Study: Thais ready for 5G provider jump
Half of smartphone users in Thailand would switch mobile operators within six months to one that offered 5G wireless services if their own provider did not offer the technology, according to a recent report.
Some 40% of respondents expect Thailand to switch to 5G within the next year, according to the study carried out by Ericsson Consumer Lab.
The study was conducted in March, drawing on 35,000 respondents from 22 countries, of which 1,500 respondents were Thais.
Nadine Allen, head of Ericsson Thailand, said local mobile operators will have a first-mover advantage by transitioning early into 5G mobile technology.
"Mobile operators in the country are expected to benefit from an additional US$2.6 billion (81.4 billion baht) from 5G-enabled market opportunities by 2026, especially in manufacturing and energy, as well as other utility sectors, according to our study," Mrs Allen said.
Ericsson Thailand is urging the telecom regulator to draft a clear spectrum roadmap for the low, middle and high bands for 5G infrastructure.
"Spectrum needs to be made available to accelerate the introduction of 5G, which should be seen as critical to national infrastructure, as vital as roads, railways and airports," Mrs Allen said.
She said 5G is not just another generation of wireless broadband technology, but a game-changer for both consumers and industries.
The 5G infrastructure will be the fastest generation of cellular technology to be rolled out on a global scale and expected to drive competitiveness, making countries attractive for foreign investors looking for locations where they can have digital operations.
With ultra-fast connectivity speeds and low latency rates, 5G is set to transform industries and enable future smart cities that rely on a high number of internet-connected devices.
Thai consumers expect 5G to address their concerns about mobile broadband speeds and improve congestion in crowded areas, the report said.
Mrs Allen said Ericsson Thailand expects 5G development in the country by 2021 because the standard may have to wait for spectrum allocation and industry collaboration, which are the keys for driving 5G ecosystem development in any country.
5G will offer much lower latency, high data capacity and transfer rates, laying a strong foundation for the Digital Thailand vision set out by the government for both consumers and industries.
Ericsson holds a portfolio of 19 publicly announced 5G contracts, with live deployments in Europe, the US, Australia and South Korea. It remains committed to leveraging the latest innovations to enable customers to switch to 5G worldwide.
Jesada Sivaraks, head of government and industry relations at Ericsson Thailand, said unclear decisions and the lack of a roadmap are creating uncertainty for vendors importing network equipment based on spectrum ranges.
The standard bands of 5G development comprise low-, middle- and high-frequency bands. The low band is 700MHz; the middle band includes 2600MHz and 3400-3700MHz; and the high band is usually 26GHz and 28GHz.