updated 11/2/2009 5:30:59 PM ET 2009-11-02T22:30:59

Bangkok’s international airport now offers free wireless Internet access for passengers, matching services already available from regional competitors such as Singapore and Hong Kong, an airport official said Friday.

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Nirandra Theeranartsin, general manager of Suvarnabhumi Airport, said the service, along with paid access for persons outside departure areas, was inaugurated this week, slightly over three years after the airport opened.

Passengers wishing to use the service must present their boarding passes at any airport information counter to get a username and password for the 1 Mbps service.

Singapore's Changi Airport began offering free wireless access in January 2008, and Hong Kong in December 2006.

Earlier this year, Suvarnabhumi Airport opened 126 kiosks providing free Internet access for people without laptops.

The $3.8 billion airport was dogged by corruption scandals before it opened, and suffers from overcrowded check-in areas, inconveniently located gates, and touts who harass arriving and departing passengers.

Airport officials this year are implementing upgrades and new security measures costing upward of $4.4 million, including more restrooms, improved signs and the upholstery of all 19,000 cold metallic seats with turquoise, peach, green and purple cushions that brighten Suvarnabhumi's concrete-and-steel design, panned by some critics as too monotone.

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