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Live Wire – Fourth 3G supplier to aid Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Live Wire – Fourth 3G supplier to aid Phuket | The Thaiger

PHUKET: May I present some good news, some not-so-good news, and some news that keeps crawling out of the mailbag, like a gift from Santa that can’t be returned.

We’ve waited years for 3G wireless internet service in Thailand. Now, suddenly, over the course of the past six months, we’ve got 3G coming out of our ears, in a wide array of incompatible, mind-numbingly complex varieties that even the sales clerks don’t understand. And we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

There’s at least one more phone company coming to the party, and two more incompatible frequencies – all of this without benefit of the government’s long-delayed auction.You know the saying, “Life will out”? With apologies to Michael Crichton and Jurassic Park, we’ve hit a point in Phuket where “3G will out.”

In spite of a decade of delays in auctioning off a specific channel for 3G communication (the so-called 2.1 GHz spectrum), with all sorts of porcine pretenders snorting at the trough, we’ve seen a plethora of 3G services, first from True, then from AIS, then from TrueMove (a subsidiary of True), and now DTAC. It looks like CAT is on the way, with its “My” service still rumored to be rolling out in January.

Here’s a quick overview of where we are, and where we’re headed.

Right now, AIS has the best 3G coverage on the island, with towers in almost all of the high traffic areas. It’s reliable, with few reported outages, although service goes up and down in Rawai when it’s raining. AIS is reasonably fast with typical international download speeds ranging from 700 to 1,500 Kbps, which is generally fast enough to stream video over a telephone or iPad, or run Skype with video.

To see the latest reported internet speeds,visit PhuketInternetSpeed.com, click on Search, and choose the Provider AIS – HSPA (3G).

AIS service works with the original Samsung Galaxy S, the iPhone 4, 4S, and iPad 2, but does not work with the original iPad, or the iPhone 3G or 3GS. To see if your phone or tablet will work with AIS, take a look at gsmarena.com and see if your device supports HSPA at 900 MHz.

Surprisingly, even though TrueMove-H uses the theoretically superior HSPA+ technology,we’re seeing TrueMove-H international download speeds between 600 and 1,400 Kbps, on average.

Reliability is good, but iPad 2 users report they have to reset their 3G carrier all the time. Coverage is good, but not as extensive as AIS. While True undoubtedly has the better technology, they aren’t opening up their overseas lines.

The net result is that, for international access here in Phuket, TrueMove-H isn’t any faster than AIS. TrueMove-H will work with the iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, and 4S. It will not work with the original Samsung Galaxy S. To see if it will work with your phone or tablet, go to www.gsmarena.com and look for HSPA support at 850 MHz.

DTAC just started a 3G service a few weeks ago. We don’t have enough information collected to tell how fast it’s running, but we do know that it uses the same towers as TrueMove-H. (Both True and DTAC sublease from CAT, which actually owns the towers and the frequency.) I’ve heard that there’s extensive coverage in Phuket Town, but haven’t heard anything about outlying areas.

DTAC has no reliable information about its Phuket HSPA service anywhere that I can find. The one map that’s accessible online only shows the old EDGE/GPRS towers, with the admonition “The Thai authorities have yet to issue licenses for 3G services”. Meh. DTAC service should be available for all of the phones and tablets that are covered by TrueMove-H.

You’d think that telecommunications companies would spotlight their latest wireless internet services with easily accessible details about what’s on offer, and how much it costs. But of course you’d be wrong.

CAT has repeatedly said that it expects to get its “My” service up and running in January. The big benefit to CAT is that it’s cheaper than the alternatives: AIS and TrueMove charge B 799 per month for “unlimited” service.

CAT is on record as offering the same for B 590. “Unlimited” is a relative term; the rules seem to change from week to week, but right now “unlimited” at AIS and TrueMove seems to be pegged at 5 GB of data per month, after which your speed is throttled way back. CAT says “unlimited” is 4 GB per month. As for DTAC,who knows?

Please keep reporting your speeds! Crowd-sourced speed reporting really works. Write to me, Woody@KhunWoody.com, if you’re concerned about how to get started. Take it from a card-carrying Dummy, it’s easy.

Live Wire is Phuket Gazette columnist Woody Leonhard’s weekly snapshot of all things internet in Phuket.

Follow him on Twitter: @PhuketLiveWire; “like” pages at facebook.com/SandwichShoppe; and facebook.com/phuketgazette.net.

— Woody Leonhard

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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