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Phuket Live Wire: Faster and closer, but not for us

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Live Wire: Faster and closer, but not for us | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Investors are lined up, and ground is about to be broken on the Asia Pacific Gateway, the fastest, slickest submarine data cable ever constructed. And it’s coming to Thailand.

While most underwater data cables in the Pacific end up in the US, this one’s different. It starts in Malaysia, travels 10,400 kilometers (more than 6,000 miles) to Japan, and hits almost every major seaside country along the way – Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and Korea.

Oh, and it will also land just down the road from here in Songkhla. But it won’t go straight to the US.

Why the weird routing? Right now, almost every backbone connection between Asia and the US goes through Singapore or Japan.

If Singapore or Japan falls off the grid, or there’s a lot of contention at the switches in either country, all of Asia suffers.

By putting a very high speed line along the west side of the North Pacific, the investors figure they’ll be able to offer lightning fast routing inside Asia, and very quick re-routing if one of the major trans-Pacific lines has problems.

It’s also fair to say that the investors – who have put down a total of US$450 million so far – expect a huge increase in internet traffic inside Asia. Explosive growth.

With the addition of major server farms in Asia – Google, Akamai, Microsoft, Amazon, and many others – and a nearly exponential increase in Asian demand for social networking sites such as Facebook and China’s Renren, Sina Weibo and Tencent, there are a whole lot of bits flying. Consider that roughly 250 million people in China use social networking sites regularly.

The number of internet users in Europe and North America has been increasing slowly for the past couple of years. The number of internet users in China, India and Southeast Asia has been going up by hundreds of millions of people per year.

Saturation in Asia is nowhere in sight.

How fast is the line? Total transfer speed is rated at just under 7 terabytes per second, which is one of the fastest cables ever laid. It’d take about 30 seconds to transmit the entire contents of the US Library of Congress over that line – or all of Wikipedia in one second.

If you used the line to stream music, you’d get about 120,000 hours of music per second.

If the routers and switches are all upgraded, using current technology, the line should be able to hit 100 TBps, almost 15 times faster than its initial configuration. That’s 1.8 million hours of audio recordings per second.

In a surprise move last week, Facebook announced that it had invested in the Asia Pacific Gateway project. As far as anyone knows, this is the first time Facebook has bought into a backbone cable.

Google’s been doing it for years, simultaneously increasing bandwidth for internet users all over the world, ensuring good connections for its own servers, and turning a healthy profit at the same time. But this is a first for Facebook.

Other major investors: China Telecom and China Unicom (two of the biggest phone companies in the world) China Mobile, LG Uplus, NTT Communications, StarHub, Vietnam Post & Telecom. That makes for a bit of a strained relationship, because Facebook is still banned in China.

The major contractor is Malaysia’s Time dotCom, which is the parent company of Global Transit. NEC is supplying most of the material and technology.

The APG has been in the planning stages for a long time; the investors first started talking in May, 2009. The main impediment to getting the agreement together: finding investors… and China. The APG didn’t get landing rights in China until last December.

I’ve looked all over the web, and can’t find any reference to Thailand’s plans for the Songkhla connection.

Last year, Thailand completed a major connection in Songkhla on the TIS (Thailand-Indonesia-Singapore) underwater fiber cable.

That line runs from Songkhla to Singapore and then Bataam. It has a capacity of 30 gigabits per second, which is just a tiny fraction of the amount of traffic the APG will carry. It’s my understanding that the TIS line in Songkhla feeds directly into the major switches in Bangrak. There’s no direct link to Phuket, or anywhere in the south.

Songkhla is also in the plans for the Southeast Asia Japan Cable, or SJC, a 10,700 km, 15 terabits per second underwater fiber cable running through Japan, China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore. Google is a major investor in the SJC. Construction on the cable started in April 2011, and it’s planned to be onstream in the second half of 2013. (15 terabits is about one-quarter as fast as the APG’s 7 terabytes per second.)

I think it’s unlikely that we’ll get a direct link to the Songkhla APG or SJC connection points from Phuket.

We’ll no doubt have to contend with (and get throttled by) the internet service providers’ facilities in Bangrak. Even so, the additional bandwidth means that Thailand’s not going to run out of data pipes soon.

Current plans put the AGP online in the third quarter of 2014. The people behind the cable have a good track record, so it’s likely that we’ll have significantly more international capacity by the middle of 2013, and a whole lot more at the end of 2014 – as long as our internet service providers are willing to pay for access.

Woody’s Sandwich Shoppes hold computer sessions under the tutelage of Seth Bareiss every other Wednesday afternoon, from 1 to 3pm. If you have a Windows problem that needs to be solved, drop by one of Seth’s free afternoon sessions. Details in the Phuket Gazette Events Calendar.

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

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

Live Wire is Phuket Gazette columnist Woody Leonhard’s weekly snapshot of all things internet in Phuket. Shoot him mail at Woody@KhunWoody.com, follow him on Twitter, @PhuketLiveWire, or “like” his page at facebook.com/SandwichShoppe.

— Woody Leonhard

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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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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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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