Suvit calls for Thailand to embrace 5G fast, or lag behind rivals
Thailand must embrace 5G telecommunication technology or be left behind, Suvit Maesincee, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation said on Wednesday.
"There is an ongoing roadmap for 5G planning and implementation globally. Thailand needs to embrace 5G fast otherwise it will lag behind. Our neighbours such as Vietnam already have a 5G implementation plan," Mr Suvit told a seminar titled "5G to Revive Thai SMEs" hosted by the Bangkok Post and Post Today online.
5G, he said, will help business and entrepreneurs achieve "disruptive innovations", continuously transform business models and create new markets and niches because of the technology's higher capacity, which is 100 times that of its predecessor 4G.
Worachai Bhicharnchitr, vice-chairman of Bangkok Post Plc's board (fifth from left) poses with (from left) Anurak 'Hasun' Sanruethai, online entrepreneur; Thanawat Malabuppha, CEO and co-founder of Priceza; Suwanchai Lohawatanakul, director general, Office of SMEs Promotion; Suvit Maesincee, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation; Piroon Paireepairit, head of 5G Working Group, True Corporation; Suchaya Paleewong, marketing manager, Shopee Thailand; Sakulrat Tanyongsiri, of the Line Company (Thailand); and Thantika Bodhisompon, executive vice-president, Bangkok Bank Plc. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
5G has "low latency", which make data transfer quicker taking less than one milli-second or nearly real time. It also has greater connectivity that allows connection with 1 million units of the IoT (Internet of Things) per square metre while 4G can connect with 100,000 units per sq m.
"5G will reinvent Thailand and serve as a springboard to boost innovation in the country. The world is changing and Thailand needs to adapt," he said. "SMEs need to think big and have a new mindset to build ecosystems. We need our people to have new sets of skill and have a new mindset to reinvent our country," said Mr Suvit.
He said 5G can create disruptive innovations for industry and turn traditional agriculture into smart and precision agriculture. adding that 5G can help provide digital innovations to manage urban areas and turn them into smart cities. "In China, drones have become more intelligent. They are not just used to fertilise soil but have the ability to analyse plant diseases. Artificial intelligences, the Internet of Things, cloud, edge computing, augmented and virtual reality will empower our society and nation," he said.
He said Thailand needs 5G to become a "smart nation", adding that areas of focus for 5G use are smart farming, remote healthcare to make up for a shortage of physicians, and genomic DNA for precision medicine.
"In Industry 4.0, we just use sensor equipment for detection. But in smart factories, we can use automation. For tourism, we can use augmented and virtual reality to transform and revive Thailand's historical parks. We can think of using smart sensors to detect the air pollutant PM2.5, and manage waste better," he said.