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Phuket’s Internet Foibles 2G, 3G, 4G, NoG 4U PowerPoint Presentation
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Phuket’s Internet Foibles 2G, 3G, 4G, NoG 4U

Phuket’s Internet Foibles 2G, 3G, 4G, NoG 4U

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Phuket’s Internet Foibles 2G, 3G, 4G, NoG 4U

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  1. Phuket’s Internet Foibles2G, 3G, 4G, NoG 4U IBAP Meeting November 12, 2010

  2. Q: What’s up with 3G? • Thai courts blocked the 3G auction in October • But we now have 3G throughout Bangkok, Chiang Mai • We even have real 3G on the west coast of Phuket • How is that possible? Er, um, TIT… (no, not TOT)

  3. Remember AM and FM radio?

  4. 3G can use different spectrums • The older spectrum – roughly analogous to AM • Called “850 MHz” • Controlled by CAT and TOT • The newer spectrum –roughly analogous to FM • Called “2.1 GHz” • Not controlled by anybody - the government can sell it • Used by most countries for 3G phones • The blocked auction was for this second spectrum • CAT filed the lawsuit that stopped the auction

  5. 3G – Plan B • Companies wanting to sell 3G must buy from TOT or CAT • True and DTAC need 3G to support the iPhone 3G (and 4G) • No auction means they’re stuck • True (controlled by CP Group) uses CAT • DTAC (49% Norwegian owned) also uses CAT • Others (AIS/1-2-Call, iFox) use TOT • CAT has a few 3G towers in western Phuket • If TOT has 3G towers in Phuket, I didn’t find them • That’s why iFox doesn’t work

  6. What is 3G? 4G? • Mostly it’s marketing hype – sizzle, not steak • Anybody can call anything 3G • Look for the technology called HSPA – that’s real 3G • Lawsuits are flying in the US right now over “4G” • Sprint says it has 4G • Last week, T-Mobile started advertising 4G • The ITU says both of them are full of hype • What really matters is the speed, not the “G” string

  7. The fastest wireless Internet • If you’re running between NaiHarn and the Airport • Go to True and get an unlimited 3G phone number • It’ll cost B 800/month – the dongle is about B 2,000 • Speeds run from 2 Mbps in Patong to 5 Mbps in Laguna • But it could change tomorrow • CAT’s CDMA EV-DO card is still a good choice • It’ll work in most of Thailand, except BKK and nearby • Cost is about the same as True’s 3G • Runs from 0.5 Mbps to 2 Mbps, depending on location • To share a connection, get a MiFi box

  8. The fastest wired Internet • Internet speeds have changed wildly – to the better • But reliability is getting worse • Speeds vary widely, depending on location • Right now, True’s 10 Mbps ADSL is best for new service • But many places can’t get lines • In some locations, 3BB and TOT work well, too • But in other locations, they’re horrible • TOT’s Fiber Optic is getting faster • But it costs five times as much as True • CAT has Fiber Optic, but speeds are a joke

  9. What you need to know • Every Internet Service Provider has good and bad lines • Surprisingly, complaining helps sometimes • Watch to see what’s happening near you • If you want a wired line, get True 6 Mbps or 10 Mbps • Can’t get it? Try 3BB 6 Mbps or 10 Mbps • If a clerk tells you that a 6 Mbps line won’t work internationally, they’re full of, uh, hot air • If you want wireless, much depends on where you live • True 3G works well in some parts of western Phuket • CAT EV-DO works reasonably well all over Phuket

  10. What’ll happen next • Thailand may never get a 3G (2.1 GHz HSPA) auction • There are many vested interests oinking loudly • That’s not necessarily bad – LTE technology is faster • Fiber optic will come down in price • Heaven only knows if international speeds will stay high • TOT and CAT emphasize domestic, not international, speed • New services likely – I look forward to IPTV • If you’re confused about all the “3G” talk, don’t worry • Most newspaper reporters in BKK don’t understand either

  11. What you can do • Keep up on the technology • Phuket is a hotspot for computer people – really • Watch for seminars – Facebook, for example, went well • Get the facts • Whining doesn’t help • But numbers can be persuasive, especially in baht • Post your speeds at, and use the data! • Unique in all of Asia • Ask questions –even dumb ones– at the Computer Clinics • Sunday mornings, 10:00, various locations

  12. Follow me on Twitter: PhuketPC FREE Computer Clinic sessions every Sunday Check Events Calendar