Six airports, including Phuket, to get free WiFi
Complimentary WiFi, a great perk to keep passengers happy while they wait for flights, has finally arrived at Thailand’s six airports with international status, and will start in Phuket from January 1.
Two of them, Don Mueang and Chiang Mai, started offering free broadband connectivity on Sunday, while Phuket, Hat Yai and Chiang Rai are due to kick off service on January 1.
Suvarnabhumi, Thailand’s gateway airport and one of Southeast Asia’s major air hubs, will be the last to introduce WiFi on March 1 due mainly to the sheer size and complexity of the airport.
Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT), the state-controlled firm that operates the six airports, said offering free internet access is part of an overall effort to upgrade passenger services as it seeks greater global recognition.
It claims its WiFi service is superior to that on offer at other major Asian airports in terms of speed and usage time, with two hours a day of free access at 10 Mbps.
AoT says the system can link 2,000 users with complimentary WiFi at any given time.
The service is a collaboration between AoT and internet service provider True Corporation, the latter of which is spending 400 million baht to install WiFi facilities at the six airports.
AoT is not paying for the facilities, while True can improve its brand recognition at the airports and sell premium access for travellers wanting higher internet speeds and longer online time.
Senior AoT executives said AoT is talking to Total Access Communication and Advanced Info Service about providing additional free WiFi services at the airports to strengthen connectivity.
Connectivity at Don Mueang and Chiang Mai airports is via True’s fibre-optic capable of 200 Mbps broadband speed.
With more than 50 million passengers passing through the airport annually, Suvarnabhumi’s WiFi system will be capable of 2,000 Mbps. WiFi access will be available in most public areas of the airports, indicated by a sign saying “AoT Free WiFi by TrueMove H”.
Travellers can register with their Thai ID or passport number to obtain a username and password.
Information about the service can be obtained by calling 1331 around the clock.
Tuesday 17 December 2013, 12:56PM
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