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Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

We use a local provider but through our embassy. - Oct 31, 2017
Embassy does provide a phone. Most people use those. No limitations on calls. Can call US for free. Few use local phones but the prepaid ones here are cheap. - Sep 26, 2016
Bring an unlocked phone. A sim card and month to month plan here are readily available and inexpensive. - May 17, 2016
My spouse got his cell phone through the Embassy but I purchased an unlocked phone from Beeline and loved the fact that I could pay-as-go (then a foreign concept in the U.S.) for unlimited talk/text/data for 1000 rubles a month (US$33). You could also get plans through MTS and Megafon. It was really easy to reload the minutes except you had to find a Beeline store; the street kiosks charge a fee. - Oct 14, 2014
MTS and Beeline are both good and offer data plans for only US$10/month. - Nov 13, 2013
Embassy provides cell phone. With an unlocked smartphone you can transfer the embassy number to it. - Jul 28, 2013
Get one. The U.S. Embassy provides cell phones to all employees. Otherwise get a phone and a SIM card here. If you want to use a smart phone from the U.S. try to bring it unlocked. Otherwise I'm sure you can have it unlocked here for a fee. You may need to bring some kind of documentation to get a SIM card, I'm not sure. Family members can get SIM cards through the U.S. Embassy community association. - Jul 18, 2013
I have an embassy-issued phone that works great. - Jan 13, 2013
The association will be happy to sign you up for a personal plan with various features, whether it's a cell plan, data plan, or both. For the Apple users, ISC has a device that cuts SIM cards do to the mini size used by Apple products. - Mar 14, 2012
I got mine from work, my husband bought his at the embassy. But there are kiosks and stores where you can buy pay-as-you go phones. - May 29, 2011
You need one. - Jan 1, 2011
Cell phones are plentiful and reasonable. There are no contracts here - phone service here is pay-as-you-go. Muscovites pay for their phone service via computerized kiosks, which are everywhere and will accept your phone payment for a commission (rates vary among the machines.) There is no reason why you should not have a cell phone (either work-supplied or private). - Jul 31, 2010
I had a cell phone issued by the embassy. - May 22, 2010
Cheap - you can buy one here. - May 5, 2010
Cell phones are easy - automated payment kiosks are easy to find in grocery stores and by metro stations. - Feb 13, 2010
Moscow has a great cell network, many phones can be used inside the metro stations (though not in the tunnels).For local cell phones, there are no subscriptions, they have a pay-as-you-go system, and there are payment ATM machines all over the city where you can go to top off your phone. Embassy phones are subscription based, though. - Jan 23, 2010
I have one. I rarely use it. My kids just got their first ones ever, but not because they needed it, but, rather, because they were starting to feel like social pirranahs because everyone else had one. Seriously though, they go to school a three minute walk from our house and I work at school. What do they need phones for? I haven't gotten a billl yet. I am told that if it cost us as much as $30 per monoth per phone, that would be very high. - Nov 6, 2009
157 rubles ($6.50 today) for 30 minutes. - Oct 24, 2009
You can bring your cell from the States and buy SIM cards. - Aug 22, 2009
There are three major cell phone providers: Beeline, MTS, and Megaphone. I picked Beeline (just because it was recommended to me by the cell phone sales girl) and was always satisfied with it. - Sep 12, 2008
You can buy local cell phones with SMS cards. Service is reliable. - Aug 25, 2008