How and What Thailand gains by deployment of 5G
published : 27 Jun 2019 at 13:56
Consider that 4G is today embedded in our daily lifestyles compared to not so many years ago when technology was only present in highly innovative gadgets, how much more transformative can it be if technology is further upgraded to enhance lifestyle at all levels even more.
Most countries around the globe are currently transitioning to the fifth generation (5G) development, following the path of technology-led nations, namely South Korea, China, Japan and the USA. The question arises whether 5G transformation is a quest for technology or the completion of global coverage connection improvements making for even speedier transactions. That question is still being debated.
In Thailand, communications technology advancement is considered the key to success for every mobile phone networking business and over 128 million registered numbers nationwide. The long-awaited services, particularly for smartphone handsets, take the technology to new levels, including downloading capacity of 5 minutes for a 2-hour movie clip and maximising efficiency of Augmented Reality- and Virtual Reality-based mobile applications. Compared to 4G, 5G cuts the latency to 1 millisecond, enabling less network interference and delays. Apart from the entertainment benefits, the phenomenal shift also impacts financial transactions and online shopping, for safer and more convenient services.
The fast deployment and adoption of 5G wireless technology in Thailand aims to increase opportunities and competitiveness of the country’s economy and counter the effects of a dwindling labour force and emergence of the era of ageing society. However, among ASEAN countries, at least Vietnam is on the upturn in this respect with a growing workforce.
According to the Thailand 4.0 initiative, Digital Industry in Thailand is expected to grow 5% due to the digital transformation of myriad industries. The implementation of Cloud, Big Data, AI, Blockchain, and loT are acquired as core for business operations and to improve already owned software platform enterprises.
Other factors encouraging the expansion of industrial technology include the opportunity for private sectors to take part in investment in Digital Park Thailand, or EECd, the new economic cluster or Eastern Economic Corridor. The advent of technological investment is about to be transformed into 2 trillion baht in economic value.
In prompting the fifth generation of wireless communications technology rollout, Office of The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has been leading the establishment of 5G development, along with other relevant networks, since the beginning of 2019. 5G technology is seen as a key influence and force driving Smart Manufacturing to achieve global standards by boosting hardware and sensor capabilities, thereby meeting the growing demand for labour. The resulting upsurge in domestic revenue is expected to reach 634 billion baht over the next 16 years.
Other significant 5G benefits expected to be realised in the Smart Logistics sector include inter-vehicle data transfer, and linking of vehicles and digital infrastructure to provide more precise data for traffic control systems. As a result, industrial revenue is expected to reach 124 billion baht. Additionally, 5G technology promises advances in Smart Farming through more efficient analysis of soil, water and other vital resources. Real-time market reports will give farmers more precise agricultural trading management capabilities that are expected to yield 96 billion baht more in revenues.
The recent allocation of 700 MHz bandwidth to private mobile phone network providers affirms the commitment to deploy 5G for the public. Each designated network is granted a 10 MHz frequency range license costing 17.6 billion baht and commencing from 1 October 2020. Each 15-year contract comes with a 10-year payment term.
Office of The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has extended the collaboration in 5G development testing to leading educational institutes in each region to prepare and support services nationwide. Following the initial system trial at Chulalongkorn University, 25 GHz and 28 GHz service was launched at Chiang Mai University (CMU), Khon Kaen University (KKU), and Prince of Songkla Univesity (PSU). This now provides extensive data sharing as well as pooling technology knowledge and reducing the gap in accessibility to advanced technology.
More importantly, technical development of a 5th-generation wireless system and Use Case development are based on each region’s geographic identity as well as opportunities and challenges presented in the areas.
In driving the Digital Transformation forwards, KKU is leading with a Smart Agriculture trial focusing on precise agricultural production. For its part, CMU prioritises PM 2.5 information system management and robotic control development for measuring air quality and making real-time notification reports. As the geography of the southern region is different to other parts of the country and local universities are located in remote areas, PSU is focusing its trial on aging citizens and medical patients using health-centric equipment and GPS tracking through telecommunications networks. Plus, Smart Security System and advance agricultural product management.