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Which pre-paid SIM card to buy?

Which pre-paid SIM card to buy?

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Old Mar 2, 07, 5:55 am
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Which pre-paid SIM card to buy?

Hi,

I will go to Thailand next week for 2 weeks. I need to buy a pre-paid SIM card in order to reduce phone costs. Which company/SIM card do you recommed? I need low international rates (I'm going to call to Denmark) and GPRS for internet access on my laptop.

Thanks
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Old Mar 2, 07, 8:43 am
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its better to buy the international calling card from 7 eleven and call home. It'll be cheaper. Probably cost you about 6 baht a minute or approximately 1 kroner i think.
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Old Mar 2, 07, 5:51 pm
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
Hi,

I will go to Thailand next week for 2 weeks. I need to buy a pre-paid SIM card in order to reduce phone costs. Which company/SIM card do you recommed? I need low international rates (I'm going to call to Denmark) and GPRS for internet access on my laptop.

Thanks
If you have a laptop install SKYPE Internet telephone software, it's free. Also have your friends and family install it on their computers then you can call them and they can call you for FREE. I live here in Thailand and it works great. You can also show real time video. Get a headset with mic and a web cam and your all set.

It is a good idea to get a SIM card anyway so you can use your telephone here in case of an emergency. The 12call card is best as it is owned by AIS which has the largest network.

Have fun,
Randy and Ning
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Old Mar 2, 07, 9:49 pm
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Based on your requirements I'd suggest a pre-paid SIM from 1-2-Call (AIS).

International tariffs are fixed so 22 baht per minute is standard (exclusive of 7% VAT), while eFone rates (accessed using the 009 prefix, so 009 45 for Denmark) are 12 baht per min, from a mobile and 5 baht per min. from a fixed line. In theory using a pre-paid international calling card makes sense if the cost is less than 7 baht per min. and you are using a pay-phone or 02 fixed line.

1-2-Call offers the best GPRS/EDGE coverage in my experience. GPRS/EDGE is 1 baht per minute unless you subscribe to a monthly plan. If you are planning on using GPRS a lot I'd sign up for a monthly plan as it is quite a bit cheaper. A 20 hour plan is 107 baht. GPRS runs ~ 80 Kbps, EDGE to 150 Kbps in practice for me.

A 1-2-Call pre-paid SIM is 250 baht and comes with 50 baht of credit. (Note that there are always sales on SIMs; I've seen them as low as 59 baht presumably for undesireable numbers?

Once you have your SIM dial 1175 and pess 2 to speak with an agent who can set you up with GPRS. You should top up your SIM with say 300 baht to have a balance greater than the GPRS plan.

There are ~ 6 monthly calling plan promotions, which goverrn the cost per min. of on-net/off-net, SMS, time of day. These can be challenging to keep up with. Once you have your 1-2-Call SIM you can dial *777 to listen to, and change, the current promtion(s).


1-2-Call GPRS monthly packages:

3 hrs 30 THB

6 hrs 50 THB

20 hrs 100 THB

100 hrs 350 THB

400 hrs 900 THB
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Old Mar 3, 07, 12:09 am
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Originally Posted by transpac View Post
Based on your requirements I'd suggest a pre-paid SIM from 1-2-Call (AIS).

International tariffs are fixed so 22 baht per minute is standard (exclusive of 7% VAT), while eFone rates (accessed using the 009 prefix, so 009 45 for Denmark) are 12 baht per min, from a mobile and 5 baht per min. from a fixed line. In theory using a pre-paid international calling card makes sense if the cost is less than 7 baht per min. and you are using a pay-phone or 02 fixed line.

1-2-Call offers the best GPRS/EDGE coverage in my experience. GPRS/EDGE is 1 baht per minute unless you subscribe to a monthly plan. If you are planning on using GPRS a lot I'd sign up for a monthly plan as it is quite a bit cheaper. A 20 hour plan is 107 baht. GPRS runs ~ 80 Kbps, EDGE to 150 Kbps in practice for me.

A 1-2-Call pre-paid SIM is 250 baht and comes with 50 baht of credit. (Note that there are always sales on SIMs; I've seen them as low as 59 baht presumably for undesireable numbers?

Once you have your SIM dial 1175 and pess 2 to speak with an agent who can set you up with GPRS. You should top up your SIM with say 300 baht to have a balance greater than the GPRS plan.

There are ~ 6 monthly calling plan promotions, which goverrn the cost per min. of on-net/off-net, SMS, time of day. These can be challenging to keep up with. Once you have your 1-2-Call SIM you can dial *777 to listen to, and change, the current promtion(s).


1-2-Call GPRS monthly packages:

3 hrs 30 THB

6 hrs 50 THB

20 hrs 100 THB

100 hrs 350 THB

400 hrs 900 THB
Thanks. This was exactly the info I was looking for.

Do you have to go to a 1-2-call shop to buy the SIM card? In the affirmative, do you know any shops around Siam Sq. or Sukhumvit. I have read that if you buy your SIM card at one of the many shops at MBK they will rip you off as tourist. Correct?

Using eFone sounds easy. I will for sure try that.

I may have to sign up for a montly package as I intend to use GPRS a lot - if no Wi-Fi at hotels. I expect that my two weeks stay in Thailand does not prevent me from buying a montly plan with e.g. 20h GPRS/EDGE. How do you subscripe? Possible by phone?

No 3G network in Bkk/Thailand?

Thanks again.
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Old Mar 3, 07, 1:49 am
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I have not seen nor heard about shops ripping tourists off for SIM card purchases. Prices are usually posted at the counter shops on the 4th floor in MBK. For a standard-issue 1-2-Call SIM with 50 baht of talk-time the price is 250 baht.

Maybe it would be best if you went to a Telewiz shop, which is a sort of retail arm for AIS/1-2-Call. Buy a SIM, a top-up card and register for a GPRS package, choose a calling plan and register for voicemail all in one-stop. There are atleast two Telewiz shops in MBK, one on the ground floor (street level) in the north-east corner (so close to the BTS side), and one on the 7th floor. There are Telewiz shops in most major malls.

There was a requirement to register a SIM which would require that you show your passport and complete a form. This requirement may have been dropped but maybe best to have at least a copy with you just in case.

You do not have to tell anyone how long you are staying in Thailand so just register for the GPRS package which you think might best suit your needs. You can register for a GPRS plan by dialing 1175 from your phone, press 2 to speak with an English-speaking CSR, ask to register for GPRS. It might take an hour to get back the confirming SMS. There is a way to register via SMS but it can be challenging. Best to call.

There are no viable 3G networks installed. My phone is GSM900/1800/1900 and WCDMA2000. I've only ever gotten a 3G signal from Vodafone in Japan when transiting NRT (but did receive my SMSes from 1-2-Call!).
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Old Mar 4, 07, 5:42 am
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Another option is Happy SIM card by DTAC, 199 baht gets you a prepaid sim card with 50 baht credit and ready for long distance calls. You can sign up for various promos. Coverage is excellent. You can also buy this from the convenience store at the back of the departure level of the airport or the DTAC outlet on the domestic arrival level (AIS is next to it for you to compare). They are pretty helpful. You can buy refills at 7-11 or many cell phone outlets. www.happy.co.th

Last edited by Sunny Day; Mar 4, 07 at 6:10 am
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Old Mar 5, 07, 9:50 pm
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The prices keep coming down. I just got a 1-2-Call card for 150 Baht incl. 50 Baht credit. 1-2-Call has better coverage. DTAC/Happy is a bit cheaper for domestic calls. True only has good coverage in Bangkok and other big cities but gives you cheap wireless LAN as an extra perk. You can get all the cards and get yourself set up at MBK on the 4th floor.

Previous poster got the rates wrong for international calls. 008 or 009 (rather than default 001) as the international access code gets you 5 Baht a minute for most international calls. Voice quality can be a bit spotty though.
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Old Mar 5, 07, 11:15 pm
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Originally Posted by billp View Post
The prices keep coming down. I just got a 1-2-Call card for 150 Baht incl. 50 Baht credit. 1-2-Call has better coverage. DTAC/Happy is a bit cheaper for domestic calls. True only has good coverage in Bangkok and other big cities but gives you cheap wireless LAN as an extra perk. You can get all the cards and get yourself set up at MBK on the 4th floor.

Previous poster got the rates wrong for international calls. 008 or 009 (rather than default 001) as the international access code gets you 5 Baht a minute for most international calls. Voice quality can be a bit spotty though.
Yes, 1-2-Call SIMs can be purchased for as little as 59 baht with 50 baht of talk time, and for special numbers thousands of baht. The standard package is 250 baht and comes with 50 baht of talk time.

I recommended 1-2-Call for the OP based the GPRS requirement. DTAC does have GPRS and it is aggresively priced, and they have some EDGE in Bangkok, but is it not as universally available as that from 1-2-Call. 1-2-Call has EDGE deployed throughout the country.

The three major mobile service providers all offer many calling plan promotions. Promotions include calling rates as low as 25 satang per minute, or even free calls, but may require a monthly fee.

Further I quoted the eFone (009) tariff for Thailand to Denmark as this is what the OP was asking about. eFone rates from CAT vary by country.

So yes, eFone calls to the U.S.A. are 5 baht per minute from either a mobile or fixed-line, to the U.K. 7 baht per minute from either and to Denmark, 5 baht per minute from a fixed line and 12 baht per minute from a mobile. The standard rates to these countries would be 9, 18 and 22 baht per minute, all exclusive of 7% VAT.
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Old Mar 6, 07, 5:40 am
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Easy as ABC

I went to The Mall in Bangkapi area, went down to mobile phone kiosks and walked up to the first counter, saw the 1-2 sim card and numbers posted for sale, plucked down B99 for a great number (easy to remember), another B300 for time, got instruction manual after they loaded my phone, set up IDD with their help and 15 minutes later walked away a happy camper.

No ID or other paperwork (like other SE Asian countries), no rip off, etc. I'm sure you'll find comparable service if you go to any shopping mall where all the mobile phone kiosks are located...they are super competitive so no rip-offs.

Forgot to mention, sent a couple of sms to overseas, placed couple IDD calls to test out...all OK! Sim card also now works outside of Thailand but of course silly for me to use it when not in Thailand. And number is good for one year, can be renewed by topping off.
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Old Mar 17, 07, 2:22 am
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Originally Posted by transpac View Post
International tariffs are fixed so 22 baht per minute is standard (exclusive of 7% VAT), while eFone rates (accessed using the 009 prefix, so 009 45 for Denmark) are 12 baht per min, from a mobile and 5 baht per min. from a fixed line.
Does anyone know what the prices are for calling to Sweden from a mobile with this eFone service? Or where I can find a list of all their rates?

Do I have to sign up for this eFone service or can I just buy a 1-2-Call SIM and start using it by using the 009 prefix? Will the money be deducted from my 1-2-Call account then?
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Old Mar 17, 07, 9:14 pm
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Originally Posted by span View Post
Does anyone know what the prices are for calling to Sweden from a mobile with this eFone service? Or where I can find a list of all their rates?

Do I have to sign up for this eFone service or can I just buy a 1-2-Call SIM and start using it by using the 009 prefix? Will the money be deducted from my 1-2-Call account then?

From Thailand to Stockholm:

CAT 001 46 8 21 baht/min

CAT 008 46 8 18 baht/min

TOT 009 46 8 18 baht/min (from a TOT fixed line you would dial 001 809 46 8)


008/009 tariffs to Finland and Denmark are 7 baht/min so am not sure what's up with Sweden?

all rates exclusive of 7% VAT.


You just dial the numbers as described, from any SIM (AIS/1-2-Call, DTAC/Happy, True Move), no need to sign up for the service. And yes, charges are deducted from the balance on your SIM. You can check the balance with 1-2-Call by sending *121# or dialing 900121.
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Old Mar 18, 07, 3:11 am
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Originally Posted by transpac View Post
From Thailand to Stockholm:
CAT 001 46 8 21 baht/min
CAT 008 46 8 18 baht/min
TOT 009 46 8 18 baht/min (from a TOT fixed line you would dial 001 809 46 8)

008/009 tariffs to Finland and Denmark are 7 baht/min so am not sure what's up with Sweden?
Thanks for the answer! I wonder why it's so much more expensive to call to Sweden... Do you know where I can find a list of all 1-2-Call rates? (Or the eFone rates) I tried to understand the one-2-call.com site but unfortunately I don't read Thai.
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Old Mar 19, 07, 2:31 am
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Oops that should be:

CAT 009 (Communications Authority of Thailand)
TOT 008 (Telephone Organization of Thailand)

CAT 001/009/PhoneNet Rates


TOT 008 Rates

TOT 007 Rates


These are all international calling services. With any mobile service provider here in Thailand you can typically choose from one of six or seven on-going promotions for local calling and text messaging. These promotions offer different calling rates based on time of day, on-net, off-net, etc. For 1-2-Call you can dial *777 to hear the current promotions available, identify the one you are currently using (also available by sending *777#) or change to a different promotion. You can also dial 1175 to speak with a CSR or send email to [email protected] with any questions. I currently use a promotion called SureSure, 5 baht for the first minute, 25 satang for each add'l min. to any phone, SMSes are 2 baht each.
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Old Mar 20, 07, 7:55 am
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If you want to call in side Thailand you can but a SIM from 7-11 but if you want tocall to your home you should but international card
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