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Moving to Norway For Members

What foreigners in Norway should know when choosing a mobile plan provider

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
What foreigners in Norway should know when choosing a mobile plan provider
Here's what you need to know about choosing the best mobile phone provider for you in Norway. Pictured are people taking pictures of a seagull with their phones. Photo by Darya Tryfanava on Unsplash

A large step in establishing yourself in Norway will be setting up a Norwegian number from a local network provider. But there are a few things you should know before signing the dotted line on a monthly plan. 

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Are you sick of roaming charges or forking out for international calls and are ready to take the plunge and get a Norwegian number? 

If the answer to that question is yes, you have two options. These are a kontantkort (pay-as-you-go) or an abonnement (monthly plan). 

For the majority, a monthly plan is a much better option as it is more cost-effective in the long term and comes with more mobile data options than a pay-as-you-go solution. 

READ MORE: How to switch to a Norwegian phone number

Providers will give users the option between a fixed-term contract and a rolling monthly plan. When choosing a mobile provider as a foreign resident, two factors will be important. The first is the paperwork required to get a contract, and the second is the price. 

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The paperwork

You'll typically need a Norwegian ID number and bank account to get a phone contract. If you are ordering a plan online, you'll probably need BankID or Vipps, a mobile payment service, to verify your identity. Unfortunately, many banks will not issue a BankID if you only have a D-number. So, you may need to go into a store in person to set up a monthly plan.

Different providers may also ask to see previous payslips to prove you can pay for the plan. For example, some may request as much as a year's worth of payslips, and others may only ask for three months.

Some providers, such as MyCall, will allow you to verify your identity in one of their stores if you don't have a D-number or fødelsnummer. If you order a plan from a provider online, the sim card will be sent to the address you have registered in the national population register, so you will need to make sure this is up to date.

Newer residents in Norway may therefore prioritise the ease of obtaining a plan over the best price. 

The price

If it's value you are after, and you have a BankID and personal identification number, then one of the best things you can do is use a comparison site to get the best deal. You can use comparison sites such as Tek.no to help tailor a plan to your needs. 

Alternatively, if you need the phone number now and can't wait for the paperwork to be in order, then there is always the possibility of your partner or similar taking out a contract for you. Although, this comes with the drawback of not building a credit history for yourself.

Smaller suppliers like Talkmore tend to try and compete and outprice larger competitors like Telenor. However, larger providers can typically offer a more robust customer experience. 

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Choosing the right provider for you

Overall, it's hard to pick out one particular mobile provider in Norway as the best option because it will depend on your own needs. 

If you do not have a D-number or personal number yet, then Mycall may be the best option. Their plans also include unlimited calls to the EU, UK and USA, as well as options for calls to the rest of the world. 

However, if you have a Norwegian bank account, credit history in the country, payslips, BankID and identification number, then better-priced options are available. For example, Mycall offers 25GB of data for 499 kroner a month, whereas other providers will provide a similar amount of data for up to half this price. 

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When you pick a provider, there will be a choice of three network operators who provide signal coverage. These are Telenor, Telia and ICE. Choosing whichever has the best signal in your area and places you will frequent, as poor coverage can make the phone redundant. ICETelenor and Telia all have coverage maps, so you can check whether you'll have a good signal with them in your area. 

While there may only be three network operators, there are numerous plan providers to choose from.

Comparison site Fornye ranks networks based on aggregating customer reviews, coverage and price. However, these reviews are more aimed towards Norwegian consumers, so they do not fully account for the needs of foreign residents. 

In October, it ranked Happybytes's 30GB of data at 248 kroner/month as the best for users who need a lot of data, while Chili Mobil was ranked as one of the best deals for packages for around the 300 kroner a month mark. 

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