Phone in Thailand

Sep 16th, 2007, 05:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hanuman-Thanks for the info on the Motorola phones.
The info on the v180 and v220 (at least on ebay) says that they are both a quad band phone and lists all 4 bands. I don't know what to do.
I don't really care if the phones are older since they are new.
I also don't want to wait until I get to Thailand as that really didn't work well for me last year.

I need a phone that will work in both Asia and Europe.
I prefer a clamshell design.
Can anyone recommend a specific model that I can buy in advance?
Kristina is offline  
Sep 16th, 2007, 10:04 PM
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My Nokia 6103 worked fine in Thailand. Clamshell style. I got mine here thru T-mobile and they unlocked it for me. It worked both with a Thai SIM card and on international roaming ($1.49/minute). I think I used it in Hong Kong and Saigon as well, but only on roaming; I didn't buy SIM cards there.

Bob, when do you need a phone for SE ASia? I'd be happy to loan you my other (from India) Nokia phone if your trip doesn't overlap mine, Oct 10-30. It works great in Thailand, and they sell SIm cards everywhere!
lcuy is offline  
Sep 16th, 2007, 10:18 PM
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When in doubt get your information from the horse's mouth -

Click on the "performance features" and you'll get this information:

Performance Features

Talk Time²: Up to 180 - 560 minutes

Bands: GSM 850/900/1900 MHz networks

Standby Time²: Up to 270 - 600 hours

I like the new LG Prada and KU990 as well as the Iphone but non of them are "clam shell" design. If you're are only going to use it outside of the US then get something that can support photographic SMS messaging. I found it very useful and fun sending an instant photo message back to my family when I'm out of town.
Hanuman is offline  
Sep 16th, 2007, 10:34 PM
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One last thing - when buying a phone and especially when buying accessories, like the bluetooth headsets in Thailand, BECAREFUL of counterfeit from China! Very hard to tell the difference even for the packaging and manuals and they might work but not very well and not for long either.


I normally stick to the bigger established shops like Jay Mart even though they are a little bit more expensive.
Hanuman is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 07:30 AM
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Thanks again for the info.
Unfortunately, those phones you've recommended are WAY out of my budget. Would love an iphone though.

I need this phone just for travel, not for use at home (my carrier, Sprint, does not use SIM cards).

I need something basic, but really want Quad band so I'm not limited as to where I can use it.
There are many tri band phones out there, like the Nokia 6103, but they are missing the 900 mhz frequency which might be a problem when I want to use it in Italy next year.
Kristina is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 10:24 AM
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Does this look reputable? Phone price is good -- isn't this the one someone suggested?

glorialf is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 05:18 PM
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no I think that is a tri band and you wanted a quad band similar to this one

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 05:31 PM
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Hawaiantraveler -- thanks. Now if I got this could I get a sim card for it in the states? Or would I have to wait until I got to thailand?

The reason I'm squeamish is I bought a phone for this purpose 2 years ago, took it to thailand and spent half a day going from place to place to get a sim card and they said no way.
glorialf is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 05:39 PM
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you should be able to use your own sim card(if you have a cell in the us)in it...unless you mean a thai sim card. you could check ebay???

That's why I suggested waiting till you get to Thailand, to avoid the squeamish feeling that it won't work. The one you buy there is guaranteed to work and will probably be cheaper. Your choice Makes travel planning exciting!

If you must have a phone # before you leave the US I see these on ebay and seller is good but price is more than buying in bangkok
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 06:19 PM
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So I decided to see what kind of cell phone I currently own and it turns out to be a Motorola V190 which I have thru AT & T. When I googled it it appears to be a quad band or am I crazy? Well, I know I'm crazy so a better question would be could I have this phone unlocked before I go and get an international roaming sim card? And if it doesn't work get something else when I'm there? I assume if I have it unlocked I can have it locked again when I return?
glorialf is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 06:22 PM
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If they will unlock it for you "the world will be your oyster", lol

Yes, have them try lock unlock it for you. You don't want to lock it again as it has no purpose other than limiting your usage options

Good luck!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 08:26 PM
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Yes your phone is a quadband - GSM 800/900/1800/1900. If you can't get it unlock in the States then the boys at MBK can do that for you in Thailand.

This might be worth asking if you do visit MBK - for the past year I have a new Sim card with 2 phone numbers on it. I can switch either number on and off or I can use both simultaneously. I don't know if you will be able to do this with your AT&T and a local Thai number or not but it doesn't hurt to ask. Very inexpensive as well and I think it's very useful.
Hanuman is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 04:56 AM
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Thank you everyone! Now only a few more questions:
1. If I get a sim card in thailand, how much will it cost me to call the states? Approximate is fine-- just trying to figure out how much I would save.
2. If I get the international roaming sim card here if my mother calls me will she be paying for a local call? I gather if she calls me after I get a thai sim card she will be calling thailand.
3. Is there a way that I could get her (she's 86 and lives alone with no other relatives anywhere) something that would make it relatively inexpensive for the two of us to communicate or leave messages?

Thanks again
glorialf is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 12:02 PM
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Gloria, if your phone is on 'roaming", your mother will pay only for a local call. You'll for the international rate. You will also be charged intern'l for any voicemails that happen while your phone is on, so its best to turn off your phone if you don't want ot get bills for those.

Another option is to get a Thai SIM card. Use it for your outgoing calls, then once (or more) a day put back in your US SIM and check your messages. YOu pay, but at least you don't accidentally end up talking to the dry-cleaning guy from home while paying $1.50 a minute!

BTW-When you switch countries, you'll need to buy new SIM cards, but you can usually use up your minutes on the last country's card too. You eat up minutes much faster when you are out of the service area, but since you'll lose them after a certain period of time, might as well use them.

Bottom line-The most cost effective way to do this is to ask your regular cell carrier, ( AT&T?) for a suitable unlocked phone, and set it for roaming. T-miobile give us phones at very low or no cost every other year with our service. Use your new phone at home and abroad.

If the phone does NOT work for any reason in Thailand, just buy a phone there, then ask AT&T to reimburse you when you get home.- for the new phone and the service fees. If they want to keep you as a customer, they'll do this!

No need to ever relock. Locking is only for the carrier's keep you using their service.
If you have the right phone, you can just buy SIM cards as you go, and use them in your phone.
lcuy is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 04:42 PM
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Hi Gloria
I am assuming that your Mum cannot sent text messages or use the internet. I try to ring my Mum about the same time each day so that the need to ring me doesn't arise. Once you get your Thai number sorted out you can give her a ring and give her your number so she has an emergency number. If you think a second phone number might confuse her(out of the question for my Mum)you could take your regular cell phone with international roaming and try to get a second phone for your Thai number. I got my second phone for one of my children as it seems to be the older ones that are OK and they continuosly update to the latest model. We haven't been to Thailand yet but she used it all over Europe and she says it will work.
skittle is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 06:35 PM
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lcuy...i think i want it in october for romania and again in may/june for asia....thanks for the offer but i think its time we had one that works correctly for us....

see you in a couple of weeks....have fun at GTG in HI..
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 19th, 2007, 04:23 PM
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So, someone I know has offered to give me a very used and battered, but functioning, unlocked Motorola RAZR phone. It is a quad band phone.
This should work, right?

Does anyone know if I have to do anything to make it recognize the frequency in Thailand or will it do that automatically?
I've searched the user's manual online, but can't find anything.
Kristina is offline  
Sep 20th, 2007, 06:47 PM
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i requested AT&T to unlock K's phone and they will do this....will send me an e mail with the code in about 10 days....

will we find any pearls in that oyster??
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 09:09 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Hi: I just returned from BKK and I totally agree that buying either a new phone or a used one at MBK is a great suggestion.
I do have a question, how long does a top up card last? 30 days, 60 days? I completely forgot to ask. Many thanks.
pilita is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2007, 03:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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We have T-Mobile & will get them to unlock it, IF we have a quad band phone, but WHERE can we buy a THAI SIM CARD in KHAO LAK?

We will be in Khao Lak (flying directly to HKT from LAX) & I am wondering if they sell Thai SIM cards in KL?

If it turns out we do not have a quad band phone, do they sell PRE PAID cell phones in Khao Lak area?

I know they sell this stuff in BKK, but we're going direct to Khao Lak for 7 nights, then go REP (Cambodia)... for 5 nights.

BTW, will the Thai SIM or prepaid Thai phone work in REP or do we need to buy a SIM there too?

When I say pre paid cell phone, I mean a cheap phone w/ a charger that you buy prepaid minutes on & can add minutes if you need to.

In the US my friends from French Polynesia buy them at Radio Shack...

Advice please.
AskOksana is offline  

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