The number of internet users in Thailand will reach 35 million this year or half the population, says the information and communication technology (ICT) minister.

Gp Capt Anudith Nakornthap said the figure marks an increase from 26.5 million users or 37.9% of the population last year and 9 million 12.9% in 2011.

The Thai government is gearing up to expand free WiFi coverage
The Thai government is gearing up to expand free WiFi coverage in order to narrow the digital divide.

Gp Capt Anudith credited the rise to the availability of third-generation (3G) commercial service, cheaper smart devices, a greater variety of mobile applications and free public WiFi.

While the penetration rate for fixed-line internet remains low at 10% of the population, the penetration rate for mobile devices is 136%.

“This reflects a greater opportunity for mobile internet expansion,” said Gp Capt Anudith.

 

The ICT Ministry in conjunction with state enterprises and private telecom operators currently provides 140,000 free WiFi access points in 30,000 locations

The ministry plans to add a further 150,000 access points next year under a 950-million-baht budget sponsored by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

Gp Capt Anudith said Thailand’s telecommunications infrastructure covers 87% of the population

Read the full report here: Half of Thais now on the internet | Bangkok Post: news.

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