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Phuket Live Wire: Debunking 3G in Phuket

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Phuket Live Wire: Debunking 3G in Phuket | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Anyone working in IT in Thailand should try very hard not to use the term “3G”. The scientific-sounding “3G” rates as a marketer’s dream come true. It reeks of sizzle and bling.

And, the way it’s being tossed about, it means absolutely nothing.

You would presume that 3G is better than 2G and not as good as 4G, yes? It ain’t so. It’s not true in Thailand, and it’s not true in the rest of the world, either.

A photo in my previous Live Wire column showed a CAT CDMA dongle – a USB “modem” that you plug into a computer that lets you connect to CAT’s CDMA/EV-DO signals.

The dongle is emblazoned “3G”. Only one teensy, tiny problem. CDMA isn’t 3G. At least, not according to the definition that’s widely accepted in the fragmented and inscrutable communications industry.

Look at the graph at the top of this page, and you’ll get an idea of the speeds you should expect from a 3G connection.

Some people say there’s no 3G in Thailand. That isn’t true. There are two stable, reasonably fast HSPA networks in Bangkok; one is owned and operated by TOT, the other is owned by CAT but operated by True, DTAC and a handful of smaller companies including iFox.

“But, but, but…” I can hear you say, “the Thai government has been trying to auction off 3G service, and there are lawsuits and competing governmental agencies that have blocked the auction.

“Thailand’s the laughing stock of the international communications industry – the only country with no 3G. Right?”

Well, no. That’s wrong.

To understand fully what’s going on, the first thing to learn is that the Thai government owns TOT and CAT, and both derive a very large part of their income from mobile phone concessions. When you pay your mobile phone bill to AIS, DTAC or True, a very large percentage of what you pay goes to either TOT or CAT.

The very high concession rates were established many years ago, when governments could demand a whole lot of money for using the mobile airwaves.

CAT and TOT don’t want to lose their highly lucrative mobile phone concession. That’s likely to happen if HSPA takes hold. But that’s only a small part of the problem.

To read in depth the ins and outs of why 3G in Thailand is being held to ransom, stay tuned for Live Wire next week.

Facebook 101 Seminar

Able Wanamakok’s second Facebook 101 seminar is fully booked. Facebook 101 takes attendees through the basics, from setting up a business (or organization or charity) page, designing it, drawing attention to it, and then using the page to reach out to Facebook users.

Johan Lofgren helps with the more technical parts. No experience with Facebook needed to attend the free seminars.

The next set of three seminars run May 7, 14 and 21. To attend, sign up by going to www.facebook.com/SandwichShoppe and on the left click the link marked Facebook Seminar.

The seminars are sponsored by Khun Woody’s Sandwich Shoppes, AW PR and Marketing and onsite.in.th.

Able is planning a series of seminars in Thai, starting May 28. Email Able for details.

FREE Computer Clinics

The next Computer Clinic will be on Sunday, May 1, from 10am to midday, at the Sandwich Shoppe Patong, near Andaman Beach Suites and the Patong Language School.

As always, the clinic is free and open to anyone interested in (or bothered by) computers in Phuket. There’s a lengthy question and answer period, and lots of help from kindred souls. If you have a question about computers in Phuket – or PCs in general – drop by and we’ll get you some world-class answers. The clinics are sponsored by the Phuket Gazette and Khun Woody’s Sandwich Shoppes.

Apple Mac, iPad, iPhone Clinic

I’m actively looking for someone to start an Apple Clinic. In a typical month, dozens of people approach me with questions about their Macs, iPads and iPhones.

The best solution would be to find an Apple fanatic – or an Apple dealer – who’s willing to give up a couple of hours a week to help other Apple users.

So far, I’ve heard of several Apple user groups that started in the past decade, but all of them folded for lack of interest. That’s amazing to me, because there are so many Mac (not to mention iPad and iPhone) users on the island.

My guess is that 90% of them don’t understand why “3G” on their iPhone or iPad runs so slow – and why it’s ridiculous to pay more for “3G” for use anywhere but the extreme west coast of the island.

If you want to help, email me: Woody@KhunWoody.com

Live Wire is IT guru and Phuket Gazette columnist Woody Leonhard’s weekly snapshot of all things internet in Phuket. Woody’s written more than 40 computer books including, most recently, Windows 7 All-In-One For Dummies. Follow Woody on Twitter: @PhuketPC.

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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Phuket

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

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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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International Schools

Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket

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Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket | The Thaiger

Chalong police in Phuket say they have yet to start investigating the illegal hiring of foreign teachers at an international school in Rawai, south of the island. Palm House International School allegedly hired foreign teachers illegally in which 2 were arrested by Phuket Immigration police on November 4.

Somkiet Sarasin, the leading investigator of the case, says the 2 Brits were informed that police were processing a charge of working illegally in the country against them, in which both denied the charges. Somkiet says the 2 were released on bail, but did not confirm the amount of bail that was set by the police.

“They are still staying in Thailand. I am not worried. I have their passports. I am not available to explain [any details] because the investigation is still ongoing.”

“This is normal for an investigation when the suspects deny the charge against them. I have to check more information against their claims. This case will probably be concluded next month.”

However, the investigation has yet to begin, with Somkiet saying he has not even questioned the owner of the school, despite his claims the case would be finished next month.

“The investigation into the school will take time. The investigation into the two British people must be finished first.”

Such allegations of foreign teachers working illegally have recently been in the news after Sarasas Witaed Sainoi Pitiyakarn School, in the central province of Nonthaburi, saw 7 foreign teachers probed for being hired illegally. That school, along with others in its private network, made nationwide news after CCTV caught a Thai teacher hitting, pushing and dragging a young student in the classroom. Such widespread violence against students has long been a sad component of many Thai schools, in which some of the teachers are unqualified and unlicensed to teach, but are hired anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Tourism

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend

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Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says that Phuket has received a much-needed 300 million baht boost over the 4 day long weekend with around 54,000 tourists flocking to the island from last Thursday through to yesterday.

Phuket Office Director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, reports that the average expenditure per visitor was about 5,500 baht, which was higher than the average spend for a Thai tourist to Phuket 2 years ago. She also noted that random checks on hotels showed that occupancy rates climbed to about 35%, with most guests staying 2 nights. But most of Phuket’s hotels remain closed.

Nanthasiri also says that many of the tourists concentrated themselves in the Phuket Old Town area, especially around Thalang Road, Phang Nga Road, and Dibuk Road in order to enjoy at the Sino-Portuguese shophouse architecture and historical locations. In fact much of Phuket Town, including its many markets and alley eateries, were doing roaring business, The Thaiger can vouch for the heavy traffic, on the roads and footpaths, over the past 4 days.

“This special holiday made Phuket tourism livelier, even though it was not as same as the situation before the Covid-19 pandemic.”

In fact, despite the welcome surge of visitors, it was still a long, long way from its previous tourist levels with much of the west coast, which has largely catered for the international tourist traffic, was still very quiet in places like Patong, Kata and Karon.

Phuket wasnt the only destination that has profited off of the long weekend as Chiang Mai saw droves of Thai tourists visiting its Royal Park Rajapruek as well as the northern city’s other nearby national parks and tourist areas. Visitors came from all over to see the blossoming of flowers in a beautiful display at the park as well as enjoying the air-purifying flowers as they relaxed. Tourists were able to rent a bicycle for 60 baht if they wanted to exercise while taking in the scenery and could also pay a visit to the orchid greenhouse, which hosts a variety of orchids in bloom. TripAdvisor recommends to set aside 2 hours to visit the park.

Next holiday weekend, on November 27 and 28, Pattaya is expected to get a tourism boost as its annual fireworks festivalis set to bring in travellers who have taken advantage of package deals offered by some beachside hotels. Such packages were offered for advance bookings, where holidaymakers could view the firework shows on the rooftops of their hotels. The firework displays are said to be long with breaks of entertainment-packed shows, featuring live music and student bands amongst others.

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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