Practical Life in Bangkok

Mobile Phone in Bangkok

Home > Expat Guides > Asia > Thailand > Bangkok

Thailand has a good mobile phone network, and there is good coverage particularly in Bangkok and other major cities. Mobile phone shops in Bangkok are everywhere! Mobile phone signals are usually strong, particularly in Bangkok.

Mobile phones are called precisely that in Thailand, along with smartphone or iphone. The term cell phone will generally not be recognised.

If you intend to purchase a mobile phone in Bangkok, then be aware that unlike many other countries, the full cost of the phone is expected unlike the UK where a new make or model is often provided free in exchange for signing up to a lengthy contract. There are good deals to be found at places like MBK. Whilst not to tar everyone with the same brush, please be mindful of the phrase if something is too good to be true, then it probably is.

Mobile Phone Providers in Thailand

There are three GSM mobile service providers:

Mobile Phone Contracts in Thailand

Typical contracts are for 1 year, but are not difficult to break should you need too. Most service providers need to see a work permit, but DTAC only requires a passport and a credit card.

As with most countries, different price plans are available. There are some basic points you need to consider for choosing the right deal.

  • Personal Use: Evaluate how much you use the phone, when, where you are calling, how often you use short message services (SMS), if you use the phone abroad, etc.
  • Coverage: Most important if you live in a remote place or regularly using the mobile while traveling in the countryside as most companies offer decent coverage.
  • Fees & Rates: Each operator offers several different plans and options. Investigate the plans carefully and evaluate your needs.

Pay-As-You-Go in Thailand

If your mobile phone is unlocked then it is possible to buy a prepaid sim which is available from most phone outlets at shopping malls. This can then be topped up at 7-11s and Family Marts.

Check the GSM operator's website (see above) to see whether your mobile is compatible.

If your sim card is locked then many of the mobile phone outlets at MBK and Khao San Road should be able to unlock it for you.

Alternatively, there are many cheap mobile phones which you could buy at MBK to use as a pay as you go phone.

Take care with pre-paid sims however. Many which grant access to the internet over their EDGE or 3G network charge for time and not bandwidth which can quickly drain credit.

Phone directory: Yellow Pages Thailand

Related article: Landline phone in Thailand

Update 15/09/2013


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Addthis

Recommended Service Partners

International Movers
International Movers in Bangkok
Compare up to 5 quotes from our network of moving companies that can help you plan your international move and relocate your entire family.
Expatriate health insurance
Expatriate health insurance in Thailand
Apply online for free quotes on repatriation assistance and expatriate and foreign health insurance.
Hotels in Thailand
You will get discount hotel rates, last-minute deals, hot deals, special offers, with a real-time reservation and on-line booking.

Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.

Go to the Forum to talk more about mobile phone in Bangkok, practical life.

Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).