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How to get AIS Super Wifi on 802.11ac

AIS has launched a new Wifi service branded with the name AIS Super Wifi which is showing up around Bangkok and Thailand.  This new service operators on the Wireless AC Technology (IEEE802.11ac).    802.11ac has a throughput of at least 1 gigabit per second and a single link throughput of at least 500 megabits per second (500 Mbit/s).  This new standard is about 3x faster than the previous standard, 802.11n.

In real world speeds recorded in testing are around 720Mbps (90MBps) for 802.11ac. By contrast 802.11n tops out at about 240Mbps (30MBps).  AIS advertises speeds of 650 Mbps, which is nice as companies usually state the theoretical speeds as the real speeds a user could get.

Other benefits: 802.11ac has stronger, more directed range and is better on your battery because WiFi needs to be active for less time when data transfers can complete more quickly.

ais super wifi

Which devices can use it?

802.11ac is being built into any quality device made today, like iPhone 6, but iPhone 5 and older does not have the AC chip.  Samsung S4 has the chip but S3 does not. For more on devices with 802.11ac check this list.

 

ais 3g wifi passwordHow can I get it?

First you have to be in range of an AIS hotspot.  You will see something like .@ AIS SUPER WiFi as a hotspot name.  Then, you have to be a user of the iSmart 3G data package of 500 Baht or more per month to have free access.   If you are just dial *338*1# to get your wifi password via SMS.   If you’re not a iSmart package user you can get this package: 20GB for 99 Baht (not incl VAT) by dialing *777*384#.

If you just want the Wifi and if you don’t want those packages or want to switch a package, you can get AIS Super Wifi for 99 Baht/month by dialing *388*40#.  This is the stand alone package, you can add to your existing  service.

For those who have never before registered for AIS WiFi service :

  1. Choose the @ AISwifi network and then login using your User Name and Password. You will be automatically logged in through WiFi Auto Login.
  2. Then, return to .@ AIS SUPER WiFi so your smart phone or device will automatically remember the network to login automatically.

For AIS WiFi users

  1. Select .@ AIS SUPER WiFi so your smart phone or device will automatically remember the network to login automatically.

 

Where is it?

AIS wifi is mostly in big public places like malls and airports.  Best you find that it fits into your day to day schedule before considering to spend the money on it.  If you are a user already, then it’s quite easy to start using.

 

Speed tests at Emporium

Singapore:

speed test ais wifi
In Thailand:
speed test ais wifi 802.11ac

 A video showing the speed in a controlled environment

 

Using bitcoin on the iphone

By now you know what Bitcoin is, but the big trick is how you can start using it. Apple recently has lifted the ban on Bitcoin wallet apps and you can now find a Bitcoin wallets in the App Store.

While you might say “hey what’s the big deal mankind is been carrying money in their pockets for hundreds of years”, carrying virtual money in your pocket does give you some significant advantages. The main two advantages are security and your ability to send and receive money globally. While exchange costs are obscenely low when compared to other methods like credit cards, PayPal or western union, passing $100 bill to a friend still cannot be beat for its zero cost of transaction.  However once you have to mail that hundred dollar bill to your friend in Bolivia, transaction costs go thru the roof.

In looking at Bitcoin wallets on iPhone, I had a look at two apps currently in the App Store. I tried out CoinPocket and bitWallet.

CoinPocket has a nice modern clean. Interface. It requires you set a master password before using the app. Do not forget this password. . For getting paid you can generate a QR code with your Bitcoin address or send your Bitcoin address by email or message. Receiving a Bitcoin took me about five minutes. Sending it took about the same. To send the Bitcoin you’ll need the receiver’s address and also the password you set at installation.

BitWallet also has a nice clean interface. It has the ability to generate multiple Bitcoin addresses as well as copy and paste the Bitcoin address.  There is a watch lists feature that allows you to watch various BTC accounts for transactional activity.  Bit wallet also has optional wallet security, unlike CoinPocket’s mandatory password.

While both are quite similar and functional, I think after some brief use bitWallet would be my preferred choice, due to the copy and paste and a bit more sensible layout.

Here are some screens of the process with CoinPocket:

After setting your master password, you can receive BTC with your new address.

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Compose email places the BTC address into an email to send to anyone.

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Once you transfer in a BTC, you’ll see this

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Send screen.  I found the fee calculation a pain, as you have to send .0001 BTC less than your total to account for the fee.  This should be automatic.

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Send requires your password

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Detailed info on the confirmations and fee.

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bitWallet

First create a new BTC address and name it.

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Then request payment into your new wallet. Copy the BTC address, send it via message or email, or another mobile user can scan the QR code.

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You can see once the blockchain has seen the transaction.

 

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Copy your BTC address any time.

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dtac 4g

DTAC 4G Trials that you can join

Enjoy 4G on dtac TriNet, dtac offers 4G free trial for 4 GB for 4 months.-1DTAC has announced 4G in Thailand, is running a trial that you can try out.  To try 4G on dtac TriNet in Bangkok,  Simply dial  *2014*9# for a 4G Trial of 4 GB per month for 4 months.  This privilege is for dtac TriNet prepaid and postpaid customers who have applied an unlimited Internet package starting at 399 Baht as specified by the service provider.  4G is available in the service areas and can be enjoyed for free for 4GB/month up to 4 months.

More details:

  • Ensure TriNet is your operating network.
    If not, simply upgrade to TriNet by dialling *3000 (free).
  • Check compatibility before using 4G on dtac TriNet. Simply dial: *364*9#
  • Ensure your SIM supports 4G.
  • Ensure your phone and equipment support 4G.
    Apple: iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPad Air, iPad with Retina display, iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display
    BlackBerry: Z30
    HTC: Butterfly S, One Max, One mini, One (M8), Desire 816 (coming soon)
    LG: G2, Nexus 5
    Nokia: Lumia 1020, Lumia 1520, Lumia 820, Lumia 920, Lumia 925
    Samsung: Galaxy Note 3 LTE, Galaxy S5
    i-Mobile: IQ X KEN
    Sony: Xperia V, Xperia Z1 Compact, Xperia T2 Ultra, Xperia Z2 Tablet LTE, Xperia Z2


opensignal.com

Crowdsourced network speed testing from OpenSignal.com

Open SignalWhat’s the best way to find out the best 3G or 4G network? Let all the users using the network report back with their experience. That’s what a new company called Open Signal aims to crowd source.

How does crowd sourced 3G mapping work?

We can all help to improve their coverage maps by grabbing the Android or iPhone apps. Once installed the app pings the cellular network you’re on and report back to the Open Signal servers. By recording the speed, network, tower and GPS location, Open Signal can determine which network has the best coverage in each area. Since speeds in any given area are constantly in flux, the data you see on the site today won’t be the same in the future. Also for now, the number of people in Thailand with the app is quite small, so the network survey is limited to those using the app.

Thailand cities and their best networks

Below are links to the maps of the major cities in Thailand, the current best network and their ranking compared to worldwide averages.

  • Bangkok – TOT 3G – 17% Better than worldwide average
  • Chiang Mai – AIS   – 35% Better than worldwide average
  • Pattaya – AIS  – 15% Better than worldwide average
  • Hua Hin – DTAC – 33% Better than worldwide average
  • Phuket – DTAC – 25% Better than worldwide average
  • Hat Yai – AIS – 49% Better than worldwide average
  • Khon Kaen – True Move – 29% Better than worldwide average

Bangkok 3G map

Power of the crowd

Open Signal aims to provide visualizations and analysis based on the data collected, including cellular coverage maps that show exactly how strong signal is in any particular area, as well as all the nearby towers for your carrier. As this data comes from users with the app, the info is not quite a good representation of carriers in Thailand – yet. Looking at this map of towers, it’s clear that much more data for Thailand is still needed. bangkok cell towers The site has a goal of being the “global authority on wireless networks” and to get there they will need a large install base.

Mobile data usage tracking

The mobile app has a few nice features besides just helping with a supply of user generated data for the maps on the site. One of the nicest features of the app is the data usage display. The app keeps track of your 3G data usage as well as your Wi-Fi data usage. The good thing about this is you can keep tabs on your cellular data allowance as well as realize the whole amount of usage you put through your smartphone. They also provide a month-to-month graph to give you some data visualization ability. iphone data usage

October MBK update

As MBK is one of the preeminent destinations in Asia for anything to do with mobile phones I thought it would be nice to check in every once in a while with a few photos and a few updates.

I do not make a trip to MBK so often, but it is interesting to see how the stock of phones and phone accessories changes with each visit.

The most obvious things on this trip were the new iPhones for sale and all of the extra battery charging packs.

The iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C not yet officially on sale in Thailand, but MBK is chock-full of sellers with these phones from the US, Singapore, or other destinations.

As for battery packs, they seem to come in every shape and size. Obviously when buying a battery pack your main concern should be the mAh.   For 2,300 Baht, you can pick up the 10,000 mAh pack.  Half of that power is about 1,800 Baht.

Other note able trends are some of the retro throwback phones and watches.

Here are some photos from October 2013:
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Compare True Move, AIS and DTAC in Google Trends

Google trends compares search terms over time.  You can be a great way to gauge interest and popular ready for various search terms.  Just like Twitter hashtags, Google also shows what the breakout search terms are and how they compare to each other.

I did a little comparison on the three major carriers in Thailand.   The graph below shows the interest Google searchers have in the search terms Ais Thailand, Dtac Thailand, and Truemove Thailand.   Also arise graph, so feel free to check back here anytime to see the progress.
To have some more fun, I did another search. In Google search trends you can also select the search country. The graph below is searches from inside Thailand for the search terms Samsung and iPhone.

SIM Card Sizes

SIM Card sizes have changed over the years and we’re now on our fourth size the nano SIM. All annoying for some, it looks like we’re just about to the end of the goal of trimming any excess plastic from the Subscriber Identity Module. The latest iPhones now use this smaller nano SIM. The good thing about these ever-increasing SIM sizes is it’s just an exercise in trimming plastic, and any simple SIM cutter can do the job.
credit ausdroid.net

Back in the old days, this is how many phones would take a full sized sim card.  Slide the whole credit card sized SIM into the back of the phone.

 

Old format nokia

 

old green nokia
Thankfully old big Nokia’s like this are no more, and we’ve reduced the necessary amount of plastic required to have a Sim card in our phones.
three thai sim cards

 

Here’s a chart of what the iPhones and iPads are currently using in terms of a Sim card.

 

Apple sim sizes

 

 

Also here’s a list of Android phones using a Micro SIM.   The list is now over 100 phones.

 

sim sizes mm

 

 

 

Thai iphone 5c grey price

Graymarket prices up for the 5C & 5S

MBK does not have the phones yet, but this is not their first rodeo. Expect to see the Apple 5c and 5S shortly after they launch in Singapore and other first launch countries.  People here clearly don’t like to wait,  especially people that are used to paying full price for an unlocked phone.  You can clearly expect to see these phones a day or two after launch as there will be plenty of people flying back from Singapore with two or more per person.

Thai iphone 5c grey price

 

iphone 5c salmon color

Apple iPhone 5s Videos

Take a look at the iPhone 5s and 5c. The 5c is bascially a replacement of the iPhone 5, not really the cheaper low budget phone everyone had talked about. Much more like a Macbook / Macbook Pro positioning.  Also note that Apple smartly disable comments on the Youtube postings – not know for a high level of discourse.

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