Mobile phones are widely used in Romania. There are five networks: four GSM/3G (Orange Romania, Vodafone, Telekom, and DigiMobil) and one CDMA (Orange Romania, Vodafone, Telekom, and DigiMobil) (Zapp). Orange and Vodafone have almost complete nationwide coverage (98-99 percent of the country’s surface), while German Telekom is rapidly growing.
Tariffs are in line with the rest of the European Union (€0.08-0.30/min, €0.04 per SMS). Prepaid cards and subscriptions are also available, and certain price plans provide unique choices for cheap international calls. Roaming is accessible, although it is very costly, as it is across the rest of the EU. Pre-paid cards or recharge codes are available in virtually every store, whether rural and urban.
On prepaid SIM cards, you can activate extra options (“extraopţiune”) for €5 (+ 24 percent VAT) in total = 27-32 lei, with a validity period of 30 days and thousands (200-3000) of minutes and SMSs within the same network and up to 100 minutes outside the network, including most European Union fixed land-line networks and two or three mobile networks.
Internet connection is fast, widespread in metropolitan areas, and expanding in rural areas. Broadband internet access is commonly accessible in cities and villages through cable, DSL, or home-grown small or medium-sized ISPs via UTP connections. Speeds are generally comparable to Western Europe or the United States, with 1-4 Mbit/s downstream for non-metropolitan access being the average – with costs ranging between €9 and €25 for 1-4Mbit/s, with local access considerably faster (10-50 or even 100Mbit/s). The speeds are rising, with 4Mbit/s residential connection available for about €10 per month.
Internet cafes may be found in most towns, cities, and villages, although their popularity is dwindling in major cities due to the low cost of home connection. Public Internet connection is now accessible in 150 isolated communities in rural regions (in so-called “telecenters”). Access to these “telecenters” is sponsored by the state and therefore restricted. In most libraries and public venues, such as railway stations, computers are not accessible.
Wireless connectivity is becoming more prevalent, particularly in Bucharest, Braşov, Sibiu, Bistriţa, Timişoara, and Cluj-Napoca, where Wi-Fi is commonly accessible in university districts, airports, public squares, parks, cafés, hotels, and restaurants. Pay-as-you-go Wi-Fi is also accessible in a number of locations. If you’re unsure, search for plazas near the Town Hall, big parks, or other significant structures. Wi-Fi is available at most (if not all) McDonald’s restaurants in Romania, as well as in most 3-star (and above) hotels.
All mobile phone providers offer low-cost mobile internet access (using Romanian simcards). The combined 3G/GPRS/EDGE connection costs 40-80 lei per month, with a data limit of 5-10GB.