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Guide to Mobile Services in Thailand Best SIM Cards

Guide to Mobile Services in Thailand: Best SIM Cards

When you’re exploring Thailand, one thing remains crucial – staying connected. In this vibrant and diverse country, a reliable mobile service provider and a good SIM card are your trusted companions on your journey.

Now, navigating the maze of mobile services in a foreign country can be a daunting task, but don’t worry! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about getting a SIM card in Thailand. 

Stay tuned as we uncover the best deals, coverage areas, and data plans to ensure you stay connected throughout your Thai adventure.

Let’s get connected!

What is the best sim card for tourists visiting Thailand?

The best SIM card for tourists visiting Thailand is offered by one of the major mobile service providers in the country, such as AIS, DTAC, or TrueMove H. 

These providers offer tourist SIM card packages with data, talk time, and sometimes even discounts on attractions and transportation.

Why You Should Get a Thai Sim Card

Why You Should Get a Thai Sim Card
(Image source: iStock)

Cost-Effective Communication: Using a local SIM card is more cost-effective than international roaming. Local rates for calls, texts, and data are typically much lower, helping you save money during your stay.

Reliable Connectivity: Thai mobile networks provide extensive coverage throughout the country, including remote areas. With a local SIM card, you can enjoy consistent and reliable connectivity, ensuring you stay connected wherever you go.

Data for Maps and Apps: Access to mobile data is crucial for navigation and using travel apps. Having a Thai SIM card allows you to use GPS, translate signs, check public transportation schedules, and find information on local attractions effortlessly.

Online Booking and Communication: Having a Thai number makes it easier to book accommodations, transportation, and local tours online. It also simplifies communication with local businesses, making your travel experience more convenient.

Avoiding Bill Shock: Using your home country’s SIM card for international roaming can lead to unexpectedly high bills. A Thai SIM card ensures you have control over your expenses, as you can purchase data and talk time as needed.

Local Promotions and Discounts: Some Thai SIM card packages offer discounts on tourist attractions, restaurants, and transportation services, helping you save money and explore the country on a budget.

Easy Top-Up Options: Topping up your Thai SIM card is straightforward, with options available at convenience stores, mobile shops, and online platforms. This convenience ensures you can maintain your mobile services throughout your stay.

Flexibility: Thai SIM cards come in various packages to suit different traveller needs. Whether you require data for streaming, long-term connectivity, or just basic communication, you can find a plan that suits you.

List of Best Sim Cards in Thailand

AIS SIM Cards

AIS SIM Cards

Website

AIS (Advanced Info Service) is one of Thailand’s largest and most popular mobile service providers. They offer a range of SIM card options for tourists, including packages with data, talk time, and even tourist-specific perks like discounts on attractions.

Plus, AIS has excellent coverage throughout Thailand, making it a reliable choice for travellers who want to stay connected in cities and rural areas alike.

The company also provides easy top-up options at convenience stores, AIS shops, and online platforms, ensuring you can manage your mobile services effortlessly.

Truemove SIM Cards

Truemove SIM Cards

Website

Truemove, operated by True Corporation, is another major player in Thailand’s mobile industry. They offer SIM card options tailored to the needs of tourists, providing data, talk time, and sometimes even international calling.

Truemove boasts extensive 4G to 5G coverage in Thailand, which is great for those who rely on fast data connections for maps, communication, and streaming.

The company often includes bonuses like free access to social media apps for a certain period, enhancing the value of their SIM card packages.

DTAC SIM Cards

DTAC SIM Cards

Website

DTAC is a well-established mobile service provider in Thailand, offering a variety of SIM card choices for travellers. Their packages typically include unlimited internet data and calls.

Plus, DTAC is often considered an excellent choice for this adventure due to its robust coverage on many of Thailand’s beautiful islands.

They often provide tourist-specific promotions and packages, making it a competitive option for visitors looking for affordable and reliable mobile services.

How to Buy a Thai Prepaid Sim Card Online

How to Buy a Thai Prepaid Sim Card Online
(Image source: iStock)

Buying a Thai prepaid SIM card online is a convenient way to ensure you have mobile connectivity from the moment you arrive in Thailand. However, keep in mind that the steps vary depending on your chosen service provider.

To give you a glimpse, here are some common steps to purchase a Thai prepaid SIM card online:

Research and Choose a Provider

Begin by researching and selecting a reputable Thai mobile service provider that offers online SIM card purchases. Major providers like AIS, Truemove, and Dtac often have official websites or authorised online retailers where you can make your purchase.

Visit the Provider’s Website

Go to the official website of your chosen mobile service provider. Look for the “Shop” or “Buy SIM Card” section, which is usually prominently displayed on their homepage.

Select Your Plan

Browse through the available prepaid SIM card packages. These packages typically vary in terms of data allowances, talk time, and validity periods. Choose the one that best suits your needs as a tourist.

Once you’ve selected your desired package, add it to your online shopping cart and then review your order before proceeding to checkout. You’ll likely need to provide some personal information during the checkout process. 

Select Your Plan
(Image source: iStock)

Select your preferred delivery option

Some providers offer options like express delivery to your accommodation in Thailand or pickup at the airport. Choose the one that’s most convenient for you.

Finish the Purchase

Proceed to the payment section and enter your payment details. Most providers accept major credit cards, and some may offer alternative payment methods like PayPal.

Double-check all the information you’ve entered, including your personal details and payment information, before confirming your purchase.

After successful payment, you should receive a confirmation email or SMS with details about your SIM card purchase and delivery or pickup instructions.

Activate Your SIM Card

Upon receiving your SIM card, follow the provided activation instructions to ensure it’s ready for use. This may involve inserting the SIM card into your device and dialling a specific code.

How to Buy an e-Sim in Thailand

How to Buy an e-Sim in Thailand
(Image source: iStock)

eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that doesn’t require a physical card. It’s becoming increasingly popular worldwide, including in Thailand. Here’s how to buy an eSIM in Thailand:

Check eSIM Availability

Start by confirming that your mobile device supports eSIM technology and that the cellular provider you intend to use in Thailand offers eSIM services.

Choose a Mobile Service Provider

Research and select a reputable Thai mobile service provider that offers eSIM services. Major providers like AIS, Truemove, and Dtac are likely to have eSIM options.

Select Your eSIM Plan

Go to the official website of your chosen mobile service provider and look for information about eSIM services. You may find this information in the “eSIM” or “Digital SIM” section of their website.

Browse through the available eSIM plans, which often vary in terms of data allowances, talk time, and validity periods. Choose the plan that best fits your needs as a traveller.

During the eSIM purchase process, you will likely need to provide personal information, such as your name, passport number, and arrival date in Thailand. Ensure that this information is accurate.

Payment

Proceed to the payment section and enter your payment details. Major credit cards are usually accepted, but check the provider’s accepted payment methods.

eSIM Activation

After successful payment, follow the activation instructions provided by the mobile service provider. This may involve scanning a QR code, installing a profile, or following specific steps on your device to set up the eSIM.

Confirmation

After activation, you should receive a confirmation message indicating that your eSIM is ready to use. 

If you plan to use the eSIM for international roaming while in Thailand, make sure to configure your device accordingly. Some eSIM providers may offer international data roaming plans.

How much does a thai sim card package cost?

How much does a thai sim card package cost
(Image source: iStock)

The cost of a Thai SIM card package can vary depending on the mobile service provider and the specific plan or package you choose. 

Here’s a general overview of what you can expect in terms of pricing and what’s typically included when you buy a Thai SIM card package:

SIM Card Cost: The initial cost of the SIM card itself often ranges from 200 to 1,000 Baht. Some providers may offer the SIM card for free as part of certain promotions or tourist packages.

Prepaid Credit: Most Thai SIM card packages come with an initial amount of prepaid credit. This credit can be used for making calls, sending texts, and sometimes for data usage. 

Data Allowance: Thai SIM card packages typically include a data allowance. The amount of data can vary widely, with options ranging from 1 GB to 20 GB or more, depending on the plan you choose. 

Some providers also offer unlimited data for specific apps or services (e.g., social media).

Talk Time: In addition to data, the package may include a certain amount of talk time for local calls. The number of minutes included can vary, and some packages offer unlimited local calls within Thailand.

Text Messages: Many packages include a number of free text messages or SMS. Some packages offer unlimited texting within Thailand.

International Calls and Texts: International calls and texts are typically not included in the base package. If you need to make international calls, you’ll likely need to purchase an add-on or top-up your account with additional credit for international use.

Validity Period: The package’s validity period can vary, but it’s often between 7 to 30 days. After this period, you’ll need to top up your account to continue using the services.

Tourist Benefits: Some Thai SIM card packages designed for tourists may include additional benefits like discounts on tourist attractions, transportation, or special offers at partner businesses.

How to Top Up Your Prepaid Thailand Sim Package

How to Top Up Your Prepaid Thailand Sim Package
(Image source: iStock)

Locate a Recharge Point

In Thailand, you can find top-up options at various locations, including:

  • Convenience Stores: 7-Eleven (row 815), FamilyMart, and other convenience stores often have top-up services available. Simply approach the cashier and ask for a top-up.
  • Mobile Shops: Mobile phone shops and kiosks are widespread in cities and towns. Visit one of these shops, and they can assist you with adding credit to your SIM card.
  • Online: Some mobile service providers offer online top-up services through their websites or mobile apps. Log in to your provider’s online portal and follow the instructions to recharge your account.
  • ATMs: Some ATMs in Thailand allow you to top up your prepaid SIM card. Look for ATMs with the logos of popular providers like AIS, Truemove, or DTAC.

Provide Your Phone Number

When you initiate the top-up, you’ll typically need to provide your mobile phone number, so make sure you have your Thai SIM card inserted into your device.

Select the Amount

Choose the amount you want to top up. The available denominations may vary, but common options include 50, 100, 300, and 500 Baht.

Make the Payment

If you’re topping up at a physical location like a convenience store or mobile shop, pay the cashier the chosen amount. If you’re topping up online, complete the payment through the provider’s website or app.

Receive Confirmation

After the successful top-up, you will receive a confirmation message via SMS indicating that your account has been credited with the specified amount.

Check Your Balance

To verify that the top-up was successful, you can check your account balance by dialling a specific code provided by your mobile service provider. 

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