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Mobile Phone Recommendation For Thailand/usa ?


scottydel

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Hello,

I'm an American who has started to spend time living/working in Thailand. I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a phone that will work in both countries, Thailand and the USA? I tend to go back and forth between the two countries about every 6 months. As far as I know, Most American cell phone companies have yet to adopt the concept of a SIM card, so where as I believe folks from Europe, Australia, Asia, et al, can (easily?) bring a phone from their home country into Thailand, pop out the SIM card, buy a new SIM card in Thailand that operates on a local Thai Network, and you're in business while your'e in Thailand with the phone you brought with you. Then when you get back home, (before you start to lose your tan and miss the beaches), you reverse the process, and you're once again using the same phone in your home country.

I do not think many American cell phone companies offer phones that have SIM cards that make this possible, but I'm hoping there are some out there?

Right now I have 2 phones, one for each country, and each phone is as good as useless in its "foreign" country.

Oh yeah the American cell phone companies do offer international roaming, and it's only around $5 a minute, so yeah forget about that! What a conspiracy! Amazing that it's literally cheaper to buy a new phone in a foreign country than pay roaming charges.

Any help would be appreciated,

Scott

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Actually two major US carriers are GSM SIM based. AT&T and T-Mobile. If you are planning on buying a phone in the US and using it in Thailand, be careful. The US carriers LOVE to lock their phones and they are normally pricks about opening them. Plead your case for international use and you might get a nice rep.

If you buy a phone in Thailand, your best bet is to buy one that covers the four GSM bands. Many sold in Thailand are only three. That will give you the two common international and only one of the two US frequencies.

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If you decide to stay in Thailand, you are going to "need" 2 or more phones anyway. The cheapest place to buy the latest model of phones is Vietnam.

The reason two or more phones are needed is because most of the hill tribes use 1-2-call, and they won't call u on dtac as they pay a daytime fee good until 5 pm, and they call during the unlimited time. And they can't call dtac.

Also, dtac won't work on many mountains and 1 - 2 - call will usually work.

Dtac works best in the cities and has the best packages and doesn't expire in a week requiring u to pay more to keep it pumped up.

Also, many of the hotels, if u stay in real hotels, charge for inet service. Like my cell fone with dtac, I pay B100 a month ($2.75) for 40 hours of service. When my home's DSL goes down, i can usually use my hand fone, and the hotel i use in Chiang Mai charges 12.00 usd per hour to use their inet. But I can use my cell fone for free. also, i can get email and chats and do all sorts of business type stuff on my small nokia which was a bit less than 300 usd. So, i recommend this way.

Re: American fones, I have only been there about 3 months in the last 4 years, so I don't know too much about the place any more, but I do know that when i have tried to bring the american phones i had here, even though i was told they would work here, they didn't.

U can also get roaming there with your thai fone, but the best way to deal with stuff in the usa is, for me, to not have a fone at all there. If I am there, i borrow (without asking) bandwidth from others, take my lap top to friend's offices when i need speed, and I use yahoo for toll calls and skype for toll free numbers. I also have in call numbers for each company at 25 bucks per year for each of them, this allows people to call me on land lines in the usa, and u can put fring on your cell fone and it will work great and free everywhere.

Hello,

I'm an American who has started to spend time living/working in Thailand. I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a phone that will work in both countries, Thailand and the USA? I tend to go back and forth between the two countries about every 6 months. As far as I know, Most American cell phone companies have yet to adopt the concept of a SIM card, so where as I believe folks from Europe, Australia, Asia, et al, can (easily?) bring a phone from their home country into Thailand, pop out the SIM card, buy a new SIM card in Thailand that operates on a local Thai Network, and you're in business while your'e in Thailand with the phone you brought with you. Then when you get back home, (before you start to lose your tan and miss the beaches), you reverse the process, and you're once again using the same phone in your home country.

I do not think many American cell phone companies offer phones that have SIM cards that make this possible, but I'm hoping there are some out there?

Right now I have 2 phones, one for each country, and each phone is as good as useless in its "foreign" country.

Oh yeah the American cell phone companies do offer international roaming, and it's only around $5 a minute, so yeah forget about that! What a conspiracy! Amazing that it's literally cheaper to buy a new phone in a foreign country than pay roaming charges.

Any help would be appreciated,

Scott

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There seems to be something like 60+ companies in USA having live GSM networks up and running (="using sim cards").

http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/cou_us.shtml

Some US phones might be locked (only working with your operator sim card). These are the ones that comes with plan contract, i.e. get free phone if you subscribe for 2 years contract.

Best way to do is to get one "free" phone with 2 years contract from US. Just make sure the phone is at least tri band and works with 900MHz and 1800MHz as they are in use in Thailand. Once you get to Bangkok, drop by at MBK or Pantip and let them unlock you phone. Will cost you about 100 baht and takes 15 mins. After unlocking you are able to use any Thai operator pre-paid sim cards that are available at 7/11...

Other option is that you buy normal (unlocked) GMS phone from Thailand (price range is from 100 baht to 30k baht some top models even more) and just swap sim cards as you like. This then requires you to get one sim from US operator without "plan" i.e. without the free phone that is included in most packages.

And don't believe these experts above, you don't need two or more sim cards in Thailand. AIS has the best coverage so take their sim if you spend time in the boonies but if you stay in towns or areas where you find other "natives" living you will be fine with any operator sim card. Above used to apply early 90's but not anymore. Just take the one that has better deal at the moment. I.e. DTAC used to be very cheao for overseas sms rates compared to AIS still last year. Don't know if that's the case still.

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If you decide to stay in Thailand, you are going to "need" 2 or more phones anyway. The cheapest place to buy the latest model of phones is Vietnam.

The reason two or more phones are needed is because most of the hill tribes use 1-2-call, and they won't call u on dtac as they pay a daytime fee good until 5 pm, and they call during the unlimited time. And they can't call dtac.

Always wondered why I never got calls from hill tribe folk and now I know...

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