You can now unlock your smartphone, buy pre- and post-paid packages, and use all the travel applications you want to use. You can order a SIM card in advance and pick it up at the airport when you arrive in Thailand. This article on Thai SIM cards will guide you through the process. You can also check simoptions.com/ for more about Thai SIM cards.
Before buying a SIM card
Before you buy a Thai SIM card, make sure your phone is unlocked. You can ask your operator to unlock your phone before leaving. Or you can go to one of MBK’s phone stores and they can do it for you. Or, you can do what I did and unlock it yourself.
Unlocking your phone at home
If you do not have a monthly plan with your mobile phone service, you can ask them to unlock your phone before you travel to Thailand. Each telephone company has a different policy, so check with your supplier.
Unlocking your phone in Thailand
If you can’t unlock your phone at home, you may be able to unlock it in Thailand. You can go to the MBK or Seacon Square or any other computer centre and go to the cell phone kiosks. Someone will be able to help you.
Unlock your phone online
If the methods mentioned above do not work, consult an online service. There are online services that you can find on the internet that manage complaints; they can unlock your phone from any provider.
Tourist SIM cards
Below is a list of Thailand’s cellular service providers and their tourist SIM card packages. Thai tourist SIM cards allow visitors to do the same as Thai residents: surf the Internet, check their emails and social networks send messages, broadcast videos, and even make calls. The difference between tourist SIM cards and monthly SIM cards is that tourist SIM cards expire after thirty days.
In addition, if you use your phone to make international calls, the calls will cost you 1 baht per minute. If you use your phone to make calls in the ASEAN community, calls will cost you between 1.5 and 3 baht per minute, depending on the country you are calling.
Although you can buy the SIM cards mentioned in one of the telephone shops, you can also buy them at the airport kiosks and at 7-11.
There is no major difference between suppliers when it comes to a tourist card. If you don’t want to wait in a long queue by buying it at the airport, do it in advance with Klook and pick it up when you arrive. They also offer a pocket Wi-Fi rental service.
You will need to provide your passport when purchasing a Thai SIM card. The Bureau of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission now requires each tourist to register their SIM card. To do this, the SIM card provider will take a picture of your passport and upload it to the NBTC database via a telephone application.
You can ask your Thai wife, husband or relative to buy a tourist SIM card, but they will need to present their national identity card.
Long-term SIM cards
Whether you get your Thai SIM card in the long term via AIS, DTAC, TrueMove or MY, prepaid and postpaid plans differ in several ways. As the name suggests, you pay for prepaid plans before you use the credit. So, if you recharge your phone with 50 baht, you get 50 baht of credit. Once you have used up all the credit, you must recharge your SIM card if you need to use your phone. But most service providers allow emergency calls.
You pay for post-paid packages at a given price each month. If your package costs 400 baht and you get 400 minutes of credit, and you don’t use all the credit, you always pay 400 baht per month. If you exceed your credit, you will be charged additional fees.
SIM cards and prepaid plans are perfect if you want to control the cost of your phone bill each month. And you will not be bound by a one-year contract either, although it’s available not for everyone. If you use your phone when it is not connected to Wi-Fi to surf the web, use GPS or stream music and videos, this package is not for you. To obtain your prepaid SIM card, you can contact a service provider or 7-11. If 7-11 does not have the package you are looking for, you can always change the package once you purchase the SIM card. With prepaid SIM cards, here’s what you can get.
Purchase of a Thai SIM card
Whether you are in Thailand or at home, you can buy Thai SIM cards. Your first choice is to buy the SIM card before you leave. If you want to buy a Thai SIM card online, visit the sites below.
You can buy a Thai SIM card online. But I prefer to warn you. The price you pay online is sometimes twice the price you pay directly through AIS, DTAC or TrueMove. But if you want to buy a SIM card before leaving your home country, consult SIM Easy and Sim Corner.
Your next choice would be to buy a SIM card as soon as you arrive in Thailand. AIS, DTAC and TrueMove have kiosks at the airport. Just look for their signs.
If you are in Thailand and want to go directly to the mobile phone service provider’s shop, you can also do so. With the exception of My by Cat, the service providers mentioned in this article have stores in all major shopping centres in Thailand. If you find TrueMove, you will probably find AIS and DTAC, and vice versa.
If you have already left the airport and are adventurous in Thailand, you can always get a SIM card. Most 7-11s and Family Marts sell SIM cards. And with more than 10,000 combined locations and 24/7 access, it shouldn’t be difficult to find one. Most Big-C and Tesco have kiosks where you can buy SIM cards from independent vendors.