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sbathon

Cell Phones

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We are coming to CM for 6 months from the US. Can we use our mobile phones and buy a chip from the local company, or do we have to buy a new phone there? Can anyone recommend a company to set up with?

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We are coming to CM for 6 months from the US.  Can we use our mobile phones and buy a chip from the local company, or do we have to buy a new phone there? Can anyone recommend a company to set up with?

You will need a tri-band phone if you are on a US/Canadian network. If you don't have one you can buy a second hand cell phone for as little as $30 US. In Chiang Mai try going to Kaad Suan Kaw shopping centre as it has alot of different cell phone shops and see what the best deal is depending on your particular needs. Orange last time I checked had the cheapest startup costs, while AIS (1-2-Call) had the largest network coverage.

cv

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I thought you only needed a triband-capable phone when in North America? Just get your phones unlocked, about 150 baht, and a new SIM card. DTAC seem ok. I think Orange were doing a deal recently for a 200 baht SIM and 700 baht's worth of free calls. Orange don't have great coverage out here though. When calling the States, prefix with 009 then the 1 and drop the 0 on the area code.

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I thought you only needed a triband-capable phone when in North America? Just get your phones unlocked, about 150 baht, and a new SIM card. DTAC seem ok. I think Orange were doing a deal recently for a 200 baht SIM and 700 baht's worth of free calls. Orange don't have great coverage out here though. When calling the States, prefix with 009 then the 1 and drop the 0 on the area code.

No, the normal American system phones don't work in Thailand and I don't think any except maybe the tri or quad phones take sims cards in any case.

I seem to recall that in BKK you could get a used phone even cheaper than $15, if u did not mind it being a bit larger than the newer style. Not sure about in Chiang Mai. Never had to shop for one as my panasonic mobile from India was on the same system as Thailand.

I used all 3 companies and found AIS to be the best reception, by far. Orange was a distant 3rd place for most of my areas.

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You need a tri-band either way jackr. A Thai triband will have the north american frequencies added on, and the north american tribands have the Thai (and most of the world) frequency added on. :o

cv

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I used my UK 8210 for calling the States from Muang Thai and no hassles and thought that was only dual band?

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I used my UK 8210 for calling the States from Muang Thai and no hassles and thought that was only dual band?

Maybe dual 'system'. Unfortunately north america is at odds with the rest of the world on cellphone bands.

One thing another thread reminded me of is voltage. My Seimens phone and my Samsung have chargers that will work on 100-240volts, My Nokia doesn't (learned that the hard way :o )

Be sure to check before you leave. It should be stamped on the charger.

cv

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I used my UK 8210 for calling the States from Muang Thai and no hassles and thought that was only dual band?

Maybe dual 'system'. Unfortunately north america is at odds with the rest of the world on cellphone bands.

One thing another thread reminded me of is voltage. My Seimens phone and my Samsung have chargers that will work on 100-240volts, My Nokia doesn't (learned that the hard way :o )

Be sure to check before you leave. It should be stamped on the charger.

cv

Thank you all so much for your information. Sounds like I just need to buy a new phone when I get to CM. The US is at odds with the rest of the world when it comes to cell phones!

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Used, decent phones can be found at Kad Suan Kaew for less than 1000 Bht (about $25). And you can probably sell it back for half the price when you're done, meaning you get a phone for 6 months for about $10. As for companies, I know 1-2-Call & AIS (same company, different service) were having connectivity issues a couple of months ago but otherwise it doesn't matter too much which company you use, if you stay close to town that is. If you're going to be travelling around the north, you might want to research more about reception in rural areas. Sorry, but I can't help you with that.

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Used, decent phones can be found at Kad Suan Kaew for less than 1000 Bht (about $25).  And you can probably sell it back for half the price when you're done, meaning you get a phone for 6 months for about $10.  As for companies, I know 1-2-Call & AIS (same company, different service) were having connectivity issues a couple of months ago but otherwise it doesn't matter too much which company you use, if you stay close to town that is.  If you're going to be travelling around the north, you might want to research more about reception in rural areas.  Sorry, but I can't help you with that.

I have been using AIS for years now. I am not on any special package like 1 - 2 Call but on regular monthly billing and when I direct dial the US with the normal 001 the cost is only 9 baht per min [22-23 cents per min] . Costs 3 times that to the Philippines.....

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