Officials banking on 5G bids

Officials banking on 5G bids

Panel will coordinate network adoption

Deputy prime minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan (centre) presided at a meeting with the NBTC to drive the country's economy with 5G technology. He said the government intends to support 5G adoption in the country through all related state agencies.
Deputy prime minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan (centre) presided at a meeting with the NBTC to drive the country's economy with 5G technology. He said the government intends to support 5G adoption in the country through all related state agencies.

The government is hoping that proceeds from the 5G spectrum auctions and network investment will drive the country's economic and investment activity, working as an engine to reverse slowing GDP growth.

Officials also aim to set up the National 5G Committee by the end of this month to coordinate efforts to drive 5G adoption.

The panel is expected to ensure that the 5G roll-out provides optimum benefits for the overall economy and eases telecom operators' process of importing and installing equipment for 5G networks.

"The government's concern is how and when 5G tech adoption will take place," Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said during a visit yesterday to the office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). "We want it to add value and benefits to people and business."

He was at the NBTC to hold talks with board members and secretary-general Takorn Tantasith about the 5G push for the country's development. Also in attendance was Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta.

Gen Prawit said the government attaches importance to 5G adoption, with all state agencies standing ready to help private operators and the telecom regulator proceed with development.

5G adoption is expected to help reduce the digital divide and income disparity and push for digital transformation among vertical industries, he said.

"The innovative tech must help provide new business opportunities for people, such as startups, and transform traditional businesses into new development paths, such as smart farming, smart cities, smart health and industries driven by artificial intelligence and robotics," Gen Prawit said.

NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said the National 5G Committee would not interfere with the management or decision-making by the NBTC. The panel is to serve as a centre for cooperation of related agencies, strategic plans and ecosystem support for 5G development.

Mr Takorn said the five mobile operators notified the NBTC that they are ready to take up any licences they may win in the Feb 16 auction within one week of the announcement of the winners.

"They want to receive the licences as soon as possible to proceed with the equipment import and installation to compete with rivals," he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Takorn said the 700MHz and 2600MHz ranges will be fiercely contested by bidders in this month's 5G spectrum auction, as the available licences on the spectra fall short of their demand.

Leading mobile operator Advanced Info Service (AIS), True Move H Universal Communication and CAT Telecom are all competing for the two spectrum ranges, according to an industry source.

The NBTC board, meanwhile, plans to approve incentives for 5G adoption this month, including enabling operators to import 5G-related equipment from March 1 and letting them install related devices on the existing 130,000 base stations with no need for a public hearing.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (1)

Indonesia proposes 30% budget top-up for construction of new capital

JAKARTA: Indonesia's public works ministry on Monday proposed around 12.7 trillion rupiah ($807.68 million) in extra funds over the next two years to speed up construction of the country's new capital city on Borneo island.

19:33

Chinese EV battery producers will exceed domestic electric-car makers' demand threefold in 2025

China's fast-growing electric vehicle (EV) battery industry must look abroad for customers as their capacity after a period of aggressive expansion will soon be three times greater than demand from domestic electric-car makers.

18:02

Cocaine 'super-cartel' busted in Dubai, Europe: police

THE HAGUE: Police have dismantled a huge drugs "super-cartel" that controlled a third of Europe's cocaine trade, arresting 49 people in various countries, including six chief suspects in Dubai, Europol said on Monday.

17:45