What are Your Options When Choosing Phone Providers in Thailand
Thailand has three major mobile phone network providers and two other minor cell phone operators. You can use any of these three networks to get cell phone coverage, all you need is to purchase a local SIM card and purchase some airtime. On the other hand, if your stay in Thailand is more permanent, you can get into a plan that allows you to make monthly payments. Additionally, if you register your cell phone number during the purchase, you can get the number replaced when you lose your SIM card.
Otherwise, you would have to get a new number every time you lose the number you already have.
Advanced Info Services (AIS)
AIS is Thailand’s largest GSM mobile phone provider. The company was founded in 1986 as a computer rental business and is headquartered in Bangkok. This mobile phone operator serves over 35 million people. Basically, AIS offers GSM, EDGE, UMTS, HSPDA, and WCDMA900 networks. AIS also offers both prepaid and postpaid services. Moreover, the company provides time-based as well as volume-based packages, which should give you more flexibility when choosing the right package for your needs.
DTAC, also called Total Access Communications Public Company Limited, is the second largest GSM mobile phone network in Thailand. This telecommunications company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand. The company has actually won the award of best Thai mobile operator a couple of times in the past. The company offers both prepaid and postpaid mobile phone services for both EDGE and 3G connections. The company also has international roaming arrangements with about 150 countries.
True is a Thai telecommunications giant founded in 1990 and headquartered in Bangkok. The company is Thailand’s largest cable TV provider, although it is also a major provide of cellphone services. The company was initially called TelecomAsia. In 2013, True became the first mobile service provider to offer 4G LTE commercial service. This company also operates in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. True is also the largest Internet service provider in Thailand.
TOT, a Thai-owned telecommunications company, is also a player in the mobile telephony field, although its main focus is in fixed telephony. This company was founded in 1954. TOT was the first company to launch 3G in Thailand in the year 2009, a feat that won it substantial mileage in the the mobile telephony field. TOT also offers wireless broadband services.
This is another state-owned corporation established in 2003. The company is based in Bangkok and holds sizable market in international telephony. The company has also entered into partnerships with other mobile services providers. For instance, CAT partners with TOT to offer GSM mobile services. It also partnered with Hutchinson to provide CDMA2000 services in several districts in Thailand. Hutch was later sold to True Corp.
There is quite a selection of mobile phone operators for those trying to pick a good cellphone service operator in Thailand. AIS is the most popular mobile service provider, closely followed by DTAC. Other providers to choose from, although they take a significantly less market share, are True, TOT, and CAT.