Free WiFi now at all six international airports in Thailand

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Free WiFi now at all six international airports in Thailand

As of 1 January five of the six international-designated airports across Thailand will be offering free WiFi connectivity for passengers. The only one not yet set up to handle the service is Suvarnabhumi, but this has been slated to begin the complimentary WiFi service from 1 March.

The Airports of Thailand (AoT) organization which oversees the running of the nation’s six international gateways has said the reason for the delay in connecting Suvarnabhumi is simply its size and complexity.

With more than 50 million passengers, or 142,000-plus people per day, passing through Suvarnabhumi, the task of setting up the complimentary WiFi is just logistically tougher than the other five airports.

Don Mueang and Chiang Mai were the first two airports to start offering free broadband connectivity, while Chiang Rai, Had Yai, and Phuket kicked off on 1 January.

AoT has a stated aim of gaining greater recognition world-wide for its overall passenger services. Part of that is to introduce free WiFi, but the plan is to make this service one of the best in the world, or, at the very least, one of the best in Asia.

There is, not surprisingly, a catch. The maximum amount of free time is just two hours per day at a speed of 10Mbps. The maximum number of complimentary people who can be linked at one time is 2,000, which is quite high for most of the six airports, although just how much speeds can be affected if that number is reached is not known.

AoT claims the WiFi it provides is superior to that on offer at other major Asian airports in terms of free usage time and speed. For AoT the service is a collaboration with the internet service provider True Corporation.

True has spent 400 million baht to install the free WiFi service at the six airports, but believes the money is well spent in terms of the potential for passengers who may want to pay extra to upgrade in terms of speed and usage time and, just as importantly, it helps True with its overall branding.

AoT said it is also in discussions with two other prominent internet service providers, Advanced Info Service (AIS) and Total Access Communication, about the possibility of them also coming on board to strengthen overall connectivity at the six airports.

Connectivity at Don Mueang and Chiang Mai airports is currently capable of speeds of around 200Mbps broadband, but when Suvarnabhumi comes into operation its WiFi system will be ramped up to the extent of being able to churn out 2,000Mbps.

Information about the service can be obtained by calling 1331, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.