Sunday, 24 April 2016

Keeping Your Cellnumber Valid

Here you are in a foreign country and you want to keep your cell number.  After all you have memorized it and given it out to your friends.  Perhaps you have it set up to receive SMS messages with your bank account updates.  What do you do. Can you keep it?  Without paying monthly fees?

Keeping Your AIS Thai Cell Number Valid

I live in Phuket at the moment and plan on traveling more again.  I'm using AIS because IMHO it is the best provider in Thailand, it used to be state owned, and now is privatized.  Their 4G is good and their plans are as low as 299B for Voice, Text, 4G Internet, and Wifi.  That's less than $10 a month. 

Of course you don't want to pay unnecessary monthly fees when you are away. So what do you do?

And how do you keep your phone number valid for the duration of your absence?

  • Switch from Post Paid to Pre Paid (from Monthly to Prepaid) -Make sure you do this on your last billing cycle to get optimum benefits of your plan.
  • Subscribe to a prepaid plan until you leave Thailand - for just 199B (less than $7) you can get an Internet only plan that allows you to receive voice calls and text messages for FREE.  Any calls you make are only a few baht per minute / text.
  • Subscribe to International Roaming - This way you still get SMS text messages.  But careful, if you answer your phone, make calls, or send messages, international roaming fees apply.
  • Top up with 20Baht (less than $1) pre-paid credit for every 30 days you will be away - Here is the thing, if you buy a prepaid plan or top up your credits, you only have 30 days validity.  That's no good if you are out of the country.   I talked with AIS Customer Service and they recommended this hack, because you get CONSECUTIVE days of validity for every top up.  So 10 top ups are 300 days.   Best to see them at a store.  If you forgot to do this in the country you can log on to their website and try topping up online. Or have a friend do it for you.
Not with AIS?  Most Thai Cell companies have similar ways to keep your cell number valid.
Not in Thailand?   Just ask your local cell provider what you can do.  Many have similar tricks.