The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has signed a deal with the Department of Airports (DoA) to support 5G technology for its regional airports, with Krabi airport serving as a pilot project.
The two agencies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for technical cooperation on a 5G study and services at the NBTC office on Wednesday. The move forms part of the smart airport project.
5G tech solutions will be applied to Krabi airport, which is one of 29 airports overseen by the DoA, said NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith.
Huawei Technologies Thailand, the local operating unit of the Chinese tech giant, also plans to sign another MoU with the DoA to support free 5G tech solutions and equipment worth 10 million baht for the project.
Advanced Info Service (AIS) and True Move Universal Communication (TUC), the top two mobile operators that secured 2600-megahertz spectrum range in February's auction, will provide 5G signal coverage at the airports.
After the MoU with Huawei is signed, 5G tech equipment is scheduled to be imported by July, Mr Takorn said.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the smart airport concept requires operations that involve security and public health monitoring measures, covering both inbound and outbound areas, he said.
5G tech solutions could include robotics, temperature checking systems and UV disinfection systems, said Mr Takorn.
Krabi airport can serve as a model for other regional airports to follow, he said.
"Covid-19 requires new operating procedures and the smart airport concept is needed for the travel sector," said Mr Takorn.
Deputy transport minister Thaworn Senneam said the deal is in line with national strategy and the Thailand 4.0 policy. 5G tech solutions at airports would create public confidence in health security for travel and airport operations, with the support of real-time services, he said.
The NBTC previously signed an MoU with Airports of Thailand Plc for collaboration to deploy 5G tech at the company's six international airports nationwide. For this project, operations have begun in preparation for new technology that will be deployed at the facilities.