Data centres in the spotlight
Action urged to win digital hub status
Thailand needs more undersea cables and clarity on the Cybersecurity Act (CSA) to serve as a potential digital hub in the Indochina region, says W.Media.
Vincent Liew, founder and director of the Singapore-based tech marketing agency, said the CSA could encourage businesses to keep data in the country through the use of local data centres to make auditing the data easier.
In Indonesia and Vietnam, the laws oblige cloud providers to only establish data centres in their countries.
Mr Liew said the government must make clear whether company assets, such as computers, would be seized when security threats surface based on the CSA, as foreign investors are concerned about the issue.
"Thailand has a large population, and the size of its internet economy is second largest in Asean and is expected to reach US$43 billion in 2025, behind only Indonesia," Mr Liew said.
In the future, global over-the-top players and cloud providers are likely to establish data centres in Thailand, he said.
According to Mr Liew, the data centre and cloud market in Thailand is forecast to hit $1 billion by 2020.
The market is expected to grow by 27.8% this year, mainly driven by financial bank insurance, automotive, content providers, tech unicorn startups and retail business.
The data centre market is poised for compound average growth of 26% during 2019-25, thanks to investment in over-the-top platforms, digital transformation, big data, artificial intelligence and government policy support.
"Thailand's market size for data centre and cloud is still behind Singapore but quite close to Indonesia and the Philippines," Mr Liew said.
Still, the country faces challenges with its lack of sufficient undersea cables; the cost of internet traffic is higher than in Singapore and Hong Kong. The country also falls short on data centre specialists and digital infrastructure security.
Mr Liew said Singapore no longer issues new licences for data centre operations because it has run out of land for such infrastructure.
"This is an opportunity for Thais," he said.
W.Media is working with Open-Tec, a knowledge-sharing platform initiated by TCC Technology, the digital and data centre arm of TCC Group, to organise the Cloud & Datacenter Convention.
The event will take place Nov 6 at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit.