December 10, 2018

Video #24 | February 22, 2018

In this video I’m going to look at how to buy a prepaid Thai sim card, also known as a tourist sim, in Bangkok.

The video will be broken down into 4 sections:

– Before you arrive.
– The first option to buy a sim card in Bangkok.
– The second option to buy a sim card in Bangkok.
– Which is the best Thai sim card to buy?



Click on the following link to check out more on Important Advice For New Visitors.

#VIDEO TRANSCRIPT#

Welcome to the twenty-forth video of Bangkok Unmasked! The YouTube channel that helps you get the most out of your visit to Bangkok city! If you’re new here, please consider subscribing! In this video I’m going to look at how to buy a prepaid Thai sim card, also known as a tourist sim, in Bangkok.

Let’s get started…

If you’re going to be in the city for any length of time you’ll need to buy a prepaid Thai sim card. I’m an internet addict, so being offline is quite out of the question. Email, Line, Whatsapp, and Skype aren’t just nice to have. They’re a must have! I think for most Bangkok visitors it’s worth buying a sim card simply to have access to Google maps!

Before you arrive

Before you arrive in Thailand you need to find out if your phone is locked or unlocked. If your phone is locked you won’t be able to use a Thai sim card in your phone. Did you pay $500 or more for your smartphone? If so it’s almost certain that it’s unlocked, and you’ll be fine.

What to do if my phone is locked?

One option is to buy a cheap unlocked phone before you arrive in Thailand. The other option is a pocket WiFi [or MiFi] device. This gives your smartphone an internet connection to use all features except voice and SMS.

The first option to buy a sim card in Bangkok!

In Suvarnabhumi Airport, there are several places to buy a Thai SIM card. The best spot is the Operator’s kiosks after you exit customs. This is right outside of the International gates where people hold up signs. There are kiosks for all of Thailand’s main mobile operators; DTAC [blue], AIS [green] and TrueMove [red].

An important note:

The Thai NBTC [which is the Office of The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications] is now enforcing that all SIMs are registered to a user. To do this the staff will take a photo of your passport and upload it to the NBTC servers from inside their smartphone app.

Tourist SIM Thailand

The base option is an unlimited internet for 8 Days and THB100 of calls and SMSs. There are also other options like 15 and 30 day packages. The SIM card is tri-cut. This means that it’ll fit in all cell phone SIM card slots i.e. nano, micro and standard.

Below are the current options to buy a Thai sim card. [This information is as of February 2018].

TrueMove

8 Day Pass 299 Baht – Thailand 4G+ Tourist Sim
– 4G Non-Stop Internet [Max Speed for 3GB] – Free Social Messaging
– Free WiFi
– 100 Baht credit for calls and text.

15 Day Pass 599 Baht – Thailand 4G+ Tourist Sim
– Non-Stop Internet
– 4G Speed 8GB
– Free WiFi
– 50 Baht credit for calls and text.

AIS

Purple package 299 Baht – Traveller Sim
– 8 days – Unlimited Internet [Max speed up to 3GB] – 100 Baht Credit [30 day validity] – Call home starts from 1 Baht/minute

Blue package 599 Baht – Traveller Sim
– 15 days – Unlimited Internet [Max speed up to 6GB] – 100 Baht Credit [30 day validity] – Call home starts from 1 Baht/minute

DTAC

Purple package 199 Baht – Happy Tourist
– 7 days – Unlimited Internet [500 MB at max speed] – Free call in group
– Special international call rate via 004

Yellow package 299 Baht – Happy Tourist
– 8 days – Unlimited Internet [3GB at max speed] – 100 Baht Credit
– Unlimited calls among Happy Tourist SIM 299 users
– Special international call rate via 004

Green package 599 Baht – Happy Tourist
– 15 days – Unlimited Internet [6GB at max speed] – 100 Baht Credit
– Special international call rate via 004

The second option to buy a sim card in Bangkok!

If you’re not able to get a SIM card in the airport, no problem. Every 7-11 in the city carries TrueMove SIM cards and Top Up Credit. And 7-11’s are on literally every street corner! Like in the airport you’ll be asked for ID in order to register the telephone number. A note; 7-11 is owned by the CP Group who also own True Corporation – that’s the company behind TrueMove.

You can also go to FamilyMart to buy an AIS Traveller Sim. While FamilyMart not as common in Bangkok as 7-11, they have a solid presence in most of the tourist areas outside Bangkok.

Another important note:

You can either recharge your phone’s credit in either 7-11/FamilyMart, or online. DTAC and TrueMove allow you to add extra credit to your SIM card through their websites. I’ll include the URLs in this video’s description.

So…Which is the best Thai sim card to buy?

The short answer is that there isn’t really a ‘best option’. All three operators have pros and cons. With that said, if you’re in Bangkok, their signal and 3G coverage is pretty much the same everywhere in the city.

With this said, the latest OpenSignal.com report stated the following. Quote.

TrueMove dominates our 4G speed and availability awards

Winning three of our six awards outright, TrueMove was definitely the operator to beat in our speed and availability categories. It provided our users with an LTE signal more than 90% of the time, and it had fastest 4G download speeds in our user tests.

Excellent LTE availability for all

While TrueMove won our 4G availability award a clear 8 percentage points ahead of its nearest rival, all three major operators excelled in the category. AIS users were able to access a 4G signal 82% of the time and even third-placed DTAC provided our testers with LTE signal access 75% of the time, according to our results.

DTAC rates highest in network responsiveness

Our two latency metrics showed DTAC as clear winner in both 4G and 3G responsiveness. Our users experienced delays of only 33.6 milliseconds on DTAC’s 4G network and 70.4 ms on the its 3G networks.

This awards table in the OpenSignal.com report clearly shows TrueMove has the advantage! They win awards in the following categories; Download Speed: 4G, Download Speed: 3G, Download Speed: Overall and Availability: 4G.

Check out the link under this video to geek out on the ‘State of Mobile Networks in Thailand’! Also if you’re heading to a specific area outside of Bangkok, go to OpenSignal.com and zoom in on your destination to find the best provider. [It might be that either DTAC or AIS is better choice on certain islands for example].

Anyway…That’s it for this video. I hope that helps answer all your questions on; ‘How to buy a prepaid Thai sim card in Bangkok?’ Expect a new video shortly. It should be posted in about a week, or so.

For all you techies out there, this video was shot on a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, and edited using HitFilm Express.

Finally, please don’t forget to subscribe to this channel through the button below! Also, if you have any comments on this VLOG post, please do write something in the comments section!

Thank you very much for watching. I’ll see you next week. Goodbye.

jamesnardell

View all posts

Add comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.