Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak says the 5G network must be rolled out by mid-2020 to ensure the country’s competitiveness in the region as peers aim to deploy their ultra-fast internet networks next year.
He said the planned 5G licence auctions must not focus on exorbitant winning prices, as the network roll-out is crucial to support the economy and society.
“Thailand is battling to become the digital innovation hub of Asean, competing with Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, which all plan to launch commercial 5G services in 2020,” Mr Somkid said.
He was speaking on Wednesday during a visit to the Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry, where he was updated on the ministry’s projects and delivered his policies.
Mr Somkid supports the ministry talking with the Board of Investment (BoI) to ease regulations governing foreign firms and attract multinationals to relocate their operating bases here.
Four global tech firms have expressed interest in relocating their manufacturing bases to Thailand, especially in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), he said.
5G technology will be crucial to driving innovation development, particularly in the EEC, Mr Somkid said. The country faces tough competition from its neighbours in drawing foreign investment.
“The NBTC secretary-general is committed to finishing the planned 5G licence auctions by the first quarter, while the NBTC and DES Ministry are working together to ease related conditions that would help promote 5G adoption,” the deputy prime minister said.
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21 November 2019