Do I need an unlocked phone in Thailand?

The first thing most people want to do when they arrive in Thailand is get connected.  In Thailand, your worst option is being connected on roaming with you home network.  Thailand makes it very easy to get on WiFi or on the cell networks, so there is really no excuse to be on roaming.  Any user of an Unlocked phone will have no trouble getting a local SIM and swapping out your home country’s SIM.  Activate the Thai SIM and just like that you have a number people can reach you on.  Even if you have no credit on the SIM, callers can reach you as long as your SIM has validity.

What does ‘locking / unlocking’ a phone mean?

Locking your phone refers to a practice by the Networks your phone to ONLY work with the SIM currently in your phone.  Unlocking or jailbreaking is the process of

How do I know if I have a locked / unlocked phone?

The practice of locking helps networks subsidize the price of phones.  If you have a subsidized phone then there is a good chance it is locked.   If you have an iPhone that you paid $0, $99 or $199 for, then you have a subsidized and likely locked phone.

How do I get it unlocked?

In Thailand it’s easy to unlock your phone.  There are several malls with mobile phone dealers who can readily unlock a phone.  If you find somewhere online that says your phone can be unlocked, then the locals here can do it too.  Many times an unlock will also require a jailbreak.

Where to get it unlocked?

It’s going to cost between 200-400 baht based on the complexity.  Can be up to 600 for fresh iPhone unlocks.

  • MBK – by far the biggest and best marketplace for mobile phones in Thailand.
  • Fortune Town Ratchada (Second Floor)
  • Paradise Park Mall
  • Central Lat Prao (Bottom Floor)
  • Big C Lat Prao

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