Telecom speakers advise digital readiness

Telecom speakers advise digital readiness

Col Sanpachai Huvanandana says Thailand aims to become the digital hub in Asean. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Col Sanpachai Huvanandana says Thailand aims to become the digital hub in Asean. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The readiness of the country's digital infrastructure is imperative to drive the country's digital economy and competitiveness, says CAT Telecom president Col Sanpachai Huvanandana.

He said a robust digital infrastructure can promote digital transformation.

Col Sanpachai was speaking at the "5 first S-Curve" virtual conference on Thursday, jointly organised by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Post Today and Bangkok Post.

The country has around 100,000 points of fibre-optic coverage, including those in remote areas through the Universal Service Obligation scheme, which provides access to fast broadband for 26,000 villages, as well as the Internet Village project, which covers internet access for 74,000 villages, he said.

The country has over 10 internet transmission routes for the submarine cable system, increasing internet traffic by an average of 30% a year, said Col Sanpachai.

The traffic volume could double every three years.

Thailand is the first country in Asean to embark on 5G frequency allocation as it aims to become a digital hub, he said.

Some 80% of internet transmissions go south through Singapore and Malaysia, with the rest running through other channels.

Thailand needs to embrace new digital technology such as robotics, artificial intelligence, drones, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, augmented reality and virtual reality, and 3D printing, which are all seen as a tech disruptors, said Col Sanpachai.

The country's digital roadmap, he said, should pivot towards becoming a hub for content distribution and it is important to fine-tune regulations and train personnel in the field.

The country needs to capitalise on 5G tech through new industrial use cases, embrace a sharing economy and become a paperless society using digital identification, said Col Sanpachai.

Speaking at the same event, Jesada Sivaraks, head of government and industry relations at Ericsson Thailand, said Internet of Things (IoT) technology would be a key engine for the country's digitalisation, which would cater to both consumers and business.

By 2030, IoT will no longer concern only connected devices, but will become an "Internet of Senses", catering to people in terms of images, voice, touch, smell and taste, making customer experiences a hybrid of the physical and digital worlds, said Mr Jesada.

According to him, the challenge of IoT adoption is the network, which covers device makers, service providers and solutions as well as the government and users.

There is a need to modify IoT tech to apply to the Thai context, Mr Jesada said.

"We need to make IoT devices fit with the network and build complete local networks," he said.

Mr Jesada said the government must work towards becoming a digital, one-stop shop for business services, which would ease the complexity of related work.

He said citizens and small businesses should not be afraid of technology, which can usher in new opportunities for careers and business models.

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