Austria has one of the highest mobile phone concentrations in the world, there are way more mobile phones than citizens in Austria. Thanks to the high competition, we have really low rates and basically every month new, even better packages are released.
The biggest providers are:
- 3 (Drei)
- RedBull Mobile
Basically you can choose between two big options: a contract or a prepaid rate. As contracts often have to be concluded for a minimum of 12-24 months ("Mindestlaufzeit"), pre-paid rates might be more interesting for you. But check the different providers, there might be some who allow you to withdraw from your contract earlier.
How to pay for your mobile phone rate?
If you chose to conclude a contract, you might need an Austrian bank account.
Charging your prepaid card is easy: you can buy the credits for charging your prepaid card ("Guthaben") at the respective mobile phone shops, supermarkets, newspaper stands, post offices and petrol stations.
After having paid (you don’t need an Austrian bank account for that, you can also pay cash), you receive a voucher with a long code on it. Call the telephone number indicated on the voucher and when the voice on the phone asks you to tap the code on the voucher, do so (mostly you have to tap # or * after the code – see explanation on the voucher or listen to the voice on the phone). Afterwards the voice on the phone tells you the new state of your account.
Some mobile phones have been locked by your home operator, thus you can’t use other SIM cards. In that case, you might want to unlock it ( “entsperren”). You can do so at independent phone shops.
Please make sure to save your data before unlocking as they might be deleted during the unlocking process.
If you want to buy a phone, make sure that it is either unlocked or suitable for your Austrian phone operator.
You can buy cheap phones either at shops of your Austrian phone operator or at independent phone shops or in electronic markets (find more information on shopping on our respective page).
Tip: If you buy an ESNcard, you get a free A1 SIM-card with special rates.