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Mobile Expo at Queen Sirikit

The mobile expo is on October 3-6 at Queen Sirikit convention center. The Mobile Expo is essentially a huge phone and accessory sale. If you’re in the market for an android-based smart phone or device this event has what you’re looking for.

Notable brands that showed up this year are in Ais, DTAC, Truemove, Samsung, Sony, Lenovo, and a handful of Thai brands.

The biggest booths were held by Samsung, AIS, Dtac, Nokia and Truemove. Apple of course was nowhere to be seen, however I can easily see why they would not want to be associated with the plethora of choice that has become android.

On display at the Samsung booth was a full line of android phones as well as their new smartwatch. The smartwatch was double the thickness of my pebble watch and quite a bit of chunky metal on your arm. I can’t see any mass adoption for this particular model, but surely will get slimmer and easier to use in the future.

The major non-phone product I noticed for sale was supplemental battery packs. These were everywhere in every color and size, a sign of the current lack of battery power in today’s smart phones.

The Intel booth displayed some products like the fitbit and jawbone devices, but they were not for sale.

The bottom line for this event is that it’s for selling phones and accessories. There’s not a whole lot of cutting edge tech on display. If you’re looking for a new android phone this would be the place to come.

A few photos from the 2013 Bangkok Mobile Expo

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True Move giving viral video

True Move H Giving Video Goes Viral

With over 12 million views at the time of this post, this Truemove H advert has gone viral worldwide. Is been picked up by news sources like the Huffington Post and the Daily Mail.

The story is a three minute video about a young boy is shown generosity by a shop owner after being caught stealing medicine for his mom. Jumping forward 30 years that same shop owner finds himself in the hospital with his daughter trying to cover medical bills of $30,000. After receiving the bill she receives a second notice which states that ‘all expenses have been paid, with three packs of painkillers and a bag of veggie soup’.

 

This clever ad has been shared 40,000 times and added 4000 subscribers to the Truemove H channel.

video stats

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.

006 true move

International calling from Thailand

While in Thailand, you might find the need to call your family friends or business associates back in your home country.  Doing so these days easier than ever before.  From VoIP options, Skype, or carrier discounted international calling programs, the options are plentiful.  Finding the right calling tool for you will depend on who you’re calling, what type of a call it is, and your quality expectations.

 

App Options

These options are ways you can use an app on your smart phone make international calls.

Skype

By now most of us are familiar with Skype and it’s abilities.  Loading Skype with some credit, gives you the ability to call any number in the world directly from the app on your smart phone.  This can be done with Wi-Fi or over the 3G.  Call rates are competitive, and for the ease-of-use definitely worth it.  Rates are however almost double some of the hard-core VoIP rates.   If you really need to do a lot of international calling you may want to check some of the sit providers or, sign up for one of Skype’s package pricing deals.

Google Voice

talkatoneWhile and exciting option, Google voice is only available for US customers, or savy individuals can use the USA VPN or proxy, and have access to USA phone number.  One set up you have a USA phone number that anyone can reach you want.  Google voice has many features, but one of the best for outbound calling is the ability to call any number in the US and Canada for free.   To take advantage of this ability directly from your smartphone you need an app called Talkatone.  Once set up, you can use the keypad to call any USA number and make a free call.  As for caller ID, your Google voice number will show on the destination phone.

Line

line naverLine is the latest multi-messaging app sweeping the world. Line has both a desktop and smart phone client, with chat, voice recording and live voice options.  It works exactly like Skype in the way you can make a free call to anyone on your contact list.

Viber

viberViber’s popularity maybe on the decline, but it is the original smart phone calling app. While it came out before Line and provided a very easy to use service for calling anyone in your address book, its user base has now been surpassed by the popularity of line.

Facetime and Facetime audio

facetime audioMany Apple users are already familiar with FaceTime. FaceTime audio simply FaceTime without the video connection.  This means this is simply a direct phone call.  This works over 3G or Wi-Fi.  In the test I have done here the only major problem is the connection time, while the call quality is quite good with only an occasional lag.  To use FaceTime audio need iOS 7 update.  The downside is the person you’re calling also has to have iOS 7 and FaceTime audio.

Tango

Tango is an audio and video chat app.  Again both parties will need to have this installed to make a free voice or video call.

3CX Phone

3cx sip clientWhen you have the need to call any number anywhere, what you need is a sip VoIP client for your smartphone.  There are many SIP clients available for your smart phone but the one I’m currently using is the Free 3CX phone app.  Like any sit client, you will need to have a VoIP account with a SIP provider.

Carrier Options

All the Thai carriers have ability to call internationally from your mobile phone.  While the prices have become more competitive, there are ways to get even better rates when making a call from your Thai mobile phone.   All of these free fax services ask you to dial a number prefix and then the number you want to call like this: dial cheap prefix –> Country Code –> City Code –> Local Number

True Move

006 true moveTruemove users can use an International direct dialing service.  By using the prefix 006, you can get rates of 3 baht per minute 22 international destinations.

You can check the rates by dialing *006*Country Code#  dial.

To make premium grade international call via true 006 to fixed line or mobile number all over the world.
Just dial 006 –> Country Code –> City Code –> Local Number
(without the “0” before local number)

Example: Call Tokyo, Japan
Dial 006 –>81 –> 3 –> 67XXXXXX

More Details

AIS

ais 005AIS offers several international direct dialing service.  Please include dialing 005, 00500, 001, 009, 007 or 008.

International call service is the service that enables you to use your AIS One-2-call! mobile phone to make international outgoing call to the foreign destination numbers.

You can make international call by yourself.

  • Make call via AIN network : 005 Globaline , 00500
  • Make call via CAT network: 001, 009
  • Make call via TOT network: 007, 008

AIS customers can now make international call by pressing “+” to represent access code 005 from AIN GlobalComm
or by directly pressing 001, 005, 007, 008, 009 or 00500 to access international call services from other providers.

DTAC

dtac 004Dtac has the same international discounted calling service by dialing 004.

  • Dial access code 004 = call through Dtac Network Co., Ltd
  • Dial access code 001 or 009 = call through  CAT Telecom PCL.
  • Dial access code 007 or 008 = call through TOT PCL.

Prices to the US start at 8 Baht per minute, and you can check prices to any country here.

Software options

 

SIP Providers

This is protocol is a non-proprietary system for making international calls.  While a company like Skype uses their proprietary method for making calls, the SIP protocol is used by thousands of companies offering various types of calling programs and packages.  In general you will need an account with a sip provider, and then a hard or soft phone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

384 Kpbs compared to other speeds

FUP and Thailand’s 3G speeds

All major 3G networks in Thailand advertise their services with the price per gigabyte.  This may be a confusing at first because most people want to get an unlimited data package, not something limited by how much they download.   So the networks have adopted fair use policies (FUP) To allow users unlimited data, but safeguard against abuse.     Basically what they are saying is that they will throttle your usage once you reach your plan’s data cap.

3g package true move

Notice the data caps and the fine print of speeds after the FUP allotment.

Let’s take for example the Truemove H data plan package pricing.  You’ll see their plans say 500MB, 1 GB, two GB, and five GB.  This is the FUP amount, or fair usage amount before you will get throttled.    As you can see in the fine print,  once you get throttled from using all your FUP data, you will drop down to speed starting at 384 Kbps.

As you can see below, These are the speeds of the 3 major 3G networks.  None of them come close to the promised max speed of 42 Mbps.

Thailand mobile speeds

So lets say you’re at 5 Mbps for your first 5Gb of downloads, then you drop to .375 Mbps, you’re now working as speeds of a 56k modem or Bluetooth connection.

384 Kpbs compared to other speeds

To put another way, you’re able to get about 2.9 MB per minute or 4.1 GB in 24 hours.   So what’s the total theoretical download for one month from your 3G connection?   If you were downloading at top speed of 5 Mbps  you could effectively reach your 5 GB In 2 hours 30 minutes.    And so for the remaining 29.9 days, if you downloaded at 384 Kbps you would be able to grab approximately 124 GB during the month.

Of course these are theoretical speeds and actual performance can be wildly different.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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