Bangkok prison phone jammer zaps AIS

Don Sambandaraksa
25 Jan 2013

A prison cell phone jammer has been blamed for a partial outage of AIS' mobile network in a residential area of north Bangkok.

Reports have filtered through of Bangkok’s Klong Prem prison deploying a cellphone jammer to prevent inmates from using phones - which are widespread among the prison population. This apparently caused many dropped calls in the area. The jammer was reportedly turned off during the morning of January 24.

Prisons in Thailand are often broken into (as opposed to out of) with phones and drugs thrown into the premises. Radio controlled helicopters have been caught delivering phones, as have cats.

Bangkok-based travel blogger Richard Barrow had last year written about how an entry-level Nokia C1 sells for about $500 (15,000 baht) in a prison, almost 14 times its retail price. A phone charger costs about $84 (2,500 baht) on the inside.

AIS did not provide any official statement as to the incident or if they were actively working with the prison authorities in blocking inmates’ use of phones.

Dtac was unaware of any problem on its network, suggesting that the jammer was limited to the 900 MHz GSM band which is exclusively used by AIS. TrueMove did not respond by the time of going to print.

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