Internet and phone service

One of the main things I forgot to ask about was how is the internet service there are their restrictions on what is available to access and how is the phone service as well I have Verizon international calling or do I have to find a provider there for service?

Hi Buddy,

Which country are you talking about?

Saigon

Every apartment building has internet and it's free to the tenants.  Unless you plan to work from home and require very fast Internet, it should be crossed off your list.

Since you're not firm on the length of your stay yet, it's best to bring your unlocked cell phone and buy a prepaid SIM here, or buy a prepaid dumb phone that you can either discard later, or keep for emergency.  Once you know exactly the amount of activities you need monthly, then you can switch to other options.

Install Viber, WhatsApp, Tango, Zalo, etc. on your unlocked cell phone/other mobile devices and ask your family and friends in the States to do the same on theirs so y'all can call each other for free.  Remember that you should only use those apps wherever wifi is available (which is almost everywhere).  If you use it when your phone is switched to cellular, it'll eat up your data very quickly.

My dear old man,

Try to by the SIM card from Vietnamobile. Local calling is very cheap here and this mobile provider is offering free data now

http://www.vietnamobile.com.vn/

So then I take it that my phone service I have now Verizon won't work over there and that I need to buy a sims card in order to use my phone

You should try first. If the Verizon Sim card doesn't able to roaming then you buy a new SIM card. It's very cheap here. The SIM card is less than 4 USD. May be you can get just 1.5 USD per sim card.

You can find the SIM card almost on every street or you can go to the Vietnam mobile branch to buy it

Which part of HCM will you stay? I can assist you to look for branch of Vietnammobile

supertaper :

So then I take it that my phone service I have now Verizon won't work over there and that I need to buy a sims card in order to use my phone

Verizon Travel Pass works in VN, but it's $10/day.  It's much, much cheaper to buy a Vietnam SIM.

Ciambella is right. You should buy SIM card in Vietnam. The one I gave you which offers free call with same mobile network, so you can call all day long till you can't talk. It still charges zero

If you have a phone with 2 sim slots, what I do is buy a Vietnamese data only Sim, about 4 dollars for 8 GB.  Then you will have the Verizon number in case some one calls, but then have access to data for using what's app or whatever other communication service you use that requires data.  But like others have said, almost every shop you enter will have free WiFi, but I like the convenience of being able to use data if I need Google maps or something else while driving.
Hope this helps.

Am going to be staying at the Thep Moi Street, Tan Binh District at the Hung Anh Hotel are you familiar with the area seems like a nice area from what could see and what I read got a nice big room with a balcony with a view of the city

Thanks to all you guys for all the info about phone service there it will definitely make my trip easier now knowing what to do first thing about the phone if any of you guys happen to be in the area give me a call and I'll buy you a beer for your help and pick your brain about other things as well have a good one
***

Here is my experience.

I arrived at Airport in HCM Jan 16, 2018 and bought Mobilfone Sim card. I told them that I wanted one month unlimited call, text, and internet without interruption. The agent agreed,  charged me, and I paid. I trusted him.

I called contacts within the same network only, and turned off data when I was at restaurants, hotels, and places that had wifi. After five days, I could not call, text, or browse internet. Mobilfone terminated my services. Why? I was shocked.

I received some text messages in Vietnamese before mobilfone disconnected my services, but I couldn't understand what the texts meant.

I bought additional one month service from mobilfone but a lady advised me to call and text only if I wanted services until I departed.  Use data on wifi in hotels, restaurants, and other public places, she said. Was that safe? Well, I agreed and had services until I flew back to US couple weeks later.

So, I advise you to buy the other phone service that allows you unlimited calls, texts, and data. And ensure this is true without interruption before you pay. I hate service interruption, an experience I wanted to avoid, yet I had it because the agent at the airport lied that I had unlimited service.

Those who sell SIM cards and taxi rides at the airport are obtrusive, annoying, rude and they selling overpriced. Simple ignore.

If possible buy in your country roaming data packets for the first hours in Vietnam and go to a phone shop after you checked in the hotel.

The Vietnamese SIM card you can also use for the next trip to Vietnam.
You must only top-up a little every month by a global internet top-up service (e.g. recharge.com). Otherwise the card is disabled  after the validity date.
When you arrive in Vietnam next time, you can load a new data package by SMS or USSD command.

some sites are allowed you topup the card with cheaper price such as
https://www.sendo.vn/tien-ich/nap-tien/
&
https://www.lazada.vn/
but you should have the local money in the local ATM card without that you pay via visa or master will be charged of conversion rates

My dear old man,

This will be very helpful for you. The store from Vietnammobile is next to your hotel with the address as So 292,78 Nguyễn Bá Tuyển, Phường 12, Tân Bình, Hồ Chí Minh

VMM store address

thanks, that should be first on the shopping list.

SMS should work also with data SIM.
I think whether you can add also call services depends on the provider and the SIM card.
I only know, that the data SIM ezCom from VinaPhone can not used for calling.
Install the Mobifone app, check which SIM card you have and have a look to the Mobifone website. Or go to a Mobifon shop. Near the Saigon Post office is a big Mobifone shop.

Thank you for the link.

I can send and receive SMS and receive phone calls with my ezCom Data SIM from VinaPhone. But I can't call other people.

This is a similar link:
https://blog.christinas.vn/mobile-in-saigon/

Yes, Verizon is cost prohibitive.
I pay about $10US per month for calls and data, though most of my data is via WiFi

Others above have described it well. Make very sure yosur phone is UNLOCKED.

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