Wednesday, 27 May 2020
BUSINESS
21/05/2020 09:41 PM

By Linda Khoo

BANGKOK, May 21 -- The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted Thailand’s major telecommunication operators to rev up the deployment of 5G technologies.

Thailand Digital Economy and Society Minister, Buddhipongse Punnakanta, said the country’s top mobile operators were racing to deploy 5G networks at hospitals to support doctors and medical personnel to fight the deadly virus.

“Application of 5G to public health demonstrates how digital infrastructure can have a significant impact on people’s health during a major emergency,” he said in a statement.

The Digital Economy and Society Ministry, together with Huawei Technologies Thailand, is providing artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and 5G technology to hospitals in the country with the aim of enabling output diagnosis results more efficiently through a high-speed network.

Industrial organisations such as mobile communications industry body GSMA pointed out that 5G technologies are crucial in the fight against the pandemic and will be a “backbone” for the economic recovery. It is increasingly accepted in the industry that information and communications technology and digital economy will be a major push as work resumes post-pandemic.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan o-cha led the National 5G Committee to coordinate the 5G development and boost the digital economy in the country.

The 26-member National 5G Committee is also tasked with mitigating obstacles regarding the recall of unused spectrum from state agencies for the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), in exchange for compensation. It is expected to enhance cooperation between related agencies for 5G development support.

Deputy Prime Ministers Somkid Jatusripitak, Prawit Wongsuwon and Wissanu Krea-ngam serve as the deputy chairmen of the committee. The minister of finance, minister of tourism and the minister of education are also part of the committee.

The permanent secretary for the Digital Economy and Society Ministry serves as the director and secretary of the committee.

Thailand NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said the committee was formed to promote vertical 5G development, ensuring optimum benefits of 5G adoptions for the economy and end users.

“It will promote a clear roadmap for 5G adoption and infrastructure development by ensuring the participation of representatives from key ministries,” he said.

-- BERNAMA 

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