The Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) of Thailand has entered into partnerships with several companies specializing in Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies. These companies will colllaborate with DEPA to help forward the Thai government's Thailand 4.0 policy and support the planned Digital Park Thailand and the IoT Institute. DEPA is establishing Digital Park Thailand in the Eastern Economic Corridor aiming for it to be the next digital R&D hub of the ASEAN region. Eight digital clusters will be promoted in Digital Park areas including: Computer Hardware; Semi/superconductor; Smart Device, IoT, Robotics; Big Data & AI; Intelligent Platform & Auto System; Immersive Content; Satellite & Broadcast; Future Ultra High Broadband; and Digital Tech Startups. DEPA also plans to spend THB 1.6 billion (USD 50 million) to establish an IoT Institute as part of the Digital Park in the EEC by 2020.
The companies are as below:
According to media reports, a new 5G testbed developed by Huawei has been launched in Thailand. As part of the project, Huawei plans to establish a 5G lab in Chonburi, located to the southeast of Bangkok, which is part of the USD 45 billion Eastern Economic Corridor project. Nokia and Ericssonas well as Thai mobile operators have also established 5G labs at the site
The 5G testbed project will be Huawei's first in South East Asia, and will be modeled after its 5G collaborations in other markets. Huawei has signed more than 30 commercial 5G contracts globallybut it has not yet signed a 5G contract in Thailand. Huawei has set up a cloud data centre worth US$22.5 million in the EEC.
In addition to the test bed, Huawei is in talks with Thai telecoms operators, such as Advanced Info Service Pcl and TRUE, to secure local partnerships ahead of a national rollout scheduled for December 2020. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has set up a working panel on 5G development, aiming to facilitate commercial launch by 2020. It initially announced plans to launch its first auction for the 2,600 megahertz frequency in 2017, constituting the first phase of implementing 5G technology, followed up by auctions for the 850 and 1,800 megahertz spectrum, and then for 700 megahertz in 2020. However, the auction for the 2,600 megahertz spectrum, currently held by state-owned public broadcaster MCOT under a concession agreement that ends in 2022, has been delayed till 2019. However, NBTC is going ahead with plans to test 5G technology. In November 2018, Thailand’s two largest telecom operators, AIS and True Move, were granted approval by the NBTC to trial 5G on the 26GHz band from November 22 until December 15. Market leader AIS conducted the tests in partnership with Nokia.
There have been concerns raised over the possibility of the Chinese government using Hauwei's equipment for espionage. During 2018, Japan, Australia and New Zealand effectively banned Huawei from providing 5G technology, while the US. Congress passed a law that will largely ban Huawei from use by the American government and contractors. The US has been urging allies to not use Huawei technology in their 5G infrastructure.
(Sources: CNBC; Channel Newsasia; Telecomasia)
Thailand's national digital ID service is expected to be available to the public in the next 3-5 months after undergoing testing. The system is intended to enhance digital security to facilitate online transactions, and enable greater access to bank accounts and lending.
It provides banks with facial recognition and blockchain-powered identity authentication technology. The ID is expected to boost availability of loans at attractive interest rates, based on borrowers' risk profiles assessed using data analytics.
The Digital Government Development Agency, the Bank of Thailand, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Revenue Department have all worked with a national ID team on the system, and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has also begun working with the team.
Tthe initial phase will need monitoring to prevent fraud, but if there is more collaboration among government agencies, the Provincial Administration Department in particular, the system will be strengthened.
(Sources: Bangkok Post; Biometrics Research)
Vertiv announced in October 2018 the opening of its newest IT facility in Thailand. The facility, situated in the industrial area of Rayong, will focus on developing turnkey data centers for customers in the Southeast Asia region. Situated in a sprawling area of 84,000 square meters, the facility is fully equipped with a clean room that can fit 10 modules simultaneously to accommodate multiple projects, as well as a hard stand area to allow customers to preview the products before delivery.
Vertiv claims to have a unique collaborative design-build process which delivers 0.5-30+ MW capacity for greenfield or brownfield sites that is deployed up to 50% faster than traditional construction.
The company said Rayong was chosen as the site because of the available land area that’s conducive to supporting large critical application builds. In addition, Thailand also has a skilled workforce of engineers that support Vertiv’s need for building turnkey data centers.
The Thailand government’s emphasis on technology and IT infrastructure and companies moving down the digital transformation path, is driving increasing demand for data centers and cloud computing in the country. A THB 10 billion (USD 312 million) Digital Innovation Park is an example of government initiatives under Thailand 4.0. Thailand’s location as a potential access hub to the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), which includes Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and a small part of China, is also expected to drive demand for data centers in the future.
(Source: Vertiv; DBS Asian Insights)
The Thai Commerce Ministry has commenced a study analyzing blockchain solutions for copyright management, also with the intention to expand it to agriculture and trade finance. The initiative, aimed at supporting small business, has the support of the British Embassy in Bangkok. Two feasibility studies for using blockchain on IP registration and trade finance are planned to be completed by February 2019.
Pimchanok Vonkorpon, director-general of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) under the Commerce Ministry, said that blockchain will help with traceability, digital IDs, company and IP registration management, and trade financing to improve transparency, shorten the process, as well as reducing costs of business operations.
Moreover, the TPSO is in the process of creating a "sandbox" for experimentation in using blockchain for organic rice export processing, which is epxpected to reduce export time from 15-20 days to less than 3.
(Source: Bangkok Post)
The Bank of Thailand (BoT) is initiating a project aimed at developing and eventually launching a cryptocurrency to be used as a trading platform for transfers between participating banks. The project intends to explore the implications and the potential benefits of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to enhance efficiency of the Thai financial market infrastructure. The BOT and the participating banks will collaboratively design and develop a proof-of-concept prototype for wholesale funds transfer by issuing wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (Wholesale CBDC). The prototype will be built on Corda, a DLT platform developed by R3. R3 has ebeen involved in similar DLT projects for other major central banks, such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
The initiative is called ‘Project Inthanon’, and it is led by the BoT, iin collaboration with technology partners R3 and eight participating banks, namely Bangkok Bank, Krung Thai Bank, Bank of Ayudhya, Kasikornbank, Siam Commercial Bank, Thanachart Bank, Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) PCL and The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd (HSBC).
During Phase 1 of Project Inthanon, which is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2019, BOT and the participating banks will collaboratively design, develop and test a proof-of-concept prototype for domestic wholesale funds transfer by using wholesale CBDC. Key payment functionalities such as liquidity saving mechanism and risk management will also be developed and tested during this phase. BOT will publish a project summary and based upon the findings and outcomes from Phase 1, the project participants aim to further develop the capabilities of the prototype for broader functions including third party funds transfer and cross-border funds transfer.
In addition to Project Inthanon, the BOT is conducting a DLT proof of concept for scripless government savings bond sale to improve operational efficiency
(Sources: The Phuket News; Bank of Thailand)
IBM has entered into a five-year USD140 million digital transformation partnership with Krungsri, one of Thailand's largest financial institutions, to grow and develop its digital banking business.
As one of Thailand's largest universal banks in terms of assets, loans and deposits, Krungsri's goal is to be one of its most innovative financial institutions in the country, having announced its strategic plan towards becoming a digital banking leader. Krungsri is working towards creating a technology infrastructure that is secure, resilient and cloud-ready to support mobile banking, artificial intelligence, digital banking and plans for end-to-end digitalization to streamline customer service and operations.
The agreement between IBM and Krungsri covers managed services across IBM mainframe z14, storage including Flash, servers, network and ATMs. The agreement is designed to provide Krungsri's technology platform with both stability, and the ability to build out cloud-ready infrastructure to support its digital transformation vision.
This is not the first time IBM has partnered with Krungsri. Krungsri started working with IBM back in 2012 under an agreement focused on infrastructure as a service (IaaS). In 2017, the bank, completed a successful block-chain pilot aimed at streamlining the bank's contract management, in collaboration with the IBM Cloud Garage team. Hyperledger Composer was also used as the development toolset and framework to accelerate the development of the blockchain application. The smart contract and consensus mechanism ensured that transactions are completed after contracts are satisfied and a consensus is reached. The immutability and encryption built into the blockchain enabled quick sharing of necessary information by transaction participants, while keeping it secure. It also improved transparency, integrates into the blockchain access necessary information, exercise control and intervene timely.
"Our vision of becoming a digital banking and innovation leader requires Krungsri to have strong and stable technology partners,” said Noriaki Goto, president and CEO, Krungsri.
(Sources: Finextra; EconoTimes)
In July 2018, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), one of the largest commercial banks in Thailand, upgraded its SCB EASY mobile banking application service through the launch of a new “EASY E-KYC” feature. The new feature enables customers to open saving accounts by themselves using the SCB EASY mobile application, without having to visit branches. The new process utilizes Electronic Know Your Customer technology (E-KYC) leveraging facial recognition biometrics on mobile applications to offer increased security and convenience. The process will require a national ID card, passport, and facial recognition scanning with services available between 07.00 – 22.30 hours. The entire e-KYC process is estimated to take around 5-10 minutes, significantly reducing the time and effort required for opening a bank account, while reducing the risk of identity fraud.
In the initial stage, the EASY E-KYC feature will be available only for those who have never used any SCB services and for Android mobile phones with NFC technology (Android 5.1 or newer). and under the Bank of Thailand (BoT)regulatory sandbox.
Following a major transformation since August 2017 and the waiver of all SCB EASY transaction fees in March 2018, the number of SCB Easy users has increased to more than 7 million. The bank hopes that continual new feature development will boost the number of SCB EASY users to 9-10 million by year-end 2018.
SCB's Digital Banking Division First Senior Vice President, Mr. Tana Pothikamjorn, said that this initiative is in line with SCB's “Bank as a Platform” vision wehre the bank would function as a large digital platform driven by technology and data and meet all customer needs.
(Sources: Siam Commercial Bank; Bangkok Post)
Thailand will move to fifth-generation (5G) telecommunication services by 2020. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) has been assigned the responsbility of developing the necessary infrastructure. It will work together with the private sector to accomplish this.
Speaking at Huawei Asia-Pacific Innovation Day, Deputy Prime Minister Mr Somkid Jatusripitak said that the government has invested in infrastructure for the internet of things (IoT), big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to help drive the Thai Economy forward and support the development of startups. 5G would open up new opportunities in these areas by enabling faster data rates. The Deputy PM added that Thailand should take a big leap and adopt 5G technology within the next two years, instead of a gradual step-by-step approach.
According to a recent forecast by Ericsson Thailand, operators can add USD 2.6 billion of revenue by 2026, a 22% increase in forecast service revenue. Real-time automation and enhanced video services are expected to benefit by around USD 400 million each, while monitoring/tracking and connected vehicles will generate an estimate USD 300 million. Hazard and maintenance sensing, smart surveillance and autonomous robotics will each gain USD 200 million in revenue and remote operations and augmented reality (AR) will each achieve USD 100 million by 2026, according to Ericsson.
(Sources: The Nation, Bangkok Post)
Thailand has committed to fully adopt fifth-generation (5G) wireless systems by 2020, with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) responsible for the development of the necessary infrastructure.
According to Ericsson, a maker of telecommunications equipment and provider of services, the manufacturing and energy and utilities sectors will be among the biggest users of the 5G services, along with organizations that deal with public safety. Previously, based on Thailand’s GDP forecasts by the World Bank, Chinese telecom giant Huawei estimated that 5G would add USD 56.7 billion to the country’s economy by 2035, or 4.56% of GDP.
The state's emphasis on 5G development signals the government's intention to ease the license payment schemes of the country's two largest telcos, Advanced Info Services (AIS) and True Move according to media reports. Both have expressed their inability to participate in this year's 5G 1800-megahertz spectrum auction, due to debt from the previous auctions.
"Thailand will not miss the 5G train, as technology will play an essential role in improving the domestic economy, implementing Thailand 4.0 and uplifting quality of life" said NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith.
(Sources: The Nation; Bangkok Post)
The Thai Government has assigned the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) to design and develop a big data system for the country, with the aim of connecting the information from all government agencies and allowing people to access the data. The system is expected to improve budget allocation, as well as the efficiency and transparency of state enterprises.
In Thailand's Five-Year Digital Government Development Plan (2017-2021), one of the goals is to strengthen the digital infrastructure of the public sector, generate effective database management based on the integration of non-redundant data, ensure the seamless connection of day-to-day operations conducted by various government agencies, and provide citizens with the most efficient and reliable public services.
Among other agencies, the Ministry of Finance has been asked to focus on big data analytics. The Ministry had made significant progress in bringing together information from the Revenue Department, the Excise Department and the Customs Department and pooling data on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from specialised financial institutions and public utility service providers. The latter step could help SMEs access loands more easily from state-owned banks.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak made the announcement at the contract signing ceremony of nine specialised financial institutions and four public utility service providers to share customer information.
Previously the Prime Minister instructed all state agencies to speed up the adoption of Big Data technology to help with the country’s development plan.
The government is also setting up a big data centre, which will develop a government database and enable public sector agencies to harness data for analysing their work and for better decision-making. The National Statistical Office of Thailand will lead the development of the big data centre.
(Sources: Bangkok Post, OpenGov Asia)
A new report from A.T. Kearney has urged ASEAN countries to step up their spending on cybersecurity to tackle digital threats. Not doing so can potentially cost the top 1,000 companies in the region about USD 750 billion in market capitalization, and derail digital innovation, particularly since the region has become a hotbed for digital growth and innovation in recent years. As more people connect to the internet, cybersecurity threats are also on the rise.
There are already initiatives underway to foster greater collaboration in the region. For example, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) of Thailand and Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) of Japan are partnering for the establishment of a ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre (AJCCBC) in Thailand in June 2018. The Center is expected to play the key role in mitigating cybercrime in the region.
According to Bangkok Post, at the ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministers meeting (Telmin) meeting in Cambodia in December 2017, Thailand was chosen to be the hub of ASEAN cybersecurity training and tasked with improving the skills of security-related agencies of 10 countries.
(Sources: CNBC; OpenGov Asia; A.T. Kearney)
The Thai Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) announced that the country plans to lead an international Internet of Things (IoT) alliance, which has attracted the participation of 30 local IoT companies.
DEPA wants to develop an IoT institute in Thailand, as the local market is forecast to reach USD 1 billion by 2020. The institute will be located in the EEC digital park and will be a public-private partnership. The agency is looking to jointly invest in the IoT institute with 10 universities and private sector players, including Huawei, AIS, True, Cisco and PTT.
The IoT institute is one of five key initiatives for the THB 2.2 billion (USD 56.2 million) allocated to the Digital Economy and Society. The other four initiatives are the Smart Eastern Economic Corridor (Smart EEC), digital startups, coding access and Net Pracha Rat.
As per DEPA, The IoT institute is intended to build the IoT ecosystem and draw multinational corporations to work with local entrepreneurs and universities to embrace the network, enabling the real sector to conduct smart farming, smart tourism and smart automotive.
The IoT institute will include a 5G laboratory, cloud innovation lab, artificial intelligence design lab and data analytics center.
(Source: Bangkok Post)
Thai blockchain oriented company Omise has sign an MoU with Thailand’s Electronic Transactions and Development Agency (ETDA), which is the primary government organization responsible for the development and management of the Federation Proxy. The Federation Proxy, which is part of the Digital ID Platform, is a component that acts as a bridge for connecting the components in a digital ID ecosystem together with an interoperable authentication protocol that is designed to be open-standard and offer strong security for integrating and communicating among different components in an ecosystem.
The new venture will primarily focus on coming up with new use cases for blockchain technology. Digital identity solutions are of great interest to ETDA. This new system will be used for online and publicly accessible online transactions in Thailand, in accordance with the current laws. Supporting online transactions will lead to lower costs, increased speeds, and improved efficiency down the line. This partnership also confirms Thailand’s focus on improving their National ID Program for Verification Services.
(Sources: Omise; NewBTC)
Japanese telecommunication company NTT Communications, through it Thai unit NTT Communications Thailand, will bring artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) to the country to help speed-up business transformation. The move is expected to set the company apart amid intense competition for data centers and cloud services in the country.
NTT DATA is focusing its AI utilization efforts in three important domains: 1) middle and back office operations such as examinations and analyses, 2) front office operations such as contact desk and call center support, and 3) various social infrastructures developed using large-scale data analysis. For example, its AI technology can be used by a reception to offer auto responses to visitors' inquiries. The AI system will support the Japanese, English and Thai languages. Thailand is the first country outside of Japan where NTT will apply AI as part of its services to its customers.
NTT Communications expects that ICT spending in Thailand for 2018 will grow because of the so-called 'Thailand 4.0' vision and its strong focus on developing the Eastern Economic Corridor. There is also the need to increase productivity in the country by automation technology and outsourcing services. Thailand has the potential to become a digital hub because of its central advantage in the region and the tax privileges offered by the Board of Investment for investment into data centers and cloud services.
(Source: Bangkok Post)
Supernap Thailand has recently opened its new advanced data center in Chonburi. The company is a partnership between US data center operator Switch and the ACDC fund, which consists of Orascom TMT Investments and Accelero Capital, and builds its facilities based on designs developed by Switch. According to the company, its new carrier-neutral data center facility plays an important role in the region as the critical infrastructure that powers the ability of businesses to succeed in the growing Internet of Things, Cloud and Artificial Intelligence markets.
The facility is designed and built to the specifications data centers in the United States. Its design and connectivity options are expected to enable clients to respond to rapid market growth and connect to global economies, while helping the Thai government to transform the country into a high-value based digital economy. The Supernap data center is expected to be a catalyst for attracting more investment to the region and is poised to become the data center hub for Asia Pacific and to accelerate the digital economy growth in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) which includes the provinces of Chonburi, Chachoengsao, Rayong and Samut Prakan.
Huawei also plans to build a cloud data center in Thailand's EEC. After signing an MoU with the with the country’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the Chinese firm announced plans to invest USD 10 million for the data center in Thailand. The exact model of collaboration between Huawei and the government is still being considered.
(Source: Supernap Thailand)
BroadSoft, Inc., a global market share leader in cloud business software for unified communication as a service (UCaaS), and provider of collaboration and contact center as a service (CCaaS), has announced the commercial launch of AIS Business Cloud UC, a cloud PBX and unified communications (UC) service based on the BroadSoft Business UC-One application. The AIS Business Cloud service will offer Thai business users leading edge cloud services, including a full suite of secure UC services including voice and video conferencing, instant messaging and presence (IM&P), and team collaboration tools.
AIS is Thailand’s largest mobile operator, with over 40 million subscribers nationally. The company also has a significant and growing presence in the Thai broadband and corporate voice and data communications market, and is driving innovative cloud based service adoption aggressively among its corporate clients.
Nokia has provided its DCI solution for Internet Thailand Public Company Ltd. (INET), marking one of the first long-haul DCI solutions in the country. Nokia’s Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technology will connect INET’s two data centers in the capital city Bangkok to a site in Saraburi. In keeping with the trend of Big Data, where major global customers are expanding their data hosting plans, INET has seen its datacenter business grow significantly over the past few years. The ICT solutions provider invested in multiple data center sites to support this growing demand, necessitating massive data connection requirements between sites to keep customer data secured and managed, with a better total cost of ownership (TCO).
Nokia has deployed its DCI solution in conjunction with reseller Teohong Silom Co. Ltd., helping INET introduce multiple types of datacenter interfaces and data rates to existing and new customers, thus assuring a highly reliable network. The solution is based on the 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) and managed by the Network Services Platform. The 1830 PSS is a high-performance Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) platform that delivers the capacity, security, and control required for long-haul data center networks.
(Sources: Nokia; Capacity Media)
As part of a new Thai Bank Computer Emergency Response Team, Microsoft (Thailand) will be supplying its cyber security intelligence information and blockchain technology to the Thai financial sector. During an international symposium on cyber security in Bangkok, it was emphasized that the country needs to strengthen digital defenses to protect its digital economy. This market is exponentially growing, with e-commerce forecast to expand by 20% in 2017, according to Thailand’s Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA).
A report released by the Bank of Thailand at the end of 2016 showed that the country had 15 million internet bank accounts worth THB 2.4 billion (USD 72 million) and 20 million mobile banking accounts worth THB 579 billion (USD 17.5 billion). The EDTA valued the e-commerce market in Thailand at THB 2,183 billion (USD 66 billion).
The Thai Bank Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be established before the end of 2017 and will receive security alerts and organize responses to help members cope with attacks and intrusions. The costs and infrastructure of the CERT will be shared between the 14 banks that are the members of the Thai Bankers’ Association (TBA). Moreover, the CERT will provide training on cyber security skills for bank employees.
(Sources: Royal Thai Embassy - Washington D.C.; Bangkok Post)
The United Nation's International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has released the Global Cybersecurity Index 2017 where Thailand was ranked 22nd among the surveyed countries for this year, dropping from 15th place on the similar index released three years earlier. According to the Index, Thailand has been critiqued in five categories, namely Legal Measures, Technical Measures, Organizational Measures, Capacity Building, and Cooperation. The country was placed third among the countries in South East Asia, after Malaysia and Singapore. Among the countries in the Asia-Pacific, countries like Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea and New Zealand fared higher than Thailand. Like any other countries, Thailand is prone to cybersecurity risks. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has reported that the number of mobile internet users in the country is continuously on the rise, however, a huge percentage of the population is still lacking sufficient knowledge on cybersecurity.
(Sources: Brink News; Bangkok Post)
The United Nations International Telecommunication Union has ranked Thailand 20th out of 77 countries in cyber security, characterizing the nation as at the “maturing stage” on the issue. The Global Cybersecurity Index 2017 is the second survey of its kind undertaken by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) with the first published in 2014. It measures the commitment of member states in order to raise awareness of the issues, threats and advances in cybersecurity. Thailand achieved 0.683 points out of a possible 1.0, placing it just ahead of India in the Asia-Pacific region. Within the region, Thailand ranked 7th, behind Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand, but ahead of 24 other countries.
In 2015, Thailand found itself in the top bracket with Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit which identified it as one of the top 25 malwareinfected countries in a survey of 200 countries. Globally, Thailand falls within an elite 12.5%. Separately, global security software provider, Trend Micro, has predicted that the top three cybersecurity threats in Thailand would be online-banking malware, malware on mobile devices, and attacks on opensource vulnerabilities.
(Source: Royal Thai Embassy, Washington D.C.)
In support of digital transformation and the government’s “Thailand 4.0” scheme, Huawei will be investing USD 15 million to establish OpenLab Bangkok, offering one-stop support to enterprises’ information and communication technology infrastructure. This is its seventh lab and it will have a total space of 2,000 square meters. The others are located in Suzhou, China, Mexico City, Munich, Singapore, Johannesburg and Dubai.
This new lab will cooperate with over 40 international and local partners including SAP, Microsoft, Chulalongkorn University, Honeywell, Bombardier, Oracle, Accenture and Infosys. In addition to the lab being a research and development center for new Huawei products and services, it would also assist Huawei’s customers and business partners in digital transformation, providing them an open platform and data-center resources to help test solutions and speed up innovations. ICT training services and platforms to support universities and digital start-ups will also be provided there.
(Sources: The Nation, Thailand Business News)
Connectivity is no longer posted as an issue in Thailand with 133% mobile phone penetration, 40 million internet banking accounts, 19 million mobile banking accounts and a fast growing e-commerce sector. However, this growth comes with a cyber security challenge and Thai people still lack security awareness. Furthermore, there are not enough skilled professionals to handle cyber security as demonstrated in this recent ISEC (information security expert certification) exam where only 20 people passed the exam out of 124 Thai candidates.
According to Allianz Global, Thailand has the second highest cybercrime rates. Microsoft ranks the country in the top 25 for malware infections, and BitDefender puts it the 11th and 5th highest-risk country in the world and in Asia respectively.
At present, Thailand has no clear road map for managing and dealing with cyber threats and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) believes that a national cyber security should be established to promote long-term development of the country’s digital economy. This issue requires a centralized command agency.
(Sources: Disruptive Asia, Bangkok Post)
mTouche (Thailand) Co., Ltd., a unit of mTouche Technology Bhd has signed an agreement with G.I.S. Park (Thailand) Co., Ltd. marking its entry into Thailand’s information and communication technology (ICT) industry. They will jointly develop, build, install and operate the SMART5 Public Phone & WI-FI Hub Terminal for Thailand state-owned telecommunication company, TOT Public Company Ltd.
TOT has converted most of its 180,000 old public phone booths all over the country into SMART 4 public phones and WiFi hub terminals. 18,000 old public phone booths located in five major areas in Bangkok and five provinces in the north of Thailand are prioritized. The goal of this infrastructure project is to provide several cities with free Wi-Fi services, in accordance with Thailand 4.0 initiatives.
(Sources: The Sun Daily, The Star Online)
As Thailand is facing an expansion in digital payment services, local enterprises are demanding for advanced IT security. It is expected that the enterprise security market will grow at least 10-12% this year, an increase from THB 3.5 billion (USD 102.49 million) in 2016. While secure content management accounts for 20% of IT security spending, firewall and endpoint security management each account for 40%. However, the managing director of NForce Secure, one of Thailand’s leading enterprise IT security distributors believes that secure content management is a segment with high growth potential as businesses are increasing its focus on protecting enterprise data, particularly sensitive data including financial transactions.
(Source: Bangkok Post)
Thailand’s service provider CAT Telecom will be working with South Korea’s largest wireless carrier SK Telecom to deploy Internet of Things (IoT) network in Bangkok and Phuket. Based on the contract terms SK Telecom will roll out its LoRa-based IoT network in the central areas of Bangkok plus across entire Phuket and launch the IoT services starting in April 2017, in addition to providing technology consulting.
SK Telecom will be introducing LoRa-based vehicle location tracking system and deliver more IoT services including smart metering and smart street lighting services in Phuket. This is in line with the government’s plan on making Phuket the first smart city in the country as parts of its digital economy policy. LoRaWAN protocol will also be launched in central areas of Bangkok including the Grand Palace where an IoT-based location tracking service for tourists will be provided to prevent visitors especially the elderly and children from going missing.
In a separate development CAT Telecom, SK Telecom and another South Korean technology company specializing in payment gateway business NHN KCP will form a joint venture called Tree Pay to provide the first payment gateway service in Thailand. SK Telecom and NHN KCP will build the payment gateway platform by using their online, offline and mobile payment technologies while CAT Telecom will contribute to developing business opportunities by working with the government.
(Sources: Smart Cities World, The Fast Mode)
All mobile service providers in Thailand are required to use a new fingerprint ID system to register for new prepaid and postpaid SIM cards beginning in March. The fingerprint ID requirement which was first announced in last November also involves the mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) which provides mobile services without having their own mobile networks. Among the MVNOs available in the country are 365 Communications Co. Ltd., Loxley Wireless Co. Ltd., TT&T PCL and SAMART i-Mobile.
The requirement was previously objected by the MVNOs on the pretext that it would cause additional financial burden to them and make it harder for them to compete with larger network operators. Nevertheless the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is pressing for the system to help to ensure greater security of the mobile banking channel as well as preventing the risk of fraud. The fingerprint ID system will be an addition to the current mandatory registration system for users to submit their ID card or passport when buying new prepaid and postpaid SIM cards in Thailand.
(Sources: Thai Tech, Biometric Update)
Thailand slipped three points in the 2016 ICT Development Index (IDI) ranking from the International Telecom Union (ITU). The latest ranking placed Thailand at 82nd place compared to 79th last year. Despite the slip however the country recorded an increase of 5.18 in total index value compared to last year’s 5.05. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) attributed the slip to Thailand’s failure to push harder to drive people to access 4G network, as well as other countries’ improvements in ICT development.
Thailand also improved by three points in terms of ICT infrastructure readiness to reach 89th place from 92nd place last year. ICT use (intensity) nevertheless fell down to 71st place from 65th place in 2015. Its ICT capability (skills) remained unchanged at 80th place. Regionally Thailand’s performance in IDI 2016 ranking fell to 11th spot from 10th spot.
(Source: The Nation)
Thailand is preparing to beef up its bilateral collaboration with Japan on ICT in moving forward to establish its position as a digital nation in the region. Thailand’s telecom regulator the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has inked an agreement with Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) for the purpose of exchanges, particularly in the areas of telecommunications and broadcastings including possible joint ventures between Thailand and Japan. MIC also signed another agreement with Thailand’s newly set up Ministry of Digital Economy and Society focusing on ICT development cooperation covering disaster risk management, cybersecurity and postal services areas.
Both agreements were signed on the first day of the ITU Telecom World Forum 2016 in Bangkok. Held for the third time in Thailand, the forum will be focusing on fostering the development of the digital economy worldwide and promoting the small and medium enterprises’ networks and businesses. The event is projected to attract 25,000 attendees generating THB 700 million (approximately US$ 20 million). It is also forecasted to create about 1,500 job opportunities in Thailand in 2017.
(Sources: Bangkok Post; The Japan Times)
Ericsson Thailand is pushing Thailand towards the fifth-generation (5G) of wireless technology readiness by 2020 in reinforcing its position as a digital nation in the region. The local operating arm of Ericsson, a Swedish communication company, will be discussing with telecom regulator in the next few months to prepare for the roadmaps for 5G development, as well as talking to local mobile operators on network upgrade options or 5G Plug-Ins to make way for 5G wireless broadband service in 2020.
A survey conducted by Ericsson ConsumerLab in 2015 found that Thailand is one of the leading countries among ASEAN members in adopting information and communication technology (ICT). The country was ranked as the second largest mobile broadband subscriber after Singapore with 120% subscription rate as of December 2015. It was also in the third position as the largest fixed broadband subscriber after Singapore and Malaysia. The survey also revealed that the smartphone penetration rate in Thailand increased from 40% in 2015 to 50% in 2016, and will reach 100% by 2021.
(Sources: Bangkok Post, Dub News)