IoT fired up by bandwidth approval

IoT fired up by bandwidth approval

Gateway device use expected to increase

The graphic shows IoT devices. Photo courtesy of computerworld. com
The graphic shows IoT devices. Photo courtesy of computerworld. com

The commercial sector is likely to adopt Internet of Things (IoT) technology at a much faster clip after the 920-925 megahertz spectrum was approved by National Broadcasting Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) for use in IoT devices.

"The regulator's decision to green light the plan will increase the use of sensors and imported equipment for IoT gateway devices by 10%," said Kampol Choksuntasut, president of Thailand IoT Consortium, which comprises 200 local IoT players.

The availability of the spectrum will assure the private sector that its IoT inventions -- now under testing for proof of concept -- would have commercial value, pending approval.

The twin concepts of "smart city" and "smart farming" are expected to roll out faster as both schemes use similar technology. Global usage of IoT bandwidth globally tends to be capped at 915MHz.

Several frequencies can be leveraged such as 2.4GHz and Narroband IoT (NB-IoT).

The consortium has urged the NBTC to consider letting a third party examine IoT devices before they are tested to reduce the burden on the regulator.

"In the short-term there will be new types of IoT communication providers offering a communication network for IoT, alongside mobile operators," he said.

Mr Kampol said the local IoT market is tipped to reach 4-5 billion baht over the next two years. Critics say the local IoT ecosystem -- makers, app developers and IoT service providers -- will be dominated by foreign players unless action is taken.

IoT adoption will become mainstream in the next 1-2 years, driven by the ongoing digital transformation and technological advances, said Sean Loisselle, group director of Microsoft Thailand.

Speaking at a two-day seminar called "Asia IoT Business Platform" that began yesterday, he noted the available bandwidth ranks as a technology commodity but also offers cloud infrastructure supporting IoT data analysis.

"IoT plays an important prole in the digital transformation by helping businesses change their business models and processes," said Mr Loisselle.

Hidenori Furukawa, a partner at the management consultant team of KPMG Thailand, said IoT could be applied in the retail sector to optimise inventory for offline and online retailers, and also integrated to logistics firms.

This would be similar to the model Amazon is working on with one of Japan's biggest logistics provider.

IoT can be used to help provide flexible car insurance or telemetry, which automatically measures data from connected vehicles using driving behaviour analytics.

It can also prove advantageous for businesses seeking approval for a new loan as banks can use IoT data to get performance transactions and flexible loan credit.

Mr Kampol said purchasing made-in-Thailand products and offering tax incentives and exemptions to businesses that use local IoT offerings will support local companies.

A recent survey by Asia IoT Business Platform found that 73.3% of Asean enterprises and organisations are exploring IoT.

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