Hacking Bangkok Blog

Tech and Living in Thailand's City of Angels

The Hacking Bangkok blog covers I.T. and technology in general, and my experiences working and living in the Kingdom of Thailand. Bangkok has a very long Thai name, which starts with Krung thep - City of Angels.
Bangkok sunset from my bedroom balcony

Monday, October 20, 2008

True Move’s (somewhat) New Flagship Store/Hangout

In Thailand, the omnipresent TRUE technology company, which swallowed up the largest cable/satellite TV provider UBC before going on to offer mobile phone service, WiFi hotspots, ipTV, and high-tech coffee shops in addition to its core broadband internet service, has opened its “flagship store” under the true move brand.

This 4-story monster of a store/coffee-shop/internet-café/radio-station/video recording studio (yes, it has all of that) is across the street from Siam Discovery (near Siam Paragon, and the Siam BTS station). The first floor has a sort of museum-timeline of mobile telephony and data (see the photo above right), dating back to the luggable carphones of 1992, right up to the still non-existent 3G service, which is allegedly on-track for early 2009. You can read my earlier blog post to see how much faith I put in that!

There’s also a “Touch SIM Station”, for those lucky True Mobile customers with a touch-enabled SIM. I’m not sure quite what services are on offer if you touch your SIM to the 2001-esque black monolith of plastic, but nobody seemed to be using it anyway. There’s also a nice Starbucks-style café, much like the True Move store in Paragon, and tons of gadgets, toys, iPod-compatible neck-pillows (yes, really!), doggy-shaped speakers, and tons of phones. There’s tons of seating, especially if you don’t mind sitting next to gangs of 13-year old boys playing FPS games on large flat-screens.

If you’re just looking for a place to plop down with a notebook and work, they do sell internet access by the minute (in minimum 20-minute increments, for 20 baht – about 65 cents U.S. at today’s rates). You can also sign up for WiFi plans, ADSL, mobile service, etc. The 3rd floor has what the brochure calls a “See Through Fitting Room”, which I’m thinking sounds like a very bad idea, unless it’s not what it sounds like.

On the top floor, behind a gigantic and heavy door, are more tables, and a full-on video/TV studio, complete with gigantic ceiling-mounted lighting and a half-dozen very expensive-looking digital TV cameras, with that “1080p HD” logo on their sides. Downstairs, 99.5 FM is broadcasting from a glass-walled room, with the DJ surrounded by an audiophile’s dream’s worth of equipment, plus a half-dozen laptops.

This store is definitely far, far larger than the other True Move stores I’ve seen, as befits its “flagship” designation. A lot of the tables even have mobile phones there to play with, anchored to the tables with umbilical cords. Definitely a place to get some work done in a nice, air-conditioned place with a steady source of caffeine, power outlets and WiFi access. The actual address is:

232/5, 234 Siam Square soi 2
Patumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel: 02-658-4449.


Nguyen Truong Tung (Tom) said...

The show-off must go on for True Move.

Kirk Davis said...

Well, there aren't too many companies left in TRUE's market space, so I guess they're showing off in lieu of continuing their buying spree. Maybe they can expand into chicken, CP group could be next! (ha ha)

Anonymous said...

True Move = CP Group = chickens