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Internet Service Providers Thailand

The great thing about consulting or owning your own business where you can work online is that you can literally do it anywhere. As I write this article I’m laying down in a bamboo hut in the middle of rice fields and sugar cane plantations, no one around for miles yet I’m still connected. Using AIS 3g I’m able to connect with all my operations make phone calls to clients all while drinking Sang Som and cranking the karaoke machine. Life is great.

What’s in a picture?

Ever see those pictures of guys with their feet up relaxing on the beach while working online? I think the beach is the worst place and here’s why. As good as those pictures look, it’s almost always very humid and sticky. Few pictures will ever show the reality of what these places are truly like. People never seem to capture the hawkers that come and disturb you the heat that I explained earlier and the journey time to a bathroom that is reliably clean. Maybe I’m just cynical or just a realist in saying that Paradise is not always what it seems. So if you can ignore the hawkers and you can hook up a fan at the beach your biggest problem is reliable internet access.

The only truly reliable internet in Thailand I’ve ever had was through my phone. Just because you’ve rented a brand new condo or bought a new house doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to have good internet. A guy I met last week said that he’s going around to all these apartments testing the internet speeds so that he can make the most “informed” decision. I just chuckled. While some people get lucky many people will suffer through service interruptions caused mostly by electricians cutting corners and using the cheapest gauge wire possible. Yes it’s cheaper in Thailand, but cheap is almost always not better. Internet is one thing digital professionals should not be cheap about.

The reality is you need continuation plans to get uninterrupted internet access in Thailand, like many professional mostly for online poker players working here you MUST have more than one service or you WILL have service interruption.

Current 3g rates average around 800 baht a month for 4 gigs or more which is around the typical price for basic ASDL or fiber connection. Typically to get service simply go to the closest mall (or Big C depends where you live) which is where your local providers will have a sales shop. It’s easy to prepay for 3g service but for a landline connection as a foreigner you’ll need a contract. Most internet service providers require foriegners to pay up front 6months.

I recommend AIS (12Call) for 3g service, right now for 799 a month you’ll get 12gb plus download per month (then a really slow connection for the rest of the month) you’ll also get free wifi connections in certain locations (Mcdonalds and central malls have AIS wifi!). If you’re lucky enough to live within range of the wifi connection you could get away with just that but the WiFi is unreliable . If you just want the WiFi connection it’s 99 baht a month. Just go to your phone company for more information. (3bb, True, AIS).

Internet Connection Speeds

The fastest internet I’ve seen in Thailand is from a connection of a mate of mine that lives in Bangkok. He is using True Move Ultra Speed where he regularly gets 80mbit/s download speeds.

You will see the picture below how confusing and illogical pricing is. But like everything in Thailand nothing is done logically.

 

true ultra high speed internet

So you will see two different prices here one for xDSL and one for DOCSIS. The xDSL uses phone lines but the DOCSIS uses fiber. The fiber is faster and its cheaper. If you’re looking for the fastest internet available look for the word DOCSIS.

Watch this video it will explain it better.


Fiber isn’t available in all locations however fiber is the most reliable method of delivery so if you absolutely require fast internet then you need this service or fiber from another provider.

Most Internet service providers are linked to CAT’s gateway for domestic and international content which I suspect but can’t confirm is where the government can intercept and block illegal content.  TRUE has it’s own international gateway which when that happened really helped download speeds. TRUE also owns most of the telephone lines in Bangkok . CAT used to own a monopoly on the international gateway but in the past several years the government has allowed other operators including TRUE to setup their own gateways. Again TRUE has the most Coverage in Bangkok and was the first company to get 4g.

An interesting fact is in the early 2000’s it would cost about 25,000 baht for a broadband connection that was slower than what you can get now for 600 baht a month.

Recommended Internet Providers in Thailand

CAT Telecom – Only company i’m aware of that offers up to 1Gbit/s downloads

TRUE – Leader in providing the internet which the most coverage in Bangkok

3BB – I’ve always used 3BB as my broadband connection, and without fail every month i’ll have service interruption.

Commercial

If you own a website that only has Thailand traffic then you want it hosted in Thailand. CAT-IDC has the largest data center in Thailand actually several of them. They do have cheaper specs available you just need to call them. As you can guess from the design of their website customer service for small clients is not at all helpful.

If you run a business that requires staff to use the internet all day or even large guest houses with many users or you have money to burn and want the fastest internet available in Thailand then you need a leased line and I highly recommend you look at a a commercial provider like csloxinfo who offer leased lines.

If you have anything to add, or I got something completely wrong please let me know in the comments below.


More Thailand Info:



About Chris

Chris founded Living Thai and author of the books Learn the The Thai Alphabet and How to make money in Thailand also the Blueprint for Living in Thailand. Chris started this blog with the aim of educating westerners on how to have the best time in Thailand, to make new friends and to vent his frustrations Chris is also fluent in both written and spoken Thai.

13 Responses to Internet Service Providers Thailand

  1. KennyN August 11, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

    Yea and good luck getting even half the advertised speed most of the time… Especially upload speeds which everyone seems to ignore, internet works 2 ways!

    They just do so many things wrong with the internet here… A lot of apartments/condos your only option is to buy the shared wifi, which they will usually advertise as 10/1…. but then they have the cheapest router on earth, along with the shoddiest cabling and 20+ users on 1 line, which pretty much brings your speeds to a crawl from 5pm to 1am.

    If you want a dedicated line in your room you have to get a minimum 1 year contract (maybe 6 months) +buy the equipment +pay your condo to allow them to install which was 1500 baht at my last place.. So your looking at around 3000 or 4000 baht right off the bat! You pretty much have to commit to living in the same condo for years to make it worth it!

    • Chris August 11, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

      All really good points, about the speeds. Unless you have a leased line you share the spectrum with all the other people on the same line so especially if you’re in a condo doesn’t matter even if you get a dedicated line to your room it’s still not dedicated to the provider so you’re still sharing the bandwidth with all the other people, unless you can get fiber to your room speeds will be all over the place.

  2. PITBULL August 11, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    Watt Up Chris!!

    Was @ Truemove the other day. Guy quoted me:

    iSMART899 plan $899 +VAT

    includes: 500 minutes/month & 3G/month

    Wrote 50% off, so according to him is $470+vat with a 2-month contract cuz I have my own smart phone.

    Question is: TRUE or AIS

    • Chris August 11, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

      True and AIS are different companies. The iSmartplan you only get 5g downloads, the AIS one I mentioned you get 12gb download. Also if you have a smart phone why you need an aircard for? AIS has more regional coverage so unless you’re just in Bangkok I recommend AIS.

  3. PITBULL August 11, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    TRUE was my first and ONLY visit. Will visit AIS now.
    Thanks for the 411

    PEACE!

  4. Derek August 11, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    If you live in a condo or apartment block you have to be near to the router, otherwise a poor connection and maybe slower speeds plus most condos. only have the basic package of 6 or 10mbs as a service. Depending where you live. Also, taking from exprience you might get either the router hidden away in the office and no access to reset during the night or funny looks when you do.!

  5. Colin August 11, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

    I just recently had SiNet install fibre service to my condo. 30/3 and it has been working really well so far. I was lucky that the building was in the process of switching over from TOT to SiNet at the time. They were installing the 30/3 service as shared wifi for the building with two routers per floor at a cost per user/unit of 650B per month. I got SiNet to run a dedicated line right into my unit and pay them directly 1200B per month, which to me is totally worth it. My backup is my mobile with True Move 4G but I have been thinking of switching to AIS as I never get 4G service anyways. True excuse for this is that 4G is not available in all areas of the city but truth be told I have never seen it light up and I move around the city a lot so I think it’s total bullshit.

    • Chris August 12, 2014 at 11:04 am #

      Your in Chiang Mai or another area? I think anything to do with TRUE is great in Bangkok but elsewhere no, that’s what people have been telling me.

  6. billysane August 14, 2014 at 2:51 am #

    Great advice; thank you everyone
    as Im about to launch into this scenario myself

  7. Rico August 29, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    True is truly rubbish. As is 3BB in Northen Thailand.

    The jumps in servers & also through the “Filter server” are ridiculous.

    For example: Open your command prompt & type: tracert followed by the website or server you whish to trace.

    eg: tracert http://www.youtube.com

    The results speak for themself. I even contacted True tech department to change my route to a specific server i use. No joy. They sent three idiots to my house who had no clue what so ever.

    Frustrating, yes. But it’s one of many things you must accept here.

  8. ChiangMaiGuy August 31, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    TOT in Chiang Mai – occasional problems but largely their 8mg service is excellent

  9. TylerB September 1, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    Been using AIS for years,and it is by far the best.

  10. Jon September 30, 2014 at 5:16 am #

    with aDSL, sometimes if you order the package 1 above the cheapest plan, that can make some difference. In my case with 3BB, I’ve been fortunate to have very little problems with the cheapest package (590/mo and I’ve gotten 10-12MB/s down, 0.5MB/s up). When I did this, f

    For wireless, My by Cat seems to be a good deal. Their promotions have changed, but I have 4gb/mo for 590. After the 4gb monthly cap, it drops down to 384kbps/s which is still surf able.

    Always good to have one wired connection (dsl/cable) and one wireless connection. My router just crapped out on me and I must buy a new one :(

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