State pact on e-marketplace scheduled

State pact on e-marketplace scheduled

Goal to promote digital commerce

The Digital Economy and Society (DE) Ministry is set to deliver an integrated e-marketplace platform by October as a tool to promote e-commerce activities nationwide.

The move will enable people to easily access a digital marketplace through the government's national broadband network for villages, or "Net Pracharat" project.

The DE Ministry plans to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with related state agencies this week to develop it through the existing digital platform of Thailand Post as a shortcut to foster greater adoption of e-commerce.

It is meant to complement the Net Pracharat project, scheduled to cover 24,700 villages nationwide by the end of 2018 and a further 15,723 villages by mid-2019.

DE Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj said the ministry will sign the MoU this week with the Commerce and Finance ministries along with Thailand Post to develop the platform.

The collaboration is to include an e-marketplace, logistics channels, product packaging and payment channels through a digital infrastructure network.

Each agency owns a critical database and is developing its own platform. Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak urged all related agencies to jointly develop an integrated platform.

The Net Pracharat project aims for all villagers in Thailand to have access to free WiFi by May 2019.

The project means to roll out free WiFi and low-cost broadband infrastructure covering more than 40,000 villages that do not have broadband internet access.

The first phase was handled by TOT, completing broadband infrastructure construction covering 24,700 villages as of the end of last year.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) was assigned by the government to handle the remaining 15,723 villages as part of its Digital Thailand transformation roadmap, expected to be completed by the middle of next year.

Mr Pichet said TOT has installed all related IT equipment and systems for monitoring the efficiency of the broadband network for the first 24,700 villages.

The system includes a network operating centre that generates a real-time monitoring system.

TOT is also providing a public call centre for details of Net Pracharat, via 1111 at extension 88.

Recently, TOT found that 2% of the first 24,000 village networks were down and they fixed them.

The call centre reported that 70% of calls asked how to apply for and access the service, with 20% asking for general information about Net Pracharat.

Mr Pichet said the MoU will synergise the integrated e-commerce platform, as Thailand Post is a major logistics distributor with over 5,000 offices.

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