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Thailand - Telephone

Telephone services in Thailand can be a little hit and miss, depending upon the area that you are in. Many rural areas will have no telephone connections, although those in urban areas should not have too many problems.

Landline telephone services are provided by two main companies, TT&T and TOT. In some areas you may not have a choice of company as services in the area could be limited and covered by only one.

If you are making an international call in Thailand the call will automatically be routed through the CAT Telecom service (Communications Authority of Thailand). It is possible to get a cheaper rated call from Thailand by simply dialling 008 or 007 before the international number. The line quality of such calls is variable but the latest details on discounted calls can be obtained from your landline provider and local newspapers will print details of the latest discounts available.

Both major providers have English speaking staff within their call centres who can help you to sign up to their services and there are outlets for both of the main companies within shopping centres in the country. If you are an expat then it is recommended that you visit one of the offices first. There is a certain amount of documentation that is required including your passport as proof of ID, valid visa documentation and a copy of your work permit or certificate of residency from the Thai immigration department. Alternatively you can present a letter of residence from your own embassy if it is in Thai. If you are renting the property that you are in then you will need to provide a letter from your landlord and a copy of the house registration documentation (known as ‘tabien baan’). In some cases a landlord might arrange a telephone connection on your behalf.

Telephone bills are sent out on a monthly basis and these can be paid at a number of outlets. You can visit the local telecoms office, pay via a direct debit system, using telephone or internet banking, over the counter at a bank or post office or over the phone using a debit or credit card.

Mobile phones have become a vast market in Thailand and the majority of people there now own one. However, there are only three companies which provide mobile phone services. These are AIS, DTAC and True Move. All three companies have websites in English. In order to purchase a mobile phone you can simply go along to any mobile phone outlet in the country but if you wish to purchase a prepaid SIM card you may be asked to show your passport as proof of ID.

Many people opt for a pay as you go system but there are contracts available for those who use their phones more. For a contract you will need to show your visa and work permit as well as your passport. The latest handsets and smart phones are widely available in Thailand. UK mobiles should work in Thailand although the cost of making and receiving calls is particularly expensive.

Public phone booths are common in Thailand and there are two different types. The bright yellow phones can be used to make international calls and there are phone cards which can be bought for use in these machines. There are some which will take a credit card, this will be indicated on the phone. Other phones come in a variety of colours and are for making local and other domestic calls. These will take both coins and cards.

The dialling code for Thailand if you are in another country is 66. Regional codes for Thailand include the Bangkok area where numbers begin with a 2, the Chon Buri area which is 38, Hat Yai has a code 74, the Lampang area has a code of 54 while Nonthaburi has a code of 2. The Samut Prakan area also has a code of 2 and Udon Thani has a code of 42.

Useful Resources

Tel: 1100 (from Thailand)

Tel: 1103 (from Thailand)
Email: icare@ttt.co.th

Tel: 1175 (from Thailand)

Tel: 1678 (from Thailand)

True Move
Tel: 1331 (from Thailand)

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