A Beginners Mobile Phone Guide to Thailand

A Beginners Mobile Phone Guide to Thailand

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In today’s world mobile phones are a must.  When you travel you don’t want to be without your mobile phone.  Thailand has great prices on Mobile phone service to those interested.  Often using your mobile phone from home will be very expensive unless you use a Thailand mobile phone service.   
Not every phone that is used in other countries can be used in Thailand. 
First you should check to see that you phone works on GSM networks. This information should be in the phone’s manual or can be found by Googling the phone and model number.

Next make sure you phone is “unlocked”. Unlocked phones can use different phone networks by replacing the SIM card.  If you are a smartphone user and use internet on your phone make sure that your APN (Access Point Name) is also unlocked. Some mobile phone companies will be sneaky and tell you that your phone is unlocked when it is only the SIM card that is unlocked and APN is still locked.  A phone with unlocked SIM and locked APN can be used for phone calls and SMS/Text messages on the Thai mobile Network, but internet/data would still be charged at based on home phone company’s rates.  Depending on your phone provider and plan, roaming rates can be very significant. 
If your phone is not unlocked you can see if it can be “rooted” or “jailbroken” . Please check your mobile phone carrier’s rules regarding unlocking your phone on your own.  Also be aware that you can break your phone by “bricking” it during the process. Proceed at your own risk!

Once you have and mobile phone that works in Thailand you can buy a SIM card at a variety of shops and also available at the airport.  You can buy the SIM card with a plan or you can buy the SIM card separately.   You can “top-up”/add credit to your phone (depending on plan) at 7/11 stores and also Family Marts.  The phone credits can be purchased at the front check out register. The credits may be in the form of a code on a receipt or a card that you scratch to unhide the credit code. Then you just dial the designated number and enter in the credit code to “top-up”/add credit to your phone.


The major mobile phone carriers in Thailand are True Move, AIS, and DTAC. These carriers will accommodate your SIM card size needs by cutting a regular SIM card to fit micro and nano SIM’s where applicable.


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