Phones in Thailand

Using phones in Thailand
Updated 2022-05-06 15:06

Once you touch down in Thailand, you will probably want to get a mobile phone with a local Thai SIM so that you can stay connected with your friends and family abroad and keep in touch with your new friends and colleagues in Thailand. Keeping your existing service and using international roaming can cost a fortune, so it is worth having your phone unlocked from your service provider for a small fee before you leave your home country. Then you can get a Thai sim card when you arrive.

Pre-paid and post-paid phones in Thailand

If you are only travelling to Thailand on holiday, you can find tourist-targeted plans for SIM cards and load them at the airport, but they do tend to be more expensive and are only valid for short periods as they have an expiration date, especially for tourist SIM cards. If you are staying for a longer period in Thailand, consider buying a pre-paid SIM from a provider store or booth in a shopping mall, where you can find a flexible range of plans to suit your needs and budget.

SIM cards include call and data packages, and you can top up your phone in any 7-Eleven convenience store, at the provider's store, and even online using your credit and debit cards. A good thing about a pay-as-you-go plan is that you will never be surprised with an enormous bill ' you will simply run out of minutes, texts or data. To ration your data, connect to WiFi networks in restaurants and shopping malls whenever possible. Also contact your plan provider's customer service to request for alerts to be sent to your phone in English, informing you of how much you have left.

Furthermore, if you are staying in Thailand on a long-term basis and have already opened a Thai bank account, your best option — depending on your usage — may be to get a post-paid plan, where you will be billed after use. The main service providers offer packages that are good value for money and should meet your needs. It also has freebies which you can use such as the password for their Free WIFI everywhere.

Phone service providers in Thailand

There are three leading mobile phone providers in Thailand: AIS (also known as One-2-Call), DTAC and True Move. All offer pay-as-you-go deals for short and long-term stays, and provide 3G, 4G and 5G service, although the quality varies depending on the different carriers, location, network upgrades and capacity.

DTAC is considered to be the most expat-friendly in terms of customer service, both True Move and AIS provide a lot of WiFi hotspots across Thailand, which is great for those on a budget.

The different service providers offer different packages at competitive prices. Once you arrive in Thailand and know your priorities and budget, do some research and choose the one that suits you best.

The process

Generally, you will need to bring your passport to purchase a pay-as-you-go SIM card, as almost all of the providers need to register the sim card under your name and passport number. Be sure to ask for a recurring package and make sure that it has been activated before you leave the shop. You should receive a text message informing you as soon as it has been activated.

If you are signing up for a post-paid plan, you will need to show your passport, work permit, and house contract as well.

Service for phones

If you have any issues with your phones such as having the line open for an international SIM card, your phone got wet, and any other issues, do not fret as Thailand has you covered. Below are the places to go to if you face such issues and don't have any idea of fixing it, or maybe the warranty is not in Thailand.

MBK Mall

It is a huge and inexpensive shopping mall located near the National Stadium sky train station. It has dedicated one floor for electronics, which has almost 500 stalls selling and repairing mobile phones at a low price.

Fortune Town

It is quite the same with MBK, and the prices are also low. Fortune mall is known as a place to repair not only phones but also PCs and printers. More like an IT place, it is located near Rama 9 MRT station and is very easy to access.

Pantip Plaza

One of the largest malls famous for Bangkok electronics, it is known as the mother of all IT shops as it has all equipment - from new and used computer accessories, new and used phones, and cheap technical specialists for repairs and upgrades. It is located near BTS Chidlom and on the opposite side of Pratunam.

Useful links:



True Move

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