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NBTC and DoA partner on 5G tech in Thai airports

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has signed a deal with the Department of Airports (DoA) to support 5G technology for its regional airports, with Krabi airport serving as a pilot project.

The two agencies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for technical cooperation on a 5G study and services at the NBTC office on Wednesday. The move forms part of the smart airport project.

5G tech solutions will be applied to Krabi airport, which is one of 29 airports overseen by the DoA, according to the NBTC Secretary-General.

The local operating unit of a Chinese tech giant also plans to sign another MoU with the DoA to support free 5G tech solutions and equipment worth 10 million baht for the project.

Advanced Info Service (AIS) and True Move Universal Communication (TUC), the top two mobile operators that secured 2600-megahertz spectrum range in February’s auction, will provide 5G signal coverage at the airports.

After the MoU with the local operating unit of a Chinese tech giant is signed, 5G tech equipment is scheduled to be imported by July.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the smart airport concept requires operations that involve security and public health monitoring measures, covering both inbound and outbound areas.

5G tech solutions could include robotics, temperature checking systems and UV disinfection systems, said Mr Takorn.

Krabi airport can serve as a model for other regional airports to follow, he said.

It was noted that Covid-19 requires new operating procedures and the smart airport concept is needed for the travel sector.

The Deputy Transport Minister stated that the deal is in line with national strategy and the Thailand 4.0 policy. 5G tech solutions at airports would create public confidence in health security for travel and airport operations, with the support of real-time services, he said.

The NBTC previously signed an MoU with Airports of Thailand Plc for collaboration to deploy 5G tech at the company’s six international airports nationwide. For this project, operations have begun in preparation for new technology that will be deployed at the facilities.

5G tech in Thailand

OpenGov Asia reported earlier that NBTC is promoting Thailand as a work-from-home destination for foreign executives, hoping to shore up the local economy amid economic woes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Thailand has the potential to become a work-from-home hub, with several advantages over other ASEAN countries. The country is the first mover for 5G wireless broadband adoption in ASEAN.

Moreover, Thailand handled the outbreak well through effective public healthcare, backed by robotic care and solutions and 5G network infrastructure.

In addition, the cost of living in Thailand is still low compared with other countries in the region, and Thais are known to be friendly to foreigners. Thus, the Secretary-General stated that Thailand should be promoted as a work-from-home hub to the world.

The incentives aim to attract global enterprises to let their executives and tech-skilled staff live and work from home in Thailand.

The incentives could include flexible work permits. Foreign talent could help generate revenue and distribute knowledge in the country.

The government may also offer Thai nationality to skilled tech workers who can generate revenue for the country during a certain period of time, such as five years.

The Revenue Department along with other agencies may have to amend regulations to make sure these foreign talents who benefit from the incentives declare their revenue in the country’s tax system.

The Secretary-General noted that 5G-embedded OTT platforms will provide a new opportunity for the local economy.

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