24 replies to this topic
Posted 2006-11-08 17:17:12
[flood control doesn't seem to know that I can shoot out 3 meaningful posts in 60 seconds. but ok, on other occasions it has saved me ]
I have been using DTAC GPRS for ages. It works well, but it's costly compared with new AIS offers. And it's dead slow, EDGE nowhere to be seen.
Now I am trying AIS GPRS - on a prepaid card, there's 50 hours of GPRS included for free (*), and 60 hours per month cost THB 216.-.
Cost: THB 399 for 50 hours / month
EDGE: One or two spots in Chiang Mai, BKK downtown _only_
Needs Postpaid account: Yes.
Cost: 216 THB for 60 hours / month
EDGE: Seems to be more readily available in Chiang Mai, BKK not tested
Needs Postpaid account: No!
Looks like a clear decision. However, AIS seems to be very unreliable. At home in the mountains in Pai, neither AIS nor DTAC have EDGE. However, the DTAC connection runs at a consistent 4KB/Sek whereas AIS seems to drop to 1KB or even a few hundred bytes per second.
Does anyone have more extensive experience with AIS? Is the low rate for standard GPRS normal for AIS or a temporary blip?
I really like that AIS works with a prepaid account as well - that's very cool. Not rocket science either - on the beginning of the month, they deduct the cost from your account.
Thanks for any pointers!
Posted 2006-11-08 18:26:05
Along those lines….
What is the best pre-pay service to use for good speed for the laptop?
Anyone use pre pay Edge/GPRS(DTAC, AIS) CDMA (Hutch) PCMCIA cards? Best value?
I have used the hutch CDMA before… better than GPRS, but not sure if better than EDGE. Do they do pre pay now? They didn’t before.
Posted 2006-11-08 19:07:42
Well yeah, I am testing AIS prepaid GPRS service. EDGE works, but it's pretty unreliable and gets around 8K - 12K/second. Drops out a lot though - if I had to guess I would say that many people are trying to make calls using AIS and that severely affects the EDGE speed.
I have a brand new Nokia N73 so I am pretty sure that's doing EDGE as fast as is possible, eg. its a class 10 EDGE device. Cards for the laptop won't be any faster 'cause that's as much as EDGE can do.
I am pretty sure that Hutch (CDMA) is a whole lot faster.
Posted 2006-11-08 19:37:10
A year ago I would recommend Dtac. Now I can't find EDGE anymore.
I went to Hutch shop and they demonstrated how it works. They couldn't install it for fifteen minutes and then it dropped the signal before I could open IE. I'll give it a try again as now they offer free service for a year if I buy their 12k aircard.
There's new CDMA service by TOT in the works. It could be a lot faster than Hutch. I'm not really sure if they are related in any way or if I could use Hutch aircard with the new TOT network, or in fact with the expanded CAT network that should also offer better speeds.
Posted 2006-11-08 20:24:39
While it it easy to compare price in baht per hour, it is nearly impossible to compare performance as that is dependent on so many variables; location, day of week, time of day, the ISP, their backbone, etc. You are using excess capacity, in most instances, for data applications and as voice traffic increases there is less bandwidth for data. I am not sure where Pai is, but it's easy to imagine a single E1 microwave uplink (2.048 mbps) capable of carrying up to 120 voice calls getting pretty saturated. Even at 8 baht per hour it's quite a fantastic bargain, IMO. I pay 1-2-Call 107 baht per month for 25 hours on a prepaid account. I consistently get 80 kbps (10 kBps) throughout Thailand (Phuket, Chiang Mai, Issan, Chantaburi). I do not believe I have ever gotten EDGE connectivity/data rates?
Seems like it's an easy decision for the OP: DTAC.
There was a longish thread recently on GPRS. Some were raving about TrueMove's unlimited GPRS plan at, I think, 399 baht per month.
Posted 2006-11-08 20:30:38
Read an interesting article in the paper the other day about AIS going to be offering some sort of wide ranging wifi service, instead of a wifi thing only working in a 20-30 metre radius, this new system is mean't to cover a few klms!!! should be good.
Posted 2006-11-08 20:46:33
WiMAX (802.16), dream on. Paid WiFi (802.11) services are ~ 75 baht per hour here. Is that price-point acceptable to you today? Do you use them? I'd expect WiMAX, if it is ever commercially deployed here, to be more costly. Do you have any WiMAX capable devices?
Edited by lomatopo, 2006-11-08 20:48:48.
Posted 2006-11-24 08:50:59
Well that depends - I know a lot of places that offer free WiFi, and others like Wawee which go for 30 baht per hour. As GPRS has shown, it can take a long time until the pricing stabilizes at a point where it's fair.
Big hotels love to offer WiFi as a 600 or 700 Baht/day addition, recently checked a few of those in Chiang Mai. Then there are small guest houses that offer the same thing for free. Makes sense? No.
So WiMax pricing is completely open but I doubt that they will make it very expensive.
The bigger problem is the lack of equipment. I believe Intel plans to make WiMax chips part of every laptop shipped - once that happens it will be popular. Maybe in 2 years, maybe 3. It's not going to happen tomorrow. Or anytime soon. In reality, it will just be another 3G service competing with other 3G/4G services out there.
Korea is as far as I know the only country that has a WiMax network, they call it WiBro. Lots of potential but this is Thailand and not Korea - it will take a while to get here...
Posted 2006-11-24 09:02:14
I think the best we'll get in the near future is CAT's (together with Hutch) CDMA EV-DO service.
CAT is running trials in Phuket as we speak, with the first results very promising, speeds of up to 1mbps download were possible, but reckon they'll settle at around 400kbps as the network gets more saturated.
They plan to roll out pretty much in all of Thailand during 2007...
Current plans are to ofer unlimited service for 999 Baht/month...
Posted 2006-11-24 09:02:51
Plain old GPRS maxes out at 48kbps (~4kBps) so if you get 80 it has to be EDGE. EDGE bundles a few GPRS channels together to get higher data rates.
80kbps sounds pretty average for EDGE - the difference between theoretical maximum data rate and actual average data rate is very high for EDGE. When I tried in in CM, I got 12kBps but it would go down and up like crazy - very inconsistent. I think that's because when people make phone calls, they use some slots which are then not available for my EDGE connection.
I think the bottleneck is the wireless connection to the mobile mast rather than any connection going out from the mast... I am no expert but from what I read about it - a long time ago - the wireless bandwidth is just pretty low.
Posted 2007-07-06 13:13:44
Posted 2007-07-06 13:29:06
I use Hutch CDMA since 2 years and I'm really happy with it. I live somewhere in the Kanchanaburi mountains lucky to get just a direkt view line to a Base station 6km away, GPRS never worked in any uefull speed. CDMA is reliable and quite fast. I get usually 16.8kB 134.4 Kbit/s download speed. That's better than ISDN. problem it needs bit time to speed up. But with Free Download Manager not bad at all. SKYPE or VOIP is of the same reason bit slurry. I'm sitting now in BKK and have that modem with me here even SKYPE and VOIP are O.K. So you are pretty mobile where ever you get a connection and that is not everywhere. Cost unlimited 999 baht/month. The modem (USB) was about 4000.-Baht. I don't have any chance at the countryside for any fixed line.
Posted 2007-07-06 14:49:40
does that POSTPAID ACCOUNT NEEDED only apply for the EDGE-usage or for GPRS as well ? so far, I used the AIS prepaid-GPRS a couple of months, but indeed not very impressed.... very slow, permanent disconnections. the best connection I experienced was in Phatthaya, the worse in HatYai (disconnected every 10 minutes). I am considering to give DTAC a try, but I dont have a postpaid-account, nor do I want one...
Posted 2007-07-06 15:03:42
You can use a DTAC pre-paid card (which is what I have). After getting it, call 1678. It will ask if you wish to use English. Then tell the person you want 7 days unlimited GPRS. This costs 269 Baht + vat = 299 Baht. They also have one day unlimited if you just want to test it. Just be sure you are topped up enough to cover the cost of the GPRS charge (299 baht).
Posted 2007-07-06 15:25:13
Actually GPRS can give you 80 Kb/s when you are close to a tower and using a class 10 modem with 4 download slots. The data rate per slot varies depending on encoding scheme. The Wikipedia article for General_Packet_Radio_Service is pretty informative on this topic. When you are further from the tower, the speed per slot drops from 20 Kb/s all the way to 8 Kb/s. One way I can figure 48 Kb/s is if you assume class 10 with an intermediate encoding rate of 12 Kb/s per slot... there are two faster rates than this when you get closer.
I'll note that this thread inspired me to pinch my wife's EDGE-capable phone for a day and check coverage at our house. We now have EDGE coverage indicated with both our AIS and DTAC SIMs, whereas a year ago neither network showed EDGE coverage here in Nonthaburi. Of course, now that I have ADSL I don't really need it at home...
Can anybody verify whether post-paid is really necessary? I tested GPRS service on both the AIS and DTAC which are both pre-paid for me, and the phone indicated EDGE for both, but I didn't actually do any performance tests to verify the EDGE speed. I guess I'll have to borrow her phone again and do better tests next time.
Posted 2007-07-06 15:28:45
No WiMAX 802.16d or 802.16e for a long time. NTC still messing about with frequency allocation.
Posted 2007-07-16 17:24:42
Done any performance testing on EDGE vs GPRS speed yet?
Is it worth buying a new EDGE-capable phone if all you're going to do is some regular surfing..?
Posted 2007-07-16 20:09:24
Yes, it's worth it.
I am now 100% on AIS because they have EDGE coverage almost everywhere which makes up for their slower GPRS speed. Also, I like prepaid cards better.
DTAC, last I checked, had EDGE coverage only in very few, very select places.
As for speed - EDGE is slow. GPRS is d_amn slow.
Edited by nikster, 2007-07-16 20:11:03.
Posted 2007-07-16 20:16:52
I have an EDGE compliant phone now and DTAC pre-paid. Living several kilometers outside of Chiangmai I can pick up EDGE with no problems. However, running the international broadband speedtest, I get 200kbps download (close to theoretical max for 4 slots) but only 20kbps upload. That's a 10:1 difference verses what one sees on ADSL of around 2-3:1. Any ideas why this degree of difference. Those with AIS & EDGE, what performance numbers do you have?
Posted 2007-07-16 21:03:31
Unfortunately pretty normal. They put all the effort in the download and forget about upload.
The CAT trial on CDMA EV-DO is even worse, downloads over 500kbps with uploads of 10kbps! Makes it utterly unusable for for example VOIP!
Posted 2007-07-16 22:07:15
Long forgotten thread.
I dumped my Dtac SonyEriccsoon card after they couldn't explain why it can't pick up EDGE even at their HQ on Vibhavadi, and it wasn't only mine card - I tried several of theirs as well. A moron upstairs they called on the phone kept on going that the network is up and running and that there are no problems. Support staff downstairs had no idea what happened, they promised to give me a call that never came. I went there again after a couple of months and it was the same story all over again.
Most probably they had upgraded their network and forgot to check compatibility with existing devices.
So EDGE had worked for me for about a year and then died. The card is locked to Dtac and so is useless even if I change the provider. Still runs GPRS though, I ever need it again.
New Hutch Sierra aircard sounds interesting on paper, and even if their actual speed is only half of what is advertised it's still impressive.
I went to a Hutch shop yesterday (on Sunday), and in true Hutch tradition they told me that they don't stock it yet and that I should check in other Hutch shops.
Let's see if the new EVDO turns out to be a flop - Thai operators are doing everything in their powers to keep people from using mobile Internet services. Resistance is futile. I should accept I can't win.
Posted 2007-07-16 23:29:41
That's strange, My wimax 16d unit is being configured *now* - 24mbit downstream.....
Back OT, DTAC have always been the best for me - i'll repeat a few tips;
1) find a local web proxy - DTAC use KSC as their backbone
2) set off a ping, 32 bytes, 10 second delay - that will keep the session alive.
 should have had it today, but had to leave early, shall post results tomorrow when i get my hands on it. I'm 4km from the PoP - my legacy 2.4ghz stuff reached 1.4mbit (ODU mounted inside)
Posted 2007-07-17 06:49:59
Please do post the results in a new thread, and let us know what company is offering this, for what price, and where!
Posted 2007-07-17 12:35:21
REALLY! If you are operating a WiMAX 802.16d BTS or CPE in Thailand you are doing so illegally! No licenses have been issued and the frequencies in the 3GHz and 2GHz bands are not yet allocated. Please do tell me more.
Posted 2007-07-17 16:09:48
Mmmmm, I think Phazey is not in Thailand, although not too far away