AoT, WHA seek NBTC nod to run 5G tests

AoT, WHA seek NBTC nod to run 5G tests

Airports of Thailand Plc operates six airports in the country including Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang.  (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Airports of Thailand Plc operates six airports in the country including Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Airports of Thailand (AoT) and WHA Corporation, the developer of fully integrated logistics and industrial facilities, are seeking the telecom operator's permission to run a 5G testbed in collaboration with mobile operators.

Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), said the request would be put before the board for deliberation soon.

The NBTC is expected to allow them to run the testbed through the 26GHz spectrum range, he said.

"The NBTC allows all vertical industrial players to submit a proposal seeking permission to run 5G tests through their partnership, as another effort to push 5G adoption and use cases in the country," said Mr Takorn.

He reiterated that 5G adoption is needed by 2020, in line with the government's roadmap for the digital economy development.

The Digital Economy and Society Ministry is working with partners to pursue 5G trials in the Eastern Economic Corridor. The NBTC is also collaborating with mobile operators and academia to run 5G tests in four major locations.

5G tech is anticipated to accommodate digital transformation among vertical industries, especially the manufacturing, energy and utility sectors.

However, there are several obstacles that could potentially stall 5G adoption, including slow spectrum allocation, lack of willingness by mobile operators to invest and the lack of readiness by vertical industries to adopt the technology.

"Spectrum allocation is the core task of the NBTC, while use cases and practical solutions need to be developed by related parties, such as vertical industrial sectors," said Mr Takorn.

He said he wants to see other industrial players ask for permission to undertake the 5G testbed, apart from WHA and AoT.

Referring to the establishment of the national 5G committee, Mr Takorn said the NBTC is in the process of preparing materials to present to the panel, which will be submitted to the cabinet for consideration.

This includes a five-minute video featuring all related information about the panel. These materials are due to be completed by Friday.

The committee is designed to facilitate 5G adoption in the country, including easing the process of recalling spectrum intended for 5G.

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