Thailand Broadband Internet Comparisons

I’ll compare Internet speed tests for three different online broadband connections I’ve had the opportunity to use in Thailand. If you will be in Thailand, hopefully this comparison will help you to make a determination on which Internet broadband supplier to choose. Of the three services analyzed, one uses a mobile wireless system which uses GSM Edge to attach to the web. Another two are standard ADSL providers from competing companies in Thailand. Each of the evaluations were performed using the same notebook, at roughly the same time of day. Tests were performed within 5 KM of each other at Chiang Rai Thailand.

The first broadband type I tested was that the AIS wireless Edge solution. I purchased a USB Edge card from 7-11 convenience store which are everywhere Thailand. The price included 20 hours of wireless time.Else give a try to ourĀ tool.

You can purchase additional hours into the card. Adding 20 hours of time is 150 Baht (around $4.50 USD) The USB card itself houses a SIM card exactly enjoy the SIM card that goes into your phone. In actuality, you can swap AIS SIM cards between your phone and USB card if you want. The USB card has software built-in and I successfully Installed it on Windows XP and Windows 7 notebooks. I was unable to get the card to work with Mac OS X. The software works just like any other dial-up/3G/4G modem where you click a button to connect and disconnect from the Internet.

Why evaluation Edge rather than 3G? Well, Thailand is now caught up in legal problems with wireless carriers around allocating 3G frequencies so the current 3G offerings are very limited. Edge is the most suitable choice for nationwide coverage unfortunately. In actuality, Thailand could be better off leapfrogging 3G and going straight to a 4G technology such as WiMAX or LTE. I wrote an article for Network World magazine in 2009 regarding a Cisco pilot program studying WiMAX at a University in Northern Thailand. I have had the opportunity to view 4G in activity both in Thailand and at america and in the two locations, I came away really impressed…much more of an actual competitor to DSL than 3G wireless.

That being said, should you travel often, the AIS Edge is not a bad choice…so long as you do not need much bandwidth. Not very impressive but it does the job when just browsing the world wide web. I even was able to do a Skype video phone using this card although the movie quality was pretty bad. Audio calls worked fine.

The second speed test I tried is a DSL link from TOT in Thailand. The majority of people who have DSL opt for the cheapest offering which is 4000 Kbps download and 512 Kbps upload. Presently, the monthly cost for this service is 590 Baht ($18 USD) per month that contains a DSL modem/router The rate test revealed a much lower download amount getting approximately 1779Kbps down and 371Kbps up.

Lastly, I analyzed another favorite DSL carrier in Thailand known as 3BB. The ADSL analyzed is like the TOT offerings being 4000 Kbps download and 512 Kbps upload rates. The monthly price for the service using a comprised DSL modem router is also the same as TOT in 590 Baht per month. Unlike the TOT support evaluation, the 3BB download rates were spot on. In terms of upload speeds, 3BB was a little bit lower than the TOT ADSL link that was tested.

Please remember that this is simply one persons test. Your results might vary depending upon location and time of day. Based on these evaluations, if I were to choose a DSL provider, I would go with 3BB for its far superior download test. If I really relied on regular uploads, I’d choose the TOT DSL connection. Lastly, when I needed a mobile online solution, I would have to go with AIS’s Edge…though 3BB’s upload rates were fairly close and appear to burst at greater speeds.

Andrew Froehlich, CCNA, CCNA VOICE, CCNP, CCSP, CCDP, F5 Systems Engineer, is that the President of West Gate Networks, a network and IT consulting company located in Chicago.