CAT seeks to capitalise on online education

CAT seeks to capitalise on online education

CAT Telecom has entered the online interactive learning platform business to capitalise on the burgeoning trend of e-learning and open the door for those in remote areas to access alternative education.

The platform, called Aculearn Online by CAT, was launched on Dec 25 in collaboration with Singapore-based digital learning provider Aculearn Online and Advanced Digital Synergy, a Bangkok-based communication tech provider.

Some 30 tutorial schools are expected to participate in the system by the end of 2020, up from 10.

The platform's strength lies in the interactive format: participants can talk with tutors in real time and view on-demand content after class, said Dhanant Subhadrabandhu, senior executive vice-president of CAT Telecom.

This system differs from most online tutorials, which provide only on-demand video content, he said.

Aculearn Online is a subsidiary of Nanyang Technological University, the second-largest university in Singapore.

The e-learning platform is one of a variety of services under CAT's digital business.

CAT aims to earn 9 billion baht from digital business by 2025, up 1,000% from 2019.

CAT's digital services include cloud computing, smart solutions, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics and cybersecurity.

"The e-learning platform is among the business sectors with potential, as there is a huge demand," Mr Dhanant said.

There is no need for participants to travel to attend classes, while tutorial schools can save costs on expanding their facilities.

Through the collaboration, CAT will invest in digital infrastructure, while Aculearn Online will provide solutions for the service.

Advanced Digital Synergy will be responsible for service management, including filtering and seeking tutorial schools to join the platform.

CAT will install related equipment and infrastructure in connection with broadband internet, payment systems and cloud-based storage at selected schools, free of charge.

Mr Dhanant said 20% of the school earnings must be shared with associated parties, but he declined to discuss further details of the deal.

The collaboration will usher in what are called "borderless classrooms", which help students, parents and schools, said Komson Ruangdejworachai, managing director of Advanced Digital Synergy.

Schools can expand classes more easily, without needing to invest in more facilities, he said.

CAT expects to book 39.6 billion baht in total revenue and 400 million baht in net profit in 2020.

Some 20 billion baht will come from the mobile business under a partnership with True Corporation, 2 billion baht from CAT's own mobile service under the My brand and 5 billion baht from rental fees for telecom towers, Mr Dhanant said.

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