As of May this year, Malaysia remained the second-largest source country for tourists to Thailand after China, despite the weakening of the Ringgit.
While one can easily register for a tourist SIM and have access to cheap mobile data in Thailand due to the stiff competition in the local telecommunication industry, who would want to spend extra when mobile data can be gotten for free?
Well, before I go on, I just wanted to clarify that this is not an advertorial for any telco whatsoever and I’m writing this based on my experience as a frequent traveller to Thailand.
Like some of you probably have already known, I was in Thailand for two years before relocating back to Malaysia earlier this year. However, I’m still a frequent traveller to Thailand due to my fiancée being a Thai.
For the past two years in Thailand, I have been faithfully subscribing to TrueMove H’s mobile data packages as they are probably the cheapest in Thailand. At one point, its unlimited, 512 Kbps mobile Internet package cost just 9 Baht daily!
After relocating back to Malaysia in April, I didn’t intend to install home broadband and decided that I could survive using 4G hotspot as a replacement for cable broadband. After studying the various telco plans, I signed up U Mobile’s Hero Postpaid P70 plan, which generously offers up to 15GB of Internet and 7GB of videos, on top of unlimited calls to all networks.
Like a typical Malaysian experience, it was the worst decision ever.
The mobile data was unreasonably slow on 3G and hardly ever moved at night especially after everyone started going back from work. It was only until I had changed my phone to a 4G one that the U Mobile data speed began seeing some improvement.
So the other day I went to the U Mobile Service Centre and was told that U Mobile now offers free data for roaming in 12 countries, which they call it Roam-Onz. I think it used to be RM10 per day upon usage. Also, for U Mobile packages that do not include Roam-Onz, users will be charged RM10/day for roaming in the said 12 countries and RM36/day outside the 12 countries.
Being half-skeptical, I asked to activate my Internet Roaming and thought to give it a shot the next time I visited Thailand.
And, true enough, I arrived at Thailand yesterday just to be greeted with an SMS from U Mobile confirming that I could enjoy free data roaming in the True/TH3G+/True-H 3G+ network for my principle line with Roam-Onz. The free 4G data roaming is capped at 5GB per month (certain packages have Roam-Onz quota up to 8GB/month), after which a reasonable charge of RM10 per day will be imposed.
Here is a screenshot capturing the amount of roaming data I’ve used with my Malaysian SIM:
At the time of writing this entry, a check on the Internet reveals that Digi’s Roam Like Home is offering a similar service.