Using BlackBerry in Bangkok


Besides Indonesia, Thailand is another Southeast Asian country which has potential market for BlackBerry smart-phones and services. BlackBerry has even dominated Thai smartphone market so far.

Why is BlackBerry so popular in Thailand? As quoted by Bangkok Post, Gregory Wade, Managing Director of Research in Motion, South East Asia explained that:

First was social media. Thailand has 13 million people using social media of which 2 million are using Facebook. Sixty percent of mobile Facebook access is done through a mobile device.
Second is localisation. The BlackBerry has a localised product set, not just the phone, complete with applications that are Thai enabled.
Third is the aspiration of Thais who love their celebrities and want to emulate them, using the same phones as these social influencers.

There are three local operators offer BlackBerry services: AIS, DTAC and TrueMove. Those operators also offer prepaid BlackBerry services. Of course this is also a good news for BlackBerry users who are traveling in Thailand.

My wife has bought a prepaid DTAC BlackBerry card yesterday at MBK Center, Bangkok, for 199 Baht (around USD7). That’s an unlimited BlackBerry access for chat and social network! This is really a good price and solutions for our current trip in Bangkok :-)


  1. Hey Budi – I love that it didn’t take you long to spot the BB-fever in Bangkok. I think that things are starting to change, a lower priced iPhone – for instance – would definitely shake things up but Android is beginning to get popular.

    Sawasdee krup!

  2. Soe and Hadi: The unlimitted price is just for a week :-) But it’s still worth for traveling here.

    Overall, Indonesia’s prepaid BlackBerry service is still much more cheaper than Thailand’s. For example, Indonesia has an IDR99 (USD11) unlimited BB service package per month! :-)

  3. I know! I know the answer because when I was writing an article about Thai app developers a few months ago, everyone from developers to telecom staff to big website folks to users said the same thing: the cheap texting/message service.

    Most of them also said that BlackBerry was losing market share and it could only get worse because 1) young Thais (chat-crazy students and the like) are very fickle and 2) better and comparatively priced smartphones, especially with Android, are flooding the market. Users also said: BlackBerry drops calls too much. The exception to the forecast was a big developer that designs BlackBerry apps for use by banks and companies. You know: they issue phones to staff with apps pertaining to their job. He figured that the companies wouldn’t want to start over designing apps from scratch.

    Meanwhile, BlackBerry didn’t have an office in Bangkok as of May and I don’t recall that anyone even answered my email asking about how many users they had in Thailand. You’d think that with Thailand one of its biggest Asian markets (after Indonesia), they’d be trying to hold onto existing customers.

    That about covers my knowledge on the subject.

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