The Slovenia Times

Mobile Telephones for Everyone



Since the time when only some businessmen used mobile telephones as a prestigeous accessory, mobile technology has spread to all kinds of people, and at this time Slovenia has around 1.5 million of GSM users, which can be also described as three fourths (3/4) of the whole Slovenian population. Everyone uses mobile phones, from pupils to senior citizens, from rather poor families to the wealthy ones. Seeing people talk to their mobiles all the way down the street is an everyday scene. Three Mobile Providers and One Offerer There are four companies offering mobile technologies. Mobitel was the first established, with more than 1,3 million users currently using their network. The owner of Mobitel is the national telecommunications provider Telekom Slovenije, the ownership of which, in turn, is mainly held by the state. Mobitel GSM network users are able to choose between subscription packages, which are adjusted to specific needs and preferences of individual subscriber groups. Different monthly subscription fees and prices of conversations are applied for each of the subscription packages, and the same goes for the application of complementary services. Therefore a user is able to choose the package custom fit to their needs, recognized also by the names of the packages - business, student, senior, spare time and many other. They also provide pre-paid system called Mobi with low tariffs and no subscription. Mobitel uses prefixes 031, 041 and 051. The second biggest provider is Simobil, owned by corporations such as British Vodafone, Sweden's Telia and Austrian Mobilkom. It has between 20 and 25 percent of market-share and they still trying to increase this number. Simobil also offers a wide spectrum of subscription packages varying from basic fees to different subscription - call price combinations. The most popular is the one called POP, appropriate for users who mostly utilize their mobiles for fun and for conversation with closest friends. Simobil is also known for their Orto package, especially made for young people, who cannot afford to pay a subscription fee every month - they only pay for their conversations. Other packages are Smart, Simbol, Start and also the pre-paid system called Halo. All their numbers begin with 040. Debitel is a subsidiary of German big mobile company with the same name who uses services of the Mobitel network. Due to just using the Mobitel network, they had to form their price policy depending on their bigger rival, looking for gaps in their offer to satisfy some users with special demands and low prices. Debitel doesn't offer a pre-paid system, but it has a wide range of various packages. Their most famous service is Debikljuc (Debi-Key), which allows users to lock the upper-limit costs for one month. The last but not least provider is a company Western Wireless International, using their own network named Vega. Their numbers begin with 070. WWI appeared on the Slovenian market in 2002 and is still establishing their position. Their goal is to become at least the second largest operator in Slovenia in few years. They have around 4% market-share. Vega is known by its typical yellow colour, while Slovenes seem to remember them mostly for free pre-paid SIM cards with 1000 tolars of credit on it. They also offer subscription packages containing free minutes of conversation. If you can predict how much you will spend, Vega can offer special packages just you. Their mission is to exceed the expectations of their customers and offer world-class service and technology. Mobiles for foreign citizens For signing the subscription package foreign citizens have to enclose their working visa with the application. Another possibility we should mention is to sign a subscription together with a person that would be a warrant if something goes wrong, like missing payments or some other misunderstandings. Slovenian mobile providers allow subscription packages to all people with a permanent address located in Slovenia, but they need to have the tax number. Foreigners get the Slovenian tax number only with working visas. A less complicated way is using one of the prepaid card systems because it doesn't demand anything but a SIM card provided by one of the providers, and you are able to use the mobile network right away and call wherever you wish. This pre-paid system is very popular in Slovenia due to simplicity of usage and since it doesn't require any subscription or connection fee. Users only pay as much as they phone or send short messages and nothing more. Due to this fact, pre-paid systems are commonly used among teenagers, especially because they or their parents can control the expenditures. The Mobile Network The Slovenian mobile network, like the majority of the world, is working at frequency 900 MHz or 1800MHz, so every known trademark in mobile communication like Nokia, Ericcson, Panasonic, Motorola, etc. are acceptable for common use. Slovenia is covered with mobile signal in about 96 percentage of whole territory including mountains and Slovene part of the Adriatic Sea. Providers are also offering all new technologies important in the mobile world: MMS (multimedia services), GPRS (transmitting data via internet), WAP and many more. The third generation of mobile technology (UMTS) is knocking on Slovenian doors, so everybody can find something for himself. All four mobile companies mentioned in this article have organized their own calling centers or Customer care services as they named them (see table). Calls to these numbers are free of charge, people helping here speak at least English and they can be very helpful. You can ask them anything connected with mobile technologies, their special offers and also more complicated things like some settings of your handy for WAP or other important matters. Prices for conversation in Slovenia are one of the lowest in Europe and therefore a lot of people use mobile communication very often. An average cost per minute is about 40 Tolars (0.15 euro) compared to other countries like Sweden or Germany, where the costs are at least two to three times more expensive. The same is the case with other services like SMS or WAP. International calls Those who plan to be subscribers or pre-paid users of Slovene providers should consider that different countries are located in different zones for mobile operators. Far-away lands are not in the same group as the neighbouring countries, so finding out the group the country that you are calling can help predicting the costs. For instance, in the first (cheapest) group belong Croatia, Italy, Austria and Hungary, and some European countries with special contracts made to our providers such as Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and the small San Marino, Vatican and Liechtenstein. A minute of conversation to these countries will cost you between 68 and 86 Tolars (0.3 - 0.4 €). In the second group there are all the other European countries, with a little more expensive tariff - between 83 to 105 Tolars (0.4 - 0.5 €) per minute. USA and Australia fit in the third group, which costs between 144 and 180 Tolars (0.6 - 0.8 €) per minute. It is difficult to talk about tariffs for calls to Slovenia from other countries. Prices depend on individual contracts between the foreign provider and the chosen one here in Slovenia.


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