Pattaya, the 1st of May 2009 [PDN]: This development is also in accordance with the initiative of Pattaya’s Mayor, Mr. Ittipon Khunpluem’s desire to Wi-Fi the city; an initiative which is already being supported by local businesses who are increasingly installing free Wi-Fi in their various public venues. One of True’s main partners as regards Wi-Fi and otherTrue services will be the Beaches Resort in Bang Saray. True, itself, already has over 400 WiFi hotspots in the city with more expected imminently.
True Online intends to invest a total of Bt200 million in the expansion of its 8-megabit broadband services to other provincial centres as well, including Chiang Mai, Phuket and elsewhere in Chonburi Province, later this year. In June, the company has plans to increase international bandwidth from 12 to 17 gigabits at a cost Bt420 million.
The response from broadband-deprived customers in the capital was spectacular, True having netted an extra 10,000 customers following the initial inauguration of broadband in Bangkok in April. The company expects to do likewise in Pattaya by the end of 2009, concentrating on professional and heavy duty Internet users.
The move into broadband is seen as essential for Thailand to maintain its commercial competitive position in SE Asia and, although investment is not expected to be as good as it might have been due to the global economic downturn, which is progressively, but inexorably affecting Asia, the introduction of broadband facilities will also act as a spur to economic growth. True’s MD, Vichaow Rakphongphairoj, also maintained that its new initiative “will also pave the way for third-generation mobile broadband service.”
Customers requiring the 8-megabit package need to initially register a True Move mobile-phone number or have a TrueVisions pay-TV service account. Unlimited 8-megabit service, plus a 2-megabit wireless broadband component from True Move, will cost Bt1,199 monthly. True will also be introducing a value 3-megabit service for 450 baht a month. Alternatively, for the price of Bt579 monthly, customers can get unlimited 3-megabit broadband service, which also includes 20 hours for WiFi, Edge and GPRS, plus unlimited calls between 5am and 5pm, within True Move’s network.