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Government Pushes for 250,000 WiFi Hotspots

DTAC chief executive Jon Eddy Abdullah shows a young student how to access the public WiFi service. The company is participating in a project that will blanket Thailand with WiFi hotspots by 2015.

 

BANGKOK – Thailand’s Government’s free WiFi service will cover 80 % of the country by May next year, according to Anudith Nakornthap, Minister of the Information and Communications Technology Ministry.

Anudith Nakornthap, (ICT) said on Friday that the ministry was allocated a new budget of 27.15 million U.S. dollars to expand the free WiFi coverage which is currently available at 200,000 spots nationwide.

The service is partly to facilitate first grade students who have been given free tablet computers for education under the government’s “Smart Thailand” policy, he said.

Anudith said the 200,000 free WiFi spots are provided with cooperation of Thailand’s major mobile phone companies.

The ICT is discussing with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to expand the service to 31, 334 schools nationwide while full coverage nationwide will need an investment of more than 980 million U.S. dollars.

The ICT and Dtac, one of Thailand’s three largest mobile phone companies, on Friday launched a pilot project of Dtac free wifi at Wat Nam Daeng School in Samut Prakan, an adjacent province of Bangkok, where 140 first grade students were earlier given free tablets by the government.

The project will also provide free wifi at 12 state hospitals in the country, starting next year.

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