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Top 3 Connectivity Trends within ASEAN in 2020

2019 was a bumper year for Enterprise Digital Transformation projects in Southeast Asia and advances in technology will herald more change in the coming years. As per individual consumption of technology, people are increasingly demanding cheaper, faster and more convenient usage of products/services delivered by businesses. In fulfilling these needs to customers and stakeholders, connectivity is something which is an unavoidable component in today’s digital projects.

Coming into 2020, the reliance of users regarding connectivity will continue to grow. Connectivity plays an important role in the society both from individual and business perspectives. Based on Cisco analysis, we can summarize and foresee these three hottest trends of connectivity in 2020 as follows:

1) 5G: 2020 is probably going to be the year when 5G really starts to fly, with more affordable and cost-effective data plans as well as greatly improved coverage. 5G guarantees speeds that are five times quicker than peak-performance 4G capabilities, permitting users to download movies in 5 seconds. This lightning-fast affiliation might revolutionize mobile communication.


Companies should think about the business implications of getting super-fast and stable internet access anywhere. The increment of bandwidth will enable machines, robots, and autonomous vehicles to gather and transfer more data than ever, resulting in advances in the space of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart machinery.

5G will change telecom's role - telecoms will not solely be technology distributors, but also service providers. This shift would force telecoms to interact with governments, enterprise customers and alter their sales approach to assist customers leverage the ability of 5G.

According to Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa)’s report about the impact of 5G on Thailand “Thailand has been witnessing growth in data traffic. The volume of data services in Thailand as of 2017 was 6 times as much as 2014. The average bandwidth per user is now at 4.11GB per month. The high adoption rate of 3G and 4G, along with high mobile penetration in Thailand, have encouraged people to use more online services and activities such as mobile banking, PromptPay, and e-commerce. With 5G, Thailand is expected to see the exponential growth of data traffic, especially from IoT devices”

From Bangkok post article about 5G opportunities for local telcos,  it stated that government has come to their aid with a Section 44 decision that gave both telecom businesses and digital TV operators financial relief and room to adapt to the rapidly changing digital economy. The government hopes to continue this progress with the 5G testbed launched earlier this year between DTAC, TOT Plc and CAT Telecom. Since then, the three main mobile operators -- Advanced Info Service (AIS)True Corp and Total Access Communication (DTAC) -- have agreed to seek three licenses on the 700-megahertz spectrum.

2) Wi-Fi 6: Wireless technology – particularly Wi-Fi 6 as referred to as 802.11ax or high-efficiency wireless – can get into the enterprise via the employee door and through enterprise access-point refreshes. Wi-Fi 6 is designed to enhance speed, increase potency and cut back congestion in weighty bandwidth usage situations such as stadiums, concert halls, convention centers or apartment buildings.

With the arrival of Wi-Fi 6, we will see a rise in the number of devices able to connect with a Wi-Fi network, together with longer battery life, and heightened overall customer experience. Wi-Fi 6 chips are already launched in the market, and several access-point manufacturers are releasing products compliant to the specification. Smartphone manufacturers are expected to add Wi-Fi 6 to next-generation handsets, whereas connected-device manufacturers will include the new wireless technology in a range of IoT products this year.


The examples of the manufacturer that have already started a move towards Wi-Fi 6 in Thailand are IntelSamsungAIS and Huawei. Dr. Osama Aboul-Magd, the Chairman of IEEE 802.11ax Task Group from Huawei had mention about the future of Wi-Fi 6 and what did he foresee in the market, he said “In 2019, Wi-Fi 6 will find its way into the enterprise network, large corporation and other situations like stadiums and airports. And during 2020-2023, it will penetrate Wi-Fi market and eventually replace Wi-Fi 5”

3) SD-WAN: A Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a virtual WAN architecture that enables enterprises to leverage any mix of transport services such as MPLS, LTE and broadband internet services to securely connect users to applications.

From what Silver peak has explained, a traditional WAN based on conventional routers don’t seem to be cloud-friendly. They generally need backhauling all traffic from branch offices to a hub of data center where advanced security inspection services can be applied. The delay caused by backhaul diminishes application performance by giving a poor user experience and productivity loss. Unlike the SD-WAN model, it is designed to fully support applications hosted in on-premise data centers, public or private clouds and SaaS solutions such as Dropbox, Salesfore.com, and Office365, while giving ultimate levels of application performance.


SD-WANs are now embracing geographically distributed enterprises at an accelerating pace because they assist businesses to become more agile and responsive, enhance business productivity and user satisfaction, improve security and reduce threats, and also dramatically lower costs by up to 90 percent.

Based on Marketreportsworld, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is expected to grow at the highest CAGR from 2019 to 2024 in the Software Defined WAN Market. The major growth factors that would drive the adoption of SD-WAN include the increasing need to centralize network management and reduce the operating cost. Since APAC is the fastest growing region and represents investors with immense opportunities of growth, a lot of the companies are investing in this region. Asia-Pacific will account for more than 63% of market share by the end of 2024, especially in China, also fast-growing India and Southeast Asia regions.

In conclusion, these technologies could provide huge benefits for many companies, however, they will also create big challenges in technology implementation. In order to prepare for those challenges, anticipating future needs is a must. Learning from the past, staying vigilantly in the present - understand the needs of enterprises in the region via the annual AIBP ASEAN Enterprise Report, covering IoT and Digital Transformation initiatives by companies in Southeast Asia with over 1,500 respondents.

If you have any enquiries about the opportunities within the Enterprise IoT/Digital Transformation space in Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia, feel free to contact us “Asia IoT Business Platform” via Linkedin or you can drop me an email at ariel@industry-platform.com.


By Asia IoT Business Platform | January 10th, 2020

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