Thailand to launch Free Wi-Fi for Tourists
Free Wi-Fi is on the way for Thailand residents and tourists with the introduction of the latest government project, ICT Free Wi-Fi for Tourism.
It will offer more than 1,600 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country by the end of this year. Launched late last week, the project is a joint effort of the Ministry of information and Communication Technology and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. The latter claims it will help the government reach its tourism revenue target of Bt2.2 trillion in 2015.
In the first phase, ICT Free Wi-Fi for Tourism will cover 1,615 hotspots across Thailand by the end of the year mostly in tourist destinations. Hotspots will be installed in tourist districts in Bangkok (253 spots), central region (446 spots), eastern region (201 spots), southern region (323 spots), northern region (325 spots) and the northeastern region (67 spots).
The project uses CAT Telecom as the service provider offering a speed of 2 Megabits per second for downloads. Users must register to gain access using their ID card numbers or passport numbers in the case of tourists.
After registration, users gain free account access to Wi-Fi hotspots, anywhere in the country for up to six months, but each sessions will be limited to just 20 minutes with intervals of two hours between sessions.
Free Wi Fi is part of the Smart Thailand project of the ICT Ministry that set a goal to increase Thailand competitiveness and make ICT access easier. In its free Wi-Fi scheme, the ICT Ministry plans to offer hi-speed internet for 80% of Thai residents by 2015 and set up 250,000 Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country by over the next five years.
It is not the first project to offer free access to tourists. Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has already launched Green Bangkok Wi-Fi that offers around 20,000 hotspots for two type of free internet – unlimited access hours for 256 Kilobytes/second with a download speed of 128kb/sec and five hours per month at a limit of 2 Megabytes/sec for downloads with a speed of 512 Kb/sec for uploads. True Internet Company is the provider for the Bangkok project.
Earlier this month, Pattaya City announced it will offer free Wi-Fi for tourists covering tourist areas from Na Kluea in north Pattaya, south all the way to Jomtien beach with a download speed of 2 megabits per second. It requires tourists and resident to register first, but each registration lasts three months with a maximum use of five hours per month.