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Thailand Ramping up Smart City and 5G Development

Thailand is coordinating with network partners at all levels to present a data set to drive the Liveable & Smart City strategy based on research and innovation. The country is preparing an action plan to promote the use of 5G technology to stimulate the ecosystem for commercial application.

To propel the growth of smart cities, the Capital Administration and Management Unit Area-level Development (TAMC) held the “Thailand Smart City Expo 2022”. TAMC established “Thailand Smart City Network Partners” and was a great platform to share knowledge and best practices. The initiative is in line with the 13th National Economic and Social Development Plan.

“In the Thai context, developing a liveable and smart city will focus on coordinating with network partners at all levels involved in the development,” Kitti Sajjawatana, Director of Capital Administration and Management Unit Area-level development (TAMC), explained.

Puchphong Nodthaisong, Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy and Society Commission (NESDB), emphasised the importance of stimulating the 5G ecosystem for commercial application. He underlines the need for suggestions from all sectors and a (draught) action plan to promote the use of 5G technology in Thailand’s major industry sectors.

“A (draft) action plan to promote the use of 5G technology is consistent with the strategy to develop high-performance digital infrastructure to cover the country. It is ready to be presented to the National Digital Economy and Society Committee (Board DE) for consideration this month,” Puchpong said.

Network partners at all levels have agreed to form the “Smart City Alliance Thailand” (Smart City Alliance Thailand). The alliance will drive the liveable city centre and smart city strategies. TAMC also supports educational processes for developing liveable and smart cities to boost the country’s economy and reduce inequality.

The initiative aims to narrow the gap between academic institutions, government agencies, civil society, the community, the private sector, and relevant partner mechanisms. The shareholders aim to help each other by sharing resources such as data, information, tools, equipment and locations and promoting research on developing liveable centre cities and smart cities.

The data for driving the strategy of liveable city centres and smart cities (Liveable & Smart City) is based on research and innovation, as mentioned by Pun Thiangburanatham, Deputy Director of the Planning and Strategy Department at TAMC.

Thailand is preparing a phase 2 action plan to promote the use of 5G technology. The action plan comprises four strategies covering all aspects of infrastructure, economy, society, and the 5G ecosystem. The action plan will also drive the digital economy, build a quality society, and prepare an ecosystem for using 5G technology.

Previously, the NSC held a workshop to develop a strategic future (Future Scenario) and a guideline. In addition, focus group meetings were held to stimulate the 5G ecosystem to commercialise 5G technology effectively.

Several ministries and organisations, including the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDB), the Office of the Science Promotion Committee Research and Innovation (TSRI), the Digital Economy Promotion Agency Electronic Transactions Development Agency (Public Organisation) (ETDA), the World Bank (World Bank), are involved in the Thailand smart city initiative.

At the university network level, the initiative involved educational institutions such as Mahasarakham University, Prince of Songkhla University, Khon Kaen University, Naresuan University, Chulalongkorn University, Kasetsart University, Burapha University, Chiang Mai University, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Ladkrabang. Some private sector network partners also being part of the initiative such as Urban Development Company, Mitr Phol Research and Development Co., Ltd., as well as local network partners such as the Municipal League of Thailand.

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