Mobile Networks And Operators in Croatia
How many mobile operators are there in Croatia, whose service is the best and what carrier is the cheapest? Find out in this article.
Croatia currently has three mobile operators and five mobile networks.
Mobile carriers in Croatia
Croatia has three mobile carriers - Hrvatski Telekom (Croatian Telecom), VIPnet and Tele2. Hrvatski Telekom and VIPnet each own two operators, while Tele2 owns one operator.
Hrvatski Telekom (HT)
Hrvatski Telekom is the oldest and largest mobile carrier in Croatia. HT and VIPnet have the best coverage and their networks are the best overall. Hrvatski Telekom owns two mobile operators in Croatia - T-Mobile and Bonbon.
T-Mobile is 'the old part' of HT's mobile business. It was Croatia's first and for a while the only mobile operator. Their prepaid service Simpa is recently marketed almost as a separate operator, similarly to Bonbon.
Bonbon is a virtual private operator, founded in 2010 and primarily marketed to younger population. Bonbon made quite a success due to its simple and configurable service - users can decide what's included in the tariff and therefore adapt the service to their own needs.
VIPnet was the first competitor to HT's mobile business and the first private mobile operator in Croatia, launched in 1999. HT and VIPnet have the best coverage and their networks are the best overall. VIPnet currently owns two mobile operators in Croatia - Vip and Tomato.
Vip is 'the old part' of VIPnet. It is the second largest operator in Croatia, after T-Mobile. Their prepaid service is branded as 'Vipme'.
Tomato is another virtual private operator. In this case, VIPnet was the first one - they have founded Croatia's first mobile operator, four years before HT created Bonbon. It is promoted as a low-cost network and its prices could be compared to HT's Simpa or some Tele2 tariffs.
Tele2 is the newest full-service mobile operator in Croatia. They have entered the Croatian market in 2004 and have managed to grab around 20 percent of the market share, but are still the third largest carrier in Croatia.
Since Tele2's network doesn't cover some parts of Croatia well, they have a contract with HT that enables Tele2's users to switch to HT's network when necessary. Using HT's network can affect your mobile plan, so read carefully terms and conditions of your tariff.
Which operator is the cheapest?
Well, it depends. Few years ago, the answer was simple - it was Tele2. However, in the meantime Tomato and Bonbon have established themselves as low-cost alternatives to full-service operators. Also, HT's prepaid service Simpa offers interesting options that make it the best option for users that don't make too many calls. VIPnet has also introduced some tariffs that make them the best choice for people who talk a lot.
Therefore, our answer is - think about your usage habits and what will you use your mobile phone for when in Croatia. Then compare the tariffs. Also, consider where you plan to go, since some smaller or isolated places are not equally well covered by all networks.
If you're from European Union country, then it usually doesn't make sense to buy a new SIM card, since roaming charges are quite low now.