|Subject||Created||Date page reviewed||Date page updated|
|Calling Home||DEC 2005||21-11-2011||21-11-2011|
Phoning home: If you want to phone home, we recommend you do not use your (home) mobile phone. The roaming charges are very expensive. While Orange used to charge 90 Baht a minute to call home to the UK, you can use your Thai mobile to ring home for 21 Baht per min through your Thai mobile carrier using "+" or "011" or for 7 Baht per min though the "009" access. For the UK, key 009-44-area code (less the leading "0") and the number.
Anyone can buy a mobile over here. There are hundreds of Mobile Phone shops all over town. SIM cards are freely available and you no longer have to show your passport to onbtain one. Simple phones start from under 1,000 Baht or maybe your own phone will take the SIM card. DO NOT get camera phones Unlocked over here as you may lose the camera function. Do it at home should you so wish. We recommend you buy one here instead. Benefit of using a local cheap mobile is if you lose it, it does not matter like losing you "Home" phone.
In Thailand, new mobile are sold UNLOCKED, so you can take them home and use your own SIM card in it. The language will include English but maybe not your home language. They also do Tri-Band phones which will work in the US. Dual and Tri-band work in the EU countries.
You can buy top-up cards at shops and 7-11 stores. Most will enter the code for you. This buys you line rental period and call cost value. If you use it a lot, when putting in call value, you may well give it enough rental credit to keep the number live until your next visit.
I personally prefer DTAC / HAPPY as the "Line Rental" periods and upgrades are more friendly, but up country AIS / One 2 Call will reach places other companies cannot give a signal. Also they also do Internet packages via your mobile. TrueMove is only available in major towns, but expanding rapidly and like back home, do "per second" billing.
There is now a Thai version of 3G in Pattaya and Bangkok, plus some major cities.
All mobiles will accept incoming calls from back home.
Internet cafes: They offer VoIP calls from their PCs.
Kerbside Stalls: They use mobiles and charge a few Baht extra, but saves you buying a mobile here.
Phone Kiosks: There are card operated payphones, such as the yellow Lenco payphones outside shops. Buy a card in the shop where it is located.
Calling Thailand: There are several low cost callers to call Thailand (and other countries) for less than your main telephone company. I use www.telediscount.co.uk to call Thailand from the UK. In October 2011, they were charging 5p per minute to a mobile and 2p to a landline number, with no connection fees. I belive there are now even cheaper companies - do an Internet seach.
Calling within Thailand: Once you make friends, you will find that having a (Thai number) mobile with you has many advantages, in making appointments, confirming tickets, meeting people and general contact. You can save hours hanging around for others by ringing them and sorting out arrangements or changing plans. Your favourite girls can also call you to arrange a meeting. Beware of using your 'home mobile' on roaming, because even if you call within town, it will be charged as an International Call at a high 'per minute' billing rate.