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Phuket to gain 1,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots to cover beaches

PHUKET: The Phuket Smart City policy will see 1,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots available across Phuket, with every major tourist beach covered under a B240 million project that is expected to start rolling out by the end of next month.

tourism, technology, economics,

Suthicha Sirirat

Saturday 7 January 2017, 09:00AM

Patong already has 120 free Wi-Fi hotspots up and running. Photo: Sasint
Patong already has 120 free Wi-Fi hotspots up and running. Photo: Sasint

B240mn project to roll out 1,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots to cover Phuket beaches





Patong already has 120 free hotspots up and running, and another 29 are in operation in Phuket Town and Saphan Hin, Chaiyut Rodjanapittayakul, Manager of the CAT Telecom Phuket office, told The Phuket News on Wednesday (Jan 4).

The hotspots provide 100/25Mbps connection speeds. “They are active now,” Mr Chaiyut said.

In Patong, free hotspots are operating along Thaweewong Rd (beach road), Bangla Rd, Rath-U-Thit 200 Pee Rd and at Patong Police Station and Patong Hospital.

“On the beach road, free Wi-Fi extends all the way to Kalim junction,” Mr Chaiyut said.

“We also aim to have more free hotspots along Thalang Rd in Phuket Old Town in time for Chinese New Year on Jan 28,” he added.

CAT has already secured the B240mn budget to roll out the rest of the 1,000 hotspots, Mr Chaiyut noted.

The NAKA Island

“We are only waiting for official internal approval from the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society to install the rest of the hotspots. We expect to have that approval by the end of February,” he said.

“Once complete, Phuket will have free Wi-Fi on every major beach, at every municipal office and tourism attraction on the island by the end of 2017,” Mr Chaiyut said.

In announcing the free Wi-Fi in Patong on Dec 28, Phuket Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan explained that the project was the result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kebsup, CAT Telecom Public Company, the Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) and the Phuket City Development Company (PKCD).

The PKCD is the same consortium of Phuket businesses that announced late last year that it is working on getting a genuine bus service up and running in Phuket in 2017. (See story here.)

“The free Wi-Fi is available for everybody to use: Thais and foreigners, and especially tourists on holiday,” Gov Chockchai said.

CAT Phuket Manager Mr Chaiyut explained that to access the free Wi-Fi, users are scan for the “@SmartCityFreeWiFibyCAT” network on their phones.

“Thais will need to enter their ID card number, and foreigners will need to enter their passport number,” he explained.

“Registration can be completed by linking a Facebook or Twitter account. Alternatively, people can provide an email address or a phone number for verification by SMS,” he added.

“It is a simple one-click registration process, which is a step forward for a ‘Smart Life’ in Phuket and in line with a modern digital lifestyle,” Mr Chaiyut said.

Additional reporting by Tanyaluk Sakoot



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Kurt | 09 January 2017 - 16:13:12

@ jslabbert. I understand you have mixed feelings about comments.
Just give it a thought: Why each WiFi spot at Patong beach has to cost 240,000 thb?
Can you justify that amount of money?

How about the needed Phuket public beach showers and toilets, guess for less than 10% of that wifi budget, no one is waiting for.
Open your eyes, please.

For the most normal elementary tourist needs on Phuket Island is never money available.
But for a film museum, the useless statue welcome thing on Patong hill, wifi Patong beach,  millions of thb, out of the blue always possible.
But toilets/showers at Phuket beacHes?  Nooo!
Why, coz not enough tea money/kick back money supply.

Who thai cares that foreign tourists/expats can not shower/pee at Phuket beaches?
The farang can pee in the bushes/in the water. Who cares?

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jslabbert | 09 January 2017 - 12:44:28

Geez, but you guys commenting on here are a bunch of sourpuss, negative people!

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Kurt | 09 January 2017 - 09:59:51

Is the thai Tsunami buoy working again?
Last year there was no money to send a vessel to the buoy for check up, maintenance and battery change.

For this wifi nonsense, just for Patong beach only,  is out of the blue a lot of money available.

Priorities-priorities.  yes-yes.

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Greg the Engineer | 08 January 2017 - 21:52:21

Beach WiFi solves a problem no one has.  Toilets and showers solve a problem shared by all.

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Rorii | 08 January 2017 - 03:43:50

Once every tom dick and harry jump on this free network it will be so slow it will be useless, and with their normal lack of maintenance, how long before it all falls apart.

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bustermanidogs | 08 January 2017 - 01:21:12

This is also another way that the government, through their single gateway censorship can keep track of everyone who enters their id to get the free WiFi. Control people that's the way they do it

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Andy | 07 January 2017 - 17:22:50

Why are these needed? Surely people who want internet access can do so using their phone at their own cost as it should be.
Is the bandwidth restricted? Otherwise one person attempting to stream a film and no one else can check emails.

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Kurt | 07 January 2017 - 17:14:30

@ Jome.  You are very right!
Of course you smell something very wrong. In our non thai eyes we smell.
Not in thai officials eyes. Their noses are closed.
Kick backs are thai way of life.
Thai buy their way up in the thai financial hierarchy, and once they arrive, they start to cash in.
At every thai level.
And the present government, and the Royal navy can not be everywhere the same time to fight this thai thing.

But I agree, this is a shameless miss use of public funds.

( With having absence of public beach showers and beach toilets in mind, which is a kind of proof)

Actually astonishing that these thai 'authorities' are able to keep up a self enriching feudal system in 2017.
Not even give a thought of 1 second or it is right or wrong.

So, when we get Phuket beach public showers and public toilets?

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Jome | 07 January 2017 - 15:43:58

Just running the numbers..........

B240 mn for 1000 Wifi spot is 240.000 THB for each spot.

The Wifi spot I installed at my home is about 7400 THB per year including router and installation.

Do I smell something wrong here....???

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Kurt | 07 January 2017 - 13:42:18

Wow, Phuket beach 'Smart life" is overtaking and overseeing another important beach matter.
Namely that of free public showers and toilets at Phuket beaches.
Until now Phuket beach goers have to pee in the bushes or in the sea.

This is another show that Phuket authorities not have even a basic clue of how to have the Phuket beach basically utilized.  

It feels a bit like doing a 6 hour flight with tv/wifi on board, but without toilets, hahaha.

Anyway, amazing how may departments, agencies, authorities have been busy to realize a simple matter.
But why not a bit of government effort about Phuket beach showers and toilets?

That B240 million wifi project thing is amazing.

How much budget got Rawai OrBor Tor many years ago to erect 2 public beach showers at NaiHarn Beach, but 'forgot' the waterpiping?
Was the 'commission' part in the approved budget not enough?

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