Mobile roaming for Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand

9 replies

Zina

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 19 May 2014

Total posts 8

Hi Everyone,

I'll be travelling to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in Sep-2014 and I'm not sure what mobile carrier i should use for the 12-day trip. Does anyone have any suggestions? or should i just activate international roaming with Vodafone? I basically will only be using the internet to be in contact with home.

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 1,285

In which of the three countries will you be spending most time?

Zina

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 19 May 2014

Total posts 8

i'll be spending four days in each county

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 1,285

I think it would be easiest to get a local prepaid SIM in each area. For Malaysia, I'd suggest getting a DiGi number - it costs RM16.50 to buy the number itself, with RM8.00 credit to begin with. You should be able to join a RM1.00 per day data plan. All the other celcos (Maxis, Celcom and so on) offer something similar to this.

For Singapore, you should be able to do something similar with StarHub and SingTel. Bear in mind that for Malaysia and Singapore you will need to register each prepaid SIM to your passport, so make sure you bring it with you. Also, if you got your physical phone from Vodafone on a plan, make sure your phone is SIM-unlocked at a Vodafone shop before you leave Australia.

I'm not too sure about Thailand, though.

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 1,285

Oh, you can unlock your phone online while overseas if you need to (I did this in Malaysia a few minutes ago), but if your plan commenced after 01 Aug 2013, your device should not be network-locked to begin with.

Zina

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 19 May 2014

Total posts 8

Thanks so much for the informative reply watson374. Just one more thing... do i purchase local sims from any shops or are there speciality stores?

And yes i will definitely be unlocking my phone, because i didn't for my holiday to New Zealand in 2013 and it was horrible seeing free WiFi, but not having access to it.

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 1,285

In both Malaysia and Singapore, to buy a new number you'd be best off going to a dedicated outlet of the telco. These are normally available at airports landside at arrivals. If you know which ports you're flying into, it's possible to check beforehand what options are available. Prepaid topups can usually be bought at convenience stores.

As for Thailand, I don't really know as I tend to use Malaysian roaming there.

By the way, you should have access to WiFi even when it's locked, you just need to switch off your phone, put the Vodafone SIM back inside, and off you go.

henrus

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 23 Oct 2013

Total posts 768

How much are you willing to spend and how much data would you need?

Zina

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 19 May 2014

Total posts 8

Around $20 to $30 for the whole time. Around 200MB or 300MB should be okay.

moa999

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Jul 2011

Total posts 835

Alternatively buying prepaid cards in each of those countries is pretty easy and cheap.

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