The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has cautioned mobile phone users who are visiting Nong Khai this weekend for the Bang Fai Phayanak or Naga Fire festival to turn off their roaming service, or risk being charged the roaming fee when their devices automatically switch to using the network of Laotian providers.

The Bang Fai Phayanak festival taking place along the Mekong river, which acts as the border between Thailand and Laos, is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors, most of whom own cell phones. The NBTC is concerned that those people might not realize they could be using their mobile devices on foreign networks, as the devices could automatically make the network switch in places where the network coverage overlaps. The agency has ,therefore, advised users along the border area to check the name of the network provider displayed on screen, to make sure they are still on Thai networks.

NBTC commissioner Prawit Lisathaphonwongsa noted that data roaming, as opposed to making calls via roaming, can be especially expensive if left unchecked. According to him, there has been a case where a user was billed
200,000 baht for data roaming after a 3-day visit to Singapore.

News from NNT