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BANGKOK 15 October 2018 16:22
Grin Grasser

Question - Pattaya LTE prepaid wireless connections? - 5-2018

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I am a frequent visitor to Thailand, mostly Pattaya every 2-3 months.  I want to conduct personal business on the internet via my laptop.  But, my hotel's wifi and others warn against such personal business saying that your internet activities can be read (recorded) by others.

 

MANILA, PHILIPPINES.

 

In Manila, Philippines, there are wireless and wired internet connections.  Two types of wired connections are DSL and fiber (faster, more costly).  Three types of wireless connections are dongle, wifi, and SIM.  Speed was mainly 3G, now it is mainly LTE (similar to 4G).  

 

The dongle is a usb plug-in, requires a SIM, and is pre-coded for internet connection which can vary from 2G to 3G to HSPA (or, HSTA?, this might be LTE), depending on how many other people are connected to the same wireless tower.  The dongle's SIM can be taken from your cell phone, since it is the dongle that is setup for LTE.  However, as of 2017, cellular companies no longer sell dongles.  One reason is that most users of internet utilize smartphones.

 

The wifi device (not to be confused with wifi service offered at coffeehouses, etc) is now sold by Philippine cellular companies.  It comes with a battery, charger, and a SIM.  It requires setup with id and password.  Similar to a dongle, but there are differences.  A dongle has a flashing light and the color of the light indicates the type of connection (2G, 3G, or HSPA) -- quick to see.  A wifi device requires your brower to connect to the wifi device's signal via a url like 1.2.3.4 which shows a page with data on its connection.  A dongle has a similar pop-up, called a dashboard, with less details.

 

The LTE SIM costs more than a regular SIM, maybe 150 pesos versus 80 pesos, depending upon your sidewalk vendor.  I heard several years ago that the PI government requires vendors to register your name and id with each SIM sold.  I guess LTE SIM are for use in smartphones and generic wifi devices.

 

Other bits on PI wireless:  In Manila, there are two main cellular companies -- Smart and Globe.  "Prepaid" internet usage is done by adding load (i.e., pesos) to the SIM.  Both companies allow for transfer of certain amounts of load from one SIM to another SIM, but not between the two companies.  A second way to buy a card from a sidewalk vendor that contains the codes for adding load to your SIM, or buy the load from the vendor (such as 7-Eleven) who will transfer the load from his phone to your SIM.  By comparison, the term "postpaid" refers to a monthly subscriptioon plan that may have a minimum subscription period of two years and a termination fee.

 

The basic cost is 5 pesos for 15 minutes of internet connection, valid for 24 hours.  They also offer various packages, costing 20 pesos and up, for varying days of validity, and for certain amounts of bandwidth.  For example, on a Smart SIM, you can send a SMS (text) stating SURFMAX50 to 9999 -- this gets 3 days of validity, up to 100 mb of bandwidth, costing 50 pesos.  A year ago, you got 800 mb.  Separate from the internet order's validity is the validity of the SIM.  A regular SIM is valid for about 30-45 days after its last load.  After the validity date expires, you have to buy a new SIM.  To avoid this, I transfer 5 pesos every month to the SIM.  Others have told me that they have made their SIM numbers -- with no expiry date by contacting the respective company, but they could not recall exactly how they did it.

 

One problem I encountered was my load disappearing, 2.5 pesos per incident.  Recently (few months ago), PI government instructed the cellular companies to stop such load disappearance.  Over a year ago, I emailed Globe about this problem.  Globe replied that the 2.5-peso charge was for certain vendors' premium texts that could be stop by replying to the phone number to stop them.  The problem was that I never received those texts, because I powered off my dongle when I was finished using the internet.

 

In general, Manila cellular services were good initially, but deteriorated quickly to problematic status within several months.  Probably due to over-subscription.  For example, for years I have a post-paid subscription to Sun cellular company, 799 peso per month for unlimited 3G usage.  I guess it was taken over by Smart a few years ago.  Whenever I am in an email account or other online account, the internet connection will terminate on the average of once every 2 minutes depending upon the day of the week and time of day.  In addition, I can no longer buy a Thai Airways ticket.  After selecting flights, the web page shows "Error 403", which for cause, a web search lists almost anything could have gone wrong from the airline's server to my server to my browser to virus, etc.

 

In addition, my dongles have stopped connecting to the internet, but still sends and receives SMS (texts).  In Feb, one Smart office told me that it could not test the dongle that I brought in.  In April, another Smart office told me that my dongle was stopped for policy violation and I had to show my ID and write a letter of complaint to resume service; but its record lacked indication that I showed my ID when I purchased the dongle and did not list what exactly was the policy violation.

 

I think I finally have to go to a wired internet connection.

 

PATTAYA, THAILAND.

 

I just explained most of my highlights with Manila internet service providers to let you know some factors that I am aware of:  Devices (air card, wifi, etc)?  Prepaid?  Validity or expiration date of SIM?  Bandwidth limit?  

 

So, my question is what prepaid wireless internet connections should I get in Pattaya?  Maybe, also usable in other big cities in Thailand.  My usage for personal business would be maybe 2-4 hours per visit.

 

Couple of years ago, I visited a True office and they told me that I could buy an air card (looked like a dongle) for about $100 and buy a prepaid card to load it.

 

Years before, I had an AIS SIM, which had the disappearing load.

 

A few months ago, other forum users stated that True does not allow load to be transferred from one True SIM to another True SIM.

One lady told me that she uses a TOT internet service with limited bandwidth.  Prepaid or postpaid?  

 

I once stayed in a condo that had wired 3BB.  When it went out of service, supposedly it would take ove a week for 3BB to send a repairman.

My laptop shows the wireless networks:  TrueMove, TRUEWiFi, AIS, 3BB.

 

Where are the offices for AIS and 3BB on/near 2nd Road?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

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I am a frequent visitor to Thailand, mostly Pattaya every 2-3 months. .......... So, my question is what prepaid wireless internet connections should I get in Pattaya? Maybe, also usable in other big cities in Thailand. My usage for personal business would be maybe 2-4 hours per visit.


4 hours every 2 or 3 months? That's minuscule. Also you dont say how long you stay for (or at least I couldnt find that information in your very long post). Let's assume that you stay for a week. Also you dont say how fast you want the service to be (or if you did I could not see it). Let's assume 4Mbs is enough.

Buy a SIM from True for about 50-75B. Load it with a few hundred Baht. When you arrive here compose *900*1975# on the keypad and hit dial. That will cost you 150B plus VAT and will give you seven days of unlimited 4G data capped at 4Mbs. Remember to turn mobile data off at the end of the seventh day so as not to incur per-minute charges.
Best check with the vendor first that the SIM you are buying is suitable for that package, but it should be.

You can put that SIM into any suitable LTE/4G dongle, any suitable LTE/4G mini-router, or into any suitable phone or tablet. For suitability you would need to check the bands they use. Any device bought here should be suitable. This, for example:
https://consumer.huawei.com/en/mobile-broadband/e8372/
which is widely available here for around 1300B.

That package should work in virtually all well-developed parts of Thailand.

Other packages and durations are available, but without more specific details of exactly what you want it is anyone's guess which will suit you.
http://truemoveh.truecorp.co.th/topping/promotion&activity_en.html

Dont forget to keep your SIMs validity extended either by regular small top-ups or by using a validity extension code.

http://help.mobiletopup.com/knowledge-base/how-do-i-extend-the-expiry-date-validity-of-my-sim/

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Oh, and if you cant be bothered with topping-up and validity and turning things on and off, the same 4Mbs 4G package is available for a full year for a one-off payment of 2750B (plus SIM cost) from any True store. That's 50B a week.
Buy it and forget it. I have one in my car.

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1) Use VPN to encrypt your local connection while in Thailand.

 

2) Get a local SIM card, get a daily internet package and tether the connection with your mobile phone.

 

 

 

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KittenKong.  Thanks for very informative answer.

 

My mention of 2-4 hours per visit was a top-of-the-head guess.  All I want to do is to buy an airline ticket and to avoid a keylogger or other malware copying my credit card data.  Speed is a luxury I seldom get in Manila.  More importantly, I want a connection that will not automatically be terminated every 2-5 minutes by the internet service provider.  Otherwise, I have to start anew the purchase process.

 

oilinki.  I am not sure what you are talking about, as the following explains.

  - -  How and where do you get a daily internet package?

  - -  What is "tether the connection with your mobile phone?

 

------------

 

I spoke to an expat today, who told me the following.

 

His smartphone shows various networks available.  He clicks on AIS, since his smartphone has an AIS SIM and the SIM has load.  After clicking on AIS, various data packages are listed.  He clicks on the one he wants.  Thus, his smartphone gets the internet.  Then, if he wants his laptop to connect to the internet, his laptop will show his smartphone as a network (ie, wifi service).  So, his laptop connects to the internet through his smartphone.  

 

Maybe this is what 'oilinki' meant by tether the connection with your mobile phone?

 

I have not tried the laptop-to-smartphone-to-internet yet.  If it works, then I will not have to buy a dongle (ie, air card).

 

He also said that since most Thai's use their smartphones for internet, air cards (ie, dongles) are hardly sold any more and are difficult to find and buy.

 

Well, let me expend a few hours borrowing a smartphone and see what happens.

 

I tried clicking on the TrueMove network showing on my laptop.  Result was no connection.  Nothing to explain how to connect.

 

Sorry for my opening post being long.  I was trying to show that my internet connection knowledge is limited and limited to my Manila experience.

 

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GG, you don't have tendency to spare your words :)

 

To get internet connection via phone in Thailand is super simple task.

 

1) Get a SIM card and add some money to it. You can do this at the airport, when you arrive to Thailand, if you have not done it already.

2) Get an internet package. Call the operator's customer care number and simply ask for it. I recommend DTAC as their customer care speak very good English.

3) Find the way your phone shares connection. This might be labelled as Tethering or Wifi hotspot

4) Connect your laptop to your phone's wifi hotspot.. and surf the net via the connection.

 

 

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How and where do you get a daily internet package?

I explained that in great detail in my first reply.

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oilinki.

 

Thanks.  Your third step will be a learning experience for me.  In other words, this is how a smartphone acts as a relay between my laptop and the internet.

 

KittenKong.

 

I clicked on the 3 urls you gave in your first reply.  You are right.  The truemove url lists their various packages and clicking on the type of package will lead to price and details.

 

I liked your mention of the 2750B, 1-year package.  Last year, I rented a condo for six months, and paid the owner 700+ baht per month for a BTS wired connection that went out of service 3 times.  The second time, I disconnected and re-connected the router and nothing happened; then I did the same to the modem and got the internet service back on; but this did not work the third time.  But, if I rent a condo again that does not include non-share internet service, then I will definitely try the 1-year package.

 

Thanks again.

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You can tether phone to laptop with the usb cable and faf around to get internet but its easier to turn on the phones hotspot feature set a password then connect the laptop via WiFi to the phones hotspot.

I'm using a DTAC yearly SIM card one year unlimited 4g data @ 2 Mbps one off payment of 1899 baht
P_20180520_143241_1.jpeg

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AIS office is on the lowest floor of the Central Festival Mall, Beach Road side(as opposed to Second Road side).

SIM is 50 baht(you will need your passport).

 

If just for general surfing , a non-stop data package limited to 1 Mbps(speed of connection) costs 107 baht per week or 321 baht per month, 642 baht per six month or 1284 baht per annum.

 

You might be able to use your existing USB modem should you be able to unlock it for use in Thailand.

 

What model of Smart-phone do you hold?

 

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johng and KneeDeep.

Thanks.

My smartphone is a Samsung Galaxy J2, purchased at one of Tukcom's monthly sales for under 3,000B plus 150B minimum purchase at one of the stores located at basement level.  I wanted to play word games on it, but did not find a suitable game.  So, only used the smartphone as a backup to my basic cell phone.

I am an expat, who spends most of my time in Manila.

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Update on smartphone tether.

 

I downloaded and looked over the 100+ pages of my smartphone's manual.  Unclear language.

 

I downloaded some youtube videos on my samrtphone and tethering.  Not many on my model and navigating the Settings indicated the change of topic headings.

 

Using my hotel's wifi service, on my laptop I went to the url:  http://truemoveh.truecorp.co.th/topping/promotion&activity_en.html

 

I clicked on the various internet packages listed.  Decided to test the 9-baht package for prepaid 4G.

 

Returned to my smartphone's user manual to learn how to dial the True package.  App - phone icon - keyboard for selecting the phone number - phone icon to dial the phone number.

 

True replied with a SMS text, mostly in Thai, which did have 9B in the text.  Received another True text in Thai.  No idea of what it was saying.

 

Checked my laptop's list of networks.  No indication of my smartphone.

 

Returned to my smartphone's Settings.

 

  - -  Swiped right to turn on Data Usage.  (Turned off at a True office earlier, when I complained of disappearing load.)
  - -  Tapped on Mobile Hotspot and Tethering.  Next screen.
  - -  Swiped right to turn on Mobile Hotspot.
  - -  Tapped on Mobile Hotspot.  Next screen.
  - -  Changed (1) name of hotspot and (2) password.
  - -  Tapped on back icon on smartphone to return to previous screen.
  - -  Swiped right to turn on Bluetooth Tethering.  
  - -  Tapped on Bluetooth Tethering.  Tapping only turned on or off the Bluetooth Tethering.
 
Checked my laptop's list of networks.  Name of mobile hotspot appeared. Clicked to connect.

 

Typed in my password.  Laptop connected to the internet.  Test connection with a search and clicked on an item in the resulting list.  It works - laptop to smartphone to internet.  

 

Meanwhile, my smartphone went to sleep.  Pressed the Home button to turn on its screen.  A new message - 1 device connected, Tap to set up.

 

Something else to learn.

 

Used my smartphone to check my True balance.  It was reduced by 9 baht.  OK.

 

On my smartphone, I turned off Data Usage.  On my laptop, the smartphone still showed, but as a 'limited' connection.  But, on my laptop's browser, internet connection could not be made. 

 

OK.  Data usage is apparently the on-off switch for the smartphone's internet connection.  This will be important to avoid disappearing load, such as exceeding the 200mb limit for the 9-baht package.

 

Somethings are unclear to me.  A heading like "Mobile Hotspot" itself and the user manual

does not explain whether the smartphone will search for hotspots or the smartphone will become a hotspot.  From the above taps, it appears that Mobile Hotspot refers to the smartphone becoming a hotspot.  Also, unclear are headings, Wi-Fi and Mobile Networks.

 

PS.  One of the youtube videos indicated that very few cell phone services' terms and conditions in USA allow for tethering.  One example of permitted usage was Verizon at $45 per month.

 

BIG THANKS, oilinki and KittenKong.

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Remember to turn off mobile data on your phone at the end of today (packages often run until 23.59 on the last day of validity, not for x complete days), as I mentioned in my first reply.

Personally I find USB tethering faster and easier than wifi tethering.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/21/2018 at 8:59 AM, Grin Grasser said:

Update on smartphone tether.

 

I downloaded and looked over the 100+ pages of my smartphone's manual.  Unclear language.

 

I downloaded some youtube videos on my samrtphone and tethering.  Not many on my model and navigating the Settings indicated the change of topic headings.

 

Using my hotel's wifi service, on my laptop I went to the url:  http://truemoveh.truecorp.co.th/topping/promotion&activity_en.html

 

I clicked on the various internet packages listed.  Decided to test the 9-baht package for prepaid 4G.

 

Returned to my smartphone's user manual to learn how to dial the True package.  App - phone icon - keyboard for selecting the phone number - phone icon to dial the phone number.

 

True replied with a SMS text, mostly in Thai, which did have 9B in the text.  Received another True text in Thai.  No idea of what it was saying.

 

Checked my laptop's list of networks.  No indication of my smartphone.

 

Returned to my smartphone's Settings.

 

  - -  Swiped right to turn on Data Usage.  (Turned off at a True office earlier, when I complained of disappearing load.)
  - -  Tapped on Mobile Hotspot and Tethering.  Next screen.
  - -  Swiped right to turn on Mobile Hotspot.
  - -  Tapped on Mobile Hotspot.  Next screen.
  - -  Changed (1) name of hotspot and (2) password.
  - -  Tapped on back icon on smartphone to return to previous screen.
  - -  Swiped right to turn on Bluetooth Tethering.  
  - -  Tapped on Bluetooth Tethering.  Tapping only turned on or off the Bluetooth Tethering.
 
Checked my laptop's list of networks.  Name of mobile hotspot appeared. Clicked to connect.

 

Typed in my password.  Laptop connected to the internet.  Test connection with a search and clicked on an item in the resulting list.  It works - laptop to smartphone to internet.  

 

Meanwhile, my smartphone went to sleep.  Pressed the Home button to turn on its screen.  A new message - 1 device connected, Tap to set up.

 

Something else to learn.

 

Used my smartphone to check my True balance.  It was reduced by 9 baht.  OK.

 

On my smartphone, I turned off Data Usage.  On my laptop, the smartphone still showed, but as a 'limited' connection.  But, on my laptop's browser, internet connection could not be made. 

 

OK.  Data usage is apparently the on-off switch for the smartphone's internet connection.  This will be important to avoid disappearing load, such as exceeding the 200mb limit for the 9-baht package.

 

Somethings are unclear to me.  A heading like "Mobile Hotspot" itself and the user manual

does not explain whether the smartphone will search for hotspots or the smartphone will become a hotspot.  From the above taps, it appears that Mobile Hotspot refers to the smartphone becoming a hotspot.  Also, unclear are headings, Wi-Fi and Mobile Networks.

 

PS.  One of the youtube videos indicated that very few cell phone services' terms and conditions in USA allow for tethering.  One example of permitted usage was Verizon at $45 per month.

 

BIG THANKS, oilinki and KittenKong.

 

 

WiFi is when you are connecting wirelessly to a home router or to a wireless network outside your home(instead of using mobile data).

Mobile networks is to manipulate the settings of your current network SIM(in this case, Truemove H.

 

Best for you to purchase packages that have no data limit or at least a very high data limit as compared to your likely usage. 

 

Here are some examples;

 

Unlimited data at 1 Mbps;

48 hrs 31.03 baht *900*1752#

Unlimited data at 4 Mbps;

48 hrs 41.73 baht *900*1753#

Unlimited data at 6 Mbps;

48 hrs 52.43 baht *900*1754#

 

Alternatively;

 

Unlimited data at 1 Mbps;

1 hour 5.35 baht; *900*1758#

 

4 GB of data over 7 days; 52.43 baht *900*1954#

10 GB of data over 7 days; 105.93 baht *900*1937#

16 GB of data over 7 days; 159.43 baht *900*1705#

 

That should give you ample choice using your Truemove h SIM.

 

Edited by KneeDeep

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On 5/21/2018 at 6:10 PM, KittenKong said:

Remember to turn off mobile data on your phone at the end of today (packages often run until 23.59 on the last day of validity, not for x complete days), as I mentioned in my first reply.

Personally I find USB tethering faster and easier than wifi tethering.

 

Yes, I read the TrueMoveH footnotes about 2359 end of one day usage.

 

Other reactions to TrueMoveH's web pages on prices for different packages:  Some mentioned for both prepaid and postpaid: so, which is applicable for web pages that do not mention prepaid and/or postpaid?  Some pages have a footnote that say 'recurring charge'; so that means you get charged again and again, and, if correct, then can a recurring charge be stopped and how?

 

I ran into the data connection turn off problem when I first got my smartphone.  I turned the phone on and off when I wanted to use it to play word games and check my balance.  Even though I did not use the phone, my balance was dropping.  I went to a True office.  A staff said that my data connection was on -- apparently even for days when I did not power on the phone.  Agreed, turn off the phone's data connection when not in use.

 

USB tethering.  One of the youtube videos I looked at said one issue was solved by using the cable that came with the phone.  I have to look for the phone's cable and experiment with USB tethering.

 

KneeDeep

 

Thanks for defining 'wifi' and 'mobile network'.

 

In Manila, wifi is the device that you buy from a cellular company to receive that company's wireless signal and connect to your phone, laptop, etc like a wireless router.  Also, wifi is the wireless internet service provided by a hotel, coffeehouse, etc.  Third, wifi can refer to the capability of one of your devices to receive and/or send wireless signal.  Fourth, when someone says wifi, I say -- Yeah, and why me?

 

 

 

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