Wireless in Bangkok

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Unlike many I don’t always find a change in location exactly conducive to increased productivity. That’s the what I am finding as I work from Bangkok this week. The city is big, hot, and it seems to take ages to get from point A to point B. The people are, as they seem to always have been, some of the most hospitable anywhere. The touts excepted.
One of the most dramatic changes I have seen in Bangkok over the past year is the build up of wireless access points. Broadband penetration and speeds still lag far behind other parts in Asia but wireless cafés are everywhere now. And really, unless you are addicted to downloading torrents, the speeds are quite acceptable.
It’s quite interesting to walk around and see lots of young people with their new Macbooks working at various cafés through-out the city. This is old hat elsewhere and perhaps can only be appreciated if you have tried to get online here years ago. I think this will soon make Bangkok a wonderful choice for working remotely for at least part of the year. I can’t think of many locations more inspiring.
A number of companies including true are offering paid access through out the city almost guaranteeing you the ability to stay connected no matter where you are in Bangkok. One point of criticism is the cost. Coming here on business 150baht for 60 minutes may seem quite reasonable but surely for long stay or locals this a bit prohibitive. It’s certainly out of line with the costs of other activities here and not a cost I would want to keep incurring.
Luckily there are some great free access points. I noted a list from a venerable Bangkok website back in May and though it’s a short list I have found it quite useful. Plazes (click detailed list) is a good service to consider as well.
In the past Bangkok’s large size, traffic congestion, and lack of wireless infrastructure, make working on location challenging for those working on the road. Broadband has been here for years but it was slow and restricted to wired access points. With the proliferation of wireless access points you can choose your location from where to work allowing you save more time to enjoy the city and perhaps a good massage.