Sweden is known for being brain-meltingly expensive, and local SIM cards are no exception.
Whether you’re going to be hanging out in cool and cosmopolitan Stockholm or heading north to chase reindeer, it’s quick and easy, but pricey, to get connected
If you want to pick up a SIM card while you’re in the country, here’s what you need to know.
- We recommend Tele2 for most travellers
- Consider Telia if you're heading to remote parts of the country
- If you don't care about calls and texts, go for 3's data-only SIM
There are four different cell networks in Sweden — Telia, Tele2, Telenor, and 3.
LTE is available on the 2600 MHz band in major cities on all four networks, and also on 800, 900 and 1800 Mhz depending on the carrier. 3G is available with all carriers on the 900 and 2100 Mhz frequencies, as in the rest of Europe.
So which SIM card should you go for?
If all you need is data on the road, then opt for a data-only SIM from 3. For 199 SEK ($23.50) you’ll receive 5 GB of data, valid for 30 days. If you won’t be in the country for long, you can pay 99 SEK ($11.80) for 5 GB for seven days.
If you need coverage in remote areas, go for Telia. They’re the only network to have good coverage in the north of the country. For a SIM card with unlimited domestic calls and texts and between 0.5 and 6 GB of data, you’ll be looking to pay 199 SEK ($23.50) and upwards. For more, see Telia’s product page.
If you need a mix of call, texts, and data without breaking the bank, opt for Tele2. For unlimited free domestic calls, texts, and 500 MB of data, you’ll pay 145 SEK ($17.25). For 6 GB of data, it costs 245 SEK ($29.16).
SIM cards are available for free if you buy them online, but as you’ll be unlikely to have a Swedish address, credit card, and landline number, you’ll have to pick them up in a store, where they cost 45 SEK ($5.35).
I was only going to be visiting Stockholm on this trip, so I went for Tele2.
After arriving in Stockholm, I headed straight for the nearest Tele2 store — there were several in and around the old town.
I told the sales assisstant what I was looking for (calls, texts, data for a week-long stay), and she set up the SIM card for me in under 5 minutes. I didn’t need to show ID.
Inside the packet, was a SIM card with mini, micro, and nano cutouts. I popped in the nano SIM, entered in the pin code when prompted, and typed in the APN details below:
No username or password
I paid 80 SEK ($9.47) for 200 minutes and 1 GB of data, valid for seven days, along with 45 SEK ($5.35) for the SIM card.
Can't be bothered with the hassle of buying a local SIM in Sweden? KnowRoaming topped our international SIM card comparison.
The company's SIM cards, stickers and hotspots can be sent out ahead of time, so you'll hit the ground running in 200 countries, and save up to 85% on roaming fees while you're there. Unlike other companies, using WhatsApp for texts and calls anywhere in the world is absolutely free.
You can buy top-ups from many different stores in Sweden: Pressbyrån, 7-Eleven or any other convenience stores, such as COOP. Just look for the Tele2 logo in the window.
COVERAGE AND DATA SPEEDS
Coverage was strong throughout Stockholm, but speeds were disappointing. For the amount I had paid, I expected download speeds to be higher than the average 5Mbps I received.