5G regulations set for launch in March

5G regulations set for launch in March

A series of regulations governing 5G technology adoption and related frameworks are expected to be launched by March next year, says the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

The regulations include the technical standard for networks and terminals for 5G, the numbering and identification of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, security and privacy, data arrangement structure and data interoperability.

Korkij Danchaivichit, deputy secretary-general of the NBTC, said the agency has been talking with the private sector to work out the details of the 5G network and terminal standards.

An initial regulatory framework is expected in early 2020 before the 5G licence auction in February.

He said the numbering of IoT devices is likely to run in a 14-digit system in line with the International Telecommunication Union's standard.

This was reduced from a 15-digit system following the latest hearing.

"The 14-digit system could provide around 8 billion numbers serving massive IoT connectivity in the future," said Mr Korkij.

The regulation draft for the IoT numbering and identification will include their registration and number portability, as well as usage of the IoT devices, he said.

"All related regulations will be prepared for the expected boom in machine-to-machine connectivity across industry sectors," said Mr Korkij.

The upcoming 5G adoption needs to take into account related regulations, such as those involved with security and privacy, data arrangement structure and data interoperability.

"The NBTC is drafting the regulatory framework for security and privacy, involving telecom operators and consumers as well as data arrangement structure," he said.

"The framework is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2020."

In the future customer data should be clearly defined so it can be separated from general data that could be used for the optimum public benefit, Mr Korkij said.

He stressed the regulatory framework in connection with security and data privacy must come in line with the Personal Data Protection Act.

The legislation was published in the Royal Gazette in May with a one-year grace period for enforcement, giving stakeholders time to adjust.

The Telecom Business Act stipulates telecom operators cannot use consumer data for their own benefit with regard to non-telecom services.

Mr Korkij said the NBTC may need to amend this section, which would allow the use of data for public benefit.

As telecom operators use different data arrangement structures, the regulator will urge them to make it easier for data connectivity as the number of connected devices will skyrocket in the future, he said.

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