Are you coming to Thailand, but don’t want the hassle of switching out your SIM card, or bringing another phone? Maybe a Pocket Wifi or MiFi is the right product for you.
What is a pocket wifi?
A Pocket wifi is a WiFi hotspot, just like the one in your home, or office, except powered by battery. Instead of getting an internet connection from ADSL or Fiber, the internet that powers a pocket wifi, comes from a 3G/4G SIM card from the local Mobile Operator.
How does it work?
The pocket hotspot shares the internet connection it gets with the Mobile Operator via WiFi. The internal router routes data the same way your home or office router does, the only difference is a pocket wifi routes traffic thru the 3G network. Your smart phone, iPad and laptops can call connect to the pocket hotspot via the wifi connection. You will have an internet connection anywhere there is mobile phone coverage, which in Thailand is over 90% of the country.
How Good are the speeds and coverage
Thailand is process of rolling out 4G, but there seem to be some hang ups in getting there. For now, the 3 networks are fairly evenly matched, however True currently has the largest LTE network, but speeds are no where near the speeds LTE is capable of. DTAC and AIS both have HSPA and HSPAP networks, which are continually being improved to near 4G speeds. By 4G we mean 100 Mbps speeds.
Ok, what are the real speeds
In practice, we’re starting to see many cases the 3G/4G data in Thailand is surpassing the quality of the ADSL and wifi networks. Users may find it faster to get on a mobile data connection, rather than be stuck with slow hotel wifi. As of July 2015, you should expect speeds of 6 Mbps down and 1.5 Mbps on a 3G network.
Buy or rent?
Prices for these devices have come down quite a bit, and if you want to buy one expect to pay 1,500 to 3,000 Baht. Rental rates are up to 300 Baht per day, so any trip over 10 days and you would be better off owning one. If you would like to rent a device we can recommend KDO Connect.