The first mobile phones got to Irkutsk in 1995, but people started using them on a regular basis only in the early 2000s. Only two companies offered their services, and so, mobile communications cost a lot, and connection quality wasn’t that good.
Over the years, everything changed. You could use your mobiles in the remote regions of Irkutsk Oblast, and even in some places around Lake Baikal. The bigger towns have 3G and 4G, and GPRS is everywhere now.
To always stay connected, turn on roaming services or buy a local SIM card as soon as you get to Irkutsk.
Mobile network operator and their tariffs
Today, Irkutsk has four major mobile operator companies. Those are state-wide providers MTS, Beeline and MegaFon, and a local company BWC.
These companies charge similar amounts of money for their services. For your convenience we’re providing this comparative table of their minimum rates.
|MTS||Smart mini||150 rubles/month||1 GB Internet
|Beeline||All for 100 Promo||100 rubles/month||500 MB Internet
100 minutes/day within the network
0,7 rubles/minute outside the network
|MegaFon||All included XS||99 rubles/month||1 GB Internet, 3G+
minutes a month within the network
0,3 rubles/minute outside the network
|Tele2||Black||95 rubles/month||1,5 GB Internet
free-of-charge calls to Tele2 numbers in Irkutsk Oblast
Buy a new SIM card here:
- MTS: 36/2, Dzerzhinsky St.
- Beeline: 6, Deputatskaya St.
- MegaFon: 2, Uritski St.
- BWC: 25, Lenin St.
Additionally, Irkutsk has several mobile connection shops like Svyaznoy, Evroset’ and Govorun. You’ll find them in a mall near the Central Market, on 17, Litvinova St.
Wi-Fi in Irkutsk
The city has around 80 Wi-Fi spots, and you can use 50 of them free of charge. Many cafes and hotels have a network name and its password in the menu or at a bar counter. If you have a problem connecting to Wi-Fi, ask the staff and they’ll make sure everything works properly.
Here’s a list of some Wi-Fi spots in local cafes and hotels.
- Promsvyaz’bank, 12, Proletarskaya St.;
- House Mafia, 107A, Dekabrski’ Sobitiy St.;
- Courtyard Mariott Hotel, 15/2, Chkalov St.;
- Dostoevsky Anticafé, 12, Stepan Razin St.;
- Traveller’s Coffee, 7, Kievskaya St.;
- Razguloff Coffee Shop, 34, Karl Marx St.;
- Tower Restaurant, 29, Karl Marx St.;
- Harat’s pub, 1, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya St.;
- Sushi Studio, 18, Karl Marx St.;
- Bier Haus, 1, Gryaznov St.;
- Papa John’s pizza house, 48, Marat St.;
- The London Club, 7, Sukhe-Bator St..
The East Bank:
- Lermontov Mall, 90/1, Lermontov St.;
- Safari pizza house, 15, Mayakovski St.;
- Harat’s pub, 30, Akademicheskaya St.;
- Harat’s pub, 26, Universitetski Md.;
- Harat’s pub, 81, Lermontov St.;
- Park-hotel Burduguz, Burduguz village, 1, Lesnaya St..