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Thailand a regional hub for internet ? Seriously ?

Thailand has probably the worst and the slower internet service in all Asean countries, except maybe for Myanmar. 3G is still a distant dream, while even Cambodia and Laos have their third generation data netwok. Not to mention widespread censorship wich can hardly stand for an example for other countries of the region.

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If you live and surf in Thailand you might be doubtful about Thailand pledge to become an internet hub for other countries. Waiting forever for the page to load is probably what you are doing right now. Nevertheless some people think that Thailand looks set to become a key international internet gateway (IIG) hub connecting countries across the region, which is needed in advance of the upcoming Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, say industry leaders, says the Bangkok Post.

To serve increasing internet bandwidth demand, CAT Telecom and True Corp plan to spend a combined 70 million baht to expand their IIG connection points to Myanmar and Laos. Expected 3G licensing in Thailand later this year is driving demand for internet bandwidth here, increasing opportunities for international gateway business in Thailand. Overall internet bandwidth demand in Thailand surged by 100% per year over the past two years thanks to the surge in mobile connectivity and social networking. However, bandwidth rental costs dropped each quarter. Thailand’s international gateway market value is expected to grow by 5% this year, up from 3 billion baht in 2011. Thailand could become internet gateway for region | Bangkok Post: business

Thailand has probably the worst and the slower internet service in all Asean countries, except maybe for Myanmar. 3G is still a distant dream, while even Cambodia and Laos have their third generation data netwok. Not to mention widespread censorship wich can hardly stand for an example for other countries of the region. To promote Thailand as a regional hub for internet would sound like promoting North Korea as a gastronomic destination.

Thailand as a regional hub for internet ? No thanks

Internet censorship is nothing new in Thailand, but lately it has gone from bad to worse. Many of you probably wonder why Internet is so slow and unreliable in Thailand, resulting in a lot of request ending on a blank page or truncated content. This not only because of poor infrastructure. Just look at the bottom of your screen and get the answer : waiting for w3.mict.go.th….

This is the address of the Ministry of Information and Technlogy of  Thailand…..Instead of investing money for a better internet, Thailand is investing a lot of money in worst and slower Internet by putting a filter on every connection from inside Thailand, using the so called “war room”, a huge tech center in Bangkok suburbs specially equipped for filtering and censorship.

Technicians in the war room have blocked 70,000 Internet pages over the past four years, and the vast majority — about 60,000 — were banned for insults to the monarchy, according to Mr. Surachai. (Most of the other pages were blocked for pornography.) 

Thus even you are not browsing pornography or dodgy content, your request has to go through “The ministry” filter for approval and checking that it is not on the banned list.

3G in Thailand ? 555

Thailand 3G debacle has been the most laughable and ludicrous Thai soap  for several years. Believe it or not but Thailand is actually the only Asean country without a commercially available 3G offer. Even Laos has one.

The long-delayed 3G service license auction has made Thailand among the last countries in Southeast Asia to fully deploy advanced wireless technology. The process has repeatedly been delayed due mainly to the absence of an independent body to regulate broadcasting frequencies, as well as changes in state administrations.

Most of Thailand’s Southeast Asian neighbors already have 3G capabilities, and 4G is already being used elsewhere in Asia. So why bother and just call it a day for 3G  and for Thailand to become a regional gateway for internet.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. HansBKK

    April 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    The provision of last-mile (sic) services has nothing to do with wholesale trunk connections internationally.

    As long as they don’t also apply their censorship BS. . .

  2. Allan

    March 30, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    I think you are forgetting that CAT Telecom Thailand is actually providing the internet to Laos (Vietnam and China is also providing a few lines) and as a heavy user in both countries, I can tell you that the Thai internet is much faster and more reliable here in Thailand than the internet in Laos.

    Laos has however already signed an MOU to connect Laos’s to the undersea internet cable in Hong Kong, meaning Laos will no longer be reliant on internet from Thailand, Vietnam and China so the quest from Thailand towards Laos might be too late or as a sub-provider.

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