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Phuket Live WIre: Choosing the best wireless connection

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Live WIre: Choosing the best wireless connection | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: In my last two Live Wire columns I talked about the three general types of internet connections available in Phuket – landlines, wireless and satellite – and then gave some recommendations about landlines. This week I’ll explain how to find a good wireless connection.

Wireless internet may be your best option in a number of circumstances. Of course, if the big landline companies (TOT, 3BB, True, CAT, and the Cable TV companies) won’t string a wire to your house, you have no choice but to go wireless.

But even if you can get a wired connection, wireless may be better, for several reasons. If you only have one laptop or tablet to connect to the internet, going with a “3G” connection (forgive me for using the term “3G” very, very loosely) gives you a lot of mobility, because you aren’t plugged into the wall. Wireless connections are generally cheaper than wired – and frequently they’re surprisingly fast. Wireless has one more built-in advantage, especially here in Phuket: the connections tend to be much more reliable than wired connections, especially older wired connections.

In spite of what you might have read or heard, wireless connections can be shared among multiple co-located computers. If you have a house full of PCs, wireless combined with a MyFi box (for details see my August 6 Live Wire column by typing “is.gd/msmOoK” in your web browser) you can share one internet connection with many devices. Some phones and tablets can also share their connections with PCs and other devices, using a technique called “tethering.” The exact method for tethering phones and tablets differs depending on which phone or tablet you’re using, so you’ll have to hunt down specific instructions. Google is your friend.

Right now, the primary concern for wireless connections is whether your phone or tablet will work with a specific vendor’s network. If you’re going to use a USB dongle to connect to a wireless network – common with laptops – you don’t need to worry: the vendor will sell you a dongle that will plug into your PC or MacBook. But if you’re trying to connect your phone or tablet, you may not have any choice but to match the phone or tablet with a network that will work with the device.

Right now there are three “3G” networks that are actively marketed in Phuket. (Others are rumored to be coming. Stay tuned.) The three contenders:

CAT “3G” CDMA 1xEV-DO does NOT work with the iPhone 3G, 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 1, iPad 2, or any of the other phones or tablets widely available in Phuket.

AIS “3G” HSPA 900 MHz does NOT work with the iPhone 3G, 3GS, or the original iPad. It DOES work with the original Samsung Galaxy S, the iPhone 4 and iPad2.

TrueMove-H “3G+” HSPA+ 850 MHz does NOT work with the original Samsung Galaxy S, however, it DOES work with the iPhone 3G, 3GS, iPhone 4, original iPad, and iPad 2.

To verify that your phone or tablet will work on a specific network, go to www.gsmarena.com and look it up. As you can see in the picture above, the new Samsung Galaxy S II works with both HSDPA 850 and 900. That means it’ll work on both the AIS and Truemove-H networks.

Note that True no longer offers its original “True Move 3G” network. As of this printing, they’re going to be moving all of their customers over to a new network called TrueMove-H 3G+. Confused? Yeah. Me, too. As I explained in my February 3 Live Wire (“is.gd/dkm5OA”), True bought out Hutch in Bangkok, and they’ve upgraded, expanded and renamed their old 3G service. Bottom line: if you were using the old True 3G service, you have to change your SIM card, but you’ll end up with a faster connection that works all over Phuket.

At this moment I’m having trouble getting my Android phone to recognize the new, improved TrueMove-H HSPA+ signal, but initial indications are that the service is significantly faster than AIS. Stay tuned for more details next week.

If you aren’t yet reporting your speeds on www.PhuketInternetSpeed.com, please drop by and sign up! It’s free, it only takes a few seconds, and the results help everybody figure out what’s working and what’s not worth the effort. Remember that all of the data is immediately available to anybody who wants to download, look at or fiddle with the results. Also remember that the Internet Service Providers are watching the reports.

Live Wire is Phuket Gazette columnist Woody Leonhard’s weekly snapshot of all things internet in Phuket. Follow him on Twitter: @PhuketPC, “like” his page at facebook.com/SandwichShoppe, or visit his free Sunday morning computer clinics at Woody’s Sandwich Shoppes.

To see what Woody’s up to in the international press, and to keep on top of the latest patches and problems with Windows and Office, drop by AskWoody.com.

— Woody Leonhard

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent

Bill Barnett

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Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent | The Thaiger

Bill Barnett from c9hotelworks.com continues to follow the difficult journey of the Thai hospitality industry. Traditionally, now would be the start of the country’s highly profitable high season for the tourism industry. But not this year. Thai hotels find themselves in the middle of an existential crisis – either still closed, only partly open, or one of the few converted to limited ASQ traffic. The situation is dire, when you consider that between 15-20% of Thailand’s GDP is linked to tourism.

In a speech this week Thailand’s Prime Minster Prayut Chan-o-cha spoke clearly that only when a vaccine is approved, produced, and implemented, would the country open to substantial tourism. Given the current timelines and forecasts, this may not be likely until mid-2021 at the earliest, though subject to advancement if the process could be accelerated, which is unlikely.

For tourism and hotel stakeholders, the writing is on the wall that 2021, for the most part, will see a continued reliance on domestic travellers, and only in 2022 will there be a large-scale return in numbers of overseas visitors.

Given the winter spike in Asia, Europe, and North America of Covid-19, Thailand is not alone in relying on the vaccine to return tourism but the process will not be instant and the re-openings of borders will most certainly be staged.

HERE’s a list of 113 Alternative State Quarantine hotels.

The business reality for Phuket and across Thailand is to plan for the worst in the coming six months and only expect 2022 to see a notable uptick.

Currently, the hotel sector continues to advocate to the Thai government and Central Bank for debt and financing relief measures and assistance in a social security supplement to retain staff.

While it’s negative news, it at least allows for hotels to understand the challenges ahead, plan and adjust their operating models going forward. ‘Survive the downturn’ is the new mantra.

No vaccine, no entry. Read more HERE.

No vaccine, no flight. Read more HERE.

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Phuket

Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: ประชาสัมพันธ์ เทศบาลตำบลวิชิต

Hundreds of residents in Phuket’s Wichit subdistrict attended a workshop focused on reducing stress from to the pandemic-induced economic crisis. A psychologist was even on site to help those who had extreme mental stress and a Buddhist monk taught meditation techniques to reduce physiological effects of stress.

The event was planned in response to an online survey conducted by the municipality asking residents about how much stress they were experiencing from the economic climate. They found that some residents had serious stress issues brought on by the pandemic and financial problems, according to Wichit Mayor Kreetha Chotiwichphiphat.

“The loss of income due to the economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 situation has resulted in some people in the area suffering serious stress, which can lead to serious mental health issues.”

Around 350 people attended the event. The mayor says it was the first step in caring for the residents’ mental health. Local officials plan to hold similar workshops in the future.

“It was a good opportunity for people to realise the importance of mental health and to learn techniques of how to deal with stress, which will help people to maintain their physical health and avoid developing mental health problems.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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