Cisco mulls innovation centre, 5G testbed

Cisco mulls innovation centre, 5G testbed

Mr Vatsun says 5G adoption this year will be in the early stages.
Mr Vatsun says 5G adoption this year will be in the early stages.

Networking and technology giant Cisco Systems says it's looking into the possibility of establishing an innovation centre in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and running a 5G testbed in the country.

The innovation centre would have tech demos displayed for interested parties, said Vatsun Thirapatarapong, managing director for Thailand and Indochina.

Whether the centre would be established depends on traffic from people and businesses in the EEC, he said.

Mr Vatsun's comments echoed those of Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta, who said last month after visiting the US that Cisco Systems had expressed interest in setting up an innovation centre.

Mr Buddhipongse said the US firm was interested in telehealth, cybersecurity and 5G technologies, as well as the smart city scheme.

Mr Vatsun said the company is exploring running a 5G testbed for the healthcare and manufacturing fields to capitalise on the Thailand 4.0 initiative amid economic challenges.

"We are aware of the economic challenges, the virus outbreak in China and delay in the government's budget spending, which are slowing technology spending in Thailand," he said.

5G adoption in Thailand this year will be in the early stages, Mr Vatsun said, with limited services scaling up in 2021 as more enterprises use the technology.

Cisco is exploring a 5G-enabled router use case in moving vehicles, such as ambulances, mining and manufacturing in smart factories and universities, he said.

WiFi6, which has throughput speed of 10-20 gigabit per second, will be rolled out this year. Its usage is expected to surpass WiFi5 by next year.

"The latest flagship smartphones support WiFi6, which would usher in more seamless connectivity for open roaming between 5G and WiFi6 in the future," Mr Vatsun said.

The company plans to continue expanding new growth engines and adding more value beyond connectivity networking business through global acquisitions, particularly mobile apps with performance monitoring features.

"Many businesses rely on mobile apps to provide digital services for customers, so mobile applications will be the new brand loyalty," Mr Vatsun said.

Demand for cybersecurity technology has heightened with enforcement of the Cybersecurity Act beginning last year, he said, adding that the full enforcement of the Personal Data Protection Act in May will also support demand for data loss prevention technology.

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