Phone in Thailand

Nov 23rd, 2007, 03:40 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 173
I spoke to T-Mobile today... they are emailing a code to unlock our two phones. They only do if for customers of 60 days or longer. They told me to insert a SIM card from another company to test it before departure.

But, they said that our phones which are tri-band 1800 mgz will not work with SIM cards from Nextel or Sprint because he said those phones work on a different frequency.

He said that T-Mobile phones will work with Thai SIM cards from either TOTAL ACCESS or TA ORANGE, but not with AIS because they requuire 900 mgz.

They can look all this stuff up for you if you call them. He also said that our phone chargers are for 110 volts & will not work with 220 volts, so in addition to buying a Thai SIM card, we will need to buy 220 volt chargers.

Does anyone know where we can buy Thai SIM cards for Total Access or TA Orange in Khao Lak?

AskOksana is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2007, 03:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,160
Where every your plane land in Thailand just tell the taxi or limo driver to stop some where so you can buy a sim card. If he can't understand English too well just show him your current sim card from T-Mobile and he'll understand.
Hanuman is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2007, 05:53 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 711
There is a brand new service (launched in November) from an Irish company. It is called Max Roam I am going to use it while traveling throughout SE Asia in a couple weeks. Reports are that it is amazing. I'll let you know.

Note: I have nothing at all to do with the company. I just thought it was a great idea. I read about it in David Pogue's Tech column in the NY Times.

What is Maxroam? Tag line: "The sim that doesn't know you are traveling" It is a sim card that allows you to have a US (or UK or any of 50 countries) number for roaming anywhere in the world, but without those absurd prices that ATT and T-Mobile charge. It works in 160 countries where they have roaming agreements. You can have multiple country phone numbers assigned to the same sim card so that no matter where your friends live, they can call you as if it is a local call. For instance, my family can call my US number from the US when I am traveling and not pay anything, as it it a local number. Friends in the UK can call my UK local number that rings the same phone. In Bangkok, the charge to me for those calls into my phone would be something like $0.39/min. Same for my call out to the US or UK. You get a separate text message number and text messages are $0.10 per message.

I bought a new unlocked quad band motorola V188 from for $49 and the MaxRoam sim was around $50. You can add money via the website or have a "top off" plan so you don't have to think about it. (note: I'm for buying a new phone with an unused battery. you can get them so cheap, it really doesn't make sense to risk buying a used one)

Sometime over the next month, Maxroam is launching a handset that will retail for around $99. The great thing is that is is both a quad band phone AND a WiFi phone. So, if you are in an area with WiFi (and most hotel lobbies now have WiFi), you can make calls anywhere in the world for one or two cents per minute. When you are not around WiFi, you pay the normal (low) Maxroam prices.

Downside? You really can't use this phone in the US. The "roam" charges in the US are really high due to what carriers charge to use their networks. However, I don't need this phone in the US, so I don't see that as an issue. I can just keep my "travel" number. You can forward any existing phone to this number as well.

So all this works in theory and the reviews have been great from those who have tried it. I'll let you know when I return how it worked in reality.

PS: if you go to their site and look at "where can I use it" you will see that Thailand is not listed. I thought this was weird since it works in Laos. They said it was an oversight and that Thailand was one of the first countries they had an agreement with and that the card works just fine in Thailand. Again, I'll let you know.
BostonHarbor is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 04:19 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
That sounds like just what I am looking for. Please report back when you use it.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 05:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,160
I have just check the "how much does it cost" page for and I imputed calling from Thailand and calling to the USA and wow it's expensive! For the incoming calls it's Euro 0.66 per minute and that's something that is free if you buy a local sim card.

I advise that you read everything carefully before you decide.
Hanuman is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 06:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,160
I've cut and paste the charges for roaming in Thailand and calling to the USA below:

Incoming Call €0.66
Outgoing Call To Cellular In USA €0.78
Outgoing Call To Landline In USA €0.78
Call To a Local Landline In Thailand €0.73
Call To a Local Cellular Phone In Thailand €0.73
Sending an SMS From Thailand €0.37
Calling Your Voice Mail €0.66
Hanuman is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 07:35 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 711
Hanuman, I was obviously NOT comparing this sim to a sim you would buy in Thailand for goodness sakes. This sim should be compared to ATT or T-Mobile roaming charges. With Maxroam you get a LOCAL number (USA, UK, France or one of 50 other countries.) That is your number forever or as long as you decide.

I have older parents and lots of family. I don't want to keep giving them random Sim numbers I pick up at a 7/11 everywhere I go. I can give them my permanent Maxroam number (I have local numbers for three countries on my sim) and they simply have to make a *local call* and it is FREE TO THEM and a fraction of ATT incoming charges to me. I also have my ATT cell number forwarded to my Sim, so it is exactly like roaming with my ATT phone, but for far less money. I like convienence and if it costs a bit more than getting a new sim and number everywhere I go, then it is worth it to me, but to each their own.

The NYTimes seemed to think it was a good idea for business travelers. Maybe the tourist isn't in their crosshairs.

Anyway, I don't want to get in a fight with you over Maxroam. I don't care about this company, I was just letting people know about it. I will let everyone know how it went through four countries when I return in January.
BostonHarbor is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 07:47 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
I saw the price and it is far more expensive than local but like the original poster I have a very elderly mother and have been worried about giving her a number BEFORE I leave that she can dial easily and without spending hundreds of dollars. basically when we speak it will just be for a minute for two so this might be a good alternative.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 07:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,160
Oh I'm not trying to pick a fight BH, it just sound expensive to me. With your average cell phone nobody really need to remember your phone number just call them once to let them know it's you and they can save the number to your phone contact under your name.

Can't imagine somebody using this sim card while in Thailand to call a local cell number for Euro 0.73 or 36.5 Baht a minute while for a local sim card it will only cost, under the highest fee, 3 Baht a minute. Incoming call and the outgoing international calls are way more expensive than a local sim card as well.

I guess if you can write it off as a business expense then it might make sense and help you pay less tax.
Hanuman is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 07:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,160

By doing that you have commited your self to this rate and you will have to pay this fee for the whole time you're abroad. If you're just going to only use your phone to talk to only your mother then it will make sense.
Hanuman is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
Basically I don't plan on using the phone except for my mother. Everyone else I can communicate with via email.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 26th, 2007, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,120
for guen, cheers.
kuranosuke is offline  
Nov 26th, 2007, 09:49 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,861
Thanks, Kuranosuke! Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  

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