Having Mobile Phone in Thailand while traveling has many benefits: being able to check your email; using the maps function to find out where you are and where you’re going; using a free translator app to help you communicate; using the internet to do on-the-go travel research; using it as a camera/video camera; and a million other uses.
However, using mobile phone with your current mobile phone provider will mean huge international roaming rates when using your in Thailand. This is because your phone is constantly connected to the data network when you have international roaming turned on.
Cellphone must be unlocked.
No matter what version iphone /blackberry you have, if your cellphone is locked, you will not be able to use a local Thailand sim card in it. Several countries sell iphones unlocked, so you can skip this step. However, in several countries, including America, all iPhones come locked to a service provider (AT&T in America).
Selecting a Thai Service Provider
There are 3 major providers to choose from in Thailand: DTAC (also known as “Happy”), AIS, and True Move. Each company has some advantages over the others, so do a little research to find out which one you like. I prefer DTAC/Happy, and therefore this guide is based off of my experience with DTAC.
Other Helpful Hints
- Incoming calls are free, so people back home can call you and it won’t cost you anything (and if they use Google Voice, Skype, etc., it will only cost them 3 cents/minute to call your mobile from the USA). For calling home, dial “004” before the country code instead of using “+”. So to call the US, dial 004-1-area code/number, and it costs about 4 baht/minute (as opposed to about 10 baht/minute if you don’t use the 004 code).
- Blackberry Mobile Phone: If you are a Blackberry mobile phone user, because of the security software protocol, the purchase of a local SIM card will restrict calls to Thailand-only. Should you wish to make overseas calls, you must arrange with your country’s local provider to set the phone for international roaming.