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Internet in Thailand


Internet in Thailand
Internet in Thailand
Internet in Thailand
Internet in Thailand

The reality is that the Internet has become an integral part of a modern life, no matter if you are at home, at work or abroad on holiday.
Even if you plan to come to Thailand just for a few days, at least once you might want to check email, Facebook, check the news or call friends and family via Skype. Therefore, when planning a visit to Thailand it would be a good idea to understand how, where, at what speed you will use the Internet and how much it is going to cost you.

Just to get started here is a list of all the possible ways to connect to the Internet:

- Commercial Access Point (Internet cafes, business centers at hotels);
- Free connection point Wi-Fi;
- Commercial connection point Wi-Fi;
- GPRS / EDGE / 3G;
- Mobile high-speed Internet CDMA;
- Connect through a phone line ADSL.

Now lets have a closer look.

Internet cafes, business centers at hotels

Although hotels are named commercial access points, many of them offer Internet free of charge (most likely, the fee for using the network is already included in their room rates). Apart from these, there are hotels where using the Internet is a quite expensive service. It's funny and illogical at the same time, but the fact is, that most often, the more expensive the hotel, the more likely it is that the Internet there is not free of charge and the price will be sky-high.

Further on there is a variety of Internet cafes providing both personal computers and Wi-Fi connection for your laptop. Here, as a rule, they would charge you per minute (from 1 to 4 baht per minute) or per hour (from 20 baht per hour).

If you only need to check your mail once a day, check the news and make a call on Skype, there is no need to drag your laptop around – there are lots of Internet cafes around the island. There will only be a question of choice on the basis of "like / dislike" and "expensive / cheap."

Among other Internet cafes stands Sawadee Internet Cafe, located in the IT Complex Samui (between Crystal and Lamai beaches). There you can find rare in Thailand fiber line, rent a separate office for work and take advantage of all the technology to read all kinds of media, burning CDs and have access to high-quality photo printing.

Free Wi-Fi connection point 

The name already suggests that there are some places, mostly with a huge amount of people, where there is an access to the Internet via Wi-Fi.
Typically, this service is offered at airports, large supermarkets, cafes and restaurants networks.
Here is an example of the few places on Koh Samui, where there is free Wi-Fi, and which you can use in case of a problems with the Internet in your area:
• Food Court Big C;
• Start Lamai Beach Road near the hotels Ananta and Sunrise;
• On the beach near the hotel Lamai Coconut Resort Calm Beach Bungalow;
• On the beach near Impiana Chaweng;
• On Chaweng beach near the Imperial Samui Resort;
• On the beach near the Maenam Thiptara Resort;
• At Maenam beach near the Hutcha Resort;
• On the beach near the Bophut Bandara Resort.

This is just a brief example. Hot Spots list of the places with Free Wi-Fi is not limited to the above-listed.

Commercial Wi-Fi connection points 

It is quite natural that if there is an opportunity to provide customers with a connection to the Internet via Wi-Fi, then by closing the access to it with a password, you can take money from those wishing to join the world wide web.
In the most simple case, the payment goes to the hotel, cafe or restaurant. But some providers while "making money out of thin air" think more globally by setting repeater points. They would offer you connection to the Internet in more places, without reference to the physical location of their office.
Such a Wi-Fi hot spot, if it sees your laptop, connects to it, but as soon as you try to browse the net it will redirect the connection to the service provider's website, where there will be their office address, pricing and payment options. Most often, the access code can be purchased right on the same page with the usual bank card payment services.

Mobile GPRS / EDGE Internet
To activate mobile Internet you only need to have a SIM card from one of the mobile service providers in Thailand: DTAC, AIS (1-2-Call) and TrueMove. In this case, access to the network is granted at any time and in any place where there is a steady signal.
Here is some info about these operators.
Internet speed:
GPRS - to 33 Kbit / s;
EDGE - up to 384 kbit / s.

Activating GPRS / EDGEpackets:
  - a call to DTAC CALL CENTER (3 baht) on number 1678 and then 7 for English (you can ask for help from a local friend or a seller in 7/11 and apply for the service in Thai). First you need to ask them to activate GPRS/EDGE/3G, and then, once activated, chose the package;
- Sending the SMS code to the number from the table (free);
- Call by dialing * 1004 and then press 1 (free);
- Call by dialing * 1888 to have an idea about available packages and optionally change your signed package (free of charge).

Since the packages are prepaid, make sure that you have a sufficient amount of credits on your account. Otherwise it will not work.
Note: After activating GPRS/EDGE/3G services and before purchasing a package, by default you will be charged by per-minute billing (1 baht per minute). If, after the expiration of any monthly package you do not disable it and continue using the Internet, you will be charged on the basis - 1 baht per minute (rates may vary so check the mobile operator website).

Internet speed:
GPRS - to 33 Kbit / s;
EDGE - up to 460 kbit / s.
Rates can be found at
Activating GPRS / EDGEpackets:
- For some phones connection mode GPRS / EDGE is set automatically;
- After contacting the service provider on their website you receive an SMS with instructions;
- After a call to the AIS CALL CENTER on the number 1175 you receive an SMS with instructions.

Since the packages are prepaid, make sure that you have a sufficient amount of credits on your account.
Note: After activating GPRS/EDGE/3G services and before purchasing a package, by default you will be charged by per-minute billing (1 baht per minute). If, after the expiration of any monthly package you do not disable it and continue using the Internet, you will be charged on the basis - 1 baht per minute (rates may vary so check the mobile operator website).


Internet speed:
GPRS - to 33 Kbit / s;
EDGE - up to 460 kbit / s.
Rates can be found at
Activating GPRS / EDGEpackets:
- Calling * 9000 (free of charge);
- Sending an SMS to 9789 with the code, according to the table on the website.

Mobile high-speed Internet CDMA (3G)
Let me start by saying that in Thailand for some reason the frequencies for 3G has not been formally allocated. But this does not mean that such a service is not available. It is just the "Big Trinity" and wired public operator TOT than has joined them recently are working on a "temporary licenses"... And the license has been renewed several times, so even with a little knowledge of this country, I would assume that this " temporary" will last for years.

However, it has never been an issue. The main difficulty is that without having a certain standard, operators have to work with those frequencies that they already have. And sometimes those are quite unusual ranges. For example, AIS is using 900 MHz, while True, which has an extensive network of customers in 3G, it is generally using 850 MHz (True is the exclusive distributor of the iPhone, which operates exactly at this frequency). Therefore, some phones simply "do not see" the network.

The standard for 3G frequency is 2100 MHz. But only TOT, previously only wired telecommunication provider, is now working in this range.
All of the above applies to attempts to implement 3G networks by mobile operators operating in the GSM standard.
On the other hand, CDMA networks data transmission via 3G has been commercially launched a long ago, covering 80% of the country.

Provides 3G services using the CDMA 2000 technology in the central part of Thailand (including Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin). The theoretical maximum speed - 2.4 Mb / s. Unlimited access costs about 1,000 baht per month. http://www.hutch.co.th/mbi/index_en.htm

Provides 3G services based on EV-DO technology in the rest of Thailand.
The theoretical maximum data transfer speed - 3.1 Mbit / s. Unlimited access costs about 700 baht per month. http://www.cattelecom.com/site/en/main.php

Wired Internet
If you plan to stay in Thailand for a long time, you would probably prefer renting a private house or an apartment (everything related to house or villa rentals you will find in other sections of our site.) In this case, the most appropriate would be to use the ADSL Internet, since it gives you a relatively high speed, provides a constant connection to the network and does not require the installation of a new line.
Services are provided by such telecom giants as TOT and 3BB (the company that has recently bought the corresponding unit of TT & T, all its customers were also transferred to 3BB), True, CAT and a number of smaller operators.

Here is more about the providers of Internet access on Koh Samui
3BB – a big player. The largest and most popular company among people on the island. Provides access to the Internet via ADSL and Optical.
3BB office is located here - 9.53399 100.04200 .
TOT - the second most popular ISP in Koh Samui. Also provides access based on ADSL and Optical technologies. Is a direct competitor to 3BB.
TOT office is located here - 9.55542 100.03123 .
CAT telecom - less popular ISP on Samui. Provides access only via Optical technology.
CAT telecom office is located here ( 99.93488 9.53761 ) .
True offices are located : in the Tesco Lotus , Chaweng , opposite banks, near MK, and in Big C, on the second floor.

According to the experts, the best quality of communication is provided by True. However, it does not cover the entire Thailand (even in some areas of Bangkok it is not technically possible to connect to that network.) So you have to consider other options. The most reliable of these are the TOT and 3BB.

This is the most common way of Internet access. Carried out through the phone line. Requires ADSL modem, which is available now for a modest fee of 400-500 baht. There are also more expensive devices, such as ADSL-WiFi router, which will cost you about 1500 baht. However, the second option is more preferable. If you do not have a telephone line, a provider will be happy to give it to you from the nearest switching point. It will cost you about 1 baht per meter of cable.
To date ( July 2013 ) the minimum rate of ADSL at 3BB and TOT is 10Mb / 512Kb. Yes, that is the way it is, incoming traffic rate is 20 times different from the outgoing. Prices in 3BB and TOT for the same ADSL speed is 590 baht. There are tariffs with higher speed available.
All rates can be compared and you choose the best for your needs and conditions on the following websites:

http://www.asianet.co.th/ENG/aboutus.html (True)

It is less common but more high-speed internet technology. The data is transferred via fiber optic cable. To connect to the Internet it is required to run a cable from the nearest switching point. You will also need the converter from the optical signal to a twisted pair. The price in each case varies on the complexity of the work and can go up to several thousand baht. Converter, as a rule, is provided free of charge, though you will have to buy a WiFi router (1500 baht on average). To date ( July 2013 ) the minimum speed rate at 3BB Optical was 30Mb / 3Mb, with a cost of 1200 baht a month. TOT and CAT telecom offer minimum fare at 20Mb / 5Mb, with the cost of 1,300 baht. Other rates are provided on the companies websites.

The Internet on the island of Koh Samui is supplied via optical cable through the sea as Satellite technology requires a lot of energy and electricity on the island ... - This is another big problem, which is gradually being solved , but not completely, since there is no power station on Samui and never will be.
Therefore, the quality of the Internet on the island may change several times during a day , depending on the overall load. Generally, in the evening and on the weekend the speed is getting worse.

So let me get back to the beginning of the topic about ADSL, to the very question of choice of the place of residence.
Of course you should check the availability of the Internet Access on the very first stage of choosing a house, but in case you have picked a really nice one and there is no access to the network, get yourself ready for some negotiations with the owner of a house or villa.
Typically, the owner of the property has a telephone line which you can use to go online via ADSL technology. But not all of the hosts would willingly allow you to do so.

Let me explain why.
At the signing of the one year contract provider does not charge fees for laying cable and other related services since the cost of the whole work here is approximately equal to the cost of a monthly subscription fee. However, in case of early termination of the contract the customer shall pay the full amount (which is about seven thousand baht). Therefore, if the owner of property is not certain that you will stay with him for that same year, compensating all costs, then convincing him that paying a monthly fee even after your departure is still profitable (the Internet can be claimed by other tenants) might sometimes be very difficult .

This is the mentality of the local people, no matter how good you would explain the benefits of investment in the Internet - if the tenants at some point are not occupying the house, just giving the money to the provider for such owners is like a sharp knife.
Although, of course, one always can and should try to negotiate, because those owners who already have Internet access has once held similar talks with the residents and it all turned out well.

Another option is when the tenant - a foreigner is signing the contract once. The companies would ask you to pay the full amount of annual service immediately when signing the contract.
Note: Today (Summer 2013) a contract from TOT can only be signed by the Thai, while such companies as 3BB and True allow foreigners signing the contract with their travel document.

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