Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Like a CAT in a bag..... waiting to drown

I am a frequent user of Skype. Living and working in Thailand I find it a very good and CHEAP service to call back to the UK for family and business contacts.

I'll correct that I found it good.

The last couple of weeks I have been suffering with extremely poor service quality, so bad that I have to revert to traditional PSTN technology. In of itself not bad but way too much money for the 3 hours I would spend on the phone talking to different parts of my UK family.

This isn't Skype itself. I am in and out of Taiwan and I never have the same problems there. I also have free in room broadband and WiFi. The Hotel allows me to make VoIP calls from their own infrastructure and I can us Skype for clear and cheaper yet calls from the room.

The problem I suspect lies in the incumbent duopoly of CAT (Communications Authority of Thailand) and TOT (Telecommunications Organization of Thailand). Both are starting to feel the pressure from trying to run profitable business in a [slowly] more competitive market after years of underfunded operations.

Reeling from a succession of bad news items such as Number Taxes, Cash payouts to competitors and new technology adoption rates increasing every month they are starting to feel the pinch and so I suspect (no hard reasons just a hunch) that they are doing their best to throttle the international gateway that they control to choke Skype at the source. The throttling of the pipe would not allow Skype to send out it's sniffer packets to get a sense for the fastest route, leaving me on one route and hence the knock on of service quality.

What Thailand needs a group of de-regulators not the current regulatory body the NTC, that are educated in the same school of "milk the cash cow" Increased, and soon, competition would force the end of the inefficient, underfunded and inward looking practices of today.

1 comment:

West Gone East said...

we are in Chiang Mai and I have noticed the same thing. It was much better last winter!
tom