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Communications (Telephone, Internet, TV, Post)

Bangkok - Communications (Telephone, Internet, TV, Post)

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The communications sector in Thailand is changing rapidly, mainly due to the corporatization of government-owned monopolies. Over the past decade, there have been several changes in the structure and organization of the communication companies in Thailand.


Television

The free to air television programs are all in Thai. Channels 3,5,7,9 and 11, and TITV all broadcast locally produced soaps, variety shows, newscasts and live coverage of special events in Thailand. The transmission standard is PAL B. If you wish to bring your television sets from your home country, do check to see if your television set is compatible.

Expatriates who wish to watch English TV programs will need to either subscribe to a cable or satellite service. The main cable provider is True Visions. Occasionally, expatriates may find some people referring to the cable provider as True or UBC, which was its predecessor. The usual range of HBO, Star Movies and the like will be available, in addition to sports channels, with extensive coverage on UK football. There are several other cable TV operators based in Bangkok, such as TTV, PTV, ASTV and MTV. Do note that not all buildings are cable ready. The alternative is to subscribe to satellite TV.


Telephones

For directory assistance within Bangkok city, dial 13. Some English is spoken.

Landlines in Bangkok are installed by TOT Public Company (formerly known as the Telephone Organization of Thailand) and TT&T.

TOT is a public company with a long history of operation in Thailand. In addition to landline services (installation and subscription), TOT is also a mobile phone and internet service provider. Call the TOT Center at +02 240 0701 or 1100 for local calls only or email at prtot@tot.co.th. Visit the website for details and locations of the service centers in Bangkok City for walk-in enquires. After installation, True also offers landline phone services in Bangkok. Call True Call Center at 02 900 9000.

Like TOT< TT&T offers landline (installation and subscription), mobile phone and internet services. Call the TT&T Call Center at 1103 for more details. There is a list of service centers posted on the company's website, but the listing is available in Thai only.

IDD calls are billed by the CAT Telecom, which is a public company (formerly known as the Communications Authority of Thailand until it was corporatized in 2003). CAT is also Bangkok's third internet service provider, and partners Hutchison to offer CDMA mobile services, and with TOT company to offer GSM mobile services.

Expatriates wishing to connect a new line, or re-connect to an existing one must visit either a TOT or TT&T office in person and provide necessary documentation, such as a copy of valid work permit, or Certificate of Residence or Letter of residence (with translations to Thai), in addition to passport and valid visa. In some cases, a copy of the House Registration Document ("Tabien Baan") is required, hence it is sometimes easier to ask your landlord to arrange for a landline phone connection. The process will take a few days.

For mobile phone users, different companies offer different mobile services (GSM or CDMA). The main mobile phone service providers are Advance Info Service (AIS Dial 1175 for their Call Center), True Move (formerly known as Orange; dial 1331 for their Call Center) and D Total Access Communications (DTAC dial 1678 for their Call Center) and Hutchison CAT. AIS is the largest and first mobile service provider in Thailand. DTAC is the second largest service provider after AIS.


Internet

There are many internet service providers offering a range of internet services dial up, ADSL broadband, wireless. Some companies (e.g. TOT and TT&T) offer bundled services for internet and telephone services.

There are over 100 radio stations broadcasting in Thailand.


Postal services

Thailand's postal services are provided by the state-owned Thailand Post Company Limited (Tel: 02 831 3131). The services are reliant and efficient. Post offices are usually open Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 4.30pm, some are open Saturday 8.30am to 12.00. Post offices are located in every district in Bangkok.

Finding residential addresses and seeking directions for residences in Thailand can be confusing for first-timers. In cities like Bangkok, it is common to have an address with a sois with a number (e.g. soi 11). A sois is a side street that is perpendicular to a main road. In most cases, the numbers are even on one side and odd on the other side. Some sois also have names, for example, Sukhumvit soi 4 is soi nana, although most people will know the sois by the number. However, soi numbers are not sequentially numbered in the city, so is the case for numbers on individual houses and offices.



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