Until now, for calling overseas from my cellphone, I have been dialing with one of these two prefixes:
– A plus sign (+)
It had occurred to me that there might be cheaper options (with different prefixes), but I hadn’t tried to research them very hard until just now. A friend called today and said that dialing “008” as a prefix is the cheapest option, so I decided to find out for sure. I called Japan (00881) and found that it cost markedly less than the previous methods I had used, but that the line was a bit choppy at times (although totally useable)… It was time to get the low down on all these dialing prefixes:
“There are now two ‘official’ companies offering International Telephone Services here in Thailand.
CAT – offers ‘International’ connections via the prefix 001 & 009 (different prices), and is available for almost all phones (both fixed line & mobile).
ToT – offers ‘International’ connections via the prefix 007 & 008 (different prices), and is available for all phones.
001. The original International Access code for use FROM Thailand. All phones will connect if prefix 001 is used. The quality is excellent, BUT this is the most expensive method. In most cases it will NOT be necessary to use 001 – try these others first.
007. This is the new high quality service for ALL lines + mobiles (cheaper than 001). Recommended for fax use, and ‘1st class’ voice.
009. This is the new prefix number for all TT&T lines, AND mobile phones of these providers (AMPS, GSM, CDME, D-TAC, AIS, ORANGE). This prefix provides a good discount via Voip (reduced quality) (cheaper than 007).
008. This is the new reduced quality service for ALL lines + mobiles, perfectly adequate for voice (cheaper than 007).
Note – 007. Prices vary with destination, but, until further notice a promotion of no more than 9 baht/min will operate 24/7 to the following countries:
Note – 009. Prices vary with destination, and promotions come and go, but many ‘western’ countries are either 5 baht/min or 7 baht/min. see prices at: http://web1.cattelecom.co.th/ (currently the cheapest?? Aug 2006)
Note – 008. Prices vary with destination, but, until further notice a promotion of no more than 6 baht/min will operate 24/7 to the following countries:
Alaska, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Laos. Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, U.K, USA.”
The above was quoted from this page, which has tons of useful Thai phone-related information and seems to be updated regularly.
To summarize, the 008 prefix seems to be the cheapest option for calling overseas from a mobile phone in Thailand, and the voice quality is adequate. If better line quality is desired, 001 or 007 is the way to go (although I’m still curious where the plus sign prefixed calls are routed through).