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4G wifi on the beach

How To Be Online Anywhere In Thailand

According to a report released by the digital marketing firm “We Are Social” there are 97 million registered mobile phone connections in Thailand, of which 75% are broadband (3G or 4G) enabled. The number of active mobile internet users currently stands at 17.7 million, or around 27% of the entire population and the average Thai (with mobile internet connectivity) spends just under 4 hours every day online. As internet capable smartphones are becoming more and more available in Thailand the demand is insatiable.

From experience, I would say the 3G internet services offered by operators in Thailand are fairly decent when compared to others nearby and most Western countries. During my first few months in Thailand I relied solely on a prepaid 3G mobile internet package offered by AIS 3G.

The basic 500 baht/month package got me unlimited speeds with a 1Gb data limit. A nice feature was that even if I exceeded the 1Gb threshold, browsing would still be possible (albeit unbearably slow). Still fast enough for social media & email apps though so not completely useless. It’s convenient and reliable, with quick access wherever there’s mobile reception and I found it especially handy on whilst travelling on ferries or overland.

A 1Gb data limit is however no match for browsing “full” websites (tethering a laptop to your phone and using its 3G connection). I tethered my laptop to my phone on a couple of occasions for work purposes when up in Isaan and soon used up my whole data package. I was then restricted to buying 150Mb “top-ups” at 150 baht each until the month rolled over and my phone was billed another 500 baht, quite expensive when it all adds up!. An alternative had to be found and it came in the form of AIS 3G’s “Pocket Wifi” device.

The “Pocket Wifi” device is a simple 3G modem and provides you with your very own private WiFi connection wherever you are (granted there’s a strong enough mobile phone signal). The device comes in 2 speeds & I opted for 21.6Mbs, more than enough for checking emails, browsing and light streaming. This came at a price of 1,600 baht and I chose the prepaid (1-2-Call! SIM) version. Like the prepaid 3G internet, you have a choice of multiple monthly data plans and I opted for 4 GB for 400 baht/month, more than enough for emails, browsing and some light streaming. Set up was quick and simple, all done in-store and I had the device up and running within minutes.

In the long run, if you intend on travelling and need constant access to the internet then a portable 3G modem is the way to go. You could get by with prepaid mobile internet but when tethering your phone to your laptop, the 3G modem is definitely more cost effective. 3G internet in Thailand has been made to cater to the masses, and without a doubt its main use here is social media. This means it’s cheap to connect to, but expensive (compared to a fixed WiFi connection) if you want to use it for much else. All in all I’d say I’m fairly satisfied with the quality of mobile internet available in Thailand. Mobile phone signal can be found virtually anywhere and it works in a pinch, albeit considerably more expensive than a WiFi connection. If you’re going to stay put in a place for a while, you might want to re consider 3G as your primary internet source but it may quickly become your best friend if you’re travelling around.

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Thailand Sim Card

With a Prepaid SIM card for Thailand, you can be reached on your mobile phone and make cheap data or voice calls to the US from Thailand without racking up without international roaming charges.

Why Get A Thai SIM?

  • Save on roaming charges – You will spend more in one day of roaming charges, than the cost of the Thai SIM Card
  • Low cost 3G and Calling – Thailand has some of the cheapest rates in the world for 3G and calling. Take advantage of it.
  • Safety –  Easily make local calls to your hotel, taxi or emergency contact in Thailand.

 

Thailand Sim Card

Thailand Sim Card

Which SIM do I get?

There are 3 networks to choose from, but we are recommending the DTAC Happy Tourist SIM specifically for the tourist market, and here’s why:

  • DTAC has the best English language support. 
  • The SIM is preloaded with credit, so you can use right away. 
  • DTAC is cheaper with equal 3G speed quality

 

Where to get a Thai SIM?

You can get a Thai SIM when you arrive in Thailand in most major airports.   If you want to be completely prepared, the SIM we recommend is on Amazon with 1 Day shipping available.

 

Tourist Sim Card Features

  • 7 days unlimited 3G Internet – after the 7 days, sign up for a 3G package OR pay 10 thb / MB
  • Dual cut SIM is both Micro and Regular sized (sorry, not a nano sim for iPhone 5 users)
  • Valid for 35 days after activated – once you add minutes, you’ll get more validity days
  • 100 Baht of calling credit
  • No registration requirements
  • Free incoming calls and SMS
  • Instant activation
  • Pay as you go
  • Credit preloaded, no need to first add credit
  • Use anywhere in Thailand

Do I need an unlocked phone?

YES!  If you have a locked compatible GSM phone, you can easily unlock it. To do so, visit www.unlockingcodesforphones.com

Where can I add minutes to may pay as you go plan?

You can add credit at any of the 7,210 7-11 stores in Thailand or online with Paypal here.

What are the DTAC 3G packages I can choose from?

There are daily, weekly and monthly unlimited packages to choose from. You can check out  dtacmobileinternet.com .

Where can I see international calling rates.

Calling rates using the 004 service are here.