If you follow this blog on a regular basis, you probably know that I’m traveling for a few months and that I am sharing my experience getting pay-as-you-go plans for my iPhone in every country I visit. So far, I’ve documented my experiences in Australia, New Zealand, Bali, and it is now time to tell you about Thailand.

Before even going to Thailand, I had done a little research on the web about possible options. Turns out that there are only 2 mobile carriers in Thailand. Additionally, I learned that there is no 3G in Thailand as the communication infrastructures to support 3G haven’t been put in place yet.

As soon as we went through the customs at Bangkok airport, I turned on my iPhone, which was still under my Balinese carrier. I received a text message telling me to switch to the Balinese partner in Thailand called DTAC. So I did just this, hoping that I’d be able to get on Edge to at least check my emails. No luck for me. While I was able to make calls, I couldn’t get on the Internet.

Easily enough, there was a DTAC store right inside the airport. I went to the counter and inquired about prices. The guy was super friendly and spoke a better English than I do, which is always nice.

So he told me that for $3 I could buy a SIM card, and that they had various plans for talk time and data. Since I’m more interested in data than talk time, I asked him if it was possible to have unlimited Internet for a month.

dtac

He gave me a pricing sheet that showed me the various options. For unlimited Internet for 30 days, the price was about $30. So I chose this plan and added $10 worth of talk time so we can call hotels and stuff.

In about 5 minutes from the time I walked in to the time I walked out, I had a brand new Thai phone number with unlimited Internet and about 2 hours of talk time. That was without a doubt the most painless experience ever!

Edge is not very fast but I’m used to it now. And to be honest, it feels like Edge in Thailand is as fast as 3G in Bali or Australia.

The coverage is amazing too! We’ve been traveling to remote little islands and I’ve always been able to get coverage. Heck, even on ferries while island hopping, I was still able to tweet and email.

Next stop for us is Cambodia. Hopefully my experience getting a plan for my iPhone there will be as pleasant and easy as it was here in Thailand. To be continued…

  • I would love to go travelling, nice to know the iPhone is keeping up with all the travelling. In a way your probably saving money not going to internet cafes

  • slowhand

    “Next stop for us is Cambodia. Hopefully my experience getting a plan for my iPhone there will be as pleasant and easy as it was here in Thailand.”

    Wouldn’t count on it ;-).
    Hope you’ll prove me wrong, though (mostly for your sake…).
    Continue to have fun on your trip!

  • kucau

    u`ll get worst coverage in cambodia . Come here visit Malaysia and experience the cheapest 3.5G coverage . I pay 44 USD and get 1480 minutes of talktime with 3.5 coverage cap at 5 GB per month. When u exceed the 5GB , they woudnt cut off the data but they will reduce the speed to pre-edge speed. However u will only get this package under business users.

  • bkksurfer

    Thailand does have a 3G service which is being tested right now through the provider True. For approx $20 a month you get unlimited data on its 3G network in selected areas.

  • Allan

    Welcome to Thailand!
    Happy to see you had a nice experience with the mobile system in Thailand.
    One small correction however to your research, there are 5 mobile operators in Thailand + 5 MVNO’s (3G trial in Bangkok)

    You mention DTAC who is the second largest operator.
    AIS is the largest one
    Then there is True move
    Hutch
    Thai Mobile

    No real 3G is avaiable in Thailand at the moment. There are some test around the country where they have boosted a GSM signal.

    Have a nice trip

    • Hello Allan,

      Thank you for correcting me. I guess the information I read online about the amount of carriers was wrong.

      I love Thailand. Too bad we have to leave tomorrow 🙁

      Sebastien

  • adesh

    Great to see you are enjoying the world. BTW nexus one rocks, when are you going to get onboard.

  • @Adesh I will consider buying one when I go back to the States in a few months.

  • Samson

    You can easily get free WiFi everyway in Thailand

  • i was in thailand october 2010, they beginning 3G but i use edge too… I gone to internet with edge and use TomtomThai with iPhone.
    To use data there, you must setting Sim card operator with your iPhone (my operator there, was TrueMove)… Only one thing, after finish to use Data connect, you must stop connexion with sbsetting to not use all your bath sim card :°)

    Thailand is lovely country, use iPhone there, is very nice…

  • Brenda

    So I realize this was posted 2 years ago, but I am going to Thailand this year and am thinking about getting an unlocked iphone 3g (for the camera and the cost) to take with me. Do you think it would still be so easy to travel there with it? Or is it outdated among thai sim carriers/data plans?

  • KC

    What generation was your iPhone?