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Thailand

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SIM cards and top-ups are available widely in Thailand from the major carriers (the big three: AIS, dtac and True Move H) as well as a number of smaller 'boutique' provides that lease government bandwidth and equipment or MVNO (such as iMobile). Purchase of a new sim card/number is easy, and can be done at operator's shops and any 7-11 as well as at many airport kiosks. In the Southernmost regions, registration and the production of ID (such as passport for non-Thais) may be required.

Concerns for all providers

All of the big three operators do stock all SIM card sizes from normal, microSIM to nanoSIM. Normally the microSIM card can be popped out from the normal SIM card but the nanoSIMs are often sold separately. It is advised that you request to the staff that you want which SIM card size before you buy.

All of the operators also allow data tethering. All of them treat all data going through their network equally therefore your plan would include tethering by default to be used and shared to your other devices. If you are using an iPhone, you may need to perform a network reset or a carrier update for the mobile tethering option to appear.

If you choose to visit the big three stores yourself, you can often ask them for a suggestion of which SIM card or plan to get if you are unsure about your decision. Tell them how long you are visiting Thailand and how much data you would be using. If you plan to make local phone calls as well, please do tell them so they would give you a SIM card that is not data-only.

dtac and True Move H are the two networks that offer prepay 7-Day Tourist SIMs that include unlimited data and 100 Baht credit to be spent on local calls and texts. Scroll below for more details.

In Thailand, all wireless communication devices must be sold in an unlocked state by law. However, certain devices sold are only working for some networks due to network incompatibility (see below).

Network CompatibilityEdit

(updated November 2013) Over the past two years there have been massive changes to all the major operators' networks and coverage due to the shift to newly auctioned mobile spectra. Before you purchase any SIM cards, please make sure that the network you are choosing are compatible with your smartphones or devices. It is also worth mentioning that the big three networks now have separate networks operating on more than one set of frequencies. It is unlikely that these networks would sell SIM cards for their older networks. But if you happen to use their older SIM cards, you would not be able to connect to their newer 3G or LTE networks. Operators' new SIM cards usually would roam back to their older networks once you are out of their coverage area (i.e. rural) and you may not not get full 3G speeds whilst on roaming.

Operator New networks Old networks
AIS
  • AIS 3G (2100 MHz HSPA)
  • TH GSM (900 MHz EDGE)
  • TH GSM (900 MHz HSPA)
  • TH GSM 1800 (1800 MHz 2G)
dtac
  • dtac Trinet (2100 MHz HSPA)
  • TH-DTAC (850 MHz HSPA)
  • TH-DTAC (1800 MHz EDGE)
True Move H
  • TH 3G+ (850 MHz HSPA)
  • True 3G+ (2100 MHz HSPA)
  • True 3G+ (2100 MHz LTE)
  • TRUE (1800 MHz EDGE)











AISEdit

(updated November 2013)

AIS is known to have the largest network in the nation with the largest number of users. Their prepaid products are called 1-2-Call. Where possible, make sure with the staff that you want an "AIS 3G 1-2-Call" because some 1-2-Call SIM cards are for their older 2G networks.

AIS is part of the larger SingTel telecommunications companies that also own Optus in Australia and SingTel in Singapore.

Where to buyEdit

You can get their SIM cards from almost everywhere but if you prefer you can obtain it directly from their stores which are sometimes called Telewiz

Their “Serenade” stores serve only their high spending customers who are with them for a longer period and most likely would not sell a prepay SIM card but they should, in theory, serve you or at least guide you to the right store.

Data Packages Edit

Their internet prepay SIM cards are called the Freedom 3G NETSIM and they come in different varieties such as NETSIM, MICRO NETSIM and UNLIMITED NETSIM. They all cost 50 Baht (USD 1.6) each and the only difference between each of them is what you get from the first 50 Baht that comes with the SIM. To simply put: it does not really matter which of the NETSIM you need to buy. Here are the available packages which you will have to purchase once you have already topped up enough money into your account. The top-up can also be done at any convenience stores such as 7-Elevens or you can just do this at their own stores.

For the unlimited internet plans below, you get connection at full speed for a certain amount of data, then your speed will be capped at the stated fair use policy (FUP) maximum speed which is varied respective to the plan you choose (but you can use them as much as you like, they are unlimited after all).

For the plans that include Wi-Fi, you must first obtain your username and password by dial 388#88# and then you can connect any of your device (can be your laptop or a tablet) to any AIS Wi-Fi or 3BB Wi-Fi nationwide. The Wi-Fi usage is unlimited.

Packages Price Data Wifi

Number to dial

to register

NET 99 99 Baht 90 MB - *777*330#
NET 199 199 Baht 300 MB - *777*331#
Unlimited 399 399 Baht 1GB then FUP at 64kbps Included *777*399#
Unlimited 599 599 Baht 2GB then FUP at 128kbps Included *777*322#
Unlimited 799 799 Baht 4GB then FUP at 256kbps Included *777*334#

For all these plans:

  • National calls to landlines and mobile are 1.50 Baht per minute
  • SMS: 3 Baht per message
  • MMS: 6 Baht per message
  • Excessed data for the NET 99 and NET 199 or in case you have not subscribed to any of these packages yet are 1.50 Baht per MB.

Source: AIS 1-2-Call

dtacEdit

(updated November 2013)

dtac is Thailand's second largest network by the number of users. It is partly owned by Telenor group from Norway and is the network that owns the biggest wireless bandwidth in the country. Its new network branding is called Trinet (a network that operates on three different frequencies) and its prepay brand is Happy

Where to buyEdit

You can get their SIM cards from almost any shop including the airports, but if you prefer you can obtain it directly from their stores. You can also find the Tourist SIM on Amazon.com .

7-Day Tourist SIM Edit

dtac also sells SIM cards with 7-day validiy and unlimited data for only 300 Baht (USD 10). The SIM card is called Happy Tourist SIM 299. It comes with 100 Baht credit to be spent on domestic calls and texts. Calls are 1.25 Baht per minute and texts are 3 Baht per domestic SMS and 5 for international. Excess data (after the first 7-day free internet periods is expired) is charged at 10 Baht per MB.

Data Packages Edit

You can simply get any of their prepaid SIM cards. It almost does not matter which one you get as long as it is the prepaid Happy on Trinet SIM cards. The SIM card would cost you 49 Baht (USD 1.6) and include very little value you can use (similar to AIS above). You are expected to top up almost immediately to be able to make long calls and use data.

For the unlimited internet plans below, you get connection at full speed for a certain amount of data, then your speed will be capped at the stated fair use policy (FUP) maximum speed which is varied respective to the plan you choose (but you can use them as much as you like, they are unlimited after all).

For the plans that include Wi-Fi, you must first obtain your username and password by dial *4000# and then you can connect any of your device (can be your laptop or a tablet) to all DTAC Wi-Fi hotspots. The Wi-Fi usage is unlimited.

Unlimited Packages Price Data Wifi

Number to dial

to register

49 Day-Pass 49 Baht 150 MB then FUP at 128kpbs - *104*29#
199 Week-Pass 199 Baht 1GB then FUP at 384kbps - *104*28#
399 Month-Pass 399 Baht 1.5GB then FUP at 128kbps - *104*21#
650 Month-Pass 650 Baht 3GB then FUP at 384kbps Included *104*23#
890 Month-Pass 890 Baht 5GB then FUP at 384kbps Included *104*22#

And the following are the data-based plans (not unlimited). If you finish your data, then you would be charged per every excess MB.

Data-based Packages Price Included Data Validity

Number to dial

to register

49 Baht  49 Baht 75 MB 7 days *104*252#
79 Baht 79 Baht 200 MB 7 days *104*253#
199 Baht 199 Baht 500 MB 30 days *104*26#
349 Baht 349 Baht 1.5 GB 30 days *104*254#
549 Baht 549 Baht 2 GB 30 days *104*255#

For all these plans:

  • National calls to landlines and mobile are 0.99 Baht per minute
  • SMS: 1 Baht per message
  • MMS: 5 Baht per message
  • Excess data: 2 Baht per MB
  • To see remaining data, dial: *101*4#

Source: dtac smartphone SIM , dtac data packs

True Move HEdit

(updated November 2013)

True Move H is Thailand's third largest network. They were the first provider in to bring 4G LTE to Thailand despite limited coverage. They are part of the larger True Corp conglomerates, which is also owned by CP Group which owns 7-Eleven and Tesco stores in Thailand.

One thing you should know is that True Move and True Move H are two different networks (but they are both owned by the same company). True Move is no longer allowed to sell their new SIM cards as their license to operate has come to an end. Customers from the existing True Move networks are being transferred to the new True Move H. 

Where to buyEdit

You can get their SIM cards from almost everywhere but if you prefer you can obtain it directly from any of the True Corp stores (including True Online and True Visions stores).

7-Day Tourist SIM Edit

True Move H also sells SIM cards with 7-day validiy and unlimited data for only 300 Baht (USD 10). The SIM card is called the 3G Tourist INTER SIM . It comes with 100 Baht credit to be spent on domestic calls and texts. Calls are 1 Baht per minute and texts are 2 Baht per domestic SMS and 5 for international. After the included bundle has expired, then you can buy normal top-up packs below. 

Data Top-UpsEdit

You can simply get any of their prepaid SIM cards. It almost does not matter which one you get as long as it is the prepaid SIM cards. The SIM card would cost you 49 Baht (USD 1.6) and include very little value you can use (similar to AIS and dtac above). You are expected to top up almost immediately to be able to make long calls and use data.

For the unlimited internet plans below, you get connection at full speed for a certain amount of data, then your speed will be capped at the stated fair use policy (FUP) maximum speed which is varied respective to the plan you choose (but you can use them as much as you like, they are unlimited after all).

For the plans that include Wi-Fi, you must connect to the @TRUEWIFI hotspots (not the .@ TRUEWIFI) and then log-in using your phone number. You must also log out after you finish.

Data Top-Up Packages Price Data Validity

Number to dial

to register

Net 49 49 Baht Unlimited with FUP (160MB) 1 day *900*3302#
Net 249 249 Baht Unlimited with FUP (1GB) 7 days *900*3324#
Net 399 399 Baht Unlimited with FUP (1GB) 30 days *900*3339#
Net 599 599 Baht Unlimited with FUP (2GB) 30 days *900*3359#
Net 799 799 Baht Unlimited with FUP (3GB) 30 days *900*3379#
Net 899 899 Baht Unlimited with FUP (5GB) 30 days *900*3389#

And the following are the data-based plans (not unlimited). If you finish your data, then you would be charged at 1 Baht per MB.

The Unlimited x3 SIMEdit

Another option at True Move H is to get the Unlimited SIM which includes unlimited data, calls within True Move H network from 05:00-17:00, texts within True Move H network and WiFi hotspots. If you cannot find this particular SIM card, you can head over to any True shop to get your plan switched to the Unlimited 3x. The FUP internet speed cap is at 128Kbps for all plans.

Unlimited Packages Price

Full speed data (then

unlimited at 128Kbps)

Validity

Number to dial

to renew

Unlimited x3 Daily 49 Baht 160 MB then FUP 1 day *900*3401#
Unlimited x3 Weekly 99 Baht 160 MB then FUP 7 days *900*3402#
Unlimited x3 Monthly 299 299 Baht 500 MB then FUP 30 days *900*3403#
Unlimited x3 Monthly 399 399 Baht 1 GB then FUP 30 days *900*3404#

Once these plans expire but you still have credits left on your account, the charges are:

  • National calls to landlines and mobile are 0.75 Baht per minute
  • SMS: 2 Baht per message
  • MMS: 5 Baht per message
  • Excess data: 1 Baht per MB

Source: Unlimited x3 SIM

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