is to try to restrict your use of mobile data services to locations where you can access a local wi-fi network. These are very widespread in Norway. Most restaurants, cafes, hotels, shopping centres or even petrol stations have free wi-fi available.
Rent a Norwegian mobile phone
Locally registered cell phones can be rented from the following providers:
Rent a SIM card
This is a popular option for experienced travellers, and an easy way to access the web, check emails, use your favourite apps or Skype with friends and family at home. Services are pay as you go.
National Geographic via their partnership with Cellular Abroad offers SIM cards for international travellers to Norway and 200 other locations.
A similar service is offered by OneSIMCard.
International phone calls in Norway
Dial "00" followed by your two or three digit country code, the area code and phone number. A New York number, for example, would be 00 1 212 555 1212.
Main mobile operators
Norway has three different mobile network operators, but many other companies also offer use of their networks. There are many more, but these are some of the major ones:
- Telenor Mobil
- Network Norway
- Lyca Mobile
Norway is well covered with mobile connectivity, but you may have trouble in certain locations in the mountains and off the coast. In general, the more sparsely populated the area is, the higher the chance of no available connection will be. Also, connections will be faster closer to the major population centres, where 4G-networks are well established. You should also expect to lose connectivity in some tunnels, both for roads and trains.
Many trains, buses, boats and airplanes have free wifi on board, but these are often of limited capacity and may require registration before use. Many hotels and eateries or coffee-shops may also offer free broadband which may relieve your communication budget somewhat.
International call costs from Norway vary depending on which operator and where you are calling. The same is true with regards to data traffic, messages and domestic calls as well. Establishing costs are also variable, depending on which operator you choose. In general, the business-oriented operators tend to be more expensive for visitors than others.
The Norwegian Post and Telecommunication Authority maintains a website for price comparisons at telepriser.no.
Where to get a prepaid SIM-card
The best place to order a prepaid SIM-card is online, but if you can't do that there are still plenty of options:
- 7-Eleven, both shops and in Shell-stations, as well as the Narvesen kiosks, offer SIM-cards or start-up packs from Telenor Mobil, NetCom, Chess, MyCall, OneCall, Interfone and Lyca Mobile.
- OneCall SIM-cards may also be ordered online and can then be picked up at any Narvesen kiosk later.
- Electronics shops such as Expert, Elkjøp, Euronics, Lefdal and Siba may sell SIM-cards for a variety of network operators.
- Some of the major operators also have their own shops, selling only their own subscriptions.
Where to top-up
Once you have a SIM-card, you might want to top it up with pay-as-you go credit from time to time:
- 7-Eleven and the Narvesen kiosks sell pay-as-you-go cards from Telenor Mobil, NetCom, Chess, Lebara, Tele2, Lycamobile and Chilimobil.
- The Deli de Luca shops sell pay-as-you-go cards for MyCall, NetCom, Telenor Mobil, Lebara and Chess.
- Most mobile operators also allow topping up online, on their respective websites.
- Telenor Mobil offers top-up as an option in some cash point machines.
If you already have a Norwegian SIM-card, Narvesen kiosks also offer an Interfone SIM-card that can be used simultaneously. This card is put on top of your SIM-card and will allow you to make cheaper calls abroad, and no app or wifi-access is necessary.
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