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Mobile phones in Thailand

If you have a mobile phone on a GSM network with international roaming enabled by your provider, you will be automatically using either AIS or DTAC or TrueMove in Thailand. You can easily make local or international calls with your mobile phone.

For those without a handphone, it may be a good idea to buy a handset which costs as low as 1,000 B (~ US$30). A second hand hand phone can cost you lower. You can easily get a SIM card from either of the providers for as low as 50 B which will give you probably about 15 B of calling credit. You will then need to get top up cards form the providers or from any 7-11 store. The top up cards are 100 B, 200 B or 500 B. The AIS 1-2-call and DTAC’s Dprompt Happy are the most common.

You can find many phone stores all over Bangkok, but you will find many of them in MBK (Mah Boon Krong), which is opposite Siam Square (or near the National Stadium if you are getting there via the BTS). There are literally hundreds of stores, selling handphones, brand new or second hand. This is the handphone paradise, you can get practically every form handphone, hand phone accessory and even various hand phone service, such as unlocking your phone or reprogramming your phone.

Local call rates

Generally, they are 3 B per minute, but some providers have promotions where you get discounts if you call during a certain period of the day, and some may charge you say, 5 B for the first minute, and 1 B for the subsequent minute.

SMS (Short Message Service) are normally 3 B for local messages, and 9 B for international messages. Again, there various promotions where local SMSes are 2 B per message or in some cases, you can get 30 SMS free during activation.

To get the latest promotions please check the following websites


How to dial a Thai phone number

The country code for Thailand is 66. All numbers begin with a 0, for example for a land line in Bangkok, it will be something like this: 0-2271-7171. A mobile phone number will look something like this 081-234-5678. If you are dialing within Thailand, you would just dial the numbers as shown. If you are dialing from another country say, from the US, you simply dial your international access code + country code for Thailand and the given number without the first 0. In the above example it would be 011-66-2271-7171 (for a Bangkok land line) or 011-66-81234-5678 (for a mobile phone number).

If you are using a mobile phone, just dial with the “+” which will automatically use the country’s international access code. Again, using the above numbers, it would look like this: +66-2271-7171 or +66-1234-5678.

How to top up your prepaid account

Using AIS's 1-2-Call as an example, you just need to purchase a top-up card from a mobile phone vendor or from any 7-11 store. They sell them in 50 B, 100 B, 300 B or 500 B values. To top up your account, simple use a coin to scratch off the metalic paint to reveal the special code. Then just press the following numbers on your mobile phone:

* 120 * special code #

and finally press the dial button on your phone (usually the green phone symbol). If that is done correctly, you will normally get a message from the system almost immediately informing you of your available balance.



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