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Making cheap phone calls on mobile in Laos to UK

  • LoganT

    Joined Travelfish
    14th September, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 25
    Places visited:
    At least 68

    Hi

    Off to Laos next week. I was wondering if anyone knew of a cheap way of making mobile phone calls to the UK whilst I am there as I want to keep in touch with the boyfriend (he doesn't have computer/skype facilities so internet cafes aren't really an alternative).

    I have a UK mobile phone contract and it costs ALOT to use it in Asia (I stupidly used my phone in Vietnam this year and ran up a bill bigger than my airfare out to Asia!!)

    I have tried searching the internet etc but only seem to be finding info re: pre-paid cards which allow cheap calls TO Laos, rather than phoning out of the country.

    Does anyone have any advice about calling cards/know how much local sims cost and what I will get for my money etc?

    Thanks in advance for any helpful answers.

    #1 Posted: 18/9/2009 - 02:14

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  • hokasch

    Joined Travelfish
    24th December, 2008
    Posts: 45

    Is it really important for you to use a mobile when making calls? If not, internet shops with attached phone service are probably your best bet (not sure about the prices, but they are a lot less expensive then your UK phone). You may also use a Skype account to ring any number in the UK, check their Pricelist.

    In Indonesia, prices for occasionally calling europe were close-to-acceptable with local sim-cards. I do not know the rates in Laos, maybe someone else can chip in.

    #2 Posted: 18/9/2009 - 04:09

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 564

    I just bought a local phone, cheap. Around ten cents a minute. Phone and sim card set me back 500 baht.

    #3 Posted: 18/9/2009 - 10:38

  • LoganT

    Joined Travelfish
    14th September, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 25
    Places visited:
    At least 68

    Due to time differences/boyfriend's work pattern etc, I probably will need to rely on using a mobile whilst I am over there so buying a phone and sim sounds like the perfect answer. I assume they are easy enough to buy/find?!

    Thanks guys.

    #4 Posted: 23/9/2009 - 20:46

  • hokasch

    Joined Travelfish
    24th December, 2008
    Posts: 45

    They should be easily available, the bigger the city, the better...
    You can bring your own phone and just plug in the lao sim card. Check out the conditions of the different providers when there, [a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293949-i9320-k3085229-Sim_card_and_charges-Laos.html"]here[/a] are some more tips.

    #5 Posted: 23/9/2009 - 21:20

  • hokasch

    Joined Travelfish
    24th December, 2008
    Posts: 45

    damn, link again in bbcode:
    Sim Card and Charges - Laos

    #6 Posted: 23/9/2009 - 21:22

  • LoganT

    Joined Travelfish
    14th September, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 25
    Places visited:
    At least 68

    Ooh thanks for that link - the tip about dialling codes is particularly useful!

    Unfortunately I have a locked iphone but by the sounds of it it shouldn't be too hard or expensive to pick up a cheap phone at the same time as the sim card.

    Oh and I fly into Vientiene so figure I will be safe on "the bigger the city..." part!

    #7 Posted: 24/9/2009 - 03:52

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 564

    On the opposite side of the street from the morning market, and a block or two further down, you'll see big billboard signs above phone stores and a side street filled with phone stores. This is the street leading to the main office of the National Phone Company and the stores seem to have sprung up along the way.

    The mostly Chinese and Vietnamese kids working in those places are wizards. They should have you talking on your own phone in half an hour. I like the cheap simple Nokia's that seem to have flooded the market. No camera, no bells and whistles, simple to use, wish I could use it here in the states.

    There are many other places but I pointed you towards the biggest best I know of. Others are back of morning market itself, across the street at dalat kua din, or other places.

    #8 Posted: 24/9/2009 - 07:06

  • hokasch

    Joined Travelfish
    24th December, 2008
    Posts: 45

    I guess you mean the Nokia 1200 - got mine when I was in Asia. 20 bucks, battery lasts forever and..... it got a flashlight! Perfect mobile.

    #9 Posted: 24/9/2009 - 10:10

  • hokasch

    Joined Travelfish
    24th December, 2008
    Posts: 45

    Just realised the mess with "mobile standards"... So, basically, if you're from Europe, you can bring your phone to Asia. If you're from the Americas - well, it depends.

    #10 Posted: 24/9/2009 - 10:16

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  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 956

    Buy an ETL sim card. Calls to os are cheap. If you go to Talat Sao they will unlock your phone for you.

    #11 Posted: 24/9/2009 - 15:36

  • christay2009

    Joined Travelfish
    8th February, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 414
    Total reviews: 4

    Does anyone know if china mobile works in Laos? I bought a aim in china and still have adair amount of credit!

    Thanks

    #12 Posted: 25/9/2009 - 18:25

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 564

    Sure, up in Ou Tai it's the only thing that does work. Not so handy in the rest of the country, still good enough reason to go to Ou Tai.

    Map Ou Tai

    Probably good in Ou Neua and Phou Neua too but I never went there to see what kind of coverage. All your small Chinese money works up there too, Fen and Jiao and what not. Those fen coins float on water you know.

    #13 Posted: 26/9/2009 - 09:55

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6349
    Total reviews: 10

    "I just bought a local phone, cheap. Around ten cents a minute. Phone and sim card set me back 500 baht."

    I'm with Somsai here. This is the way to go. Cheap, easy. I bought a cheap phone in Thailand - didn't pay squat for it. Use one to call... painfully easy and very cheap. Calls back to the States cost almost nothing. Laos sounds the same (funny but when in Savankhet I am still using Thai phone service).

    #14 Posted: 27/9/2009 - 01:30

  • alkis

    Joined Travelfish
    8th October, 2009
    Posts: 2

    hi

    Before you leave the uk you can install near your computer an adapter called Rylwy, and you will be able to remote access your landline and cellphone for free.

    DANIEL

    #15 Posted: 11/10/2009 - 15:39

  • MyLaoHome

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd April, 2009
    Location Laos
    Posts: 10

    Basically you can get a sim card from any of the vendors.

    There have been guests asking us this repeated questions so our own hotel sells these cards for the guests where you can top them up yourselves at any grocery stores.

    Here are the following cards that you can get:

    1. Tigo (costs about $1.20USD for the card and comes with $1.20 worth of call value)
    How to Call
    Dial 177 + country code + and telephone number
    For eg: Autralia: 177 61 XXXXXXXXX
    Using 177 will cost you 2000 kip or about ($0.25) a minute.
    Tigo comes with free SMS service to Thai and Vietnamese networks.
    For a list of country codes refer here:
    http://www.tigolao.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=28&Itemid=39

    2. ETL
    Dial 188 + country code + and telephone number
    For eg: Autralia: 188 61 XXXXXXXXX
    Using 177 will cost you 1999 kip or about ($0.25) a minute.
    For a list of country codes refer here:
    http://www.etllao.com/service/ecall.html

    3. Lao Telecom
    Dial 00 + country code + and telephone number
    For eg: Autralia: 00 61 XXXXXXXXX
    Using 00 will cost you 2000 kip or about ($0.25) a minute.

    Hope this helps anyone who will be going to Laos in the future

    #16 Posted: 14/10/2009 - 13:17

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 956

    "Why cheap international calling cards?"
    This is a waste of time in Lao.

    #17 Posted: 21/3/2012 - 20:29

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