How to setup 3G Mobile data access with Vinaphone in Vietnam

Mobile internet access in Vietnam is exceptionally cheap and relatively easy to setup on your phone. If you wish to use a USB 3G dongle, then you will need to first add credit to your account by inserting the Sim card into your mobile phone and following the instructions below.
Obviously, you will need a non-simlocked handset for this, though cheap sim-free/unlocked handsets can be found in Vietnam for about 300,000 dong.

  1. Buy a Vinaphone Simcard from a Mobile Phone shop. This costs about 100,000 Dong and usually includes some free credit.
  2. Buy some prepaid credit in the form of scratch cards from a convenience store.
  3. Scratch the card to reveal the code and then enter the following on your phone’s dial-pad:
    *100* followed by the scratch card code, followed by # and then press send.
    For example, if your code was “123456789”, then you would enter *100*123456789# and then press send.
  4. You can check your credit by entering *101# and pressing send. (USSD code)
    You will then see a message with a breakdown of the types of credit that you have:
    TK chinh=100000VND (Your main balance)
    KM=75001VND (for national calls and sms)
    KM1=75000VND (for VNPT internal networks)
    KM2=30000VND (for VNPT internal networks during promotional period)
    Han su dang 21/06/2013. (expiry date)
  5. To subscribe to one of the data packages listed here:
    Send an SMS to 888 with the message “3G ON”
  6. Send an SMS to 888 with the message “XXX ON”, where XXX is the package that you require. For example, if you wanted to subscribe to the U30 package (3.5GB per month), you would send “U30 ON” to 888.
  7. A confirmation code will then be sent to you via SMS from Vinaphone, which you will have to send to 888 in the following format “DK U30 XXX”, where XXX is the confirmation code.
    The message will be similar to the following:
    Quy Khach dang thuc hien dang ky goi U30-dich vu Mobile Internet, cuoc TB thang 200.000d (tru vao TK chinh). Va duoc su dung mien phi 3.5GB. De xac nhan, soan tin DK U30 XXX gui 888.
    E.g. If your confirmation code is “123”, then send “DK U30 123” (excluding the double-quotes) to 888.

Once you have sent the confirmation SMS, you should receive a message back confirming your subscription.
You can check that your balance has been charged correctly by entering the *101# ussd code and pressing send.

Vinaphone 3G Sim Card and Phone Credit Scratch Cards

All in all, great value Mobile internet – under $10 USD for 3.5GB of data!

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